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Carlsbad voters could change gender balance of city government

Female candidates dominate Mayor, Council fields
Posted: 7:45 AM, Oct 08, 2018
Updated: 2018-10-08 14:45:04Z

Carlsbad (KGTV): Voters in Carlsbad could put women in charge of the local government, as female candidates overwhelmingly outnumber male candidates in the races for Mayor and City Council.

Right now, there is just one woman on the five-seat council, which includes the Mayor. The lone female, Cori Schumacher, is currently running for mayor against incumbent Matt Hall.

Meanwhile, Council-members Mark Packard and Michael Schumacher are not seeking reelection.

Six candidates have come forward to fill their spots, five of which are women. In District One, Linda Breen, Tracy Carmichael, Barbara Hamilton, and David McGee are running. In District Three, Priya Bhat-Patel is facing Corrine Busta.

Depending on the outcomes of those elections, women could hold 3 of the five City Council seats. And, even if Schumacher loses, she'll still keep her current position on the Council.

"I think it's about time," says Loann Simon from the League of Women Voters in North County.

Simon believes the rise of the women's movement in the last few years has spurred more women to come forward and get more involved in local politics.

"Women are becoming braver," she says. "I think it’s something that’s evolving, but after 2016, it’s kind of flipped a switch." 

A "pink wave" would be rare in Carlsbad. According to the Coast News, only 11 women have been elected to the City Council in the last 66 years.

Simon says more female candidates means more of a focus on women's issues, like family, health and open space.

"It brings their voice to the table. It’s not enough to just shout about what you want. You have to bring what you want to the table for your voice to be heard."

Simon's group runs a non-partisan website that breaks down every race and issue in the upcoming election, votersedge.org. Users can enter their zip code and get a personalized breakdown of their ballot.