A new super PAC, run by women to elect female Republican candidates, announced its official registration with the Federal Election Commission Monday.
Women Lead PAC, founded by prominent Republican donor and Republican National Committee Finance Co-Chair for 2011-2012 Christine Torretti, will seek to bring more women to the Republican Party by offering more resources to Republican women candidates.
“We looked at the last election and saw how the Republican Party was — our numbers with women and things like that — and there was a disconnect that needs to be filled,” Women Lead Executive Director Courtney Johnson told The Daily Caller. “We wanted to get more female Republicans elected to office, as well as connect female donors with them, so they know exactly how to help.”
In 2012, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney lost women by 11 points to President Barack Obama.
According to Toretti, who also served as the GOP’s national committeewoman from Pennsylvania in 2012, the best way for Republicans to salvage the female vote is to elect more female Republicans.
“The best strategy for helping bring more women to the ranks of the Republican Party is to elect them one big race at a time,” Toretti said, noting that until Women Lead PAC there had been a limited number of vehicles to connect female donors with “the races that need them most.”
“Women in politics face the same daily challenges as other women who run small businesses or households, many while raising a family,” she added. “We want women who are willing to step up and run for office to know that someone is there working diligently to level the playing field for them.”
Johnson explained that unlike organizations such as the pro-choice EMILY’s List or the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List there will not be a “litmus test” for candidates.
According to EMILY’s List, which aims to elect pro-choice Democratic women, more money won’t help Republicans with the female vote because the GOP’s policies are “out of step with women.”
“It’s why they lost big in 2012 and why they are struggling to find women candidates to step up and run,” National Press Secretary Marcy Stech wrote in an emailed statement. “No amount of money will be able to drown out their anti-family policies that continue to plague a Republican Party that continues to oppose equal pay and would rather play politics with women’s health rather than focus on creating good-paying jobs for Americans.”
The goal for Women Lead PAC, is to elect women leaders to the Republican Party and bring more women to the GOP, not focus on a single issue.
“We aren’t pro-choice or pro-life,” Johnson said. “There’s no litmus test, in that sense, as to what we’re doing. We want women who we feel are the future leaders of the country and the Republican Party and help them get elected.”
The organization is actively fundraising with the expectation that 2014 will be the first election cycle in which Women Lead PAC will participate.
On candidates the organization will likely support, Johnson named West Virginia Republican Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, running for the U.S. Senate in West Virginia; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love, who is running for Congress in Utah; and retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally, running for Congress in Ariona.
“Those are great candidates we are definitely looking into supporting,” Johnson added.
Women Lead PAC is the latest effort among Republicans to encourage more female participation in elections and the GOP. Earlier this summer the RNC and a number of other Republican committees announced new initiates to that end, including “Women on the Right Unite,” which is aimed at recruiting more women to run at the state level in 2013-2014, and “Project GROW” (Growing Republican Opportunities for Women), to “empower” women in the GOP for the 2014 campaign “and beyond.”