Florida state Sen. Pat Frank of Tampa was identified incorrectly as a man Sunday. Frank is a woman.
Proponents of the Equal Rights Amendment vowed political activism--and retribution--when the amendment wasn't ratified by the necessary 38 state legislatures before June 30. No one thought they were kidding, and they weren't.
In Florida, 81--count 'em, 81--women have filed as candidates in state legislative races, which is half the total races in both houses. Twenty are running for the Senate, which has 40 members, and 61 have filed for the 120-member House. Currently only four women are in the Senate, 13 in the House.
Seven of the women are running against senators who voted against ERA, which failed in the Senate, 22 to 17, after passing the House.
In addition, several pro-ERA men are running, four against members who voted against ratification. One of the incumbent women is opposed to ERA, and she is being challenged by a pro-ERA man.
Sen. Pat Frank of Tampa predicts the women will double or possibly triple their numbers in the legislature this year. The "political power of women has been a sleeping giant, awakened by the predominantly male legislatures which have turned their backs on women," he says. This "dramatic development" will mean "sweeping changes" in Florida's politics for years to come, he predicts.