By: Abby Livingston
WASHINGTON – Former El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar just picked up a consequential endorsement in her bid to replace U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke, the El Paso Democrat who is making a run for U.S. Senate.
Escobar, a Democrat, earned the endorsement of EMILY’s List on Thursday. The organization, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, can prove pivotal in Democratic primaries.
EMILY’s List – whose acronym stands for “Early Money Is Like Yeast” – focuses on raising money through a vast network of individual donors for candidates it has endorsed. The group also has a massive operation in Washington and can lend organizational support to individual campaigns as well as, in some races, further boost a candidate through spending by a related super PAC.
Escobar, who only launched her congressional bid in August, had a solid first quarter in fundraising, with a $332,836 haul.
And Thursday’s endorsement from EMILY’s List comes a day after two other national groups – Latino Victory Fund and End Citizens United – also formally endorsed Escobar.
Escobar’s campaign has much more institutional support than the last Texas Latina to make a serious run for a U.S. House seat. Democrat Dolly Elizondo narrowly missed the 2016 Democratic runoff in a bid to represent parts of South Texas in Congress. Vicente Gonzalez, a McAllen Democrat, ultimately won that race.
EMILY’s List endorsed Elizondo as well but spent very little on the race. Elizondo earned plenty of attention for her campaign, but most local and Washington power brokers either aligned with her male opponents or ignored her campaign altogether.
“I could not be prouder to have the support and encouragement from EMILY’s List for this campaign,” Escobar said in a statement.
“The current administration has placed El Paso in a spotlight and I am determined to fight for the people of this community – including our DREAMers – to ensure their rights are protected. EMILY’s List continues to endorse strong, Democratic women who ignite change and I am honored to call them a partner.”