The Gender Issue in the Governor's Race

Despite having a higher percentage of women than the nation as a whole, Florida has never elected a female governor.

Not one woman has even been nominated by a major party for the state's highest office.

But that ceiling is on the verge of being shattered.

Alex Sink, the state's chief financial officer, is all but certain to be the Democratic nominee for governor in 2010. And State Sen. Paula Dockery is waging a spirited fight with state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination.

Their candidacies reflect a national trend that has seen an unprecedented number of women become state leaders. Since 2000, female candidates have won 17 of 31 gubernatorial races in which they have been major candidates - more victories than in the previous 30 years combined.

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