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The Women’s Revolt

4 344 2299

Last year, Liuba Grechen Shirley, who’d recently founded a Long Island chapter of the national Resistance group Indivisible, tried to get her Republican congressman, Peter King, to attend a town hall. He refused, telling a local radio host, “It really diminishes democracy if you’re going to show up to a meeting to just scream and yell.” Instead, he said, he was appearing on “every national TV show,” as if that were a substitute for facing his constituents.

On Tuesday, he may wish he’d just showed up. Frustrated by a representative who didn’t represent her, Grechen Shirley decided to challenge King. She’s giving him what the The New York Post called “the toughest race of his career,” a race that’s emblematic of a season in which fed-up women are upending the political status quo.

Grechen Shirley is 37; King has been in office since she was 12. She has a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old, and before 2016, she hadn’t considered running for office anytime soon. To make her campaign feasible, she successfully petitioned the Federal Election Commission to allow the use of campaign funds for child care.

[Listen to “The Argument” podcast every Thursday morning with Ross Douthat, Michelle Goldberg and David Leonhardt.]

“Politics wasn’t set up for people like me to run,” Grechen Shirley told me. Besides being a young mother, she’s not wealthy, and she hasn’t spent........

© The New York Times