Meet 3 Women Running for Office Along the East Coast

I know you’re getting a lot of emails from candidates in Vermont and across the country. This is another big election year, with races that will define our state and country for years to come. Many Vermonters want to spread their support for candidates beyond our small state’s borders because they know that what happens in other states impacts all of us, but with so many emails it’s often difficult to know who to support.

Given a highly conservative Supreme Court and polarized Congress, state legislatures and governors are increasingly important for advancing progressive change and ensuring basic human rights, including reproductive health care, LGBTQ+ equality, gun safety, and voting rights. There are hundreds of really important races and fabulous candidates in communities across the country. Given my work with Emerge Vermont, I generally focus on Democratic women running for office. Below I highlight three women I know personally, running for state office in Georgia, Rhode Island, and Maryland. Check out their stories and throw them some Vermont love and support if you can.

Stacey Abrams – Georgia Governor.  Stacey and I attended the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin together. We served as the outspoken student representatives on the faculty recruitment committee, successfully advocating to hire more professors who were women and people of color. I connected with her again while I was living in Atlanta, just before moving to Vermont. Stacey is a lawyer, romance novelist, former state legislator, national voting rights advocate, and one of the most brilliant people I’ve ever met. She founded Fair Fight to advocate for voting rights and narrowly lost an incredible campaign for governor in 2018. She is running again to restore voting rights, economic security, reproductive health care, and racial justice to her corner of the Deep South. Her race has significant national implications for our democracy. You can read more about Stacey on her website and contribute to her campaign here.

Clara Hardy – Rhode Island House District 55. Clara is my sister and an experienced, licensed social worker who has provided counseling, case management, and support services to children, families, and elders in the greater Providence area for more than 20 years. She’s running for the RI House to ensure that the voices of people like her clients are heard, and that good housing, public schools, health care, and jobs with fair wages are available to them. Her opponent is an entrenched incumbent who has voted against reproductive rights, gun safety, minimum wage increases, and marriage equality. Clara and I grew up in a family that valued public service and women’s leadership deeply, and I would be thrilled if my sister joined me in state legislative service. You can read more about Clara on her website or in this local news profile, and contribute to her campaign here.

Dawn Gile – Maryland Senate District 33. I met Dawn through the LBJ Women’s Campaign School where I served as her mentor throughout the training program. Dawn is a lawyer, mother of three young girls, and a military spouse who has advocated nationally for the well-being of active-duty military families. She’s running hard in a purple district to flip a seat long-held by a conservative Republican man to a Democratic woman. Dawn is a dedicated champion for reproductive rights, working families, strong public schools, and health care access. It’s been wonderful to help another mother run for state senate! You can read more about Dawn on her website and contribute to her campaign here.

Stacey, Clara, and Dawn are each working hard to bring change to their state, and we’re all in this together. To make our democracy and country work, we need leaders like Stacey, Clara, and Dawn, and so many other great candidates, in office in every corner of our country. Thanks for your support.

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