August 4, 2020
Our next-to-last session of Run Wyoming, “Lessons Learned on the Campaign Trail,” featured four women who between them have decades of experience running for office in Wyoming: State Auditor Kristi Racines, former Majority Floor Leader Rosie Berger, former Minority Floor Leader Mary Throne, and former State Senator Bernadine Craft.
In a lively and informative discussion, the panelists addressed common concerns of campaigning, offered insights for overcoming fears of knocking on doors or asking for money, and shared tips about the day-to-day expectations of campaigning (for example, be prepared to talk policy and platform even on a quick trip to the grocery store).
Panelists also spoke to the structural and societal issues that prevent more women from running for office in the Equality State—including Wyoming’s legislative redistricting in [year?], which resulted in single-member or “winner-take-all” districts that tend to disadvantage women.
Fewer women in office, of course, means fewer women at the table when important decisions are being made. And since top leadership positions are often filled by elected officials who’ve gained experience at lower levels and are moving up, it points to what Auditor Racines called a “pipeline” problem.
So how to get more women to run? The answer was unanimous: Ask more women to run!
“I had to be asked more than three times,” said Senator Craft. “I never would have had the courage to run for the legislature. It was not even on my radar.”
Auditor Racines agreed. “I would not have seen it for myself.”
Run Wyoming is made possible thanks to the Cynthia Hogan Foundation and their dedication to the next generation of Wyoming leaders.
This free, nonpartisan online leadership training led by all women experts and panelists began July 6 and runs for six weeks every Monday from 5-6 p.m. All current and future candidates and leaders, especially women, are encouraged to attend. Attend all six to receive a candidate certification from ESPC!