Are Women Politicans Breaking Through in NJ? [AUDIO]
New Jersey’s General Assembly has a female leader. Two women, one of which is a current state Senator, share the ticket aimed at taking down Governor Chris Christie this November. The state’s first-ever Lieutenant Governor is Kim Guadagno.
Females have been actively trying to break through that “glass ceiling of politics” in New Jersey, but one expert says the battle is far from over.
“While women may serve in ‘important roles,’ the real power that they’re exercising is actually quite limited,” said Brigid Harrison, Professor of Political Science and Law at Montclair State University. “The very real exercise in political power is still largely done by men.”
She said females have been “treated miserably” by both parties for decades, and not much has changed.
Harrison pointed to Guadagno as a primary example. The public expected Guadagno to have a large public role, especially as the state’s first LG, but she has been deep in the shadows of Governor Christie since 2009.
“It seems that she’s been relegated primarily to ribbon cuttings,” Harrison said. “I think a part of that has been because the Governor is such a huge presence.”
Meanwhile, Senate Democrat Barbara Buono’s bid for Governor seems dead in the water three months ahead of Election Day, as dozens of Democrats express public support for Christie.
“We haven’t seen that in the past when a man’s name has been at the top of the ticket,” Harrison explained. “She’s really been left on her own.”
Unless women ingratiate themselves with political bosses, according to Harrison, they can’t be in line to reap the spoils of a party’s power.