February 10, 2017
ELLE: EMILY's List Endorses 9 Senators Up for Reelection in 2018
By, Mattie Kahn
Sens. Claire McCaskill, Debbie Stabenow, and Tammy Baldwin will all run in states that voted for Trump in 2016.
It's become hard to envision where we as a nation will be next month, much less to plan for an election that feels like it's centuries away. But EMILY's List hasn't helped elect scores of pro-choice progressive women by sitting around agonizing. They've won by staying the course, by laying the groundwork for victory, by persisting.
This morning, the organization is announcing its endorsement of nine Democratic women senators who are up for reelection in 2018: Senators Tammy Baldwin (WI), Maria Cantwell (WA), Dianne Feinstein (CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (NY), Mazie Hirono (HI), Amy Klobuchar (MN), Claire McCaskill (MO), Debbie Stabenow (MI), and Elizabeth Warren (MA). The women make up over 50 percent of the Democratic women in the Senate—nine out of 16 total—critical voices in a legislative body that seems hell-bent on degrading women.
EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock said in a statement that the organization "is proud" to support "our hardworking senators who have dedicated their lives to enacting legislation that empowers and protects American women and families. After seeing the lengths Donald Trump and his administration are willing to go to roll back women's rights, trample on our constitutional principles, and put our core American values at risk, we need these Democratic women in the Senate now more than ever."
But these races are going to be hard: McCaskill, Stabenow, and Baldwin are all running in states that went for Trump in 2016. Klobuchar is up for reelection in Minnesota, which, despite some of the excellent women voters elected at the local level, came close. Warren and Gillibrand have mounted some of the fiercest oppositions to administrative overreach in only the past few weeks; we can't afford to lose them. Here, meet the nine women who (already) want your vote in 2018.
Senator Tammy Baldwin (WI)
Baldwin broke barriers in 2012, becoming the first woman ever to serve in the U.S. Senate from Wisconsin and the first openly gay senator. She's used her platform to support a slate of progressive causes, but has been especially outspoken on health care access. Baldwin spearheaded provisions in the Affordable Care Act that allow young people to stay on their parents' insurance until they're 26 and sponsored a bill to provide better health care services to children in foster care.
Senator Maria Cantwell (WA)
If elected, Cantwell will embark on her fourth term in the Senate in 2018. During her tenure in the capital, she's pioneered climate change legislation and chaired the Indian Affairs Committee. "Washington's families, businesses, and communities are likely to incur billions of dollars of annual economic costs due to climate change," she said in 2014. "This will include increased energy costs, wildfire costs, storm damage, and public health costs." Cantwell has been pushing for laws to address the crisis for more than a decade. The Sierra Club, a conservation organization, was so appreciative of her attention to the issue that it launched a statewide ad campaign to thank her in 2015.
Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
Feinstein was first elected to Senate in 1992. And if her last race is any indication, her star is only rising. In 2012, she won more votes than any previous candidate in U.S. Senate history. She's a fierce advocate for the health and safety of her constituents, backing the Affordable Care Act, fighting for better access to reproductive health care, and introducing the Assault Weapons Ban. "I remember what it was like before Roe v. Wade," Feinstein said in a statement to EMILY's List. "I know the measures women went to, often on their own, to make decisions regarding their health and future. I know how dangerous it was and I will not allow us to return to those times."
Senator Mazie Hirono (HI)
In 2012, Hirono won a seat in the Senate, becoming the first Asian American woman, immigrant, and Buddhist to serve in the chamber. She was the first woman to ever represent Hawaii in the Senate. She has fought for women and immigrants since her election and has been a vocal critic of Trump's comments on immigration both during the race and now.
In 2013, she published an opinion piece on the Huffington Post explaining why issues of immigration and citizenship are so close to her:
"When I was almost eight years old, my mother courageously brought my brother and me from Japan to Hawaii to flee my father, a compulsive gambler and alcoholic," she wrote. "Every immigrant has his or her own reason for coming to the United States—but all of us, like my mother, my brother, and me, come here hoping for a better life. And I want to make sure that other families have that same opportunity."
Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN)
Klobuchar was elected to the Senate in 2006, making her the first woman to ever represent Minnesota in the Senate. Klobuchar has not only stood up for her principles and convictions, but also succeeded in convincing even collaboration-averse colleagues to work with and support her. The Medill News Service ranked her first out of all 100 senators in sponsoring or cosponsoring bills that were enacted into law in the 114th Congress.
"Our challenge is to use the different views and experiences we bring into government to make change for the better," Klobuchar said in a statement to EMILY's List. A little louder, Amy! For the cheap seats in the GOP.
Senator Claire McCaskill (MO)
McCaskill, now elected to Senate twice and not only for her stellar social media presence, has been a champion for veterans and public-school-educated children, two particularly important populations to protect under our current administration. She wrote a book titled Plenty Ladylike and once live-tweeted her entire jury duty experience: an exemplary citizen.
Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI)
Stabenow is up for reelection for the third time in 2018, having successfully served three terms in the Senate. Since the election, she's become a kind of spokesperson for the Democratic Party, emphasizing its path forward and her support for the middle class. "[W]e need an economy that works for everybody," she said in an interview with NPR. "And that means that everybody trying to hold onto the middle class or get in the middle class has got to know that their lives are going to improve. I don't think we have a middle class or an economy unless we make things and grow things, so that's where I focus. And we're going to be laser-focused on communicating with folks what it is we are working on and standing up for. And we're going to fight for them."
Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)
I mean, where do we start? Warren was first elected to serve in the Senate in 2012. She has used her office to fight for the people—for consumer protection, for black lives, for women, for minorities, for the middle class. She has stood up to Wall Street and a GOP-led Congress. And just this week, she gave women everywhere an 11-word anthem.
After Sen. Mitch McConnell silenced Warren on the floor of the Senate for her attempt to read a letter by the late Coretta Scott King to voice her opposition to Sen. Jeff Sessions, "Republicans," CNN reasoned, "just handed the liberal firebrand a megaphone—further elevating President Donald Trump's fiercest and most prominent critic in the Senate and turning her into a Democratic hero."
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
After Hillary Clinton vacated her Senate seat to be secretary of state in 2010, Gillibrand was elected to serve the remainder of her term. In 2012, she was elected to a full term in office. Since then, Gillibrand has worked to end sexual assault on campus, secure paid leave, protect women's right to reproductive health care, and remind her colleagues that progressives do not and cannot support unfit candidates for cabinet appointments.
"We're not just over a week into the new Congress, and Republicans have already made it clear that one of their most urgent priorities in the new year is destroying women's access to healthcare," she said in a statement to EMILY's List. "I'm disturbed by how little empathy there seems to be in Congress for the health and safety of millions of American women."
Luckily for us, she isn't going to take it.