A group formed three years ago to encourage women to run for office is issuing a challenge to the state’s major political parties. Leann Brunnett of Iowa Women in Public Policy says her group is challenging the parties to recruit a woman for every legislative race in the state. Leaders of both parties are canvassing the state now, signing up prospects who’ll run in 2004. Twenty-one percent of Iowa Legislators are women. That’s 31 of the 150 Senators and Representatives. Brunnett says that ranks Iowa 27th among the states when it comes to the representation of women in the legislature. She says more women need to serve to ensure the Iowa Legislature looks more like Iowa in general. Brunnett has this advice for women who are thinking about running for the legislature. “Just do it,” she says. Brunnett says it’s important to have women’s voices in all levels of government because women bring different perspectives to the table that are valuable. Brunnett’s group, which is not affiliated with any political party, will sponsor a campaign seminar this fall for women candidates to share strategies of raising money, developing a message and establishing a network of support.
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