Today is election day. Much attention has been focused on 2018 as the “Year of the Woman” in terms of female candidates running for office on the left. However, little has been paid to women on the right running to best represent their communities and clearing the path for future conservative leaders.

A Lilly (Washington Post) profile today highlights three young women who are running as conservatives: Maia Espinoza (29) in WA, Amber Little-Turner (33) in PA, and Morgan Murtaugh (26) in CA.

These women join hundreds of conservative women on the ticket for federal and state seats and thousands of female candidates nationwide.

What’s most surprising is the backlash conservative women face for their independence and choice to run as Republican candidates. Most disturbingly, that criticism is coming from other women. Murtaugh explained:

“Our president has woken a sleeping giant when it comes to women … [and] it’s hard to be an outspoken Republican woman in the age of this sleeping giant. Women tell me, ‘How dare you run as a Republican,’ and as a feminist I say, ‘How dare you tell me because of my gender I have to vote a specific way.’”

No political party speaks for and represents all female candidates and voters. Similarly, no party speaks for all people of color, all veterans or all immigrants. People should be free to follow the movement that they think delivers the best results for their family, community, and the nation.

These women are running because they want to make a change and they view conservative values and policy solutions as best aligning with their viewpoints.

And there’s something about bringing a politically diverse perspective to the legislature as Little-Turner noted,

“It’s important that we we mix up the legislature, we continue to mix up Washington with people that actually represent the population that we’re serving.”

We need more women who value freedom, prosperity, and opportunity to jump into politics. When they run, they should not face backlash for being conservative or endure personal attacks that are meant to silence their voices – least of all attacks from other women.