EMILY's List rolls out first endorsements for 2014 election cycle

EMILY's List, a group focused on electing pro-abortion rights Democratic women, is making its first endorsements of the 2014 cycle, backing six candidates running against GOP incumbents in swing House districts.

The deep-pocketed group's first endorsement list includes five top Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) recruits. 

Former Iowa state Sen. Staci Appel (D) is taking on Rep. Tom Latham (R-Iowa); businesswoman Erin Bilbray (D) is challenging Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.) and attorney Gwen Graham (D) is challenging Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.). Former judge Ann Callis (D) is running against Rep. Rodney Davis (R) in Illinois, while Tompkins County Chairwoman Martha Robertson (D) is running against Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.).

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Not all of the EMILY’s List endorsees are party favorites, however. Attorney Eloise Gomez Reyes (D) is in a primary against Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D), a DCCC favorite, though the real goal may be to keep former Rep. Joe Baca (D-Calif.) from making it to the general election against Rep. Gary Miller (R-Calif.) in the crowded primary. 

"These six rising stars have demonstrated unwavering commitment to their communities as local reformers, state legislators, educators, and attorneys," EMILY's List President Stephanie Schriock said in a statement. 

"Staci Appel, Erin Bilbray, Ann Callis, Gwen Graham, Eloise Gomez Reyes and Martha Robertson are experienced public servants and glass ceiling breakers with proven records of fighting for women and families. The EMILY’s List community, now more than two million members strong, is thrilled to help send these fantastic candidates to Washington," she added.

All six had been "on the list," a designation the group uses to denote potential endorsees that it will help with training and infrastructure. The full endorsement often means heavy spending by the group for its chosen candidates.