Emerge America 2014 Election Newsletter

  • Dec 12, 2014
  • maya

Letter from the President:

Dear Friends,

It has been an incredible year at Emerge America. Despite heavy Democratic losses in November, 54% of the Emerge women running in the general election won their races. We had a total of 257 women run for office throughout the year, our largest number yet! Many of our candidates took on extremely difficult races, challenging popular Republican incumbents. For the first time ever, Emerge had alumnae on the federal general election ballot—five women running for the United States Congress and one for the Senate. While none of them were successful, they waged brave fights against insurmountable odds and are well-poised to run again. We are extremely proud of the campaigns they ran and the fact that they gave entrenched Republicans a run for their money.

The outcomes of this election confirmed that Democratic success in the next cycle will depend on how we build our backbench. It is the women at the state and local level—the ones running for state legislature, judgeships, and local offices—that are critical to the future of our political party and its ideals. After bringing together staff and board members from our 14 states to strategize and share best practices at our annual convening in Washington, DC last month, we feel completely empowered and ready for 2015, 2016, and beyond. At Emerge America, we have refined a model that is clearly working—but now we need to deepen our work in our existing states and expand our program into pivotal swing states. With your help and support, we can bring our premier training to new regions and stack the bench with qualified and trained candidates.

Our nation will be stronger when women have equal representation at all levels of government.

Thank you for your continued support.


Andrea Dew Steele
President & Founder


2014 Higlights:

  • Libby Schaaf (Emerge California, Class of 2009) became our first alumna to be elected mayor of a major city with her victorious campaign for Oakland mayor
  • 12 Emerge alumnae were elected to the Maine House, and Sara Gideon (Emerge Maine, Class of 2012) was elected assistant House majority leader
  • Emerge Arizona Executive Director Katie Hobbs (Emerge Arizona, Class of 2004) was elected Democratic leader of the state Senate
  • Lori Droste (Emerge California, Class of 2013) won her race for Berkeley City Council by 16 votes, and will be the first openly gay woman to serve on the council
  • Kiah Morris (Emerge Vermont, Class of 2014) became the first African-American woman elected to the Vermont House in 25 years
  • Emerge Kentucky graduates helped to keep the legislature purple, making it the only Democrat-controlled House in the South
  • Emerge Oregon now has 7 alumnae serving in the state House and in 4 of the 8 Democratic House leadership positions
  • Judge Barbara Vigil (Emerge New Mexico, Class of 2012) was elected chief justice of the New Mexico supreme court 
  • In a speech announcing his executive action on immigration in November, President Obama shared the inspirational story of political activist Astrid Silva (Emerge Nevada, Class of 2013)

Full List of 2014 Emerge Winners:

Emerge Arizona
Andrea Dalessandro – State House, District 2
Katie Hobbs – State Senate, District 24
Angela LeFevre – Sedona City Council
Katie Paetz – Osborn Elementary School District School Board
Stephanie Parra – Phoenix Union High School District School Board
Laura Pastor – Phoenix City Council and Phoenix Union High School District School Board
Ceci Velasquez – State House, District 29

Emerge California
Amy Bacharach – San Francisco City College Board
Tonya Burke – Perris City Council
Malia Cohen – San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Brigette Davila – San Francisco City College Board
Dana Dean – Solano County Board of Education
Lori Droste – Berkeley City Council
Teddy Gray King – Piedmont City Council
Darcie Green – Santa Clara Board of Education
Kirsten Keith – Menlo Park City Council
Anne Kepner – West Valley-Mission Community College District Board
Sara Lamnin – Hayward City Council
Jodi Muirhead – Santa Clara Unified School District Board
Emily Murase – San Francisco School Board
Belia Ramos Bennett – American Canyon City Council
Jessie Ryan – Sacramento School Board
Nelani Sallings – Santa Clara School Board
Libby Schaaf – Oakland Mayor
Thea Selby – San Francisco City College Board

Emerge Colorado
Jessie Danielson – State House, District 24
Monica Duran – Wheat Ridge Fire Protection District
Daneya Esgar – State House, District 46
Patricia Shaver – Cunningham Fire Protection District
Faith Winter – State House, District 35

Emerge Kentucky
Denise Brown – Judge, Jefferson County Family Court
Chrysanthia Carr-Seals – Fayette County Magistrate, District 3
Beverly Chester-Burton – Shively City Council
Tabatha Clemons – Grant County Clerk
Anne Delahanty – Judge, Jefferson County District Court
Debbie Donnelly – Hardin County Clerk
Angela Evans – Fayette Urban County Council, District 6
Rachel Foster – Daviess County PVA
Tara Hagerty – Judge, Jefferson County Family Court
Rita Smart – State House, District 81
Jackie Weather – Elkton Mayor
Kelly Whitaker – Graves County School Board

Emerge Maine
Roberta Beavers – State House, District 148
Heidi Brooks – State House, District 61
Christine Burstein – State House, District 96
Dana Bushee – Waterville City Council
Matthea Daughtry – State House, District 66
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Dickerson – State House, District 47
Kristina Egan – Freeport Town Council
Sara Gideon – State House, District 106
Denise Harlow – State House, District 36
Stephanie Hatzenbuehler – Portland School Board
Erin Herbig – State House, District 43
Maeghan Maloney – Kennebec and Somerset Counties District Attorney
Diane Russell – State House, District 120
Denise Tepler – State House, District 60
Charlotte Warren – State House, District 84

Emerge Maryland
Angela Angel – House of Delegates, District 25
Betsy Bury – Democratic Central Committee, Anne Arundel County
Wendy Cohen – Democratic Central Committee, Montgomery County
Candace Dodson-Reed – Democratic Central Committee, Howard County
Natalia Farrar – Democratic Central Committee, Montgomery County
Jessica Fitzwater – Frederick County Council, District 4
Mimi Hassanein – Democratic Central Committee, Montgomery County
Ashley Heffernan – Democratic Central Committee, Anne Arundel County
Abby Hendrix – Democratic Central Committee, Howard County
Brooke Lierman – House of Delegates, District 46
LaRhonda Owens – Democratic Central Committee, Prince George’s County
Nicole Williams – Democratic Central Committee, Prince George’s County

Emerge Massachusetts
Michelle Badger – Plymouth School Board
Christine Barber – State House, 34th Middlesex District
Michelle Ciccolo – Lexington Board of Selectmen
Claire Cronin – State House, 11th Plymouth District
Diana DiZoglio – State House, 14th Essex District
Eileen Duff – Governor’s Council, 5th District
Sarah Etelman – South Hadley Board of Selectmen
Hillary Hoffman – Greenfield City Council

Emerge Nevada
Irene Bustamante Adams – State Assembly, District 42
Nancy Allf – Clark County District Court Judge
Kathleen Delaney – Clark County District Court Judge
Lynn Goya – Clark County Clerk
Kitty Jung – Washoe County Commissioner
Marilyn Kirkpatrick – State Assembly, District 1
Joanna Kishner – Clark County District Court Judge
Susan Scann – Clark County District Court Judge
Michele Shafe – Clark County Assessor
Ellen Spiegel – State Assembly, District 20
Gloria Sturman – Clark County District Court Judge

Emerge New Jersey
Diane L. Murray – Hillside Township At Large Council Council
Britnee Timberlake – Freeholders At Large, District 3

Emerge New Mexico
Christina Argyres – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Court
Deborah Armstrong – State House, District 17
Shannon Bacon – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Court
Beatrice Brickhouse – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Court
Patricia Roybal Caballero – State House, District 13
Guadalupe Cano – Silver City Town Councilor
Rosemary Cosgrove Aguilar – Judge, Bernalillo County Metro Court
Cheryl Everman – Democratic Central Committee, Talbot County
Nancy Franchini – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Court
Stephanie Garcia Richard – State House, District 43
Tanya Giddings – Bernalillo County Assessor
Sylvia LaMar – Judge, 1st Judicial District
Georgene Louis – State House, District 26
Willow Misty Parks – Judge, Bernalillo County Probate Court
Doreen W. Johnson – State House, District 5
Marie Ward – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Children’s Court
Courtney Weaks – Judge, 2nd Judicial District Metro Court

Emerge Oregon
Shirley Craddick – Metro Commissioner
Shemia Fagan – State House, District 51
Val Hoyle – State House, District 14
Alissa Keny-Guyer – State House, District 46
Ann Lininger – State House, District 38
Kathleen Taylor – State House, District 41
Jessica Vega Pederson – State House, District 47
Jennifer Williamson – State House, District 38

Emerge Vermont
Rebecca Balint – State Senate, Windham County
Kiah Morris – State House, Bennington District 2-2

Emerge Virginia
Sheila Olem – Herndon Town Council

Emerge Wisconsin
Julie Allen – Lincoln County Supervisor, District 19
Annette Ashley – Middleton-Cross Plains Areas District School Board
Carousel Andrea Bayrd – Dane County Supervisor, District 8
Carol Beals – Grant County Supervisor, District 13
Jill Billings – State Assembly, District 95
Leah Blough – Kenosha County Supervisor, District 12
Jenni Dye – Dane County Supervisor, District 33
Jacki Gackstatter – Rock County Clerk of Courts
Dianne Hesselbein – State Assembly, District 79
Tara Johnson – La Crosse County Board, District 29
La Tonya Johnson – State Assembly, District 17
Mary Kolar – Dane County Supervisor, District 1
Melissa Sargent – State Assembly, District 48
Judy Smriga – Clark County Supervisor, District 7
Lisa Subeck – State Assembly, District 78
JoCasta Zamarripa – State Assembly, District 8