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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Republican Women's PAC

By Carlene Walker
Senator, District 8

A woman’s perspective is unique and vital to the policy-making process. Too many women, however, are at a slight disadvantage when it comes to political experience and a strong professional network that can be essential to winning an election. This is especially true among those of us who have devoted years – even decades - to raising a family and managing our homes.

We may have a solution. If you are a woman – young or older - and you have contemplated making an impact in the political world, then you should contact the Utah Republican Women’s Political Action Committee (PAC).

This organization is not only for those about to run for office, but for every one of you who think you might someday like to run. We want to start adding to your abilities now; to get you involved at whatever level your time allows. We are building a farm team - a stellar array of capable women who are prepared to serve. We want to help educate, mentor and prepare. When the time comes for you to run, we will be there to give you the support you will need.

I wish an organization like this existed when I ran for office in 2000. It didn’t, so I helped start this one.

Interested? Read the write up in today’s Utah Policy Daily, then give me a call.




Blogger The Senate Site said...

Here's the text of the Utah Policy Daily piece on the Womens' PAC:

Wednesday Buzz
Written by LaVarr Webb & Associates

GOP Women’s PAC is Having an Impact

A Utah Republican Women’s Political Action Committee has been operating behind the scenes for a few years. Now it is becoming more visible with a fundraising event on Oct. 20.

Utah Sen. Carlene Walker began thinking about a political action committee to support GOP women when she was first elected in 2000. It was apparent in her own election contest and by observing others that women GOP candidates often didn’t have the same business and financial networks that men do, which is a disadvantage for women in politics.

Walker also could see that Democratic women were doing better than Republican women. Most of the east side of the Salt Lake Valley is represented by Democratic women. Walker found that conservative women tend to be highly family-focused, rather than career-oriented, so when the time is right in their lives when they can become active politically they often don’t have business and financial networks developed over a career. The leap into the political world is harder for them.

To provide a support system, Walker and a handful of other women started the Utah Republican Women’s PAC in 2002, funded with a generous contribution from John and Marcia Price. Attorney Frank Suitter did all the legal work pro bono.

Since then, the PAC has actively recruited women candidates, conducted two cycles of campaign schools for women, and conducted a seminar for women legislators on how to survive and be effective in one’s first legislative session. Walker encourages women to participate in the PAC events even if they can’t run for office right now. It’s an opportunity to get involved, learn the issues, develop skills and work as grassroots volunteers and campaign managers. That’s how Walker got her start in politics a number of years ago when she still had a young family.

In 2002, the PAC helped successful GOP candidates Ann Hardy, Susan Lawrence and Dana Love; in 2004, Julie Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, and Ronda Menlove all won legislative seats with help from the PAC.

Walker said the women who have been involved in the Pac and helpful at one time or another include Cheri Hendrix, Paige Marriott, Vicki McCall, Lorena Riffo Jensen, Karen Hammond, Martine Smith, Jody Agraz, Kitty Dunn and Heidi Thorn.

The PAC has focused mostly on the Legislature, but it encourages GOP women to run for all offices. “I’d like to see more female representation,” Walker said. She’s watching out for a really good female congressional candidate for the 2nd District.

The Oct. 20 fundraiser, "Utah Winning Women Inaugural Gala," starts at 6:30 pm in the Wells Fargo Building, 23rd Floor, 299 South Main, SLC. It will honor John and Marcia Price and Frank Suitter for their help starting the PAC. Also honored will be Yvette Diaz, Maureen Casper and Laura Bridgewater for their accomplishments. For more information contact Paige Marriott at 202-549-2558 or paige@marriottgroup.com or Karen Hammond at 801-201-0859 or karen.hammond@juno.com.

The PAC will soon have its own Web site. Anyone wanting more information can call Sen. Walker, 733-4599.


9/30/2005 11:09 AM  

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