The Republicans have made a point of trying to highlight diversity on their stage. As part of that effort, there have been many GOP women gracing the convention in Tampa, talking about party principles as they get ready to hear Mitt Romney accept their party’s nomination. Many of those women are mothers — some you’ve heard of and some may be new on your radar.
Just as moms in our own neighborhoods reflect a variety of generations — some are mothers of young children and others have kids who are grown and out of the house — it’s the same at the GOP Convention. So it’s interesting to see a wide variety of women on the political stage regardless of where they are in their motherhood journey.
So here are ten of those moms to watch who’ve had a moment in the national spotlight during the Republican convention and who you’ll probably be hearing more about!
1. U.S. Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA) — A mom of two young children, Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the highest ranking Republican woman in the House of Representatives who is personally involved in driving the Republican agenda in Congress and she’s recently launched her own iPhone app to help constituents keep up with her schedule. McMorris Rodgers presided over the speakers each night at the convention, but vowed to the audience that everyone she’d be introducing was committed to defeating President Barack Obama in November.
2. U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte (NH)– This mom of a four-year-old and seven-year-old has been the junior Senator from New Hampshire for about a year and a half and was the first woman Attorney General in that state. She first came to national attention when the uber-mama grizzly herself, Sarah Palin, gave Ayotte her support. Ayotte shared a story with the convention-goers about how she and her husband started their own family business after prospects of becoming a commercial pilot dried up after he served as a combat pilot in Iraq.
3. Congressional Candidate Mia Love (UT) – Mia Love is a newcomer to the national scene, but she is the talk of the Republican Convention. She’s running for Congress in a newly formed district in Utah, is a mom of three and is currently the Mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah. If she wins this fall, she’s being referred to as the first African-American Republican congresswoman in history (though her parents are Haitian), who also happens to be a Mormon. But her speech lit up the convention goers as she spoke about how her parents came to America to provide a better life for their children.
4. Governor Nikki Haley (SC) – South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is the mother of two daughters and is the author of her recently released memoir in which she talks about what it was like growing up as a woman of color in the Deep South. While she, like Mia Love, talked at the convention about her family’s story about immigrating to the United States, she also showed a bit of a smack-down side with her speech, as she told the delegates that President Obama, would “sacrifice American jobs and American workers to pacify the bullying union bosses he counts as political allies.”
5. Lt. Gov Candidate Sher Valenzuela (DE) — While not an office holder yet, Valenzuela shared her personal story in her convention speech about the fact that she has an autistic son who is also a student at the University of Delaware. As a small business owner, Valenzuela told the RNC crowd that she wants to roll back regulations that she believes are holding back small businesses from growing.
6. U.S. Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (VA) – A mother of two children and the grandmother of two, Blackburn is the co-chair of the Republican platform committee, which crafts the official positions on a variety of issues. She told the party faithful that in the future GOP will stand for the “great opportunity party.”
7. Lt. Gov Kim Reynolds (IA) -Reynolds, who filled the role as Secretary of the Convention, has three grown children and four grandchildren. But her star appears to be on the rise in the Grand Old Party. It’s assumed that she’ll run for governor in Iowa in 2014, which means if she wins, she will wield some serious power in the 2016 presidential election, since Iowa is a must-win state for any contender.
8. Governor Mary Fallin (OK) – Fallin, a mom of six, spent her convention speech comparing Romney to Ronald Reagan, saying “President Ronald Reagan once said, ‘There are no great limits to growth, because there are no
limits of human intelligence, imagination, and wonder. He believed, like I believe – like Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan believe – that the potential for America is limitless.’ ”
9. Governor Susanna Martinez (NM) – A mother of one son, Martinez channeled her Latina roots, delivering some of her remarks in Spanish. Martinez was a Democrat in her early political career, and shared in her speech how she became a Republican. It happened during a meeting she and her husband attended with some Republicans before she ran for District Attorney. “We talked about many issues, like welfare – is it a way of life, or a hand-up? Talked about the size of government — how much should it tax families and small businesses? And when we left that lunch, we got in the car and I looked over at [my husband] and said, ‘I’ll be damned, we’re Republicans.’ ”
10. Former Lt Governor Kerry Healey (MA) – This mother of two will be introducing Mitt Romney before he accepts his party’s nod for the presidential nomination and he shares his most important political speech to date. Healey has been a long time political player in the Massachusetts Republican party, but lost her own bid for governor of Massachusetts after Romney left that office.
Who’s your favorite Republican mom?
Read more from me at my place PunditMom and in my Amazon best-selling book, Mothers of Intention: How Women and Social Media are Revolutionizing Politics in America.(A great pre-2012 election read!)
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