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EMILY’s List candidates: Here come women voters

The “pink wave” is coming, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham vowed Friday, as the national Democratic women’s group EMILY’s List introduced her and six endorsed congressional candidates before Tuesday’s primary elections.

The seven Democratic women candidates took varying degrees of explicitly expressing gender politics during a telephone press conference sponsored by EMILY’s List Friday. However, most of them sought to stress intuitive connections between Democratic positions on such things as abortion, health care, gun laws, and the environment, with concerns held by women of all parties.

Graham predicted a larger than traditional women voter turnout both for the primary and for the Nov. 6 election.

“I don’t just see a blue wave coming off our shores. I see a pink wave. And it is coming,” declared Graham, who faces four men in Tuesday’s Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“I really feel that message and frankly the women candidates are pulling in voters that will help us win,” said Nancy Soderberg, in the Democratic primary to run for Florida’s 6th Congressional District.

“I think on Tuesday and in November we are going to prove that when women run, women win,” said U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy, who’s seeking re-election and faces a primary challenge Tuesday night.

“I’m so excited for the endless possibilities of what we can get done if all of us women in Florida can come together in Congress and achieve so much after November,” said Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, who’s in a primary to run for Florida’s 26th Congressional District.

EMILY’s list has raised more than $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates, backing them with direct contributions, in-kind support, and soliciting for them. In addition to Graham, Soderberg, Murphy, and Mucarsel-Powell, the candidates on Friday’s call included Kristen Carlson, running in Florida’s 15th Congressional District; Mary Barzee Flores, who’s running in Florida’s 25th Congressional District; and Donna Shalala, who’s running in Florida’s 27th Congressional District.

Graham went first and set the tone, predicting a big women voters turnout.

“In a traditional year women are over 60 percent of a Democratic primary; I expect it to be even higher this year… and that’s what we’re seeing in the returns from early voting and absentee voting,” Graham said.

“Not only are we going to win on Tuesday, but I just know this: we’re going to win over independent and Republican women in the general, who’ve had enough,” Graham continued. “I hear it every day. They’ve had enough of the attacks on our public schools, and the attempts to privatize our public schools. they want to protect Florida’s environment, and protect our clean water, and they don’t want to see our health care rights restricted.”

Written By

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at scott@floridapolitics.com.

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