Katie Darling was 7 months pregnant when she decided to run for office this summer. Now, her son’s birth is part of an unusual – and extraordinarily intimate – campaign ad.
The Lousiana Democrat, who hopes to unseat U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, can be seen gripping a hospital bed and ultimately holding her newborn in the commercial, which she also shared on Twitter. “I’m running for Congress to stop [Louisiana’s] race to the bottom because our children deserve better,” she wrote.
With a few close-ups of Darling in what appears to active labor, it’s certainly not your typical campaign ad. But, she told The Cut, that’s the point.
“I got into this race wanting to … start to normalize women in office, women being pregnant, women having children and caring for those children while also being a representative, and the need for child care and support so that we can have more female representatives in office,” she says.
“It’s important that we make that space for more women to run,” Darling added.
They already are, in record numbers. But actual representation in the U.S. House and Senate is still sorely lacking for women. And for women who have given birth while in office, it’s almost nonexistent – just 10 elected women in history have done so.
Darling wants to help turn the tide, but she has a significant fight ahead of her. Scalise, presently finishing out his eighth term in office, holds a seat that Republicans have controlled since the 1970s.
She notes in the commercial that she’s concerned about climate change, children’s education and her state’s new abortion ban — the latter of which her competitor supports. As the new mom says in the ad: “Louisiana deserves better than the path it’s on.”