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General Election Update

Contact: Holly Teliska

Phone: 415-515-0281


November 10, 2016

Progressive Women Hold the Line

Women in CTGCA Target Districts win Seven Seats in the Legislature

Women lose numbers overall

(Palo Alto, Calif.) – close the gap CA (CTGCA), a statewide campaign to increase the number of progressive women in the California Legislature, announced today that women won in seven of CTGCA’s 15 target districts offsetting the seven progressive women who termed out of the Legislature this year.

“This week’s results reinforce the need to recruit talented women for public office,” said Mary Hughes, founder of close the gap CA. “We were able to stop the slide of progressive women serving in our Legislature, but the overall number of women in the Legislature declined again, from 30 to 27. Women now comprise 22% of the Legislature, down from a high of 31%.”

In Tuesday’s election, Democratic women increased their representation compared with Republican women. Of the 27 female members, 20 are Democrats and 7 are Republicans.  The number of women of color also increased.  Of the female legislators, 56% are women of color.  Eight new women of color were elected to the Legislature on Tuesday, tying the record number elected in 2006.  

Executive Director Holly Teliska notes “We are pleased that new progressive women legislators have been elected to lead in Sacramento. Targeted recruiting works. The results are a reminder, though, that it requires hard work and multiple election cycles to substantially increase the number of women serving in the Legislature. We look forward to working closely with the new legislators to recruit the class of 2018.”

Since its founding three years ago, the campaign has vetted more than 400 women and conducted active explorations with 85 serious prospective candidates. In each target district, CTGCA set out to recruit women who would prove to be the best candidates in each race.  


Close the gap CA is a campaign to increase the number of progressive women serving in the California Legislature by recruiting viable, progressive women to run for open seats in targeted, winnable districts.  The campaign recruits women who are pro-choice, pro-public school funding and who support paths out of poverty.  By partnering with progressive organizations, close the gap CA aims to achieve gender parity in the Legislature in 2028.  Learn more at