Move over, Sarah Palin

There are 157 other women running for national office this November.

Published September 10, 2008 9:35PM (EDT)

Amid the frenzy of Sarah Palin Watch, it's easy to lose sight of the fact that many other female candidates are vying for national, elected office this year.

Some 149 women are candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, while eight women are running for the U.S. Senate, according to Debbie Walsh, director of the Center for American Women in Politics at Rutgers, reports AlterNet. To put those numbers in perspective, in 2006, 136 women ran for the House, and 12 for the Senate.

In five states this year, women are seeking to become governor, a role that, as we've seen recently, can be an important feeder to jobs at the top of the ticket. This November, there's also one high-profile woman-vs.-woman race, between Republican Sen. Elizabeth Dole, the first female senator from North Carolina, and Democratic state Sen. Kay Hagan.

Yet, today's New York Times has a reminder that it's "not just a glass ceiling" that may be holding more women back from seeking elected office. In its editorial, the Times calls on governors to cast a wider net in making political appointments, to help get more women and minorities in the pipeline to run for office later on.

A report from the Center for Women in Government and Civil Society at the State University of New York at Albany tabulated how many women and minorities were appointed by governors to leadership jobs between 1997 and 2007. As the Times puts it, "The answer is: not enough." Of 1,834 top state jobs, about 35 percent were held by female appointees, while minorities held fewer than 16 percent.

By Katharine Mieszkowski

Katharine Mieszkowski is a senior writer for Salon.

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