In January, Atlantic County Freeholder John Carman posted a meme to his Facebook page mocking the Women’s March.
“Will the women’s protest be over in time for them to cook dinner?” read the text, laid over an image of a woman in the kitchen.
That “women’s protest” stretched across the globe and became the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. And less than a year later, on Nov. 7, Carman would lose his seat to a woman who decided to run after protesting Carman’s comments.
Ashley Bennett, 32, showed up with dozens of other women constituents at a public meeting Carman held on Jan. 24, just days after he posted the sexist meme. Inspired by the Women’s March and what she saw as Carman’s “mocking and belittling people who are expressing their concerns about their community and the nation,” Bennett decided to run against him.
Though the seat is in a Republican district, Bennett bested Carman by 1,000 votes, out of 14,000 votes cast. Last month, Bennett told the AP that protests like the Women’s March “woke a lot of people up.”
Bennett wasn’t the only woman who won on Tuesday night after getting angry post-presidential election.
Kelly Fowler, a Virgina Beach, Va. resident, attended the Women’s March with her daughter Tessa Anne in January.
“I thought the march was gonna be for her,” Fowler said in a campaign ad. “I realized that it was for both of us and I didn’t feel alone anymore. So I knew I needed to do something. I need to be part of the legislative process.”
On Tuesday night, Fowler won a seat in the Virginia House of Delegates. She unseated incumbent Ron Villanueva ― who had voted to make the anniversary of Roe v. Wade the “Day of Tears” in the state. ― and flipped the 21st district from Republican to Democrat.
Hala Ayala, who helped organize buses from her Virginia community to the Women’s March on Washington, also won a seat in Virginia’s House of Delegates, becoming one of the first Latina women to serve in the House.
“Once I heard that the Women’s March was happening, I knew I wanted to be involved and to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with men and women,” Ayala told Elle in August. “We were just able to come together and kind of recalibrate ourselves, do what we needed to do to organize our thoughts and our energies and figure out the next steps. But we have to continue to take action. We have to make change. We can’t let that be the end of the road.”
On Tuesday night, Ayala unseated Rich Anderson, a 4-term Republican incumbent.
Organizations like She Should Run and Emily’s List have seen record numbers of women stepping up since November 2016. Many on Twitter noted the snowball effect that the presidential election and the Women’s March have had in driving women to run for office ― and win.
Sometimes, karma’s a bitch ― and she looks like a motivated, pissed off woman.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story misstated John Carman’s title. He is a freeholder of Atlantic County, not Atlantic City.