Rebecca Kinney has been a senior field tester for FirstEnergy Corp., in northern Pennsylvania, for 29 years. The majority of that time, Kinney has been the only female on the job.
In January, Kinney did something out of character even for her: She entered the race for the 111th state House district, which covers Wayne and Susquehanna counties in the northeastern tip of the state.
A first-time candidate, Kinney, 59, is running unopposed as a Democrat in an historically Republican district. She is among the growing slate of progressive women – statewide and across the country – who in the wake of the 2016 election have entered a political race.
With Democrats looking to score big wins in the November midterms, the roster of progressive candidates, particularly women, stands at what pundits say are unprecedented levels. Since 2016, approximately 34,000 women have contacted the non-profit organization Emily’s List, an advocacy group that supports progressive female candidates.