Christie Vilsack was one of four “promising candidates” recognized today by EMILY’s List. The organization whose mission is “electing pro-choice Democratic women to office” put Vilsack and three other U.S. House candidates “On the List” in order to give them “early access” to supporters who “are ready to take action now.”
The move surprises me because Vilsack hasn’t fully committed to run against Republican incumbent Steve King in Iowa’s new fourth Congressional district. EMILY’s List endorsed Roxanne Conlin for U.S. Senate in 2010, but that was more than six months after Conlin launched her campaign against Chuck Grassley. In 2008, EMILY’s List waited until after Labor Day to endorse Becky Greenwald, who was running against Tom Latham in IA-04.
The EMILY’s List network could help Vilsack reach a lot of donors who otherwise would not be aware of her campaign. But the potential candidate may not be eager to publicize this show of support. So far I haven’t seen any mention of the EMILY’s List announcement on the Christie Vilsack for Iowa website, Facebook page or Twitter account. Until early this year, Vilsack was executive director of The Iowa Initiative, a non-profit organization focused on preventing unplanned pregnancies through contraception and education programs. Iowa Republicans have vowed to make abortion rights a major issue in IA-04, the most conservative Congressional district in Iowa. King is not only anti-choice but also one of the most vocal advocates of cutting off government funds to Planned Parenthood.