EXCLUSIVE: Aiming to build on successes in last year's elections, a leading outside group that's dedicated to electing conservative women to federal office is unveiling its first round of endorsements in the 2021-2022 cycle.
The endorsements by Maggie's List – shared first with Fox News on Tuesday – include 18 House Republican incumbents, five candidates running in the 2022 midterms, two running in special elections this year, a Senate candidate and the rare endorsement of a candidate running for lieutenant governor.
But the list does not include two very high-profile Republican congresswomen: Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state.
Among those landing an endorsement is Winsome Sears, the GOP nominee this November for lieutenant governor in Virginia. The backing of Sears is unusual for Maggie’s List, a federal political action committee that rarely ventures into state elections.
Also on the list are Reps. Ashley Hinson and Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa, two freshman representatives who narrowly won election last November.
There are 31 female House Republicans in the chamber. Eleven of the 15 House seats flipped by the GOP in the 2020 elections were by women.
"Voters made history in 2020 by electing the largest-ever group of conservative women to federal office, and we are ready to build upon those gains in upcoming elections," Maggie’s List President Sandra Mortham told Fox News
"Maggie’s List-endorsed candidates understand that the only way to move our country in a positive direction is to focus on fiscal responsibility, strong national defense and personal responsibility. Our grassroots network is already hard at work earning support for Maggie’s List candidates in their primary and general election races, and we look forward to helping them secure victories this year and next," Mortham added.
The list of endorsements includes former Ohio GOP chair Jane Timken, who's running in a crowded Republican Senate primary in the race to succeed retiring GOP Sen. Rob Portman. Also getting the backing of Maggie's List are Susan Wright, one of the two Republican candidates in next month's runoff in the special election in Texas' 6th Congressional District in the race to succeed her late husband, and Stephanie Kunze, who’s running this year in a special election in Ohio's 15th Congressional District.
Also on the list is Rep. Elise Stefanik (NY-21), who last month was elected House Republican Conference chair – the House GOP’s number-three leadership position – succeeding Cheney, who was ousted from her leadership post.
Cheney had regularly received the backing of Maggie's List. But she didn’t make the cut in this first round of endorsements. Neither did McMorris Rodgers, who served as conference chair before Cheney.
Asked why neither Cheney or McMorris Rodgers didn’t land endorsements, Maggie’s List – which sports a robust network of grassroots leadership at the state level – told Fox News that "we will be announcing more endorsements in the coming months and this is just the beginning of our official support of candidates this cycle."
Also making the first round of endorsements are GOP candidates Susan Voyles (GA-6), Tamika Hamilton (CA-3), April Becker (NV-3), Lisa Scheller (PA-7) and Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez (TX-15).
Other incumbent House Republicans landing endorsements from Maggie’s List are Reps. Young Kim (CA-39), Kat Cammack (FL-3), Michelle Steel (CA-48), Maria Salazar (FL-27), Mary Miller (IL-5), Victoria Spartz (IN-5), Lisa McClain (MI-10), Michelle Fischbach (MN-7), Yvette Herrell (NM-2), Stephanie Bice (OK-5), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Debbie Lesko (AZ-8), Virginia Foxx (NC-5), Claudia Tenney (NY-22) and Carol Miller (WV-3).
Source: Paul Steinhauser