EMILYís List on Friday endorsed Democratic nominee Kathy Hochul in the looming special election in Western New York.
The organization, which supports female Democratic candidates and describes itself as the nationís largest resource for women in politics, is among the first major outside organizationís to weigh in on Hochulís behalf. Even the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has been slow to devote resources to Hochul, largely because the race is viewed as a long shot because of the regionís strong conservative leaning.
But EMILYís List investigated and believes that the dynamic of the race ó particularly the presence of a third-party candidate who may split the Republican vote ó offers Hochul a real opportunity. The special election to replace former Rep. Chris Lee (R) is set for May 24.
ďIn a special election where millionaire opponents could split the vote, Kathyís strong candidacy gives Democrats an excellent opportunity to take back a GOP-held seat,Ē the organizationís president, Stephanie Schriock, said in a statement announcing the endorsement. ďA tireless public servant, Kathy always stands up for what she believes in and we are proud to put the support of the EMILYís List community behind her.Ē
Itís unclear how much the endorsement will affect the contest in New Yorkís 26th district, where Republican nominee Jane Corwin is widely considered the frontrunner.
The groupís political action committee will likely make a financial contribution to the Hochul campaign, but its real power comes in bundling smaller donations from its national network of supporters. EMILYís List raised more than $38.5 million last cycle.
Hochul will need the financial help to compete. According to her first-quarter fundraising report filed last week, Hochul raised $357,000 for her campaign through the end of March. She had $306,000 in cash on hand as of March 31. Corwin, meanwhile, raised $1.1 million, including a $1 million personal loan to her campaign. She ended the month with $512,000 in the bank.
Free-spending millionaire Jack Davis, who is running on the Tea Party ballot line, loaned his campaign $1.59 million, which accounted for all of his receipts in the first quarter. He spent most of that and showed $125,000 in the bank at the end of last month.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.