Louisiana political action committee backs 13 Democratic, women candidates in state and local races

NEW ORLEANS, LA, September 16, 2019 – Democratic candidates across the state received an important message this week: that their races will receive much-needed support to turn their districts from red to blue - in many cases, by replacing a Republican, male incumbent with a Democratic woman. Delivering on its mission to change the face of politics in Louisiana, political action committee Les Femmes PAC has chosen to officially endorse 13 candidates running for state and local offices. Les Femmes PAC is the first committee of its kind in the state and is on track to back women in a wide range of 2019 races with campaign dollars. 

The PAC is providing financial backing and other grassroots support to women running in districts with a high potential to be flipped, those who are the sole Democratic women in a race, and incumbents facing opposition. Among the recipients is state representative candidate Morgan Lamandre of District 66. Lamandre, a lawyer serving survivors of sexual assault, gained national media attention last year after being denied the right to use campaign funds for childcare costs - a request previously approved and used by multiple male candidates (including Louisiana Senator John Kennedy). Said Lamandre of her race against partisan incumbent Rick Edmonds, “For women like me, who wish to cut through the gridlock and make real change, there are many systemic barriers to entering into politics. Resources like Les Femmes PAC and Emerge [Louisiana] are critical to building the infrastructure that reasonable and collaborative women need to win.”

Other Les Femmes PAC endorsed candidates include:

  • Marguerite Green for Louisiana Commissioner of Agriculture

  • Alicia Calvin for House District 16

  • Leslie Bourque for House District 43

  • Rhonda Gleason for House District 45

  • Taryn Branson for House District 68

  • Belinda Davis for House District 70

  • Lori Callais for House District 71

  • Malinda White for House District 75

  • Tammy Savoie for House District 94

  • Robin Parrott for House District 95

  • Beverly Brooks Thompson for Senate District 16 and 

  • Kristina Harrison for St. James Parish Clerk of Court

Numerous bills affecting women’s rights failed in recent state legislative sessions. Coordinated attempts to make Louisiana the 38th state to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment failed in the Senate. Lawmakers failed to make progress on minimum wage, paid leave, equal pay for women and a host of other issues affecting women, workers, and families. In response, a record number of women signed up to run for the Louisiana House and State Senate, signaling a sea change in a state that consistently ranks last in quality of life indicators for women. 

Several of the Les Femmes PAC endorsed candidates are alumnae of Emerge Louisiana, an organization that recruits, trains and provides a powerful network to Democratic women who want to run for office. Latanja Silvester, current chair of Les Femmes PAC, met co-founder Kea Sherman in 2016 as Sherman helped to launch Emerge Louisiana. At the time, there were few women serving in Louisiana government. Now, as Sherman focuses on her own campaign for District 98, Silvester continues to push forward their shared vision of reflective representation in state and local government. “In Louisiana, 67% of elected officials are white men, despite only making up 29% of the population,” says Silvester, “We need representation that more accurately reflects the population of Louisiana. Les Femmes PAC is doing the work to build a bench of future leaders.”

Leading up to the October 12th primary, Les Femmes PAC candidates will use endorsement dollars and grassroots support to compete for their respective offices.



About Les Femmes PAC

Les Femmes PAC (LFP) is a statewide, grassroots fundraising organization and the first political action committee of its kind in Louisiana. Co-founded by Kea Sherman and Latanja Silvester, LFP is comprised of individual members who will support Les Femmes PAC endorsed candidates through fundraising, door knocking, phone banking and other GOTV efforts. The organization will lend financial and other types of support to our endorsed candidates running in statewide races and for the Louisiana State Legislature. The PAC is committed to investing in Democratic women running in local races and is determined to elect more diverse political leaders who are representative of the citizenry in Louisiana.

For Media Inquiries:

Julien Burns, Les Femmes PAC communication team 802-272-4490 or Morgan Lamandre, Les Femmes PAC endorsed candidate 504-559-9831

Kea Sherman