News & Opinion | June 29, 2018 9:51 am

Women Candidates Are Throwing Out the Traditional Campaign Playbook

As part of #MeToo moment, they're highlighting once-taboo topics like gender and sexual abuse.

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Kelda Roys is a former state representative for Wisconsin and a Democratic candidate for governor. (Walter McBride/Getty Images)
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Women are running in record numbers for elective office in this year’s midterm elections, and they are throwing out the traditional campaign script along the way. Instead of minimizing their differences from their male counterparts, these women are making once-taboo topics such as abuse, assault, family, and gender, the forefront of their campaigns and advertising. They have also altered the day-to-day operations of running a campaign as well. Recently, ethics commissions in Alabama and Wisconsin followed the lead of the Federal Election Commission and approved requests made by female candidates to use their campaign funds for child care expenses, writes USA Today. 

Kelly Dittmar, a political scientist at Rutgers University and a scholar at its Center for American Women and Politics, said that women candidates are shaking up the way campaigns are typically run.

“For too long, the expectation was that women should adapt to the ‘masculine’ credentials of the job and prove that you are tough, don’t show your kids and prevent any possibility that voters think you can’t do the job,” she said to USA Today.