By Rep. Kimberly Rice, R-Hudson
One hundred years ago, this year, the 19th Amendment was ratified and women were finally granted the right to vote. I am proud to be from a state where we have a long history of empowered Republican women fighting for women’s rights. From Marilla Ricker, to Vesta Roy, to Donna Sytek, and Kelly Ayotte, we have many role models to look up to and who have guided the way for women running today.
Those women from the past, those currently running, and those running in the future deserve to be celebrated, honored, and elected. New Hampshire has a strong history of electing women, however, there is much work to be done.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, in 2020 only 29% of legislators nationwide were women. In New Hampshire, over 50% of the population is women, yet the current membership of the NH legislature is 34% women. Currently roughly only 6.5% of the NH House is Republican women. Women across the state are running to change this narrative.
Over the last few elections, we have seen an increasing number of Republican women running for office. They are running to ensure that the policies enacted in New Hampshire have more women at the table and represent everyone in the state, not just a few. We are seeing more women running because the vast majority of decisions made in Concord that affect women are being made by a majority of men.
In 2020, I am proud to say that we have over 100 Republican women running for the legislature across all 10 counties. The women running today represent a cross-section of New Hampshire from Coos to Hillsborough who are business owners, community leaders, whose stories and experiences are unique, and who are running to represent you.
Democrats would have you believe that if you are a woman, you should only be voting Democrat. I’m here to set the record straight. Republican issues are women’s issues. For the women who are business owners, Democrats want to increase your business taxes. For the women who are working hard each day, Democrats want to tax your income so you bring home less money. For the women who have school age children, Democrats want to dictate where your kids go to school – without giving you, the parent who knows your kid best, a choice.
To say that women must be Democrats devalues women’s experiences. Voting Republican as a woman should not be a stigma. It should be something women are proud of. It is possible to be a Republican and be a strong and independent woman who stands up for herself and for others.
The Republican women running today are the role models for the women of tomorrow, and we must not lose sight of our future leaders who look up to today’s. Let’s show them what leaders can do and how they can pursue their dreams to make a meaningful impact in the world.
As a Republican woman running for re-election for state representative, I hope to inspire even more women to run for office. But to start, we should elect the over 100 Republican women currently running to serve in state offices. These women are working hard to earn your vote and help take back the GOP majority in the New Hampshire House, Senate, and Executive Council.
Rep. Kim Rice is the Republican Policy Leader in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. She serves Hillsborough District 37, the towns of Hudson and Pelham.