Candidate’s boyfriend in danger of being overshadowed by qualified women

24 May 2016 12:56 am
Posted by: Admin

It’s been a great year for women, right? I mean, Emerge Arizona has 16 women running for office in 2016, and then there’s that whole woman-about-to-become-President-of-the-free-world thing. As an Emerge AZ alumna and Emerge AZ board member for nine years, I have a lot to be grateful for. Things are so awesome, our work here is practically done. We can go home and take a nap, and won’t that be nice?

But then… this:


Le sigh.

Really, Capitol Times? Reducing Athena Salman’s accomplishments to being about who she’s dating and not how she’s qualified to run for office? Seriously, we can’t get this shit right. I can’t even figure out why this is news. Primaries are a part of the process, and I can’t imagine Representative Celeste Plumlee is running scared because she was left to “fend” for herself. She is going to run a good campaign because that was what she was trained to do, and she had a successful first year in the legislature on which to run.

As for Athena, since the Cap Times glossed over Athena’s accomplishments, let’s get a few things straight. Athena is qualified to run for office because of her experience in building coalitions, her activism and strategy in registering under-represented voters, and her work in student government, NOT because she’s dating a lawmaker.

Between Celeste’s work in the legislature and stellar reputation amongst her peers and Athena’s vivacity and energy for reaching voters and penchant for taking the lead in situations, other candidates are in danger of being overshadowed. These women are amazing role models and leaders. But that’s politics. Those who led need to make way for those who will lead. As these women shine, we will see a change in the way they are written about. That will be exciting to read.

In the meantime…

The real news here is that a reporter felt the need to write about a qualified candidate in such a demeaning way, showing us that no matter how far we’ve come, we still have a long way to go.

That’s fine, I can always nap later.


  1. Comment by Janie Hydrick on May 24, 2016 10:39 am

    Spot on. Attacks on women haven’t lessened. They have simply become more subtle and insidious. Too few of us did a double take at the Cap Times insult. I am definitely not a Hillary supporter, but so many of the attacks against her are ones that address her relationship with Bill, not her personal attributes or accomplishments. We need many more reminders like this column. Thanks!

  2. Comment by Iisha Graves on May 24, 2016 11:18 am

    Excellent! Thank you for taking the time to shine a light on the brilliance of these ladies. As women if we sat around waiting on someone to recognize our talents and accomplishments we’d be sitting forever! So cheers to you for doing what this reporter failed to do. Undoubtedly not because he was unaware of their greatness but simply because he choose to try and suppress it.
    -Iisha Graves

  3. Comment by Krista on May 24, 2016 11:22 am

    Thanks, Janie! Thanks, Iisha!

    It was another woman who brought the article to my attention. We definitely need to look out for one another, and we definitely need to continue building each other up instead of letting others tear us down.

  4. Comment by Stacy H. on May 24, 2016 7:42 pm

    Damn straight! Thanks for this, Krista.

  5. Comment by Shirley McKean on May 24, 2016 9:24 pm

    Athena was barely mentioned in the article. Most of the criticism was directed at Juan Mendez. Athena is certainly very qualified—-for someone in her 20s. She is certainly not the most qualified person in the LD 26 race

  6. Comment by Krista on May 25, 2016 12:35 am

    Thanks, Stacy!

    Shirley, Agreed. I thought it was odd to make Athena one of the focal points and then not talk about her… I don’t know all of the candidates in that race, but I do know Celeste and Athena, and I do support them and hope they both win :)

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