Conn. (WTNH) — November municipal elections are right around the corner and a number of new candidates are throwing their hats into the political ring.
They tell News 8 they were energized by the need for more female voices in government.
One of the candidates is 32-year-old Cromwell attorney Aigne Goldsby. She is running for mayor on the Democratic ticket.
“Especially after the death of George Floyd, I felt like I wanted to speak up and I was excited to do so,” Goldsby said.
She saw the open seat after the current Republican mayor decided not to run for re-election and an opportunity to break down barriers.
“If we hold back and we keep quiet, we’re not gonna be able to affect change,” Goldsby said.
This is happening in a year when the state is celebrating the 100th anniversary of a women’s right to vote.
Leaders say it’s clear more work for equal representation is needed. According to the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls, 27.8% of seats in the State Senate are held by women. 35.1% of seats in the State House are held by a woman and 33% of state constitutional offices have a female leading.
Looking beyond gender, minority representation is even lower.
Jacqueline Crespan, a Republican candidate for the Manchester Board of Directors, was energized and stepped up instead of sitting on the sidelines.
“I saw that when I was volunteering, I did not see too many people that looked like me,” she said.
Crespan, a 42-year-old engineer, says some are surprised at her party choice.
“I totally refuse, simply refuse for anybody to put me in a box. So just because of the color of my skin or because I’m a female, it doesn’t mean that I only have one party to choose from.”
Born in Uganda under a brutal dictator, public safety in the community is her priority.
“When people don’t feel safe it affects everything. People don’t go out as much. They don’t frequent small businesses,” Crespan said. “When I say safety, we also have to include our men and women in blue. They are part of our community.”
Goldsby offered some advice to any young woman looking to get involved:
“If you’re thinking about running for an elected office or a position and your heart is telling you this is what you need to do, just do it.”
Both of these female candidates say it’s not about the party. It’s about having people that look like them represented in government. Election day is Nov. 2.