PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — More women than ever are running for elected positions in this midterm cycle.
In one Congressional District in Pennsylvania, the outcome of Tuesday’s election already guarantees that a woman will be on her way to Washington, representing Philadelphia.
For longtime civil rights activist Mary Gay Scanlon every contact counts.
The married mother of three is part of a historical national wave of women running for governor and U.S. Congress.
Pennsylvania has no women in its Congressional delegation, although more than half the state’s voters are women.
Scanlon, who is a democrat, is vying for an open seat in the recently redrawn 5th Congressional District, which includes South Philadelphia.
Her opponent — republican attorney Pearl Kim — is also a woman, which means their race is the only one in the state guaranteed to send a woman to Washington.
“Well I think Its certainly about time,” Scanlon said. “We’ve got the largest delegation in Congress, largest state delegation without a woman which is ridiculous.”
Kim hopes to leave her mark.
“I’m inspired by the Me Too Movement and my own personal story,” Kim said. “I was a victim of a campus sexual assault when I was in college.”
Kim recently quit her job working for Pennsylvania General Attorney Josh Shapiro. If elected, the cancer survivor and daughter of South Korean immigrants would be the first woman of color elected to Congress in Pennsylvania’s history.
Regardless of gender, both candidates agree, it’s their policy stances that should count the most.
“I want to continue to combat the opioid crisis — make sure we have better access to treatment, better treatment — and comprehensive immigration reform,” Kim said.
“My two biggest issues over time have been public education — that’s what I’ve worked on my entire life — and voting rights,” Scanlon said.