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Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken wants to recruit more women candidates

July 6, 2018

Ohio GOP Chair Jane Timken wants to recruit more women candidates

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Jane Timken, the first female chairman of the Ohio Republican Party, believes that recruiting more conservative women to run for office in the Buckeye State is a priority. 

Timken said Republican women here have historically been Ohio politics powerhouses. Jo Ann Davidson was the first women speaker of the Ohio House. Betty Montgomery served as the state’s attorney general and auditor before running for governor. 

But this year the Republican slate of candidates is almost entirely male, save for one Ohio Supreme Court judge running for reelection. Timken said she’s working to build a bench of female Republican candidates from the bottom up. She said she’s traveling the state, trying to encourage women to run. 

“I think that it takes some building and I think it takes some encouragement and having a female chair may change the narrative for a lot of female candidates,” Timken said. 

Timken is this week’s guest on Ohio Matters, cleveland.com’s politics podcast. Each week, reporters Andrew Tobias, Mary Kilpatrick and Seth Richardson sit down for in-depth interviews with politically important people in the Buckeye State.

And across the country, there’s a huge gap between Republican and Democratic female representation in state government, according to the Rutgers University’s Center for American Women in Politics.  

There are 1,172 members Democratic women in state legislatures and statewide executive roles nationally -- excluding the judicial branch. There are 748 Republican women. 

“I think maybe that we as Republicans need to do a better job to encourage more women to run,” Timken said. “We have to encourage women to take that leap especially conservative women to say that they have voice at the table and that they have a lot to offer.” 

Timken said women bring an important perspective to politics.  

“Women just tend to cut through the baloney and just get things done and -- I’m going to be very frank -- there are a lot of times when women are less driven by ego. They’re more driven by problem solving,” Timken said. 

Previous Ohio Matters episodes can be found here and include full-length interviews with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Richard Cordray on if he’s as boring as people say and Republican congressional candidate Anthony Gonzalez on his transition from pro sports to politics.

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