Female Candidates Hope To Change Political Imbalance - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Female Candidates Hope To Change Political Imbalance

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Most government officials and state legislators in North Dakota are republican. As the democrats try to unseat the incumbents in this year's election, they're doing so with a lot of female candidates.

At the Democratic Convention this weekend, the party took some time to recognize the female candidates running for the state legislature. But those women say they don't want voters to focus on gender, but on their ideas.

There's always been a gender imbalance in U.S. politics.

"Winning an election takes the same abilities in a woman as it does in a man," says District 35 candidate Erin Oban. 

But this weekend, the Democratic Party showcased the number of female candidates it's endorsing both for spots in the Capitol and in the Legislature.

"North Dakotans need someone in that office that will do what is right even when it's not political popularity or convenience," says Kiara Kraus-Parr, Attorney General candidate.

"It is a similar call to service and commitment to our North Dakota ideals that compels me to once again leave the private sector and enter the race for North Dakota Secretary of State," says Secretary of State candidate April Fairfield.

Both Kraus-Parr and Fairfield are running against two male, republican incumbents who have been in office for decades: Wayne Stenehjem and Al Jaeger.

"I don't think being a female candidate is that much different than being a male candidate. I think it's being able to represent what you stand for and for voters to determine if that best represents them," says Oban.

But female candidates say they don't want to be known just for being a woman running for office.

"I'm not interested in getting somebody's vote because I'm a woman. I'm interested in representing the people of District 35 and I think that's what every woman across the ticket wants," says Oban.

Oban is challenging another woman, Margaret Sitte, for the District 35 seat in the State Legislature.

The Republicans will also have a few female candidates, they're expected to endorse Julie Fedorchak for Public Service Commissioner. Judy Estenson is also challenging Doug Goehring for the Ag Commissioner endorsement.

We'll have more from the republicans this weekend when we head to the State Convention in Minot.

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