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Wanted: more female candidates

Women make up half the population, but not half the elected officials serving on city councils, school boards, the state legislature or Congress.

Run Women Run is a new California Political Action Committee hoping to change that imbalance in San Diego County. The advisory board contains members from La Jolla, Del Mar, Carmel Valley and other local communities.

“The primary focus is to identify, endorse and financially support qualified, pro-choice women running for office in San Diego - and to have them win,” said founder Barbara Bry, a La Jolla resident.

Women, and men, are invited to the committee’s inaugural meeting Oct. 19. Congresswoman Susan Davis will moderate a “Progressive San Diego Women Candidates Forum.”

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It will feature several female city council and school board candidates from around the county, including Sherri Lightener and Marti Emerald, who are running for San Diego City Council this November.

The discussion will not simply be about the candidate’s positions, but the issues and challenges facing women running for office.

The meeting will also be an opportunity to get involved with the organization, which is looking for a broad range of individuals willing to take action.

When working on Hillary Clinton’s campaign, Bry said she met numerous people who never participated in politics before.

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“What I wanted to do is create an organization that would keep everyone involved after this election,” Bry said.

Given Bry’s history of success with starting companies and nonprofits, including Proflowers.com, Voice of San Diego and Athena, Run Women Run has serious potential to change the face of San Diego politics.

“It’s all about building the best team,” Bry said, who pulled together an impressive group of women to jumpstart this organization. The 37-member advisory board includes female chief executive officers, financial officers, political leaders and consultants, attorneys and volunteers.

Other La Jollans among the founding members: Susan Atkins, Lynn Bruser, Sarah Kruer Jager, Abby Silverman Weiss, and Rosemary Staley.

Run Women Run hopes it can provide candidates with resources, expertise and emotional support, along with a volunteer corps ready to fundraise and campaign on their behalf.

The candidate forum will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. at a private residence in Fairbanks Ranch. Tickets are $25 and can be applied toward an annual membership, which costs $100, or $50 for women under 35 or over 65.

For more information or to RSVP, contact Barbara Bry at

bbry@blackbirdv.com

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