When I called my dad to tell him I'd just been endorsed by EMILY's List a few years back, I wasn't sure he'd know what that meant.
"EMILY's List? Of course I know it!" he said. "I'm a pro-choice Democrat, and my daughter's name is Emily."
Safe to say, he was pretty excited when he got another call from me about EMILY's List a few weeks ago -- to let him know I'd just accepted the job to be executive director.
From my decade as a state legislator to when I ran for Congress (twice!), this community has supported me throughout my political career. To give back to EMILY's List at such a critical juncture is the opportunity of a lifetime. It's an honor, and needless to say, I am so excited to be here.
We're going to do some incredible things together, and I'm ready to get started now. Donate to elect pro-choice Democratic women, defeat Republicans, and train more women to run for office than ever before:
A bit more about me:
My dad -- the EMILY's List fan -- is a shoe salesman and my mom is a sign language interpreter. I'm the oldest of three sisters (so you could say I have some experience supporting women). Growing up, my family moved around a lot, but when we got to Maine, we knew we'd found home. I met my husband, Danny, at the University of Maine, and I've lived in Maine most of my life.
That's where I first ran for office when I was 24. I served five terms in the state legislature, chairing the Appropriations Committee and serving as the youngest woman to be the House Minority Leader in Maine history. During the 2012 elections, I worked hard to recruit top female candidates who helped Democrats take back the Maine House, and then I served in the Maine Senate from 2012 to 2014.
I wish I could tell you that it was smooth sailing from there, but the truth of politics is that if the sailing is smooth, you probably aren't taking risks.
I ran for Congress in 2014 and 2016 in a top-tier red-to-blue House seat, and while I didn't win, I know the power of having EMILY's List in your corner. I learned a lot along the way, and you can bet I'm bringing those lessons to EMILY's List.
I can't wait to use my experiences to help the more than 16,000 women who've reached out about running for office. And I look forward to hearing your thoughts and ideas about the races you want EMILY's List to focus on most as we gear up for what I'm sure will be an incredible election cycle.
I'm excited to dive right in and get to work. Are you with me?
Executive Director, EMILY's List