Emerge Kentucky Alumnae Win Big on Election Night

61% Win Rate

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                          CONTACT: Alexis Hebert

 November 9, 2016                                                                                       alexis@emergeky.org; (502) 551-2818  

Louisville, KY—Graduates of Emerge Kentucky, the state’s premier organization for recruiting and training Democratic women to run for office, delivered some big wins in Tuesday’s election. Fourteen of 23 (61%) of the organization’s graduates running for elected office won their races, including two new members of the General Assembly, McKenzie Cantrell and Attica Scott. Twelve of the 13 candidates for local office won including the youngest Mayor of Paducah, first-time candidate, Brandi Harless.  Their victories mark a major step forward towards the organization’s goal of seeing more Democratic women elected to political office at all levels of government.

 “These women are proof positive that more women will run for office if we encourage them and give them the training they need to succeed,” said Alexis Hebert, deputy executive director of Emerge Kentucky. “When women run for public office they bring fresh new perspectives to the political arena, highlight issues that are often sidelined in male-dominated elections and underscore the need for more diversity at all levels of government. Everyone benefits when more women decide to lead.” 

The Emerge Kentucky alumnae who won on Tuesday are:

  • McKenzie Cantrell – House of Representatives, District 38
  • Attica Scott – House of Representatives, District 41
  • Tiffany Carlson – Marshall County School Board, District 5
  • Beverly Chester-Burton – Shively City Council
  • Morgan Eaves – Richmond City Commission
  • Angela Evans – Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council
  • Cindi Fowler – Louisville Metro Council
  • Julie Gordon – Daviess Co. Family Court Judge
  • Brandi Harless – Mayor of Paducah
  • Deanna Henschel – McCracken County Family Court Judge
  • Sarah Stewart-Holland – Paducah City Commission
  • Kathy Plomin – Lexington Fayette Urban City Council
  • Julie Smith-Morrow – Newport Independent School Board
  • Michelle Williams – Vice Mayor of Covington

“Emerge Kentucky’s training program proves that when women have the skills they need to launch their campaigns for public office they win,” said Emerge KY founder & board chair Jennifer A. Moore. “Emerge alumnae ran strong races in some of the most competitive elections in the state. Our organization is training the political leaders of tomorrow. I can’t wait to see what these exceptional women accomplish in their public service careers.”

Emerge Kentucky’s candidates broke many glass ceilings this election cycle. 

  • Rep.-Elect Attica Scott became the first African America woman in almost 20 years elected to the KY General Assembly.
  • First-time candidate, Rep.-Elect McKenzie Cantrell, defeated the incumbent who  switched parties from Democrat to Republican last year.   
  • Another first-time candidate, Brandi Harless, defeated an incumbent to become the youngest Mayor of Paducah. 
  • Michelle Williams was the top vote getter in the race for Covington City Commission making her the first African American Vice Mayor of Covington. 

Emerge Kentucky’s work is moving the dial on women’s representation in government. Since the organization launched in 2009, the program has equipped 140 women with the skills needed to bring change to their communities.  Emerge Kentucky’s commitment to diversity also means that the women selected for the program come from a multitude of different backgrounds and all walks of life. In fact, 28% of the program’s graduates are women of color. 

For information on Emerge Kentucky or to learn how to apply for their training program, please visit their website at www.emergeky.org.

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