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Commentary: The goal of gender parity in elected office is as dumb as it is insulting

The Fargo City Commission

Voters in North Dakota have no problem casting ballots for female candidates. We know this because women routinely win elections at the state and local levels.

It’s absolutely true that there are more men then women in elected office in our state. But then it’s also true that a lot more men than women choose to run for office in the first place.

When the right woman comes along for the job that woman gets votes from North Dakotans.

Yet some literally argue that we’re supposed to vote for females because they’re female. And when certain female candidates lose elections, we’re told that it’s sexism. Case in point, the bellyaching over female candidates losing in the recent Fargo City Commission race:

"FARGO – Another election cycle has passed with no women winning seats on the all-male Fargo City Commission. Three women – Arlette Preston, Linda Boyd and Liz Maddock-Johnson – campaigned but were unsuccessful in Tuesday’s election.

Preston worries that the lack of female leadership could send a message to young girls that achieving elected office is unattainable. She said women bring things to the table that men don’t."

I would hope that young girls in North Dakota would look to the women who are already elected to public office in our state – from our junior U.S. Senator to our State Treasurer to one of the three members of the Public Service Commission – to see that women can win elections here.

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