Georgia WIN List announced the women who comprise the “Terrific Twelve,” the PAC’s first round of 2020 endorsed candidates during a Capitol press conference on December 5th, saying these women offer a strong and diverse set of 2020 Democratic candidates for down-ballot races and gives the party hope for FLIPping the Georgia House.
Our diverse group of endorsed women include: Kelly Rose, Kim Jackson, Sarah Beeson, Luisa Wakeman, Shea Roberts, Regina Lewis-Ward, Joyce Barlow, Julie Jordan, Mary Frances Williams, Mary Robichaux, Angelika Kausche, and Jasmine Clark.
These women provide a sharp contrast to Governor Brian Kemp’s United States Senate appointment of Atlanta businesswoman Kelly Loeffler. With his appointment, Governor Brian Kemp pinned Republican hopes for regaining the trust and votes of suburban Atlanta women on the shoulders of Loeffler, who in during her first public remarks said she was: “strongly pro-life” and also “I’m pro-Second Amendment, pro-military, pro-Wall, and pro-Trump.”
“Governor Kemp is trying to regain the support of the women voters who have drifted away from the Republican party. However, we know women do not vote on gender alone. Women are motivated to support candidates who reflect their values” said Melita Easters, executive director of Georgia WIN List, the state’s leading Political Action Committee focused on recruiting, training and electing Democratic women. “We strongly believe our 2020 endorsed candidates more accurately reflect the values of women voters who will be motivated by the messages they take door-to-door whether in the Atlanta suburbs or rural districts.”
Among the group of twelve are four legislators who FLIPped seats in 2018 and are targeted for protection in 2020, five women who came close to FLIPping seats in 2018 and have never abandoned their grassroots campaigns and three new candidates for Senate seats, two of them seats with a high propensity to FLIP from red to blue as part of Georgia’s predicted 2020 Blue Wave. The women include both suburban and rural candidates and their backgrounds reflect the state’s rich diversity, Easters said.
The five sitting legislators who FLIPped seats in 2018 and are at the top of the Georgia WIN List “protect” list are: HD 37 Mary Frances Williams of Marietta, HD 48 Mary Robichaux of Roswell, HD 50 Angelika Kausche of John’s Creek and HD 108 Jasmine Clarke, who represents a portion of Gwinnett County.
The three women seeking Senate seats are Kelly Rose, who is running for SD 17 which includes McDonough, Stockbridge and Covington and is currently represented by Bryan Strickland; Kim Jackson, who is running for SD 41 in DeKalb County, which is currently held by Minority Leader Steve Henson who is retiring; and Sarah Beeson, who is seeking the SD 56, the seat now held by John Albers in the North Fulton area which includes Sandy Springs, Roswell, Alpharetta and Johns Creek.
The remaining five women among the early endorsed candidates were WIN List endorsed in 2018 and all tallied more votes than the expected Democratic performance in contests against sitting Republicans. These women took inspiration from Rep. Donna McLeod and never really suspended their campaigns, continuing to appear at community meetings and serve as active advocates for the issues they care deeply about. In 2016, McLeod, lost her race by 312 votes and in 2018, she won the seat with a more than 4,000 vote margin. “Donna McLeod proved persistence pays in electoral politics and we are thrilled to have such strong candidates willing to run for the second time,” Easters said.
The endorsed candidates who are running again include: Luisa Wakeman, who lost HD 43 by only 818 votes in 2018 as she ran against a Republican woman committee chair; Shea Roberts, who is running for HD 52 in Sandy Springs; Regina Lewis Ward, who is running for HD 109 in McDonough and Stockbridge; Joyce Barlow who is running for HD 151, hoping to unseat a 36 year incumbent representing an 11-county area stretching between Albany and the outskirts of Columbus; and Julie Jordan, who is running for HD 169 in the Brunswick and St Simons area, hoping to unseat a two-term incumbent who had also served as a county commissioner.
“We are proud of our candidates who have demonstrated broad support with early fundraising efforts and have presented strong campaign plans to our candidate committee,” Easters said. “This group is the first wave endorsements we plan for the 2020 election cycle. The determination and persistent approach of the “Terrific Twelve” bodes well for the Blue Wave Georgia Democrats are hoping for in 2020. Past experience demonstrates strong women candidates give us the best opportunity for FLIPping seats and we look forward to seeing these twelve and other WIN endorsed women in the WINning Circle next November.”
# # #
For more information:
Amber Schreiner – 706-255-6651
Melita Easters – 404-408-9863