Year of the Woman: Record 50 plus file for 2018 candidacy in Anne Arundel

At least 50 Anne Arundel County women — more than ever before according to state election records— are running for office in 2018.

Women are running in almost every race for state and county office, with the exception of attorney general, county executive and clerk of the court, filings Tuesday night at the Maryland Board of Elections showed.

 While women are running as Republicans and Democrats with varying priorities and philosophies, many of candidates who spoke to The Capital as the filing deadline approached agreed women need more representation in government.

“There should be more women at all levels. It’s important in all things for balance,” said Diana Waterman, president of the Maryland Federation of Republican Women. “They bring a different skill set to the table.

“It’s good to have a little male and female, young and old, diversity of race and so forth. We need more women elected to office so there is a greater representation of our voting population. The first way to do that is to get women to run.”

Last month, the Severna Park-based organization Women Indivisible Strong Effective (WISE) declared 2018 “Year of the Woman” in the county, holding a bipartisan gathering of female candidates.

“We woke up and realized we in District 33 are completely represented by men,” said Monica O’Connor, WISE steering committee member. “We all feel that’s an imbalance we need to change, and it’s going to be better for all of us. When women are in office, it’s going to reflect differently on the legislation that’s important.”

Many of the candidates this year are running for the first time, including several in races were the outcome could change the political makeup of the county. The details of individual races will be argued over the next several months, but many of the women candidates are campaigning as agents of change.

The County Council has been all-male for at least eight years. This year, at least one woman is running in six out of seven districts.

Council Chairman Michael Peroutka, R-Millersville, will face a woman opponent in the June primary and, if he wins there, again in the November general election.

After 19 years of working for the state as a finance professional, Cape St. Claire resident Dawn Myers decided Peroutka didn’t represent her values. She filed in April to run for the District 5 seat as a Democrat.

“(Peroutka’s) views are extreme and not consistent with the people I’ve met. I support public education— we have really good schools at Severna Park and Broadneck— he does not. I think that’s wholly inconsistent with how people feel in our district.”

Peroutka’s views on education have also been criticized by his Republican challenger, first-time runner Amanda Fiedler.

Fiedler presented testimony to the council in 2016 objecting to a commentary written by Peroutka, in which he referred to the school system as a “monopoly” and expressed support for property tax exemptions for parents of private school students.

.………..to read the full article and access the impressive interactive Candidate Information Explorer Tool detailing all the women running for office in Anne Arundel County, please visit the Capital Gazette by clicking here. 

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