Upper Peninsula legislators react to women-dominated primaries

MARQUETTE COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Women have been dominating at the voting booth, especially in the wake of the Tuesday, August 7th primary elections.

Gretchen Whitmer is leading the state's first all-female statewide Democratic ticket and more than five Upper Michigan women bested their opponents at the polls.

"I think that's why a lot of women are stepping up right now, they feel the urge and I think they can work well together," said Democratic Representative Sara Cambensy, of the 109th State House District.

Rep. Cambensy secured her position in the House of Representatives in a special election in November of 2017. She will run again in November 2018 and says she is happy to see women dominating state-wide and local ballots.

"I think as women, we instinctively have a sense of when things aren't right or they need to be fixed, we tend to be fixers," said Rep. Cambensy. "I think for women getting into politics it's good."

Gretchen Whitmer won the Democratic nomination for the governor's position and in Marquette alone, 3/4 of the city commission ballot winners were women.

"That was one of the biggest reasons that I decided to run for city commission was to show my daughter she can do anything she sets her mind to," said City Commissioner Jenna Smith. "And to make our community a better place for her, her friends, the future generations of Marquette."

Smith says the drive to better the future of the city drives her to keep working and she says her identity as a female has empowered her to get involved.

"It's kind of like an uprising or revolution of women really involving themselves at a different level and seeing their place and how they can impact the community in a positive way," said Smith.

And regardless of party affiliation, both Cambensy and Smith say they are pleased to see women stepping into elected positions across the Upper Peninsula and the state.

"I think there is a role to play for young women and little girls, that certainly aspire to do some professional job," said Rep. Cambensy.

"Part of me wants to inspire other people so I love what I do on the Commission, I think it's interesting, it's fun to learn about what I'm doing," said Smith. "In the grand scheme of things, I'll make a difference."

With the primary elections having just passed, both Cambensy and Smith say they will continue working for their communities, but also hit the campaign trail for the November general election.

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