By Amanda Terkel for Huffington Post – WASHINGTON — There are currently two Democratic female governors in the entire nation. After November, there may be zero.
While four Republican female governors are currently in office, the only two female Democrats — Washington’s Christine Gregoire and North Carolina’s Bev Perdue — are both stepping down after 2012.
“We might as well turn the clock back 50 years, because that’s the last time we were without a sitting woman governor who supported reproductive choices and options, and that’s what we’re looking at again,” said Sam Bennett, president and CEO and of the Women’s Campaign Fund.
New Hampshire is the only state that even has the potential to elect a female governor in the fall. Former state Sen. Jackie Cilley and former state Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan are locked in a tight primary race, along with firefighter Bill Kennedy. Either Cilley or Hassan would have to win their Sept. 11 primary and then win the general election if the nation is to continue having a Democratic woman leading a state.
“This one? This is a big, big deal,” said EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock, whose organization has endorsed Hassan. “It will be, for us, the springboard to a lot of recruitment for 2014.”
The low number of Democratic women in office is partly a result of the drubbing Democrats took in 2010, when several women ran but didn’t win. What’s more, when President Barack Obama took office, he pulled two prominent Democratic female governors — Janet Napolitano of Arizona and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas — out of their states and into his cabinet.
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