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The New Wave of Local Candidates Running for Office

On the first election day after Trump’s win, many new pledges to run for office have actually materialized. And yes, lots of them are women.
Virginia House of Delegates candidate Kathy Tran greets voters.
Virginia House of Delegates candidate Kathy Tran greets voters.Kathy Tran for Delegate

Kathy Tran wasn’t the only mother at the political training boot-camp, but she was the only one who brought her baby. Elise Minh Khanh, Tran’s daughter, was born four days after Inauguration Day, and when the course began, she was one month old. It wasn’t the most convenient time for Tran to start a new life in public office—but Elise was the reason Tran was running for a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates at all.

“[The name] Elise was inspired by Ellis Island, and Minh Khanh is Vietnamese for ‘bright bell,’” says Tran. Together, her daughter’s name means, “to ring the bells of liberty and champion opportunity for all.” Tran is a Vietnamese immigrant, who fled to the United States as a child. “I made the decision to run…with the realization that I had given Elise this aspirational name, and I couldn’t sit on the sidelines and leave her with this responsibility,” Tran recalls. “The time was now for me to stand up and fight hard for my kids.”