Jean Sinzdak

Peter Haskell/WCBS 880

The New Wave: Helping Women Run A Political Campaign

June 05, 2018 - 12:00 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The record number of women running for public office this year has brought many first-timers and some of them are still trying to figure out exactly how to run a campaign.

In this week's segment of The New Wave: Women in Politics, Peter Haskell looks at a program to help them out.

At a recent Ready to Run seminar in New Brunswick, political consultant Tara Dowdell offered guidance to women interested in running for office.

"This is something you should definitely write down, 'What motivated you to run?' Because this is going to be the number one question any reporter asks you," Dowdel told the group.

Ready to Run is a non-partisan campaign training program for women.

"We are teaching them how to launch a campaign, how to build a campaign operation, how to develop a campaign team, how to get out the vote. We're teaching them fundraising, communication and media skills," said Jean Sinzdak of Rutgers, who oversees the program which has networks across the country.

This is one of a number of similar groups specifically targeting women.

There's a desperate need for them.

"Women were far less likely to get asked to run for office by party officials, elected officials, influential community leaders and so what we really need is more women running for office and then more women will win," Sinzdak said.

The event drew a diverse group of roughly 200 women including an entrepreneur and stay-at-home mom, nurse, and more.

Three out of four women running for the House are Democrats.

If the Democrats regain control, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro said women will have power.

"I will be able to chair the subcommittee of appropriations on labor education health and human services. Nita Lowey would be the first woman to chair the overall Committee on Appropriations. It would be historic. Nydia Velázquez on small business, Marcy Kaptur with defense," DeLauro said.

Former New Jersey Gov. Christie Whitman, a Republican, sees it as a game-changer.

"When women have those positions they'll bring up different issues, they will move things that need to get moved, they will try to find consensus and that's what we need, that's what we're missing in Congress today," Whitnan said.

Next week, we'll look at how social media can help women overcome structural campaign challenges.