• Press Release

EMILYs List Announces New Endorsements For California Statewide Candidates

November 13, 2017

November 13, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today EMILY's List, the nation's largest resource for women in politics, released a list of endorsed candidates for California’s statewide constitutional offices. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILYs List, released the following statement:
“With women’s health care access, the environment, immigrant rights, and middle-class economic opportunity all under attack by Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers in Washington, California families and communities need tough leaders in top statewide elected positions to fight for them. Those champions are three women – Eleni Kounalakis for Lieutenant Governor, Betty Yee for State Controller, and Fiona Ma for State Treasurer.”
“EMILY's List continues to prioritize these down-ballot elections this cycle because we know that action taken by the right leaders at the state level is critical to furthering progress for women and families. Eleni, Betty, and Fiona are ready to serve and fight for Californians—and EMILYs List is proud to stand with them.”
The EMILY's List endorsements include: Eleni Kounalakis (Lieutenant Governor), Betty Yee (State Controller), Fiona Ma (State Treasurer). Below are background biographies on each candidate:
Eleni Kounalakis is a businesswoman and former U.S. Ambassador to Hungary running for Lieutenant Governor of California. Eleni has a long history of Democratic activism dating back to her work on the 1992 election in which California elected two women to the U.S. Senate and went blue. After the election, Eleni spent 18 years delivering homes to middle-class families, working her way up to President of her family business, AKT Development. In 2010, Eleni was appointed by President Barack Obama as the U.S. Ambassador to Hungary where she served through 2013. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and their two sons.
Betty Yee is an experienced and proven leader running for re-election for California State Controller. A native of San Francisco and a product of local public schools, Betty’s immigrant parents started a laundry and dry cleaning business in the Parkside District of San Francisco. Her experience working in the family business instilled a deep sense of community and a strong work ethic that have been foundational to her 30 years of public service in state and local finance and tax policy.  In the office of State Controller, Betty has served as an effective independent fiscal watchdog and influenced policies in the areas of taxation, public pensions, and climate change and the environment.  As the state’s chief financial officer, Betty is committed to creating a working economy in which all Californians and their families can thrive.
Fiona Ma is a Certified Public Tax Accountant, serves on the Board of Equalization and is running for State Treasurer. At the Board of Equalization, Fiona works to protect the rights of taxpayers while also ensuring that California collects its fair share of tax revenues. She previously served in the California State Assembly where she was the first Asian American woman to become Speaker pro Tempore and as served for four years on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Before entering public service, Fiona worked as an accountant for Ernst & Young before leaving to start her own accounting practice. She and her husband Jason, a firefighter, reside in San Francisco.
EMILYs List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $500 million to support pro-choice Democratic women candidates – making them one of the most successful political organizations ever. Our grassroots community of over five million members helps Democratic women wage competitive campaigns – and win. We recruit and train candidates, support strong campaigns, research the issues that impact women and families, and turn out women voters. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 116 women to the House, 23 to the Senate, 12 governors, and over 800 to state and local office. Forty percent of the candidates EMILYs List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. Since the 2016 election, thousands of women and counting have reached out to us about running for office. To harness this energy, EMILYs List has launched Run to Win, an unprecedented effort to help more women run and win at the local, state, and national levels.