The Washington Post

RightNOW Women PAC endorses Joni Ernst

Iowa state Sen. Joni Ernst, who is competing in the state Republican primary to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin (D), received the endorsement of RightNOW Women PAC on Tuesday. She is the second of five female candidates that the group will endorse this week.

RightNOW was created by Marlene Colucci, a former aide to George W. Bush, and was launched earlier this year to recruit young women to get involved in the Republican Party. Virginia state Del. Barbara Comstock, who is running to replace retiring U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.)  was endorsed by the group  Monday.

Brittany Thune, a founder of the PAC and daughter of Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), said that in previous election cycles women did not have opportunities to get involved and support the issues they cared about, such as jobs, education and a strong national defense.

“We want to support qualified and smart women,” she said. “The right candidates. We haven’t always had the right candidates.”

The election of women who can inspire and motivate, Thune said, will only attract more women who can identify with those lawmakers to the movement. “We want to support candidates we can relate to,” she said. “Someone smart, who knows what she’s talking about.”

Members watched a promotional video for the group at a meeting Monday night, that featured Reps. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Kristie Noem (R-S.D.) praising the group’s efforts.

“They are putting their money where their mouth is,” Blackburn said in the video. “Saving our Republican Party and saving freedom is going to be done by women.”

[posttv url="http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/politics/rightnow-women-pac/2014/03/11/fcd73314-a923-11e3-8a7b-c1c684e2671f_video.html" ]

But not too much money. The group’s first event, which drew more than 400 people, mostly young women, cost $25 a person – an intentionally lower figure to attract younger voters who aren’t financially able to “max out” to candidates.

While the group is just getting started, Thune said, but members hope to not only play in the 2014 election but to build their network ahead of the 2016 election.

Republicans of all stripes have been working to attract more women to their ranks and escape the “war on women” narrative that Democrats successfully used against them in 2012.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
The South Carolina GOP primary and the Nevada Democratic caucuses are next on Feb. 20. Get caught up on the race.
Past South Carolina GOP primary winners
South Carolina polling averages
Donald Trump leads in the first state in the South to vote, where he faces rivals Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio.
South Carolina polling averages
The S.C. Democratic primary is Feb. 27. Clinton has a significant lead in the state, whose primary falls one week after the party's Nevada caucuses.
62% 33%
Quoted
We'll have half a million voters in South Carolina. I can shake a lot of hands, but I can't shake that many.
Sen. Marco Rubio, speaking to a group of reporters about his strategy to regain support after a poor performance in the last debate
Fact Checker
Sanders’s claim that Clinton objected to meeting with ‘our enemies’
Sanders said that Clinton was critical of Obama in 2008 for suggesting meeting with Iran. In fact, Clinton and Obama differed over whether to set preconditions, not about meeting with enemies. Once in office, Obama followed the course suggested by Clinton, abandoning an earlier position as unrealistic.
Pinocchio Pinocchio Pinocchio
The complicated upcoming voting schedule
Feb. 20

Democrats caucus in Nevada; Republicans hold a primary in South Carolina.

Feb. 23

Republicans caucus in Nevada.

Feb. 27

Democrats hold a primary in South Carolina.

Upcoming debates
Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

March 3: GOP debate

on Fox News, in Detroit, Mich.

Campaign 2016
Where the race stands

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.