More Republican women are headed to the California Legislature for the new session. The GOP added two women in the Senate, bringing the number of female Republican Senators to four. In the Assembly, there are now eight Republican women, an increase of one. Political Consultant Mike Madrid says that means nearly 30 percent of the Republican Assembly Caucus is female.
"That’s compared to 20 percent of Democrats. That’s a significant number, a very significant change in dynamics," he says. "And I think it will set a new direction, if you will, with Republicans, at least with policies issues that they prioritize."
While Democratic women are still in the majority they did not increase their numbers in the election.
Madrid says early data suggests Republican women also made gains at the city and county levels. He says these additions might broaden the discussion around what’s considered "women’s issues."
"Not just conservative women, but it will be women who are saying maybe reproductive rights aren’t the main priority for women, generally,” he says. “There are economic concerns, there are pocketbook concerns, there are family concerns and maybe we should start talking about those as women issues as much as we talk about reproductive rights being a women’s issue."
Madrid says it’s not clear whether the election of more Republican women is an anomaly or the beginning of a larger trend.