Heather McTeer lost her long-shot bid to unseat Democratic Rep. Bennie Thompson in Mississippi's March primary. But she hopes her attempt encourages other women in the South to run for office — whether for a seat on the school board or in Congress.
"Women need to see other women running," said McTeer, former mayor of Greenville, Miss. "Regardless of what it looks like, we have a voice, and a voice that absolutely must be heard."
McTeer is helping to recruit women to run for elective office in Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee for a group called She Should Run, which says its mission is to dramatically increase the number of women serving in public leadership.
It's just one of the groups, both national and local, that have stepped up efforts to recruit more women in the South to become political candidates. The region the Census Bureau identifies as the South is represented by 22 women in Congress.