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Democrats “Contract With Women” campaign push comes to West Lafayette

Democratic candidates outlined their "contract with women" Wednesday (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)
Democratic candidates outlined their "contract with women" Wednesday (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)

State and local Democrats visited West Lafayette Wednesday as part of the party’s “Contract With Women” campaign push ahead of the election.

Democrats are hoping that high voter turnout on issues like abortion access and lowering maternal mortality rates will help them win.

Democrats held a brief event Wednesday that ended with each candidate signing a contract that outlined the party’s plan to advocate for better access to childcare and workplace protections for pregnant women, among other issues.

Jessica McClellan, candidate for state treasurer, said that without abortion access the state will see a wide range of consequences.

“If we do not permanently restore the right to an abortion in Indiana the number of women unable to work will go up,” she said. “Maternal complications and death will go up, the number of people who leave high school or college without a degree will go up.”

Recent national polling has suggested that Republicans have begun to edge out Democrats as voters worry about the economy and inflation.

But ZeNai Brooks, candidate for state auditor, said polls are showing tighter races than anyone expected in Indiana.

“Nobody would have thought that a couple months ago and a lot of that is driven by women and men on both sides being very upset about this abortion ban,” she said. “If we’re going to win and pick up some seats and pick up some Democrats in the Statehouse it’s now.”

All four candidates, including Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) and West Lafayette City Councilmember and state Senate candidate David Sanders, stressed that securing basic protections for women in Indiana isn’t a hopeless issue - so long as people get out and vote.

“They [Republicans] want you to feel your vote doesn’t matter,” Campbell said. “It does matter. Your vote is the most important tool that you have to make change in the world.”