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FIRST ON FOX: A newly formed group that aims to increase the number of female Republican governors across the country is showcasing its initial fundraising and making its first endorsement in a GOP gubernatorial primary.
And the super PAC, which officially launched on April 6, is endorsing former Wisconsin Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch in her state’s GOP gubernatorial primary in the race to face off in November with first-term Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. The fundraising and endorsement announcements were shared first with Fox News on Tuesday.
Former Wisconsin Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch on Sept. 9, 2021 formally announced her 2022 campaign for governor, launching a Republican challenge against Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. (Kleefisch gubernatorial campaign)
There are currently nine female governors across the country, but only three are Republicans: Govs. Kay Ivey of Alabama, Kristi Noem of South Dakota and Kay Reynolds of Iowa.
A video announcing the group’s launch emphasized that “women Republican governors are leading the way forward with commonsense conservative change, moving their states in the right direction.”
And the narrator in the video pointed out that “19 states have still had only men as their state’s top executive. But we are going to change that by making this the year of Republican women governors, because a woman’s place is leading her state.”
Former New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, who made history as her state’s first woman governor and the nation’s first Hispanic female governor, is honorary chair of Right Direction Women.
“Right Direction Women will quickly become a key player in continuing to break glass ceilings for conservative women across the country, and I’m honored to be a part of it,” Martinez touted.
Gov. Susana Martinez, R-N.M., addresses the Republican National Convention in the Tampa Bay Times Forum on the night Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., republican vice-presidential nominee, delivered a speech to the crowd. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
And former GOP Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina, who served as ambassador to the United Nations during former President Donald Trump’s administration, said she’s “so excited about the work Right Direction Women is doing to empower Republican women as they do the same in their state capitals and take on the good old boys’ club across the country.”
The organization’s being steered by two well-known advocates for strong Republican female candidates — Annie Dickerson, the founder and chair of Winning For Women Action Fund, and Marie Sanderson, the former policy director for the Republican Governors Association.
Dickerson said she’s “thrilled to continue the work Winning For Women Action Fund began in Congress by expanding our mission to governors races across the country.” And Sanderson noted that “2022 holds a crucial opportunity for Republicans to not only flip the House and Senate, but also elect conservative women as chief executive of their states.”
And spotlighting the Kleefisch endorsement, Sanderson noted that “Rebecca brings an impressive background and bright vision to the table and we are proud to support her on her journey. “
The endorsement of Kleefisch, a cancer survivor and conservative politician who served eight years as lieutenant governor under GOP Gov. Scott Walker, is the group’s first, with more expected in the coming weeks and months.