With increasing threats to women’s healthcare and economic security we need women in elected leadership now. Women who step up to run for office face real challenges. Yet, when we run in rural and red districts, we are in a unique position to speak up about important issues that impact women’s health and well-being in communities where the Democratic message has long been silenced.
Having run for state office twice in a heavily Republican district, I know firsthand the challenges women candidates face. While I got plenty of well-meaning advice around clothing and etiquette, it was next to impossible to get real information on campaign strategy, data analytics, and grassroots fundraising. This is what drove me to co-found Blue Horizon Texas.
Since our launch last fall, 35 people (23 women and 12 men) have joined our candidate network. Many more have joined us in our “Campaign Nuts and Bolts” and our “Candidate Conversations” webinar series. Every day, Blue Horizon Texas assists Democrats who are willing to run in the red and rural areas of Texas. During Women's History Month, I am especially grateful for this opportunity to use my experience to help other women running for office in Texas.
Over 50% of the women in our network are running down-ballot campaigns for local office (compared to fewer than 10% of our male candidates). These seats have long been uncontested by Democrats, and overwhelmingly it is women who are stepping up to the plate. We know how important it is for women to have a seat at the table on Texas rural school boards, county offices, and city governments in these incredibly challenging districts. We need to let these women know that we see them, we have their back and will keep working to create the support they need to succeed.
Through our webinars, coalition building, and volunteer recruitment efforts, Blue Horizon provides women running for office in red and rural districts with essential tools, training, and support. To continue this work, we need your help.