Marie Claire Peeks Into Candidates’ Purses, Finds iPads and a Gun

Ex-cop and current gun owner Val Demings. (Photo:

In advance of the upcoming elections, the women’s magazine Marie Claire got a look inside the purses of several prominent female candidates for their “Running in Heels” feature. Based on their findings, iPads and other Apple gear are must-have accessories on the campaign trail, but a few of the women in the article apparently tote less standard fare including one candidate with a heavy energy drink habit and another who’s packing heat.

New Mexico Senate candidate Heather Wilson, Hawaii congressional hopeful Tulsi Gabbard and Connecticut Senate candidate Linda McMahon said iPads were among the essentials in their purses. Elizabeth Warren, who is running for Senate in Massachusetts, noted she carries a “backpack” rather than a purse and said she brings around an iPod rather than a tablet.

In addition to the iPad, Ms. Wilson said she has an “iPhone, credit card, PowerBars and Rockstar Lemonade” in her “small Coach briefcase.” Ms. Gabbard opts for something far more mellow than energy drinks to go along with her tablet. She revealed her purse is also stocked with “meditation beads,” a hairbrush and, of course, “campaign brochures.”

Locally, Queens Assemblywoman Grace Meng was featured in a separate sidebar that covered her daily routine, but didn’t reveal what’s inside her bag. We reached out to Ms. Meng’s campaign and found the contents of her purse contents include,  baby wipes, Fresh brand lip gloss, flats, a Kellogg’s cereal bar, and an iPhone.

For her part, Illinois congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth is clearly quite proud of her bag, which is a vintage store find.

“I have a fabulous vintage hot-pink purse I got for $10. It fits my speeches, netbook, Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer in Rhubarb, and Sephora Minimergency Kit,” reported Ms. Duckworth.

Tammy Baldwin, who is running for Senate in Wisconsin, said her bad holds “only the essentials.”

“I keep my purse small so my male staff aren’t embarrassed if they have to hold it for me.”

By far, the most interesting find was in the purse of Democratic Florida congressional candidate and former Orlando police chief Val Demings, who is apparently armed out on the campaign trail.

“I carry a 9-millimeter gun in my Dooney & Bourke that was a gift when I retired from the police department,” she said.

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Marie Claire Peeks Into Candidates’ Purses, Finds iPads and a Gun