The Women Are Coming for Nevada

July 24, 2018

Jezebel: The Women Are Coming for Nevada

By Prachi Gupta

If you are constantly treading water in a news cycle of endless shit, here’s a raft to keep you afloat: Women, who are currently running for office in record numbers, may soon be taking over the state of Nevada. The Reno-Gazette Journal reports that the state could become the first to elect a majority-woman state legislature. Heck ya.

Nevada already has a lot of women in elected positions—40 percent—and thanks to the wave of women horrified by bad men, Nevada’s primaries were flooded with even more women candidates. “In the past, we’ve had to ask women five, six, seven times to run for office,” Danna Lovell, director of Democratic candidate recruiting nonprofit Emerge Nevada, told the Reno-Gazette. “Whereas now, they’re worried. They’re scared about what’s going on in their communities. … I think there’s an extremely great possibility for a female majority.”

There are 63 seats in the state legislature and women candidates need 32 seats to win a majority. According to an analysis from the Reno-Gazette, women candidates are favored to win 27 of those races—but six races (five House and one Senate) are a toss-up.

The race falls to five House seats and one Senate seat, where Democrat Julie Pazina, a local businesswoman with endorsements from Emily’s List and Planned Parenthood, faces off with Republican Assemblyman Keith Pickard in a district that leans Republican.

In the House races, Assemblywoman Lesley Cohen will be defending her district against two challengers: former Republican Assemblyman Steve Silberkraus, who lost his seat to Cohen by 212 votes in 2016, and Libertarian Bruce James-Newman. Cohen, whose campaign page is short on policy specifics, has voted to support automatic voter registration and campaigns on stronger background checks for gun owners.

The remaining House races may be even tougher, as the women candidates are new challengers—attorney Shea Backus and Connie Munk in District 37 and 4, respectively. Munk, who won 71.9 percent of the primary vote in her district and is running on issues ranging from lowering the cost of PrEP to strengthening gun control, said she was motivated to run after being blown off by a state lawmaker. “I won’t treat my constituents like that,” Munk said. “I want to listen to their concerns and issues because that’s what this job is all about.”

Most, but not all, women are running as Democrats. In District 31, former Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman, who has voted against a host of abortion rights measures and protections for transgender people, will challenge incumbent Democrat Skip Daly. Daly edged her out by a narrow victory of 38 votes in 2016, according to the Reno Gazette.

Nevada Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, now a Democratic Senate candidate, has encouraged the trend of the all-woman takeover. “Having more women at the table,” she told the Las Vegas Review Journal, “will elevate the lives of everyone.”