In this year's 'pink wave,' women help women run for office

2017 has been called the year of women, with hundreds turning their anger into activism and, in some cases, a campaign for public office.
8:08 | 01/23/18

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Transcript for In this year's 'pink wave,' women help women run for office
Donald Trump has got to go! Reporter: Amidst the sea of signs and hats at the New Jersey women's March in morristown Mikey Sherrill, here with her daughter, is one of the latest women to throw her hat in the political ring. Running for New Jersey's 11th district congressional seat. We're taking on a fight for the very soul of this country. We're taking on a fight to protect our values, to protect what we think America stands for. And we can do this together. Reporter: This mother of four coaches her children's soccer and lacrosse teams. She's also a former Navy pilot and federal prosecutor who decided to run, she says, after becoming disenchanted with the 22-year Republican incumbent. Serving my country for my entire adult life. To be here and have a congressperson who wouldn't meet with his constituents, that just offended my sense of democracy. Reporter: So she's here joining the throngs of womening marching worldwide for the second annual women's March. Since last year they've moved beyond the clever signs and chants. They're now part of a so-called pink wave, with thousands of women turning their anger into political activism. The statistics are striking. 389 women are running for the U.S. House of representatives. 49 women are running for the U.S. Senate. And 79 women are running for governor. The largest surge of women running for elective office at the federal level and for governors around the country than we've ever seen. Reporter: This has been called the year of the woman. Where they stood up -- We are strong. We are brave. And we will fight! Reporter: And told their stories. We are here. We have our voices. And we are not going anywhere. Reporter: From the halls of capitol hill. I will not be silenced on this issue. Reporter: To the stage at the golden globes. So I want all the girls watching here and now to know that a new day is on the horizon! Reporter: Putting a spotlight on the issue of sexual assault and harassment. I've been talking about being a sexual assault survivor for over two decades now. Reporter: The courage to speak sparked in part by last year's women's March. And this weekend the March marked the return of those pink pussycat hats, a nod to Donald Trump's infamous "Access Hollywood" tape. Hello. When you're a star they let you do it. You can do anything. Whatever you want. Grab them by the . Reporter: Mikie Sherrill, a democrat-s running as the antithesis to trump and his policies. And at least here at this March it's a popular stance. Mikie Sherrill, she is going to win. Yeah. She is going to be our next congresswoman from the great state of New Jersey. I think she stands for integrity. I think she stands for fairness. I think she'll stand up to the trump-mcconnell agenda. Reporter: But while Sherrill's politics may be popular in this traditionally blue state, some women in the rest of the country say this wave of feminism has no place for them. Unfortunately, for women who hold pro-life views or perhaps are open to the idea that president trump might Abe a did president there's a real feeling they're not welcome at these marches. But you don't have to give up your beliefs to be part of that conversation. Reporter: In New Jersey mikie Sherrill is one of eight women running for public office, all but one a Democrat. Sherrill is backed in part by the Progressive group Emily's list, an organization that helps women run for public office. I went down to a friend of mine in D.C. She said you've got to go to Emily's list. Reporter: This year Emily's list has seen a surge of interest in running for office. This is all too often where women on the Republican side of the aisle struggle to get elected. It's just harder if you don't have that specific kind of old boys' network. These outside organizations that are doing work to support women who are running for office are critical. Giving women who are out there who might not get the kind of traditional support, that extra push, that extra support that they need. Reporter: Women helping women seems to be a key part of this wave. With prominent female celebrities getting involved. There is work to be done. There are songs to be sung. Lord knows there's a war to be won. Reporter: In New York this past weekend the actress amber Tamblyn came out to a training event held by the non-partisan group vote run lead. Sisters and allies, I stand here before you today to say not anymore. Asking to hold space for all women. And I just think that we're looking at an era in which women are no longer asking to be part of the conversation, they're demanding it. Reporter: Tamblyn has been a big part of the conversation this past year. Sharing her experience with sexual assault in a "New York Times" op-ed saying in part, "We are learning that the more we open our mouths the more we become a choir and the more we are a choir the more the tune is forced to change." This is a revolution of women. Reporter: Vote run lead holds training sessions like these to teach women how to campaign, fund-raise, and choose the right office for them. Is it possible to be a conservative and a feminist? I think it's absolutely possible to be a conservative and a feminist. I think there are lots of conservative women who believe that if feminism means women should be politically, economically, legally equal then yes, they're on board with that message. Reporter: Velardi says her group challenges the notion that Republican women are left out. Vote run lead says many of its candidates don't even affiliate with a party. We're getting tons of young millennial Republican women who are coming and looking for a home. Reporter: Vilardi's group calls its approach run as where you and says it's working. Vote run lead had a 70% win rate for our first-time candidates in 2017. That is unheard of. Reporter: If there's any doubt that groups such as these are succeeding -- I do solemnly swear -- Reporter: -- Look no further than Virginia. This past November nine state legislative seats were flipped by women. 11 total women won, giving Virginia its highest number of female members of the house of delegates in recent history. All of the winners were backed by emerge Virginia, part of a national organization promoting democratic female candidates that boasts a 70% win rate. So help me god. Sworn in this weekend, the freshman class including Paula Ayala, one of the first Latina delegates. I'm so happy to serve. Kathy Tran, one of the first asian-american delegates and pregnant during her campaign. But today I want to thank the women in the sisterhood. Reporter: And Danica Rome, the first openly transgender person elected to any U.S. State legislature. When we can't change their minds, we change their seats. Reporter: Rome's historic victory held even greater significance given she defeated Bob Marshall, who held the seat for 25 years and had a strong anti-lgbtq stance even calling himself Virginia's chief homophobe. Put your hand on the bible. Reporter: There have been some wins, but the 2018 campaign season is just beginning. Women are underrepresented at nearly every level of office, holding only roughly 20% of elected seats at the federal and state levels. But women are emerging as an ever-growing source of political power. And it's not just the women who are running for office. In Alabama we saw that certainly among black women voters, where the driving force in the election of Doug Jones. And if that energy and that momentum continues, 2018 could be a year that breaks the mold and breaks our assumptions about challengers. And this could be the year of the challenger. It's the food that we have been hungry for. This is the moment for women to become a permanent apart of leadership in this country.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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