New Jersey, Once Among Worst, Now Ranks Among Top 10 States for Women in Legislature

New Jersey, Once Among Worst, Now Ranks Among Top 10 States for Women in Legislature



NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Forty-third in the nation: that’s where New Jersey ranked with regard to women’s representation as recently as 2004, according to the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP) at Rutgers, which has tracked the numbers and proportions of women in state legislatures across the country since 1975.

Now, after the appointment of three women to fill vacant seats in the Assembly, the Garden State has risen to 10th, its first appearance in the top 10 since CAWP began tracking the national figures. Women currently hold 11 seats (8 D, 3 R) in the state Senate and 24 seats (15 D, 9 R) in the Assembly, or 29.2 percent of all seats.

“New Jersey’s success demonstrates how women can build their numbers,” says CAWP Director Debbie Walsh. “Women are learning what they need to know to succeed in politics, whether from CAWP’s own Ready to Run campaign training or from other sources. They’re leveraging professional experience and community involvement to show they’re winners. And they’re learning how politics works at the local, county and state levels, getting to know the decision-makers and power brokers so they’re well-positioned when a vacancy occurs.”

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Media Contact: Kathy Kleeman
732-932-9384, ext. 231
E-mail: kleeman@rci.rutgers.edu