Dana Balter’s congressional run signifies re-energization of women in politics

Dana Balter's congressional endorsement as Rep. John Katko's Democrat opponent highlights a shifting tide for women in politics.
Dana Balter’s congressional endorsement as Rep. John Katko’s Democrat opponent highlights a shifting tide for women in politics.

Dana Balter’s endorsement as the Democrat opponent to Rep. John Katko showcases the gradual momentum of women politicians.

Balter, a visiting assistant teaching professor at Syracuse University, made headlines when the Onondaga County Democrats endorsed her to oppose Katko (R-Camillus) for New York’s 24th congressional district. Balter won an outstanding 73 percent of the vote from committee members compared to her opponents Anne Messenger and Scott Comegys. Messenger and Comegys received 26 percent and 1 percent of the vote, respectively.

Only 19.8 percent of representatives in Congress are women, per the Center for American Women and Politics, and only 25.3 percent of seats in state legislatures are occupied by women. Seeing a woman like Balter, who represents, in part, the SU community and a changing political climate, is a remarkable symbol of the progress women are making in politics.

Balter hasn’t shied away from her work with the CNY Solidarity Coalition, a grassroots organization opposing President Donald Trump and his policies. Balter calls herself a “pragmatic progressive:” a supporter of 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton but a believer in the central ideals touted by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).

In a world where women are often told to suppress their emotions or…

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