News 12 Special Assignment: More women going into politics

By: Ryan Houston Email
By: Ryan Houston Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Thursday, May 16, 2013

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW) -- Many of our mothers, sisters and daughters are moving far beyond cooking and simple house chores.

"The family unit now is based upon the woman going to work and the man staying at home," said State Rep. Gloria Frazier.

Women today are not only in the office -- they are running them. More and more women are going into public office as well.

"Women are starting to get more involved in the workforce and politics. It's a good thing," said Augusta Commissioner Mary Davis.

"We are going forward, and we're going to hold a lot of these positions," Frazier said.

Frazier is a wife, mother of two and a member of several caucuses in Atlanta. She says women just know how to get things done politically.

"I have seen women go together from the House to Senate and get a piece of legislation passed. I know it works when we work together," Frazier said.

Davis knows about hard work. She worked as Mayor Deke Copenhaver's campaign manager for his election in 2010.

"She was very important to my campaign," Copenhaver said.

"I'm used to being busy, and I feel like I'm most productive with a busy schedule," Davis said.

Davis is a wife, mother of two and works as a fundraiser for St. Mary's Catholic Church.

"Family always comes first. I work part time and I organize the things I need to do regarding the commission," she said.

Even with the strides women have made in the political arena, a woman has still never held the offices of Augusta mayor, Georgia governor or U.S. president.

"The paradigm shift has begun; don't count us out the race yet," said Dr. Lori Myles, founder of the local chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Myles could be on to something. Two recent polls are naming Hillary Clinton as the candidate to beat for the 2016 presidential election.

Women are also showing up in larger numbers to the polls. According to data from the Georgia Secretary of State's website, more women are registered to vote than men in Georgia. When it comes to actually casting a ballot, twice as many women had their voice heard in the last presidential election.

"We are realizing that we're able to support our men, but we are able to lead as well," Myles said.

There are five seats on the Augusta Commission up for grabs next year. Commissioner Alvin Mason just announced his plans to run for the mayor's spot. Some say without the female vote, it's almost impossible to win.

"Whoever is going to be the next mayor is going to have to go after the female vote," Copenhaver said.

"You are going to have to take on issues that concern women. We're concerned about equal rights and equal pay," Frazier said.

Frazier says the playing field is leveling out every election and every vote for women in politics.

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