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YEAR OF THE WOMAN

Welcome to the new wave of women running for office.

After realizing I had only photographed two female politicians as to 20+ men, I invited women from across Maryland for interviews and headshots at the Maryland State House on a hot, East Coast August day. As a high school student on summer break, this was the perfect opportunity to bring together women I look up to as politicians for a photoshoot/pow-wow/break from their constant campaigning. Take a look at their headshots and get a glimpse at their campaigns through the interview snippets below.

The Year of the Woman Photo Project is dedicated to every woman across the country that won her primary, beat out a male incumbent with money and years of campaign experience, or filed for candidacy for the first time this year. Thanks for throwing your hat into the ring and instilling in us all an excitement to vote for you this midterm season.

Special thanks to my friends Hannah Stark, Jamie Wyskiel, and Elizabeth Castillo for organizing interviews, Raba Abro for taking on the behind the scenes photography, and girls in high school and college everywhere getting involved for the first time this election season.

As a first generation American, justice and advocacy has always been in my genes. After being raised here unlike the rest of my family, I felt like politics was the perfect avenue for me.”

Wanika Fisher’s family fled South Africa after her uncle was killed by white police. Now, as an attorney, her biggest issue is Criminal Justice reform.

“My county is a county of great promise, but we also have great problems. I want to make a difference for the people of my community, and I felt the best was to do this was to help be a voice for those who don’t have one.
— Wanika Fisher, first time candidate for State Delegate
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As a small business owner, veteran, mother, and non-profit executive thinking about running for office, I was self conscious of my little political experience. Recently, when I was still active duty, somebody from my community who also flew in the Hawkeye left the military to run for congress, and won. That’s when I realized I could do it too.
— Eve Hurwitz, first time candidate for Senate
Sophie photographing candidates for Board of Education.  Photo: Raba Abro

Sophie photographing candidates for Board of Education.

Photo: Raba Abro

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As someone who just recently graduated from college, I realized I wanted to be part of the solutions that I was tired of not getting from the people who are currently in office.”

Romano (center) claims she doesn’t fit the mold of a politician, but she knew she wanted to be a part of change.

“Marches are only as effective as the people that are listening to them,” she says, “and if I win, I’ll be there every day to properly represent all people in my district.
— Liv Romano, first time candidate for Delegate
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I became interested in politics when I realized nobody was challenging the incumbent. I filed for candidacy on the last day and beat out my primary challenger by 4 votes.
— Liz Walsh, first time candidate for County Council
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Education is the great equalizer, says candidate for Board of Education Makeda Scott. “When you want to harm a community, you start with it’s children, and in that same instance, if you want to build up a community, you start with it’s children.”

When she decided to run, her daughter said, “Mom, you don’t look like a politician!”
“I don’t think I’m supposed to.” Scott responded.

“For her and other young girls to finally see that there’s no true mold or look for a typical politician anymore, I hope they’ll be encouraged to run as well.
— Makeda Scott, first time candidate for Board of Education
Holly Budd, first time candidate for County Commissioner

Holly Budd, first time candidate for County Commissioner

 
This will be my first time running since I was Class President in High School.” Lesley Lopez tells us.

Aside from getting a license at the DMV and filling out her FAFSA forms, Lopez’s first real interaction with the government was when she decided to call the police and get help escaping an abusive relationship. “With that call, I saw how differently I was treated as a woman with a problem. If it was that hard for me, someone who presents as very white looking, has an advanced education, speaks English, and is privileged in many other ways, what would this same scenario look like for someone without these things?”

From there, Lopez worked as the Communications Director for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, pushing for the violence against women reauthorization on Capitol Hill, legislation that protects undocumented women, women in LGBTQA+ relationships, and women who have been abused on tribal lands across America.

“My first bill will focus gun violence and addiction recovery, uncovering how these issues fold into abusive relationships and toxic masculinity.
— Lesley Lopez, first time candidate for Delegate
Candidates for Delegate getting ready for a group shot  Photo: Raba Abro

Candidates for Delegate getting ready for a group shot

Photo: Raba Abro

I’m committed to fighting for my district’s teachers on the Board of Education this fall.”

As an educator, law enforcement officer, and mom, Laticia Hicks has decided the time is now.

”I felt compelled to run and bring diverse opinions to the table,” she says “after the primary, I know the people see what I’m about and that has only encouraged me more.
— Laticia Hicks, first time candidate for Board of Education
Del. Anne Healey signing into get her headshot taken  Photo: Raba Abro

Del. Anne Healey signing into get her headshot taken

Photo: Raba Abro

One third of my county’s residents are foreign born,” says Lily Qi (above) putting it simply, “We need more people like me at the policy making table. I want not only more people of a minority background, but those of an immigrant background, to bring a global perspective to state issues.
— Lily Qi, first time candidate for Delegate
Deb Jung, first time candidate for County Council

Deb Jung, first time candidate for County Council

Pam Luby being photographed by Sophie  Photo: Raba Abro

Pam Luby being photographed by Sophie

Photo: Raba Abro

Karen Yoho, first time candidate for Board of Education

Karen Yoho, first time candidate for Board of Education

Julie Hummer, first time candidate for Board of Education

Julie Hummer, first time candidate for Board of Education

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Living in Baltimore City, I was always disappointed that the bus never showed up when it was supposed to, the liquor board seemed to favor bars over communities, and that our schools still had lead pipes, barring students from drinking the water.”

All of that, Del. Brooke Lierman (above) came to realize, was the result of a lack of state investment. After four years of advocating for families and communities in the State House, she’s running again for Delegate.

“I was raised to believe in the power of public service.
— Del. Brooke Lierman
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Pam Luby, first time candidate for Delegate

Pam Luby, first time candidate for Delegate

Lesley Lopez being interviewed on the State House Lawn  Photo: Raba Abro

Lesley Lopez being interviewed on the State House Lawn

Photo: Raba Abro

Susie Turnbull, candidate for Lieutenant Governor

Susie Turnbull, candidate for Lieutenant Governor

I’ve been an advocate since the 4th grade”

After trying to recruit people to run for Delegate in her district as an organizer, Karen Simpson (above) decided to do it herself.

“The biggest shock to me has been all of my supporters telling me that they’ve been waiting for me to get up the courage to run for years.
— Karen Simpson, first time candidate for Delegate
Del. Anne Healey

Del. Anne Healey

Del. Brooke Lierman signing into the event after canvassing for another friend running for office  Photo: Raba Abro

Del. Brooke Lierman signing into the event after canvassing for another friend running for office

Photo: Raba Abro

After coming back to testify at council meeting after meeting, I realized I could be spending my time more effectively with a seat on the board.”

As Lisa Rodvien (above) gears up to start her 9th year as an Anne Arundel County teacher, she’s also running a campaign to improve schools from another angle as a member of the County Council.

“I know the issues better than anyone, and I also know that if women like me aren’t elected in November, we’ll continue to lose teachers to higher salaries and smart kids to the disadvantages of a crumbling school system.
— Lisa Rodvien, first time candidate for County Council
Dana Schallheim, first time candidate for Board of Education

Dana Schallheim, first time candidate for Board of Education

Debbie Ritchie, first time candidate for County Council

Debbie Ritchie, first time candidate for County Council

Dawn Myers, first time candidate for County Council

Dawn Myers, first time candidate for County Council

I want my daughters and granddaughters to have the same opportunities as I did when they have to make decisions about their futures.”

It wasn’t until this year when Tracie Hovermale (left) took a deeper look at the consistent votes against women’s issues and the environment by her state representatives that she was encouraged to run.

“After taking a closer look at my three Delegates, I realized I wasn’t being represented at all.
— Tracie Hovermale, first time candidate for Delegate

Full list of participants

Organized alphabetically by office seeking

Julie Hummer, Board of Education (Anne Arundel, District 4)

Dana Schallheim, Board of Education (Anne Arundel, District 5)

Laticia Hicks, Board of Education (Anne Arundel, District 7)

Makeda Scott, Board of Education (Baltimore County, District 4)

Karen Yoho, Board of Education (Frederick County, at-large)

Holly Budd, County Commissioner (Calvert County, District 3)

Debbie Ritchie, County Council (Anne Arundel, District 3)

Dawn Myers, County Council (Anne Arundel, District 5)

Lisa Rodvien, County Council (Anne Arundel, District 6)

Liz Walsh, County Council (Howard County, District 1)

Deb Jung, County Council (Howard County, District 4)

Lily Qi, Delegate (15)

Anne Healey, Delegate (22)

Karen Simpson, Delegate (31B)

Tracie Hovermale, Delegate (33)

Liv Romano, Delegate (33)

Pam Luby, Delegate (33)

Lesley Lopez, Delegate (39)

Brooke Lierman, Delegate (46)

Wanika Fisher, Delegate (47B)

Susie Turnbull, Lt. Governor

Sarah Elfreth, Senate (30)

Eve Hurwitz, Senate (33)

Anne Colt Leitess, State's Attorney (Anne Arundel County)