The Longest Shortest Time

EPISODE #177: When Moms Run for Office

This week, record-breaking number of women (many of them moms!) ran for office. Some have called it a pink wave or the Year of the Woman 2.o. It just might be the beginning of a new political era.

Today we’re revisiting our working moms series It’s A Real Mother to highlight this new rush of women into politics. Could their political involvement mean less discrimination for moms in the workplace? More family-friendly policy changes? We’ll ask Vox’s Senior Policy Correspondent Sarah Kliff. She’s the host of The Impact podcast, and has done in-depth reporting on Washington’s fight over the Affordable Care Act.

But first, we’ll hear from Jennifer Carroll Foy. When she decided to run in 2016, it was after the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution making the anniversary of Roe v. Wade an official “Day of Tears.” She considered it a vigilant way to shame and harass women. So on top of being a foster mom and Arlington County public defender, she decided to run for the Virginia House of Delegates.

But shortly after she announced her candidacy, Jennifer found out she was was pregnant… with twins. One of her friends asked, “Well, when are you going to drop out of the race?”

When Jennifer was running for office, her husband’s favorite thing to say to her was, “What do you need from me?”

Tune in to hear Jennifer’s full story. Plus, we’ll talk with Vox’s Sarah Kliff about why electing more women changes how government works.

If you love this episode, than make sure to listen to our past episode with Jane Swift. She ran for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts while pregnant in 1998.

Special thanks many of our listeners who just ran for office, and helped inform this episode. Especially Brooks Nyugen, who just ran for Dixie School Board in San Rafael, CA, and Tanya Neslusan, who just ran for State Representative in the 1st Hampton District of Massachusetts. Special thanks also Jill Greenlee at Brandeis University.