Delaina Toothman is a political historian and she can see the writing on the wall.

“We are living in a watershed time,” said Toothman, 52, a Texas transplant who came to Maine five years ago to get her doctorate at the University of Maine.

“Women have always been a backbone of politics. It’s just more public. Women are seeing they don’t have to be in the background,” she said.

Toothman has been active in Republican party politics, but hadn’t consider running. In fact, she didn’t really think it would be possible to run in Maine because she’s “from away.”

But party officials recruited Toothman, who lives in Old Town, and she went to a training session with She Leads.

As a historian, Toothman attributes the recent surge in women candidates to the natural evolution of more women being elected, heading up households and making economic decisions.

While attending the She Leads training, she also realized she’s not alone in her interest in holding political office.

“Women are seeing they don’t have to be in the background,” says Republican Delaina Toothman. Photo courtesy of Delaina Toothman

But it was an upstart question that pricked her feminist pride that tipped Toothman into deciding to definitely run.

When she mentioned that she was considering becoming a candidate, the person asked her if it would interfere with her family.

“I left that conversation thinking, I can do this. I should quit making excuses about something I want to do,” Toothman said. “That’s a real female thing. But I want to do this.”