The Hill's 25 Women to Watch: Page 10 of 26

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ELIZABETH WARREN

MASSACHUSETTS SENATORIAL CANDIDATE

Elizabeth Warren’s path to politics is by no means typical. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Warren was far from wealthy growing up, and she worked a number of odd jobs as a teen, waitressing to help make ends meet at home.

A strong student and a champion debater, Warren, now 63, graduated from high school at the age of 16 and went to George Washington University on a debate scholarship, ultimately returning home to marry her high-school sweetheart two years later. She went on to have two children with her first husband, finish college and enroll in Rutgers Law School the day her second child turned 2.

Warren soon started practicing law out of her living room and set off on a career path as a professor that would eventually bring her to teach at Harvard. But her experience studying bankruptcy law set the groundwork for her eventual ascendancy as a Democratic Party darling. That research revealed to her that the majority of those who file for bankruptcy are middle-class families that have fallen on hard times, a finding that guided her work as a consumer advocate and eventually brought her to Washington. Once here, she chaired the Congressional Oversight Panel that oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program in 2008.

Warren gave a rousing, well-received speech at the Democratic National Convention this year, and she’s one of the rare Democratic candidates to secure President Obama’s endorsement.

She’s now putting up a fierce fight against Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.) for his seat in the Senate and looks to be the favorite going into the final phase of the campaign. She’s leading the Republican in most polls and outraised him by $4 million in the third quarter, making her the second-strongest Senate candidate in terms of fundraising nationwide.

Though Warren’s win is by no means assured, her continued rise in the Democratic Party surely is.

— Alexandra Jaffe

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