By Byron Shehee
Alabama Political Reporter
MONTGOMERY—The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) recently announced the 2014 electoral successes for the Future Majority Project (FMP) and “Right Women, Right Now (RWRN).”
The voters of Alabama are already familiar with their success.
Alabama has a history of selecting female candidates, and while there were several strong Republican women in the political ranks during the 2014 election cycle, none were more formidable than Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey.
Lt. Gov. Ivey easily won re-election by defeating James Fields with 63% of the vote.
Matt Walter, RSLC President, said the FMP and RWRN recruited and elected over 164 winning candidates across the nation. Walter said, “We are proud to have invested over $6 million in this successful effort to build a strong bench of current and future leaders.” The RSLC supported efforts to recruit, identify, train, support and elect women and minority candidates.
The results cannot be denied.
138 women candidates and 42 minority candidates were newly elected on election night. That number could climb even higher as some elections have yet to be determined by run-off elections. The election results leave the Republicans with more women and minorities elected to state-level positions than at any point in modern history.
Republicans had more women elected at the state-level nationwide while the number of Democratic women went down this cycle. In total, women currently hold at least 698 legislative, secretary of state, and lieutenant governor seats. That’s an increase of 51 seats from the last cycle.
Republican women also currently hold the governor’s office in three states and hold eight seats as lieutenant governors. Twelve statewide female secretaries of state and lieutenant governors were elected this year.
In addition to the specific gains made by women and minorities, Republicans now control 69 legislative chambers across the nation – the highest percentage by Democrats or Republicans in American history.
People across the country are responding to the conservative message.
“The RSLC recognizes that our Republican Party, and more importantly our nation, is stronger and more capable when we invite everyone to the table to find solutions for our greatest challenges,” said Walter. “It’s critical we continue to work together to elect men and women representing various communities across America that reflect the full diversity of our nation.”
The 2014 cycle presented a great opportunity for the Republicans to show they could connect with a wide variety of people and the election results show that they did. Now both sides are already working to identify the next group of female and minority candidates.
2016 will be the chance the GOP gets to show everyone their gains with women and minorities are lasting. That shouldn’t be a problem in Alabama.