A coalition of female freshman lawmakers aims to support female Democratic veterans running for office, according to The New York Times.
The group, called the Service First Women’s Victory Fund, aims to fundraise for new female Democratic candidates with backgrounds in national security and the military as well as develop a policy forums to highlight current officeholders.
Ten new members of Congress sworn in this year are veterans of the military or intelligence agencies and all of them defeated Republicans in 2018. Female freshmen have also bucked tradition by helping one another’s campaigns, according to the Times.
"It’s not like half of us were running in really blue districts,” Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), who served at both the CIA and the Defense Department, told the newspaper. “We were all doing something that was really difficult. Other party officials, other members of our staff, said, ‘You don’t share your donors.’ ”
“People were struck by our stories during the campaign,” Rep. Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), a former CIA officer who flipped a Republican seat in the suburbs of Richmond in 2018, told the Times. “We want to be part of encouraging other people running.”
The two join several others including Navy vet Rep. Elaine Luria (D-Va.) and Air Force officer Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-Pa.). The Fund will collaborate with the bipartisan organization New Politics, which recruits candidates with backgrounds in intelligence, the military and national service programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps. New Politics raised $7 million for candidates in 2018. In late April, another female veteran announced her candidacy: MJ Hegar, an Air Force veteran who narrowly lost to Rep. John Carter (R-Texas) last year, has announced she will challenge Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) in 2020.