A report from the Center for American Women and Politics shows that the 2005 statewide and legislative elections in New Jersey and Virginia are unlikely to result in any significant increase in women in government. New Jersey and Virginia are the only states to hold statewide and legislative elections this year, and both rank in the bottom ten states when considering the proportion of women in their state legislatures.
In New Jersey, 33 women are running for seats in the Assembly, down from a high of 41 candidates in 1997, and 16 of those 33 are running as challengers. In Virginia, 19 women are running for the 100 seats in the House of Delegates. Leslie Byrne, Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor, is a current state senator and Virginia’s first woman representative to Congress. Byrne is the only woman running for any of four statewide offices at stake this year.