Republican abortion bills inspire EMILY’s List targeting effort

womens march 01.21.17
'Our job will be to keep on pushing folks to focus on these legislative seats'

EMILY’s List is launching a new $20 million campaign to support pro-abortion choice Democratic women for state and local offices in the 2020 elections including in Florida, partly in response to the wave of anti-abortion bills in state legislatures this year, the group announced Tuesday.

Florida is one of 20 states the organization will be focusing on in the upcoming elections, recruiting, coaching and supporting Democratic women with pro-abortion choice platforms toward the goal of flipping at least one legislative chamber, in a new program called Focus 2020, the group declared Tuesday.

“As we went through the list of states, what we’ll be doing is we’ve already got staff and we’ll be adding additional staff on the ground, recruiting challengers to pick up opportunities, as well as working with incumbents who are in challenging districts to hold seats,” said said Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List.

She and others from the organization did not go into specifics, saying that in some cases the group plans to make direct contributions to candidates, in other cases to caucuses or partner groups. State-by-state decisions on money and other resources will be made closer to the elections.

Focus 2020 will target more than 500 state legislative races with a particular focus on flipping chambers where state legislatures have a direct impact on redistricting. In addition to Florida, EMILY’s List will be focusing on flipping at least one legislative chamber in Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

“I do worry there will be a lot of resources at the top of the ballot, a lot of presidential activity. And our job will be to keep on pushing folks to focus on these legislative seats, particularly, before the redistricting in 2021,” Schriock said.

Schriock made a point of noting the wave of abortion bills across the country, including in nine states that significantly restricted access to abortions. She said the group is looking specifically at states where abortion bans are in play, but also looking at states that will be critical to the 2020 presidential election, seeking to take advantage of large voter turnouts.

“We believe we should recruit broadly, get as many good, Democratic, pro-choice women in potential opportunities. Go wide here,” she said. “I believe we will be looking at historic turnout. I really do. I think that we will see turnout that we’ve never seen before …. And in that environment, a lot of things can happen.”

Scott Powers

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 [email protected].


  • gary

    July 5, 2019 at 6:07 pm

    Democrats are disgusting.

  • Keith Chadwick

    July 7, 2019 at 8:21 am

    Voters who value human life it is time to encourage all young voters to in your family to stand up and vote.

    In our state of Florida you are fined large money for disrupting a turtle nest. You can’t dig a channel in low tide water where sea grass is growing. Though they (those who encourage the culture of death) want to make sure you can end a growing human life. Then they will push for government funding to end human life. Then they will push for government funding to shut those who value human life up. Stand now or forever stand silent.

    • Barbara Cady

      July 12, 2019 at 1:21 pm

      Are you aware that the children in Florida rank in the bottom third of the nation’s children in all areas of wellbeing?

      Perhaps when we have a system of government that actually values the children that are living and breathing on their own there will be less need for abortions. You people aren’t pro life, your pro control of women’s reproductive rights, but you want nothing to do with the child once it is born. Hypocrites!

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