New Jersey voters have elected a record 34 women lawmakers to the 120-member state legislature. Before last week’s election, women made up less than 20% of New Jersey’s state legislature. With the newly elected women, that number will jump to 28%.
New Jersey will now have nine women in the state Senate and 25 in the state Assembly. Previously ranked 43rd in the country in terms of female representation with the same percentage as Mississippi and Alabama, New Jersey will now be tied with California and Connecticut in 15th place.
“There has been a concerted effort on the part of a lot of people, as well as efforts by the parties and women’s organizations, to try to do something to turn this around,” said Debbie Walsh, director Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University, reports the Associated Press.