Professor to discuss women in politics


David McLennan


Staff Writer

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

A Raleigh professor is set to speak tonight in Rocky Mount on women in state politics.

Women make up over 54 percent of registered voters in North Carolina, but hold less than 25 percent of all appointed and elected offices, according to a 2015 report by David McLennan, professor of political science at Meredith College. He has updated his original report and will share his recent findings with the League of Women Voters Twin Counties.

The public is invited to the 5:45 p.m. meeting at the Unitarian Fellowship Center on North Church Street.

In addition to the profile of women serving in elected offices, McLennan has identified barriers to their electoral success and solutions to improving women’s representation. Some findings in the 2015 report include that in 44 North Carolina counties, no women serve as county commissioners; women hold less than 20 percent of elected positions with taxing and spending authority; and in 2014, 25 percent of the candidates in elections in North Carolina were women and 63 percent of them won their races.

When women run, women win, McLennan said.

“Women consider different issues than do men, so in order to have all policy issues considered equally, it is important to have more equal representation,” McLennan said. “Having more women in office also inspires other women to enter public service.”

McLennan’s research expertise includes topics including the impact of negative advertising on political attitudes; image restoration for politicians in trouble; and the impact of independent expenditure spending on electoral politics. His recent op-ed opinion articles have appeared in U.S. News and World Report, Congressional Quarterly Researcher, the Charlotte Observer and the News and Observer in Raleigh.

The League of Women Voters Twin Counties is a nonpartisan political organization encouraging informed and active participation in government, said league President Bettie Kirkpatrick.

"We influence public policy through education and advocacy," Kirkpatrick said. "We invite women and men to attend our meetings and events and to become members."

For more information contact Kirkpatrick at 252-937-8266 or bettiek@centurylink.net.