WASHINGTON — EMILY’s List will roll out its first congressional endorsements of the 2024 cycle Wednesday, backing 18 House incumbents whose races are expected to be crucial for determining control of the chamber.
The abortion rights group’s endorsements, shared first with CQ Roll Call, include Democrats from districts that President Joe Biden lost or would have lost in 2020, such as Mary Peltola of Alaska and Marie Gluesenkamp Pérez of Washington. Fifteen of the 18 lawmakers are on House Republicans’ target list for races they’re eyeing as a way to expand their majority.
EMILY’s List works to elect women Democrats who support abortion rights.
Abortion became a major issue in the 2022 midterm campaigns after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which had enshrined abortion rights nationwide since 1973. The issue may have helped Democrats stem a predicted red wave last cycle, and campaign operatives see it as a potentially salient issue again in next year’s races.
“As Republicans continue their assault on abortion access, reproductive rights will no doubt be on the ballot again this upcoming cycle,” said Danni Wang, deputy director of campaign communications for EMILY’s List. “These 18 seats will be vital to protect as we fight to take back our House majority.”
Democrats need to win a net of five seats to win the majority in 2024. Fourteen of the 18 Democrats whom EMILY’s List is endorsing are also on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s initial list of Frontline members, those the party considers most at risk in the 2024 elections.
“Rep. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez’s leadership in Washington’s 3rd Congressional District will mean that Washingtonians have a dedicated pro-choice champion representing them in Congress for years to come,” EMILY’s List President Laphonza Butler said in a statement. “EMILY’s List was proud to stand by Gluesenkamp Perez in her first campaign, and we are proud to endorse her once again as she seeks a second term.”
Of the Democrats on the NRCC’s target list, the campaign arm chairman this cycle, North Carolina Rep. Richard Hudson, said, “These House Democrats should be shaking in their boots.”
EMILY’s List, which takes its name from the acronym for “early money is like yeast,” helps its endorsed candidates with fundraising and staff support. EMILY’s List has an affiliated super PAC, too, called Women Vote! The organization spent $4.8 million on the 2022 elections, according to a roundup from OpenSecrets.com.
The group’s initial round of congressional endorsements also includes Reps. Yadira Caraveo of Colorado, Angie Craig of Minnesota, Sharice Davids of Kansas, Jahana Hayes of Connecticut, Emilia Sykes of Ohio, Susan Wild of Pennsylvania, Andrea Salinas of Oregon, Hillary Scholten of Michigan, Kim Schrier of Washington, Susie Lee of Nevada and Abigail Spanberger of Virginia. All of those members are targets of the National Republican Congressional Committee and are on the DCCC’s initial Frontline list.
EMILY’s List also endorsed two House members who aren’t on either the Frontline or NRCC target lists: Reps. Brittany Pettersen of Colorado and Lauren Underwood of Illinois.
In a news release, Butler said Underwood had “shattered ceilings and made history, becoming the first woman and first Black representative of Illinois’ 14th Congressional District and the youngest Black woman to ever serve in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
EMILY’s List also endorsed Reps. Val Hoyle of Oregon and Dina Titus of Nevada, who are NRCC targets but not Frontline members. Rep. Nikki Budzinski of Illinois also nabbed an EMILY’s List endorsement, and a spot on the DCCC’s Frontline list, but escaped the NRCC’s initial target list.