By Dan McGowan
Veteran activist and former congressional candidate Kate Coyne McCoy has launched a Super PAC aimed at helping to elect Democratic female governors that could spend plenty of money in Rhode Island next year.
McCoy, a political consultant who previously served as regional director for EMILY’s List, told WPRI.com the American LeadHERship PAC hasn’t selected the states it will focus on, but acknowledged she considers General Treasurer Gina Raimondo a personal friend.
“It is grossly apparent to me that there is only one Democratic pro-choice woman in the governor’s office in the country, and that to me is appalling,” McCoy said Friday.
Raimondo, a Democrat who supports abortion rights and was endorsed by EMILY’s List in 2010, is widely expected to challenge incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee in a primary in 2014.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, who ran against McCoy in a 2000 U.S. House race that was ultimately won by Jim Langevin, is also expected to run for governor.
The are currently five female governor serving in the United States. N.H. Gov. Maggie Hassan is the only Democrat. Rhode Island has never elected a female governor.
Super PACs have come under fire in recent years for their ability to raise and spend unlimited funds to advocate for or against candidates often without having to identify their donors. The groups reported spending $828 million on federal races during the 2012 election cycle, according to Open Secrets.
McCoy said she has “tremendous respect” for groups like EMILY’s List, but indicated she believes there is a “a lot more to do” when it comes to electing female governors. She said launching the Super PAC will help provide another “useful tool” for the group’s desired candidates.
“Given the current environment, you need to load your proverbial gun,” McCoy said.