Inspiring Women: Post Election Panel

Being a woman in an a world created to benefit men is already an uphill battle. But for women to be so brave as to attempt to take on a powerful male-dominated workforce like politics, is the beginning of a new dawn.

 

Kim Olson, who ran for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, Brandy Jones, who ran for County Commissioner Precinct 2, and Diana Leggett, who ran for Denton County Judge, are women who have taken on this challenge. Leading the women’s movement in politics with their heads held high, their loss in the midterm elections couldn’t bring their spirits down.

 

The difficulties with running a campaign in itself, is a task for only the best motivated boss woman. Of course it’s a challenge to be Superwoman, but by keeping up a positive attitude and smiling even when they don’t want to, these women are illuminating the will and strength that it takes to be a leader. But they’re wise enough to realize that they can’t do this alone.

 

“I can’t emphasize how important you are,” Leggett said. “Every single one of you, age doesn’t matter.” Considering this, 60% of her votes came from young people.

 

From making McDonalds runs with her kids and ending up registering every person in the building who says they aren’t into politics, Jones isn’t taking no for an answer either. While her ice cream ran down her hand and children heard yelling from the car, the motivation to involve as many people as she can is unwavering, she even has a piece of her office in the comfort of the trunk of her car at all times. Women are working twice as hard as men for the vote, because they know they will be seen as inferior to the male candidate, which is the norm we have come to accept. Though just because we accept it, doesn’t mean it holds truth. Including women in the campaign was one of their top priorities going into the race.

 

“Every person [on her campaign] was female, and I was unapologetic about it. I’m not anti-guy, it’s just our turn,” Olson exclaims. “We [women] are the power behind the purse, the vote, we enable everyone, and it’s time to enable ourselves.”

 

When talking about women in today’s politics, Olson discusses the 2016 Presidential election and why the percentage of women voting for Donald Trump disappointed her. Though the one good thing that came from the election was the inspiration for women to run for office—to get in the game. Astonishingly, according to Olson, candidate for Texas Senator, Beto O’Rourke, and herself, were the only candidates to have female campaign managers in Texas, thus igniting the push for more female representation.

 

“Women are the best multi-taskers,” said Leggett. “We had to lift each other up, we were sisters, that’s how it had to be.”

 

A growing theme of unity for women on the Hill was clearly loud and crucial to success, whether they win or not. Women today want powerful role models, and these candidates need us to remind them why they’re doing this. Inspiring others is a win in itself.

 

Whether it be block walking while fighting pneumonia like Jones, getting people to register twice in Panera like Leggett, or becoming your own campaign manager as Olson did, there is no obstacle too big and nothing was going to stop these women from achieving their goal. Not even their loss could bring them down, of course they had a moment to grieve, Olson’s specifically being in a Bohemian Rhapsody showtime when Freddie sang “We are the Champions” and shedding a few tears, but they knew there was more to be done.

 

As Leggett put it, “you can’t let that knowledge just drop, you have to do something with it... you have to keep that dial moving forward.” Leggett adds, “[once you] look in your heart and realize you are the change and no one can take that away from you, then you run for office.” Realizing when she went to the First Women’s March, asking herself “what can they do to me?” But more importantly, “what could I do to them?”  

 

All three of these women are considering running again, and they will be without a doubt supporting female candidates in any way they can, despite our beliefs, race, or ethnicity. As women, we are all in this together. The future for women in politics is bright, we’ve taken the baton and there’s no slowing down or looking back.

 

As Olson advises, “run, run, run, and don’t stop.”

 

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