Krishanti Vignarajah, the former policy director for Michelle Obama who spearheaded Let Girls Learn, announced her run for governor of Maryland in August, two months after giving birth. Suffice it to say, she knows about keeping it together on the campaign trail.
What do you have in your handbag?
"Business cards (Vignarajah is a tough name to spell!), clean diapers, and mascara."
Any style secrets?
"Always carry flats. I’m barely 5'2", so I can use a little elevation, but there’s often a moment late at night when I can’t take my heels. But if Maryland elected 4'11" Barbara Mikulski as senator for five terms, then there’s hope for other vertically challenged candidates!"
How do you keep your energy up?
"With a newborn, sleep is not on the table. I do get a lot of energy from meet and greets. The other day, I met an 84-year-old who said she was “all in” on my campaign because she’d “be damned” if she sat by when there wasn’t even a single woman in any federal or statewide office in Maryland. So if she can do it, I can, too! Oh, and ice cream helps."
This article is part of our "Women Running for Office" series, which originally appeared in Marie Claire's November 2017 issue, on newsstands October 17. To view the full package, click here.
As deputy editor, Jen oversees Cosmopolitan's daily digital editorial operations, editing and writing features, essays, news, and other content, in addition to editing the magazine's cover stories, astrology pages, and more. Previously, Jen was a senior editor at Marie Claire. Before that, she worked at GQ.
The 18 Best Secret Santa Gifts for Your Coworkers
From the intern to your boss' boss.
By Julia Marzovilla • Published
Recharge With a Sustainable Weekend in the Hudson Valley
Here's your guide to a low-impact getaway.
By Sara Holzman • Published
The 74 Best Gifts for Dogs, Dog Owners, and Dog Lovers In 2021
You're not a regular dog mom, you're a cool dog mom.
By Jenny Hollander • Published
Cory Booker and Rosario Dawson's Relationship Is No More
After three years of dating, the power couple have decided they're better off as friends.
By Marie Claire Editors • Published
Education for Women and Girls Is Crucial for Climate Justice
In an excerpt from her new book, 'A Bigger Picture,' Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate discusses the impact educated African women and girls can have on solving the climate crisis.
By Vanessa Nakate • Published
It’s Time to End Equal Pay Days and Pass the Equal Rights Amendment
The passage of the ERA is a chance for our country to prove it truly values women.
By Hala Ayala • Published
In Conversation: Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Emily Tisch Sussman
“It’s ridiculous that we’re the only advanced nation on the planet that doesn’t help families with childcare.”
By Emily Tisch Sussman • Published
EMILY's List President Laphonza Butler Has Big Plans for the Organization
Under Butler's leadership, the largest resource for women in politics aims to expand Black political power and become more accessible for candidates across the nation.
By Rachel Epstein • Published
Anita Hill Believes We Can End Gender Violence
Three decades after her landmark testimony in the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings, the esteemed professor and lawyer has a message for leaders: The time is now to prioritize anti-gender violence policies.
By Rachel Epstein • Published
For Teachers, Going to Work Can Mean Life or Death
Stefanie Minguell, a COVID survivor and second grade teacher in Florida's Broward County, almost died of COVID-19 and is immunocomprised. When she teaches in the classroom, she’s forced to choose between her health and her students.
By Megan DiTrolio • Published
Periods Don’t Stop for Pandemics—And Neither Have Our Nation’s Moms
Policies touted in the $3.5 trillion budget plan and other Congressional bills are missing a core component of maternal well-being: menstrual access and health.
By Christy Turlington Burns • Published