A powerful Democratic group is highlighting several women in local politics as rising stars in the party

Stacey Abrams
Stacey Abrams, a former Georgia House representative and recipient of the EMILY’s list award in 2014, is now running for governor.
  • EMILY’s List, the Democratic political group, has nominated six women who hold state and local offices for its annual Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.
  • The nominees will gain exposure to the group’s vast fundraising network and receive strategic advice from its consultants.
  • The list of nominees is one to watch in the coming years.

EMILY’s List, the political group that supports pro-choice, Democratic women running for office — and one of the most powerful forces in the party, has nominated six women in state and local office for its annual Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award.

The lawmakers hail from across the US — from Washington state to Boston, and they embody a diverse array of young, ambitious talent in a year when the Democratic Party has seen an unprecedented surge in women running for office.

“With near-constant attacks on our values coming at every level of government, it could not be more important to have champions working on behalf of women and families,” Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, said in a statement. “These elected officials have demonstrated their commitment to their states and communities by advocating progressive causes like paid family leave, access to reproductive health care options, and equal pay.”

The nominees will benefit from the added national exposure and access to EMILY’s List donors and consultants.

“Our advisors become very personally invested in the success of these women,” Geri Prado, the group’s senior director of state and local campaigns, told Business Insider.

Some of previous recipients of the award have since embarked on higher-profile political careers, including Stacey Abrams, the former Georgia House Minority Leader now running governor, and Boston City Councilwoman Ayanna Pressley, who’s running for congress.

The winner of this year’s award will be announced in April.

Here are the nominees:

Cook County State's Attorney Kim Foxx
EMILY’s List

Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx is the first black woman to lead the second-largest prosecutor’s office in the country and Prado called her a “formidable force” on criminal justice issues in Illinois.

Foxx “walks in a room and people take notice,” Prado said.

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