It’s a steep hill to climb for women running for state office

Kim Olson, the Democratic candidate for Texas agriculture commissioner, has been driving across the Lone Star State for the past year, spreading the message about the importance of farming and handing out wildflower seeds. “Some candidates have push cards or business cards, I don’t have any of that. I just have my seed packet and it has all my information printed on it,” said Olson, a farmer, Iraqi war veteran and retired Air Force colonel from the small city of Mineral Wells about 80 miles west of Dallas. “They are Texas native wildflowers, because I’m a beekeeper and my tag line is ‘Wild for agriculture.’”

This article is reprinted with permission from the Center for Public Integrity.Olson, 60, is part of a women’s movement that in the past year has harnessed the power of female protesters angered by the 2016 presidential election and transformed it into political ambition up and down ballots nationwide. Already nearly 500 women have shown interest in running for Congress in this year’s midterm elections, twice as many as compared with the same time in 2016, according to the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers University.