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2017 Election: 3 Women Under 40 to Watch

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The 2016 presidential election didn’t just shake up the White House, for better or for worse—it’s shaking up municipal and state elections around the country with an infusion of fresh blood. Over 20,000 women have reached out to EMILY’S List, which recruits and trains pro-choice Democratic women, about running for office since Election Day, the organization reports. It’s a number that EMILY’s List President Stephanie Schriock called “unprecedented.”

The next Congressional elections—that is, the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives—will not take place until 2018. But on November 7, municipal elections will take place around the country, including dozens of city mayoral elections and hundreds of local assembly positions, according to the nonprofit and nonpartisan Ballotpedia.

Women—some in their 20s and 30s— are running for high-profile positions in many of these elections and some locations would be the first women to ever be elected to these roles.

This Tuesday, here are four women, all under 40, on ballots across the nation:

Name: Yvette Simpson

Race: Cincinnati mayoral race

Age: 38

Party: Democrat

Background: Simpson is an attorney with who has served two terms on the Cincinnati city council. She comes from humble beginnings: she was raised in public housing by her grandmother until age 16, when the elderly woman had a stroke. She then moved from house to house, an experience, she told, which has shaped her understanding of families living in poverty. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Miami University, a law degree from the University of Cincinnati, and an M.B.A. from Xavier University. If Simpson wins the general election on Tuesday, she will be the first African-American woman mayor in Cincinnati’s history, according to Essence.


  • Improving transportation to connect Cincinnati residents to available jobs is one of her top priorities. Simpson wants to expand bus routes and the city’s streetcar, creating a 24/7 transportation system that enables commutes of 30 minutes or less.
  • She wants to grow jobs by investing in IT, healthcare technology and green tech.
  • Simpson supports Cincinnati’s status as a “sanctuary city.”
  • As a city council member, Simpson helped pass paid parental leave for all city employees, guaranteeing paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. She addressed crimes associated with street-based prostitution by targeting pimps and clients, rather than arresting sex workers.

Name: Crystal Murillo

Race: Aurora, Colorado City Council Ward 1

Age: 23

Party: Democrat

Background: Crystal Murillo was raised in a Mexican-American immigrant household in Aurora and she is the first in her family to graduate from both high school and college. She holds a Bachelor of Science and Business Administration degree from the University of Denver. She currently works at the University of Denver’s alumni center. Murillo is a graduate of Emerge Colorado, a six-month-long training program that guides Democratic women on how to run a political campaign, the Aurora Sentinel reports.


  • Given the high number of renters in Ward 1 compared to Aurora at large, affordable housing and putting renters on a path to homeownership is Murillo’s top policy priority.
  • Nine out of 10 residents of Ward 1 work outside traditional 9-to-5 hours and she supports an improvement to affordable public transportation to get to their jobs.
  • Murillo calls herself a strong supporter of Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on her campaign site and vows to reverse the Aurora City Council’s decision to block Aurora from becoming a sanctuary city.
  • She’s secured an endorsement from Conservation Colorado, the state’s largest environmental group, and the AFL-CIO, Denver-Area Labor Federation.

Name: Nicole Malliotakis

Race: New York City mayoral race

Age: 35

Party: Republican

Background: The daughter of Greek and Cuban immigrants who owned small businesses in New York City, Nicole Malliotakis is currently an outspoken Republican Assemblywoman in a city with a Democratic mayor. She is the first in her family to graduate from college. If she wins the election on Tuesday, she will be the first woman mayor in New York City’s history.


  • Malliotakis opposes the current mayor’s support of NYC’s status as a sanctuary city. She wants to increase the list of crimes that could lead undocumented immigrants to deportation to include sex abuse, drunk driving, identity theft, and other crimes, according to Politico.
  • She opposes the current mayor’s plan to build jails in each of the city’s five boroughs and close Rikers Island, the city’s main jail which is not easily accessible to many residents. She also wants the NYPD to be tougher on quality-of-life crimes, like public urination and littering.
  • She seeks to create a 60-month domestic abuse relocation program, acknowledging that the number one reason people enter the shelter system in NYC is to escape an abusive family member.

(Featured image by Spencer Weiner/Los Angeles Times via Getty. Additional Images by Cincykid1513,, Gage Skidmore)

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