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PNS Daily Newscast - February 16, 2018 


Florida lawmakers put a concealed weapons bill on hold; also on today's nationwide rundown, concern about Washington State sharing immigrant activist information with ICE agents; and romance scams on the rise.

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Future is Female: NC Women File for Candidacy This Week

Sen. Terry Van Duyn, center, is one of the alumna of Lillian's List. The state senator now represents the state's 49th district in Asheville. (Van Duyn)
Sen. Terry Van Duyn, center, is one of the alumna of Lillian's List. The state senator now represents the state's 49th district in Asheville. (Van Duyn)
February 14, 2018

ASHEVILLE, N. C. – Record numbers of women are expected to file this week in North Carolina to get their names on the ballot in national, state or local elections.

Monday was the first day for candidates to file for this year's election, and while the numbers are still coming in, there is anecdotal evidence that the face of North Carolina's ballot will be markedly different in this year's election.

Lillian's List is a North Carolina organization that recruits interested women and helps them identify leadership opportunities and districts. Board chair Pamela Hutson says since the last presidential election, they've had more women express interest than in the previous 10 years.

"It's just been incredible for us to see the number of women who have come to us in 2017," Hutson says. "I know there was a wave that filed, and I know there are many more to come, I can just say that much."

This year, according to the Center for American Women and Politics, women hold just shy of 20 percent of the 535 seats in Congress, although they make up more than half the U.S. population.

Just hours before local election board offices opened, Democrats and voting-rights groups were still seeking changes to more than a dozen state House districts in the Raleigh and Charlotte areas. That motion was denied.

In the last 20 years, Hutson says Lillian's List has trained 665 candidates for office in North Carolina. She notes the training goes beyond securing equal representation, and extends to contributing ideals that the group believes have otherwise been missing from government leadership.

"It's our view that having women in the Legislature changes the nature of the conversation, changes the dynamics, changes how laws get made," she says.

The deadline in North Carolina to file for the U.S. House, state elections and most county offices is Feb. 28.

Stephanie Carson, Public News Service - NC