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August 07, 2008

EMILY's List Expands

Fresh off their candidates winning primaries in Missouri and Michigan, EMILY's List is expanding into six new districts, backing candidates national Democrats have already tapped as promising. The pro-choice Democratic women's group is backing challengers Anne Barth in West Virginia, Sam Bennett in Pennsylvania, Jill Derby in Nevada, Judy Feder in Virginia, Annette Taddeo in Florida and Vic Wulsin in Ohio.

It's no surprise that those candidates were tapped. Four of the six are members of the DCCC's Red to Blue program, while Bennett and Taddeo are highlighted as "emerging" candidates. The six new candidates join 29 other Democratic women running for House and Senate across the country.

But the new additions serve another purpose: Though List-endorsed Michigan Rep. Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and open seat contender Judy Baker, from Missouri, won primaries on Tuesday, another of their candidates faces a more contentious primary today in Tennessee, where former Congressional aide Nikki Tinker faces Rep. Steve Cohen.

EMILY's List endorsed Tinker, but issued a statement expressing outrage after Tinker's late advertisements employed racial and religious overtones against the white Jewish incumbent in a majority-black district, as Josh wrote yesterday.

A new round of endorsements is a great way to focus on other candidates, not the one with whom EMILY's List now has to be less than thrilled.