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Luallen Hopes More Kentucky Women Run for Elected Office

The highest-ranking woman in Kentucky government says she's hopeful more women will become political candidates.

Speaking to the Bowling Green Noon Rotary Club on Wednesday, Lt. Gov. Crit Luallen said a recent study showing Kentucky near the bottom of the nation in the number of women office-holders is proof there’s a problem.

The report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research ranks Kentucky 46th in the nation when it comes to the number of females holding elected office.

“I think women have to work harder to prove themselves," Luallen said. "I think often they are considered not to have the strength that a man has, or the power that a man has. And the truth is women are doing everyday an incredibly courageous job of balancing complicated lives and careers.”

Despite her concerns, Luallen said she believes an increasing number of younger women in Kentucky are beginning to believe they can succeed at all aspects of running for office.

“They can raise money successfully, they can convince people to support them—it’s a very, very achievable goal to run for office as a woman," she said.

Cynthia Hess, one of the authors of the study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, said the state did well in some metrics of political participation.

“In Kentucky women are actually 13th in the nation for the percentage women of who register to vote and 26th for the percent who voted,” she said. “So, [it’s] one of the higher ranking states in terms of registration and in the middle in the percent who actually go to the polls.”