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DFL leaders think Clinton’s presence on ballot will help women candidates

Party leaders say they’re recruiting women candidates to run in 2016, hoping it will be the year of the woman.

Minnesota DFL leaders say they are actively recruiting women candidates to run for office in 2016, hoping that Hillary Clinton at the top of the ticket will boost their prospects.

DFL Party Chair Ken Martin told MPR: “We think that 2016 is going to be the year of the woman.”

The story notes that party leaders are working with two candidates challenging Republican Congressman John Kline in the 2nd District: Angie Craig, a St. Jude Medical executive, and Dr. Mary Lawrence, a former Veterans Affairs official.

They’re also seeking female candidates to run for the Legislature.

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And WomenWinning, which supports pro-choice women candidates, says Clinton at the top will encourage other women to run. Lauren Beecham, the group’s executive director, told MPR:

 “They now see that there will be a political opportunity in 2016 and they are also encouraged by the fact that it’s going to be a presidential election, which historically we’ve seen a higher turnout. And they know that women tend to vote in presidential elections in greater numbers than men.”

But Keith Downey, newly-reelected chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, isn’t so sure voters will react positively to a Clinton candidacy, or that it will help state DFLers:

“Do we really want another Clinton? Do we want another four years of Barack Obama? I think there are undercurrents where people think the economy is glowing and yet they look at their own circumstances and say, ‘I’m glad it’s great for everybody else but not for me.’ She’s going to have to answer for these things and answer for the Democratic policies of the last eight years.”