Make it another

By Beth Davidson on
August 11, 2011

Special elections have recently added two pro-choice Democratic women to Congress (Janice Hahn in CA-36 and Kathy Hochul in NY-26), and EMILY’s List candidate Suzanne Bonamici could become another -- if she can quickly raise the resources to compete in the just-announced, right-around-the-corner special election to replace recently resigned former Cong. David Wu in Oregon’s 1st U.S. House district.

Bonamici made a strong entrance into the race as soon as Wu announced his resignation, rolling out some impressive endorsements. But she’ll face a competitive primary on November 8th, followed quickly by a general election in January -- and her primary opponents begin the race with a financial edge.

If she wins, Bonamici would become the only woman in the Oregon Congressional delegation (surprising, right?). The seat leans Democratic, and Bonamici is the ideal candidate for this district.

And while the new 8th District will be less favorable to incumbent Republican Joe Walsh (who defeated EMILY’s List candidate Cong. Melissa Bean in 2010), the congressman shows no signs of toning down his Tea Party rhetoric. Walsh, who accused President Obama of “lying,” said a government shutdown “might be a good thing” and said he would “absolutely” vote to end Big Oil subsidies -- instead doggedly voting to preserve them -- will be no shrinking violet, should he choose to seek re-election in 2012.

It seems every poll coming out these days shows that American voters think Congress is out of touch. With Suzanne Bonamici in the House, we’ll be one step closer to having a Congress that understands the challenges families are facing right now.

Suzanne worked her way through college, first earning an associate’s degree at a community college, then working her way all the way through law school at the county legal aid service, helping people who couldn’t otherwise afford a lawyer. Then she went to Washington to serve as an attorney in the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection, cracking down on unfair credit practices that hurt consumers. While raising her two kids, she was active in their public schools and on local education issues. Suzanne was elected to the State House in 2007, then went on to the Senate, where she was elected to a leadership post last year. She’s been a huge advocate for women and families and consumers, and earned EMILY’s List support in her state-house races.

Special elections are fast paced and hard fought, but they’ve proven to be a great way to get more pro-choice women elected to Congress, sworn in, and standing up to the Republicans’ anti-woman agenda right away. Let’s go, Suzanne!

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