Nine GOP Ladies Challenge Incumbents in 2014

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Those elected to seats in the U.S. Senate and U.S. House who choose to run for reelection are probably going to win. The 17th amendment and the capping the size of the House membership at 435 are major factors in making a ruling class for the U.S. Congress more hereditary than the House of Lords in the U.K.

The families of the ruling class understand the odds and bide their time for an opportunity to win an open seat. They are displeased when one of their social circle defies the odds and runs against an incumbent. To the contrary, those who defy the odds and run for election should be applauded instead of mocked and scorned.

A conservative running for a seat has one strike against him just for being conservative. There are two strikes for being female and conservative. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann are examples. There are three strikes if you are a black female conservative. The first three lady challengers listed are black female conservatives. All nine ladies are defying the odds, and they all believe it’s necessary to elect new people into these seats if we have any hopes of changing the abysmal status quo.

Ericka Harold GOP challenger for Illinois’s 13th congressional district
Erika Harold, a.k.a. Miss America 2003, is vying with incumbent Rodney Davis in the Republican primary for the chance to represent Illinois’s 13th congressional district. Harold, who will be the first female African-American Republican in Congress if she wins, grew up in the district and entered the Miss America pageant to help pay her tuition at Harvard Law School.

Her family wasn’t particularly political, she says, and she became a conservative in college by reading the Constitution, The Federalist, and other founding documents.

“Being able to appreciate the genius of those documents, and the importance of preserving the constitutional liberties enshrined within the Constitution and the restraints on government that are recognized within the Constitution — that made me more of a conservative,” she says.

After college, she served as the youth coordinator for a Republican gubernatorial candidate in Illinois and was on the national steering committee of George W. Bush’s W Stands for Women committee during his 2004 reelection bid. And she spoke about faith-based and community initiatives at an evening session of the Republican convention that year.

She’s fiercely pro-life. She favors concealed-carry gun laws. And she’s on the board of Prison Fellowship Ministries, the program founded by Chuck Colson.

This last is telling. The most interesting part of Harold’s legal practice has been her work defending faith-based entities. In one case, for example, she represented a retirement community affiliated with a religious group. The organization featured a cross on its logo and used a Bible verse in its mission statement—which attracted a lawsuit from an advocacy group contending that this amounted to discrimination. Describing this work, Harold says, “It’s a passion of mine.”

Looking across the broader national landscape, Harold sees ample reason to be concerned about religious freedom. “We’re starting to see ways in which our constitutional protections are being encroached upon,” she says. “We all are less free when any group isn’t afforded their constitutional protections.”

Mia Love GOP challenger for Utah’s 4th congressional district
Mia Love, currently the mayor of Saratoga Springs, Utah, has officially announced her candidacy for Utah’s fourth congressional district, setting up a rematch against Representative Jim Matheson, who defeated Love last November by just 768 votes out of 245,277 cast.

Love is a 37-year-old wife and mother of three, a Brooklyn native born of Haitian immigrants, and a convert to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She served six years on Saratoga Springs’s city council before being elected mayor. She is the first black female mayor in Utah’s history.

Brenda Lenard GOP challenger for Tennessee’s U.S. Senate seat
“I have a vision of a Better. Brighter. Bolder America – as the defender of life, liberty and freedom in times of peril and of my fellow Americans as always persevering, courageous and confident. It is with this vision of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that I begin this campaign.” – Brenda Lenard, candidate for United States Senate.

Her career is marked by both success and tragedy. Lenard began her career in private banking and for over a decade enjoyed a successful tenure as Chief Executive Officer of an industry leading, mid-size construction firm. She later took a permanent leave of absence after the death of her infant son, Daniel; to found and serve as the Chair of National Strategy of Daniel’s Dream for Children Awareness, Inc. An organization committed to heighten public awareness and prevention of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

Brenda Lenard has been deeply involved in community and civic affairs, serving in her church and numerous charities including serving on the SIDS Advisory Board of Middle Tennessee State University, the American SIDS Institute , Girl Scouts of America, the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club to name a few. She graduated cum laude, with a bachelor of science in biblical studies and leadership from Beulah Heights University. Shortly thereafter, she was accepted for graduate studies at Kennesaw State University, she was awarded a Master of Public Administration there in 2008. Lenard is currently completing her dissertation in political science and evaluation measurements and statistics from the University of Tennessee- Knoxville.

She announced her candidacy for the United States Senate in January 2013. Lenard is the proud mother of three.

Lenard had to file for bankruptcy shortly after the death of her son, Daniel Christopher, when not long afterward, her ex-husband packed his bags and left.

“I found myself grieving the loss of a child and now having to take care of small children by myself,” she said. “When you lose an infant child, it is one of the most severe tragedies anyone can endure, especially as a woman.”

A defamation of character story first published by the Daily Caller on Friday, May 11, 2012 referred to Lenard as a Tea Party candidate with a history of fraud and bankruptcy.

After the untimely death of Lenard’s six-month old infant son, Daniel Christopher, she filed for bankruptcy. There are no such written statements or verbal records to suggest that a Georgia judge referred to her only bankruptcy filing as an abuse to the system.

Some folks would say I grew up without hope. But they’re wrong. If you saw the hit movie, The Blind Side, then you have an inkling of what my early life was like. The Projects were awful. Crime was rampant. Food was scarce and getting a good education was difficult. Poverty. No hope. Some said that was my future. But they were mistaken.

I had hope. My hope was in God who gave me the determination and the breaks I needed to leave that life and to realize the American dream. I studied in school. I worked hard at any job I could find. And although my education was interrupted for a number of years, today I’m working on my Doctorate in political science at the University of Tennessee.

Martha McSally GOP challenger for Arizona’s 2nd congressional district
Martha McSally, an Air Force fighter pilot who flew combat patrols over Iraq and Afghanistan, is running in a rematch for Gabby Giffords’ old seat in Arizona, which she just barely lost to Democrat Ron Barber last year.

So in my race … my opponent, a white man, was trying to lump me in the war on women. And here I am a pioneering military woman, the first to fly in command in combat. I sued Donald Rumsfeld for making our servicewomen wear burkas over in Saudi Arabia. I mean, I am not a part of the ‘war on women.’ I’ve been fighting for women my whole life.

I can only say that in my experience, running that when I engage with Republican, independent and Democratic women in my community, and you talk about the issues that matter to them. If we you connect with them, and we’re real, and we show our leadership, we show we’re solution oriented.

Nancy Mace GOP challenger for South Carolina U.S. Senate seat
The first woman to graduate from The Citadel has announced her plans to challenge U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham in the Republican primary in 2014.

Nancy Mace announced her candidacy Saturday at a GOP breakfast in Goose Creek.

Mace told the audience that she thinks government is out of touch, and that while it has worked its way into every corner of American lives, the country isn’t better off for it.

Mace runs a small public relations firm and graduated from The Citadel in 1999. She has sharply criticized Graham in the past several months for not being conservative enough.

A national Tea Party group is endorsing the U.S. Senate candidacy of Lowcountry businesswoman Nancy Mace, according to an exclusive report published this week by Breitbart. Tea Party Leadership Fund founder Todd Cefaratti told the site. . .

It’s long past time we had a conservative of conscience, not a conservative of convenience, representing South Carolina. In Nancy Mace, we have a candidate that tea party groups and conservatives across the state can unite behind, and finally we can send Lindsey Graham into retirement.

Liz Cheney GOP challenger for Wyoming U.S. Senate seat
Republican challenger Liz Cheney criticized incumbent Sen. Mike Enzi at a tea party rally over the weekend, saying Wyoming needs a better leader to defend it from Washington’s “war on coal”.

Saturday’s rally in Big Horn County was one of the rare occasions when both Cheney and Enzi have been in the same place at the same time since Cheney announced last month she would challenge him in next year’s Republican Party primary.

Now it isn’t enough, in my opinion, if you’re the sitting senator to list the problems. You’ve got to be able to say, ‘Here are the solutions. Here’s the fight we’re going to have, and here’s where we’re going to make a stand.’ You don’t have to look any farther than Gillette.

The Campbell County town is near a handful of mines that produce 40 percent of the country’s coal for electrical power plants. Coal prices have been in a slump recently, and some people blame federal policies.

The comment was a criticism of Enzi, who calls Gillette home and was the city’s mayor from 1975 to 1982.

Afterward, Enzi said he’s working hard to make sure the administration will do the right thing with coal.

I’m working desperately to make sure this administration will do the right thing with coal. But I warned people this president, when he ran the first time, said he was going to end coal, and I’ve seen nothing that would change that. All the federal stuff comes from the top down.

Rally attendee David Butz of Greybull said he is underwhelmed by Enzi and liked what Cheney had to say. He will vote for her, he said.

She’s got five kids. She knows what she’s saying.

The tea party rally was in the hamlet of Emblem, between Cody and Greybull. The event was on the property of attorney Robert DiLorenzo, a founder of the Big Horn Basin tea party.

Attendees, many in cowboy hats and Western boots, described themselves as conservative Republicans.

Elizabeth Emken GOP challenger for California’s 7th congressional district
Former U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Emken, 50, will once again run for office, this time challenging first-term Rep. Ami Bera’s seat in California’s 7th Congressional District.

Emken ran last year against the longtime incumbent, Democratic Sen. Diane Feinstein. Emken has also championed autism research, serving as vice president for government relations at the advocacy organization Autism Speaks.

I’ve got the conservative ideas for putting our country back on track. You better believe Ami Bera and the Democrat establishment are scared to face me in this race.

Elise Stefanik GOP challenger for New York’s 21st congressional district
Elise M. Stefanik, 29, a Harvard-educated businesswoman who worked in the White House for President George W. Bush, declared that she will run as a Republican challenger to U.S. Rep. William L. Owens seat in New York’s 21st Congressional District.

Countering the notion that her youth is a detriment to her political ambitions, Ms. Stefanik said that she considers her age an asset.

The people who are losing in this district are young people. I’ve seen first-hand how insiders in Washington have forgotten to fight for average small businesses like ours on Main Street. I want to change that.

Ms. Stefanik was motivated to run for office because she was frustrated by the difficulties faced by the business her family owns and operates, Premium Plywood Products, Inc. She also said that she was frustrated with the Washington, D.C. political establishment. She said that she was not recruited for the campaign by the Republican party.

Elaine Hays GOP challenger for Texas’s 13th congressional district seat
After several months of touring the district and listening to the concerns of voters, Amarillo businesswoman Elaine Hays announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination for the U.S. House of Representatives, District 13.

I am running because it’s time we had leadership that will make the tough choices to cut spending, that will not stand idly by on the issue of entitlement reform, and that will fight from the front lines to defend our Constitutional freedoms. In the 20 years since we sent the current incumbent to Congress, the debt has gone up, and confidence in government has gone down. Trust has plummeted with revelations of privacy violations and agencies targeting citizens based on ideology. It is time for our elected representatives to lead by example, to apply tough reforms to themselves, before asking it of the American people.

Hays is a Certified Financial Planner, author, proud mother and wife, and a committed conservative running for Congress to return America to sound fiscal and economic policies. Hays will draw upon her experience in the finance industry to fight for free market reforms. Hays will take on 20-year incumbent Mac Thornberry in the Republican primary.

It’s time to replace our current representation because we shouldn’t expect much to change if we keep sending the same people back to Washington year after year. If elected, I am positive that I could do more with the opportunity.

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