Few Women GOP Candidates In Mass.

I frequently write about the decline of women Republicans in elected office, and with the certification of candidates for the 2010 ballot, it's time to turn that gaze to our own state of Massachusetts.

The obvious news to note is that Karyn Polito and Mary Connaughton have legitimate chances to win statewide office, as treasurer and auditor respectively.

And.... that's about it.

As I've noted before, not a single Republican woman is running for US Congress, to my knowledge, in any of the state's 10 districts. Zero, out of roughly two-dozen GOP candidates. (We'll know by the end of this week exactly who qualified for the federal offices.) [Update: It's exactly 24 GOP candidates, all men -- barring challenges or withdrawals this week.]

By my count, there are 41 county or district elections -- DA, sheriff, Governor's Council, etc. -- in which just two GOP women are running: Jennie Cassie for Governor's Council (7th District), and Sandra Wright, for Plymouth County Commissioner.

All 40 state senate races are up for election, including a whole bunch of open seats. That's drawn 34 Republican candidates -- including the five incumbents -- but just two women. And they have little to no chance. Sandra Martinez, in her third try at Susan Fargo's seat, is likely to lose in the primary to Eric Dahlberg. And Barbara Bush is pursuing a hopeless campaign against Sal DiDomenico in perhaps the most solidly blue district in the state.

So, there will continue to be no Republican women in the senate. Down at the house of representatives level, Polito's statewide race leaves just two women returning in the caucus (Poirier and Gifford). Again, tons of open seats to shoot for, but just 9 Republican women running, in addition to Poirier and Gifford. Five are running against incumbent Democrats (Fagan, Ehrlich, Ashe, Dwyer, and Creedon). Two are running for open seats currently held by Democrats (Guyer and Clark), and two for open Republican seats (Evangelides and Hargraves). Of those four, all but Kimberly Ferguson -- running for Evangelides's seat -- have GOP primary opponents.

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