Wins by women candidates in Tuesday’s election have set a new record for women’s representation in New Jersey. The state legislature will now include 22 women, a record for New Jersey. This brings New Jersey out of its place on the list of ten worst states for women’s representation, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP). New Jersey is now tied with Alaska in 32nd place, with women making up 18.3 percent of the state legislators.
In other election news, one of the Virginia legislature’s most anti-abortion delegates, Richard H. Black (R), was defeated by Democrat David Poisson, who supports reproductive rights and legal benefits for lesbian and gay couples. Black received bipartisan criticism in 2003 when he sent Virginia’s 40 senators a pink plastic fetus along with a letter urging support for several anti-abortion measures being considered by the legislature.
In Dover, Pennsylvania, voters rejected all eight school board members who supported teaching requiring a statement in classrooms about the so-called “intelligent designer.” The winning candidates all argued that such religious discussion has no place in science classrooms, according to USA Today. The decision by the school board has been challenged in federal court, and a ruling is expected by early January.