HomeLearning CenterBeaufort Women Fired Up and Stepping Up to Run

Beaufort Women Fired Up and Stepping Up to Run

Originally published by Lisa Wilson

The Beaufort County Democratic Party is fielding a slate of female candidates, many of whom are new to politics, in an effort to loosen the grip of longtime Republican incumbents in the South Carolina House and Senate.

Putting so many woman on the Democratic ticket was not an intentional choice, said Kathleen Hughes, chairwoman of the Beaufort County Democratic Party.

“It just happened organically that women are fired up and have chosen to step up and run,” she explained. “They are invested in making a difference in this election.”

More than 55% of registered voters in South Carolina are women, Hughes said, adding that both Republican and Democratic voters are upset with the choices members of the Statehouse have made and are ready to speak up about it.

As they campaign, the Democratic candidates will be making appeals to women across the political aisle.

“Reproductive rights is a key issue. It’s an issue that affects every woman in the nation, including South Carolinians, but there are other issues coming from the Statehouse that affect our population as well,” Hughes said.

She cited the recent passage of a “Constitutional Carry” bill that Gov. Henry McMaster signed into law March 7. It allows anyone older than 18 to openly carry a gun without a permit in South Carolina.

“A lot of South Carolinians feel (the open carry law) is making our state less safe,” Hughes said. “It’s an issue that affects women and families.”

A report last year by the nonpartisan She Should Run estimated that just over 22% of adult women in the United States could be interested in seeking elected office to increase women’s representation in government. The issues motivating them have to do with the economy, climate change, reproductive health, racism and gun violence.

Women are most likely to take action on issues related to children, health, education and poverty, the report says.

“The generally accepted judgment about women today is that they are motivated by gender equality as a standalone issue for seeking change. In reality, women are motivated by the everyday ‘kitchen table’ issues that show up in their lives,” the report says.

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