That “paltry” percentage – almost shockingly so given that women constitute more than half of the state’s population – comes courtesy of the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University-New Brunswick. Worse, the number has edged down 1 percentage point since 2017.
Women fare better when it comes to freeholder positions (29 percent, compared with 26 percent in 2017) and council seats (25 percent, compared with 24 percent).
“CAWP has trained record numbers of women to run, and they’re eager to serve now,” said director Debbie Walsh. “But until the powerful county party chairs on both sides of the aisle make it a priority to include more women on their tickets, our best efforts won’t alter the picture significantly,” she added.
The Garden State has done better electing women to the Legislature, Walsh reported. Women constitute 29.2 percent of the state’s senators and assembly members, besting the national average of 25.3 percent and placing New Jersey 16th among the 50 states.