Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger (Va.), Elaine Luria (Va.), Mikie Sherrill (N.J.), Chrissy Houlahan (Penn.) and Elissa Slotkin (Mich.) […] make up a record number of women veterans and service members elected to Congress in 2018. They forged a bond given their backgrounds -- ranging from military to CIA and Pentagon-- which carried over to their new gigs on Capitol Hill. Now, they're formalizing their relationship — through fundraising. The lawmakers are launching a first-of-its-kind joint fundraising effort — dubbed the Service First Women’s Victory Fund.
Five freshmen female Democrats—Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania, Abigail Spanberger and Elaine Luria of Virginia, Mikie Sherrill of New Jersey and Elissa Slotkin of Michigan—have teamed up to help make sure their center-left voices don’t vanish from a Congress that has become more polarized in each of the past few elections.
The small group of lawmakers has formed a joint fundraising committee—Service First Women’s Victory Fund—a practice used in Washington to pool and grow candidates’ resources for the campaign trail while sharing the costs. It’s a cohesiveness that will not only aide in re-election bids, they argue, but will also be used as a motivator for future women candidates with parallel backgrounds to run for office and to establish similar coalitions.
“There’s been an overwhelming focus on a small number of members in our caucus who did not flip seats, who did not help win the House, who are doing what is right for their districts, but who don’t represent our districts, or at least my district,” Slotkin said at a Friday breakfast with a small group of reporters.
All five flipped seats previously held by Republicans last fall, helping Democrats retake the House. Now they’re banding together to help each other fundraise to hold on to those seats in 2020.
[Reps Elissa Slotkin (D-Mi.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.)] 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.