Get to Know Our 2018 Endorsed Women
- Georgia is tied with Maine for the most Democratic women candidates – 91 – on any November ballot nationwide!
- Further, Georgia’s WIN List has the most endorsed women candidates for all Southern states by far.
- Only Georgia and Indiana have Democratic women at the top of the ticket as nominees for both Governor and Lt. Governor.
- With three additional women on the statewide ballot, Georgia is also in the top tier nationwide for women seeking statewide office.
Candidates & Priorities:
The slate of 31 legislative candidates is the largest, most diverse and best-educated WIN List has ever fielded. The women get along well together as they make joint appearances in overlapping districts. They are campaigning harder than any slate of candidates ever fielded in the past. Many candidates running in Cobb, North Fulton and Gwinnett Counties got their first introduction to politics as enthusiastic volunteers and precinct captains for the Jon Ossoff 2017 campaign.
The top two legislative priorities are to protect Senator Jen Jordan and Rep. Deborah Gonzalez who flipped two seats from red to blue during the 2017 special elections. Both women surpassed expectations during their first year of service and it is absolutely our top priority to re-elect both Jen and Deborah to their first full term. Both face well-funded GOP opponents, but have been effective fundraisers and have strong ground games with a strong team of volunteers.
Sandra Workman (SD-1): She has a strong group of Savannah volunteers and great community connections due to her involvement with Georgia coast conservation groups. She has a solid corporate business resume which includes high-ranking positions with companies like Time Warner, Home Depot and Deloitte Consulting. She hopes to unseat Ben Watson who serves as Chair of the Senate Veterans Committee.
Senator Jen Jordan (SD-6): Jordan grew up in middle Georgia and is the product of a public school education. She received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Georgia. Her victory in the 2017 special election deprived the Senate GOP of their supermajority, a fact she found herself needing to remind GOP lawmakers during the 2018 General Session. She is a gifted trial attorney and a brilliant, fierce and fearless advocate for women. Prior to her election, there had been only one woman attorney in the Senate. Her Senate seat is the highest priority for protection.
Phyllis Hatcher (SD-17): She continued her campaign after losing in the January 2018 special election for this Henry County seat which also includes portions of Newton and Rockdale counties. Recent Democratic performance for the district is good and her experience as a minister makes her a natural for connecting with voters.
Christine Triebsch (SD-32): Christine is a family law attorney in Cobb County and energetic campaigner with strong grassroots support and a Jon Ossoff endorsement. Christine won 42% of the vote for this seat during the 2017 special elections. She lost to Dr. Kay Kirkpatrick, a retired hand surgeon, and is challenging her again for this historically red seat in Cobb County. While Christine has been outspent, she has an incredibly strong ground game to level the odds.
Sally Harrell (SD-40): Sally must defeat incumbent Fran Millar, who has a “crusty and cantankerous” personality and is prone to verbal gaffes which make for great campaign literature and ads. He is chair of the Higher Education Committee and Secretary of the powerful Rules Committee. Winning this seat is a particular “GOP gut-punch” because the district was specifically drawn to give the GOP more clout since the person who holds this seat is a member of the all-important DeKalb, City of Atlanta, Fulton County AND Gwinnett County delegations. Thus, flipping this seat to blue is a real push-back GOP Gerrymandering power grabs. Sally served three terms as a house member more than a decade ago and has a strong plan for victory. She’s been endorsed by President Barack Obama.
Zahra Karinshak (SD-48): She is a “Top Gun” candidate in every way. She has raised more than $200,000 and has the most amazing resume for any legislative candidate: USAFA graduate, Air Force combat pilot and military intelligence service, honors graduate from Emory Law School, former federal prosecutor, Deputy General Counsel for Governor Roy Barnes and most recently a distinguished trial attorney. The daughter of an Iranian immigrant, she talks eloquently about her family relying on food stamps when she was young. She is a shoo-in for this open Gwinnett seat (vacated by David Schaefer who ran for Lt. Governor and lost.) It is a diverse district which appreciates her background as the daughter of an Iranian immigrant. Elena Parent was the only female attorney in the Senate before Jen’s election last fall. Adding Zahra to the mix will make for a very powerful “legal” voice in the Senate on the progressive side. Zahra has also been endorsed by President Barack Obama.
Marisue Hilliard (SD-46) and Dawn Johnson (SD-47): Athens Area candidates offer the opportunity for pick-ups in the Senate. Their campaigns are taking advantage of the newly energized progressive community in Athens after activists worked hard to flip the House seats now held by Deborah Gonzalez and Jonathan Wallace during 2017 special elections. A group of 50 and sometimes more volunteers canvass on weekends. The progressive community is highly energized after “flipping” both the county commission and school board during non-partisan primary elections in May.
Marisue had a distinguished career with the US Forest Service, with her last posting at the Asheville office, where who oversaw a management of 2.1 million acres of land, a workforce of 150 and an annual budget of $20 million.
Dawn has a long career of work and advocacy in the field of developmental disabilities. The energetic grassroots campaigns on behalf of both these women could very well surprise established political pundits with a WIN. A victory for Marisue means defeat for the Senate Majority Leader, who is also the brother-in-law of GOP Gubernatorial nominee Brian Kemp. Both married the daughters of a former Democratic state representative for the Athens area.
Ellyn Jeager (SD-56): Ellyn has a strong campaign team and her years of experience as an advocate make her a “star” at candidate forums. She hopes to unseat John Albers, a GOP incumbent since 2010 who serves as chair of the Public Safety Committee and as Vice Chair of the Finance Committee. Her experience with mental health issues would be a real asset in the General Assembly because she has been an advocate on those issues under the Gold Dome for more than two decades.
Jen Slipakoff (HD-36): In some ways, Jen “WON” qualifying week when 30-year Incumbent Earl Ehrhart decided to retire after Jen reported raising $65,000 on her first disclosure report. Jen now faces Earl’s wife Ginny Erhart for the seat. Jen has surpassed $100,000 in fundraising and is one of the most energetic campaigners of all the women running. She has a strong chance to pull off a huge upset on election night which would mirror the upset which swept Ehrhart into office as the first Republican to win in Cobb County.
Mary Frances Williams (HD-37): She is a strong favorite to win this district which happens to be the same one served by her father in the legislature and as Marietta Mayor. The current GOP Marietta Mayor has endorsed Mary Frances as well as Governor Roy Barnes and Buddy Darden. Sam Nunn also sent an endorsement letter as Mary Frances was once an intern for him. Mary Frances has been a long-time advocate for progressive causes and knows her way around the Capitol AND the state budget.
Luisa Wakeman (HD-43): Luisa is a successful fundraiser and energetic campaigner. She has the support of her fellow Delta flight attendants and strong support from community leaders she has worked beside. She and her husband raised two children in the East Cobb district. She is the daughter of immigrants and her Dutch grandparents were a part of the resistance to Nazi tyranny as part of the underground movement.
Essence Johnson (HD-45): Essence hopes to unseat GOP incumbent Matt Dollar, who holds the distinction of becoming the youngest committee chair in Georgia House history. She is a human resources consultant, wife, and mother who campaigned hard for Jon Ossoff in 2017.
Karin Sandiford (HD-46): She was born in Brazil as the daughter of missionaries. She became a United States citizen 25 years ago and is the mother of four children. She has utilized her Emory MBA as a consultant in the high tech field and recently accepting a job at Google.
Mary Robichaux (HD-48): Mary is running against Betty Price, the wife of disgraced HHS Secretary Tom Price who is not well liked in the district. Mary counters the prickly Price personality with her own calm demeanor, deep knowledge of the medical issues important to the district and a robust, well-funded campaign.
Angelika Kausche (HD-50): Angelika was born in Germany and well remembers the lessons of the Nazi regime in her homeland. She is a former college professor who became a United States citizen in 2011. Her district has one of the highest percentages of naturalized citizens in the state and is seen as highly “flippable.”
Shea Roberts (HD-52): Shea has successfully raised a great deal of trial lawyer money and has turned up the heat in this Sandy Springs district which has a highly “flippable” voting population based on past performance. The female incumbent is not particularly strong on constituent services and is vulnerable.
Betsy Holland (HD-54): Betsy defeated two men in the Democratic Primary and is a favorite to defeat Beth Beskin whose voting record leaves her vulnerable in this Buckhead district. A Turner Broadcasting executive, Betsy is a polished and eloquent campaigner and is “in it to WIN it” based on her impressive fundraising efforts.
Gwinnett County is now a majority-minority county and 2018 is the year to turn the county blue. The gerrymandered maps no longer offer the level of protection they once did as this county’s demographics have dramatically shifted. The Democratic party is fired up and solidly behind these women candidates:
Beth Moore (HD-95): Beth is an entertainment lawyer is a strong favorite for this district where she grew up. She and her husband, a Republican, met in college when both appeared on a television show to discuss party preferences amongst young voters during the Obama 2008 campaign.
Aisha Yaqoob (HD-97): Aisha is the first Muslim woman to seek a legislative seat. She has raised close to $100,000 and overwhelmingly defeated her primary challenger. The DPI for this district is not the most promising, but her energetic campaign style and loyal fan base make up for those numbers.
Donna McLeod (HD-105): Donna ran for this seat in 2016 and came within 300 votes of winning even though the district has been specifically redrawn the hear before to favor incumbent Joyce Chandler. Donna never stopped campaigning after the 2016 loss and her strong ground game is sure to make up that 300 vote deficit in November. She is a brilliant chemical engineer who became a United States citizen about five years ago. She’s been endorsed by President Barack Obama.
Shelly Hutchinson (HD-107): Shelly is one of the Georgia races where former President Obama made an endorsement. She is a social worker by trade but has been honored by UGA for her business acumen due to the fast growth of an agency she founded to provides mental health services to children and adults covered by Medicaid/Medicare.
Dr. Jasmine Clark (HD-108): Jasmine is a Ph.D. Epidemiologist who chaired the 2017 Atlanta Science March and described herself as a “mad scientist” after the 2016 election returns. HD 108 is one of the most “flippable” districts and she is running a very “smart” campaign, as one might expect!
Regina Lewis-Ward (HD-109): Regina is a strong candidate for this district which includes Henry, Newton, and Rockdale counties. She has a long career in public administration and has served as a member of the Stockbridge City Council.
Jessica Walden (HD-144): Jessica, the daughter of Rock and Roll royalty, is carving a place for herself in the “heart” of Georgia with her strong grassroots campaign. She was the top candidate in a four-person primary race and then won the runoff. During fall campaign appearances, Jessica’s sparkling personality, warmth, and energy is a sharp contrast to the persona of the aging funeral home director who is the Republican nominee.
Joyce Barlow (HD-151): Joyce is the candidate the “powers that be” in Randolph County were trying to protect 36-year incumbent Gerald Greene from with their recent proposal to close seven of nine voting precincts. Joyce is a highly successful businesswoman who owns a home health services company serving the majority of the district. She has been a community leader for decades and has Greene and the GOP running scared. She needs fundraising help but can pull this victory off.
CaMia Hopson (HD-153): CaMia has already defeated a sitting Democratic incumbent for this Albany house seat. She is a “shoo-in” favorite to defeat the GOP challenger. With her record of business experience, she will be a strong leader for the area. She also has strong business ties to the local military base, a major employer in the area.
Twitty Titus (HD-173) and Dr. Treva Gear (HD-175): Both candidates running in solid red districts. Treva is a former Lowndes County Teacher of the Year and has a Ph.D. in Education while Twitty is the daughter of a former Republican legislator.
Julie Jordan (HD-179): Julie may well be on track for the rural Georgia “upset of the year” on election night. An educator and long-time activist for environmental causes, she has the support of Georgia Equality and a strong band of “resistance” women who are actively campaigning and hosting house parties. The team has already knocked on 14,000 doors!