AU College Republicans endorses all female candidates
The organization hopes to encourage female Republicans on campus to speak out
Correction: The original version of this article incorrectly referred to Katy Selinger as AUCR’s first female president. It has been corrected to say one of the first.
Ahead of the 2020 general election, AU College Republicans endorsed six female Republican candidates, all of whom are in competitive races across the country.
On Sept. 8, they endorsed non-incumbent House candidates Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.), Beth Van Duyne (R-Texas), Nancy Mace (R-S.C.) and Yvette Herrell (R-N.M.) and incumbent Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Martha McSally (R-Ariz.).
AUCR President Katy Selinger, one of the organization’s first female presidents, said choosing all female candidates was intentional, due to sparse representation of Republican women on campus and in Congress.
“There’s always been a male-dominated membership, but the few girls I’ve known over the last few years at AU and the couple that have been coming to the meetings since then, I think they’re really great and passionate about politics which is awesome to see considering that a lot of women on campus are Democrats or more liberal,” Selinger said. “Sometimes it’s not as easy for conservative women to express their views on campus.”
The lack of female representation in the House Republican Conference contrasts starkly with the makeup of the House Democratic Caucus: There are 13 Republican female representatives, compared to 88 Democratic ones. Kevin Norton, AUCR’s director of external and political affairs, said this disparity cannot be ignored.
“We wanted to reflect that and make a special series of endorsements that recognizes that there’s work to be done within the party and we’re not just here to tow the party line,” Norton said. “We actively want to dedicate ourselves and our resources to not only electing Republicans, but electing the right Republicans and instilling the change we want to see.”
Historically, a significantly larger share of men vote Republican compared to women, with data from the Pew Research Center showing that only 38 percent of female registered voters lean Republican, compared to 50 percent of men.
Although AUCR is not meeting in-person and is campaigning for their endorsed candidates virtually, Norton said the virtual semester helped the group expand its influence nationally, instead of just helping local candidates in Maryland and Virginia.
He said he hopes to contribute to a similar victory for the Republicans that Democrats scored in the 2018 midterm elections when more than 100 female Democrats won their House and Senate races. The organization is phone banking and joining in on campaign calls to support their endorsed candidates.
“Some critics would say, ‘A vote’s a vote, Republicans will just vote Republican,’ but we say it matters to have a representative caucus so that’s what we’re trying to do,” Norton said.
Selinger said she hopes their endorsements will also encourage more women who identify as Republicans to take part in the organization and voice their opinions and beliefs.
“We really wanted to emphasize that and show that nationally and in our chapter as well that Republican women at AU, we’re on campus, and we’re standing up for our beliefs and the candidates that reflect those as well,” Selinger said.