COLUMBUS, Ohio — A group of Central Ohio women have raised more than a million dollars with one goal in mind: elect more women.
The Matriots PAC was created by women who were tired of women being underrepresented in elected office. Right now, not even a quarter of lawmakers in the Ohio Statehouse are women. Congress has an even lower percentage.
"We've been in a holding pattern for 30 years and given the political environment, we think women are the solution," said Elissa Schneider, the executive director of the Matriots. "Women are excellent collaborators and in office can get more done because they're willing to see both sides and really work across the aisles and we want to build a coalition of women to do that."
The Matriots have endorsed 33 candidates running in local races, Statehouse races, and for statewide offices. The group has endorsed both Democrats and Republicans.
"If we're going to get to 50 percent women in the State of Ohio, we're not going to do that with one party and nor should we," she said.
Political science professor Dr. Paul Beck at The Ohio State University said there are more women running in 2018 than ever before, but there are still more men seeking office.
"This is the 'year of the woman' in terms of candidacies," Beck said. "It's all over the country."
He said a million dollars could go a long way to help women win in local races.
"The money matters most when you go down ticket," he said.
The Matriots have only endorsed female candidates. Schneider said she wants women in elected office to someday become commonplace.
"It's not about one issue or another but how are we creating a place where we can really work together to get things done for people in the State of Ohio," Schneider said.
The Matriots PAC has only registered to collect money for local and state races, not federal ones. The group's next goal is to have a member in each of Ohio's 88 counties.