FIRST ON FOX: The Republican PAC Winning for Women (WFW) is announcing its first non-incumbent endorsements of the 2022 election cycle on Friday, providing a possible early look at the GOP candidates who have a chance to flip the House for Republicans in 2022.
The candidates getting the backing of the PAC are Esther Joy King, Monica De La Cruz-Hernandez and Jen Kiggans.
WFW announced a round of endorsements in June, all of freshman Republican women who face tough 2022 reelection challenges. Now this round it is backing Republicans who have a chance to flip similarly competitive seats held by Democrats.
Cruz-Hernandez is running in Texas’ 15th Congressional District, which is currently represented by Rep. Vicente Gonzalez, D-Texas. The moderate Democrat Gonzalez barely beat Cruz-Hernandez in 2020.
King is running to replace retiring Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Ill., in Illinois’ 17th Congressional District, which has been trending red in recent years. Winning that open seat will be key to Republicans’ plans to take back the House.
King – a former aid worker in Kabul, Afghanistan, and a JAG officer in the U.S. Army Reserves – lost a close race to Bustos in 2020.
Kiggans is running in Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District to replace Rep. Elaine Luria, D-Va. Luria safely beat her 2020 Republican opponent, but the congressional district has gone red as recently as 2016 when former President Donald Trump won there.
Kiggans is a Navy veteran who served two Persian Gulf deployments as a helicopter pilot, according to her campaign website. She was elected to the Virginia state Senate in 2019.
The endorsements from WFW are significant due to the group’s role in helping House Republicans significantly outperform expectations in the 2020 elections, even as former President Donald Trump lost. It was one of the early backers of Rep. Maria Salazar, R-Fla., who unseated Rep. Donna Shalala, D-Fla., in the Miami-area district that voted for President Biden over former President Donald Trump.
According to FiveThirtyEight, WFW-backed candidates have an 87% winning percentage in primary races.
“Last year, everyone saw just how well qualified, Republican women can perform in competitive districts,” WFW political director Micah Yousefi said. “As the momentum builds for Republicans this cycle, we are eager to replicate that success with more exceptional female candidates. Esther, Monica and Jen are running for seats that will be critical for taking back the House. Winning For Women PAC is proud to back their races with financial and grassroots support.”
“It’s so much easier to achieve a GOP majority when strong conservative women step up and answer the call,” King said of her fellow candidates. “We’re all running for Congress to bring bold, conservative, intelligent and courageous ideas to Congress.”