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The Center for American Women and Politics NJ County Report Card:

 
Mercer County Leads the Pack; No County Reaches Parity in City Council Seats

(Gloucestercitynews.net)--Mercer County leads New Jersey in both its overall rank for women's representation among New Jersey counties as well as the number of women serving on city councils, according to new data compiled by the Center for American Women and Politics, a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Cnb politics 2Rutgers University-New Brunswick. In a previous release, CAWP announced the county-by-county representation of women in freeholder and mayoral offices, including a new record in 2019 for women freeholders. Tables for those offices can be found at the end of this release.
 
CAWP has determined that, based on an average of its ranking for women's representation in city council, freeholder, and mayoral positions, Mercer County is the 2019 New Jersey leader for women's political participation. Somerset County, tied for second place with Union, improved its position dramatically since 2018, jumping from the 19th spot last year following improvements in all three levels of offices used to compile our ranking. Salem County, which lost women mayors, council members, and freeholders (Salem now has zero women freeholders) over the past year, is 2019's lowest-ranked county for women's political representation, dropping from the 13th spot to the 21st.

In 2019, Mercer County has 28 women serving on city councils around the county, an increase of three seats over last year, and women make up 41% of 68 city council members in the county. Women hold 837 city council seats in New Jersey in 2019, making up just 27% of all 3,126 city councilors statewide. Women make up more than 30% of members in the top five counties for women's representation on city councils: Mercer, (41%), Hudson (36%), Camden (32%), Somerset (32%), and Essex (32%). No county in the state has come near gender parity in city councils. Two counties, Somerset and Bergen, saw double-digit increases in women city councilors this year, while in five counties - Union, Burlington, Cape May, Salem, and Cumberland - the number of women on city councils dropped. Cumberland is the lowest-ranking county for women's representation on city councils in 2019.
 
"There's a great deal of excitement about the successes women candidates had in the 2018 election, as well as the six women in the 2020 presidential field, but it's important to remember that half of the women running for president began their political careers in county and municipal government," said Jean Sinzdak, associate director of the Center for American Women and Politics. "The rate of progress towards political parity in New Jersey is too slow, and if we're ever going to get there, it will require buy-in from party leaders on both sides of the aisle in recruiting and supporting women candidates. If you want to see women presidents in the future, support women in local office today."
 
Sinzdak also invited Garden State women to participate in CAWP's campaign training program, Ready to Run®, which will host a public speaking workshop in September, as well as the annual flagship campaign training program in the spring.
 
Tables for women in freeholder and mayoral offices:
 



       
About CAWP
The Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers-New Brunswick, is nationally recognized as the leading source of scholarly research and current data about American women's political participation. Its mission is to promote greater knowledge and understanding about women's participation in politics and government and to enhance women's influence and leadership in public life. CAWP's education and outreach programs translate research findings into action, addressing women's under-representation in political leadership with effective, imaginative programs serving a variety of audiences. As the world has watched Americans considering female candidates for the nation's highest offices, CAWP's over four decades of analyzing and interpreting women's participation in American politics have provided a foundation and context for the discussion.

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