State senator and Democratic candidate for attorney general Jen Jordan joined three female political candidates in an over-the-phone press conference Tuesday morning hosted by Emerge America, a national political organization that prepares Democratic women to run for public office.
Vermont-based candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives Becca Balint, Oregon-based candidate for the U.S. Senate WInsvey Campos and Nevada General Assembly candidate Erica Mosca also participated in the discussion.
A’shanti Gholar, president of Emerge, said all four candidates previously trained under Emerge, and over 600 women from the program are up for election this year from every level of government. During the call, each candidate spoke briefly about their backgrounds, campaigns and key political issues on the ballots in their respective states.
In her remarks, Jordan spoke about the record early voter turnout in Georgia, a count which has now surpassed 1.8 million as of Wednesday. She said women make up a significant percentage of these voters due to understanding the impact of voting on the wellbeing of women and their children across the state.
“I think it’s so important to understand that what we’re dealing with here on the ground in Georgia is not only a health issue, not only an equity issue, but really it’s an economic issue, as well,” Jordan said. “And I think Emerge really does bring women together to be able to talk about these issues and really try to message as much as possible in terms of the political implications of the law[s] in Georgia that Republican men pass.”
The conference also highlighted the role reproductive rights plays in politics this election season.
Jordan said the reversal of Roe v. Wade calls attention to the importance of the attorney general’s role in state government, and that the responsibility of navigating women through the legal adjustment process falls on the attorney general’s shoulders. “I think it’s going to be really important to have an AG that is always kind of looking through the wind, protecting the people of the state and protecting their rights,” Jordan said.
She also emphasized the importance of electing women to political office at every level and credited Emerge for investing time and funding into female political candidates.
Emerge has prepared Democratic women for careers in government since 2002, partnering with political committees and nonprofit organizations to build early-career politicians’ campaigning, public speaking and leadership skills while also providing networking opportunities for participants before and after completing the program.
Gholar said over 600 candidates running for political office across the country this year are alumni of the Emerge training program, having completed the 70 hours worth of tutelage the program offers over the course of six months. The president also said female candidates are increasingly representing the Democratic party in elections, helping to resolve an issue that inspired Emerge’s launch in the first place: a disproportionate percentage of female representation in national politics. According to Emerge’s website, women consist of 31% of state legislators in the United States, and just over 8% of state legislators are women of color.
Gholar also said pressure from Republican lawmakers helped inspire women to take political action, both at the polls and on the campaign trail.
“From Me Too, to Black Lives Matter, from indigenous rights, to climate action, women leadership is on fire,” Gholar said. “And women leaders are delivering.”