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Texas Politics, Still A Man's Game

Texas Politics, Still A Man's Game

Texas is looking for a few good women...to serve in public office.  A quick glance around the state reveals a trend beyond the obvious Republican domination.  Men also dominate electoral politics in the Lone Star State.  With last year's retirement of Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison, and the recent retirement by Comptroller Susan Combs there is a dearth of ladies in statewide elected office.  Women hold just seven of the 31 seats in the state senate, and 30 of the 150 state House seats. 

Laura Blackburn with the Texas League of Women Voters tells KTRH that although the numbers don't look good right now, Texas does have a tradition of producing formidable female politicians.  "One strong person that comes to mind is Barbara Jordan, another is Ann Richards of course, Susan Combs as well as Kay Bailey Hutchison...all of those are very strong women," says Blackburn. She also points out two Houston leaders that came directly through her organization.  "(State Senator) Sylvia Garcia is a member of the League of Women Voters, Houston Mayor Annise Parker is a member of the League," she says.  "Many of them get their feel for politics in this organization, and then move to electoral politics."

Texas women are also making inroads in other areas of government, according to Blackburn.  "Certainly there are many, many more women who are becoming judges."  She predicts that as organizations like hers continue to develop and recruit strong female candidates, and the demographics of the state continue to shift, the male domination of Texas politics will end.  "In time I think that will occur," she says.  "In fact I think in time there may be more women than men (in office.)"  That goal seems far-fetched now, however.  So far, only one woman--former gubernatorial candidate and tea party activist Debra Medinahas announced plans to run for statewide office next year.

 

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