ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — More than 160 women who are elected officials or hold other leadership posts have written to New York's top elected officials, all men, urging them to enact public campaign financing.

Calling it "vital" to participation in politics by women in particular, they want Gov. Andrew Cuomo and legislative leaders to enact Cuomo's budget proposal for a campaign system like New York City's, with small donations matched by public funds. Signers include former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren.

The letter notes less than one-quarter of New York's legislative seats are held by women, while most states with public financing have a higher percentage of women legislators than the national average.