'We are 50% of the population but we are no where near approaching 50% of representation'

Kate Brown celebrates after winning the Oregon gubernatorial race on Nov. 6, 2018. KATU photo

LANE COUNTY, Ore. - The mid-terms ended in a historic win for women across the country.

The U.S. House will seat the highest amount of females come next year’s session.

But, elected women are winning at local levels, too, thanks to a national organization.

“Thank you so much,” Gov. Kate Brown says after defeating gubernatorial GOP candidate Knute Buehler. “We tripled the number of democratic women of governors serving in this country.”

The biggest change comes for the U.S. House, which is expected to have more than 100 seats taken by females with around a dozen republican seats flipped by democratic women.

“When women run, women win,” Laurie Triger with Emerge Oregon says.

It’s an affiliate of the national version “Emerge America,” which is an organization that trains democratic women how to be a winning candidate.

“We talk about platform development; we talk about media,” she says.

But, Emerge Oregon looks for women to guide on all levels of government.

In fact, 21 elected women in Lane County, including Eugene Mayor Lucy Vinis, have gone through the program.

And, 82 percent of the 40 alumni on the 2018 ballot won.

“We know that women need to be asked far more often than men to run for office; women often do not see themselves as elected officials,” Triger says.

Just ask Heather Buch, who went through the Emerge program and is poised to take a seat on the Lane County Board of Commissioners in the 5th District.

“For me, this seat has always really been a balancing seat,” Buch says.

She’ll be the only female on the board.

“For me, it will be a lens of a mother,” she says.

Tuesday may have been a historic win for women across the nation, but looking to the change in the U.S. House, still only 22 percent of all seats will be women.

“We are 50 percent of the population, but we are nowhere near approaching 50 percent of representation when it comes to elected bodies,” Triger says. “This country is hungry for change.”

There’s also another organization called the “National Federation of Republican Women” that works to train GOP females for office.

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