Major GOP Donor Starts PAC to Support Conservative Female Candidates

Monday, 26 Aug 2013 09:55 PM

By Courtney Coren

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A Pennsylvania energy executive is spearheading a super PAC aimed at supporting female Republican candidates running for office.

Christine Toretti has started the group Women Lead, an organization designed to give other wealthy conservative women the opportunity to support conservative female candidates, Politico reports.

Toretti has been involved with the Republican National Committee for some time. In 2012, she served as the RNC co-chair of the finance committee.

According to Federal Election Commission data, she has donated approximately $600,000 to Republican candidates and groups throughout the years.

After the 2012 election, Toretti was convinced that she needed to create a way for female GOP donors as well as male donors, who care about getting more women into office, to have more of say in who their money went to.

She believes that part of the problem during the presidential election in 2012, when Republicans lost female voters by 11 percent, is that donors who want to see more women get elected to federal office have very little say in making sure their money goes to those campaigns, unless they gave to those candidates directly.

"There are a lot of women we would meet with who have the capacity to write really large checks who feel disenfranchised by the party," Toretti told Politico. "I'm not saying their perceptions are accurate, but they are their perceptions, and that makes them real."

The Women Lead campaign for Republican women will begin in 2014 in which the group will offer support to conservative women on the ballot for the midterm elections.

"I'm cautiously optimistic that we're going to be be able to raise the money we need. I'm certainly not interested in funding the whole thing myself," Toretti said.

As far as any sort of ideological litmus test, the Pennsylvanian said that the only requirement is that the candidate believe in limited government and fiscal responsibility.

"For me, it's about limited government. You don't spend what you don't have," she said.

Toretti, 56, inherited her father's drilling company after he died in 1990. She became a major GOP donor over that following decade.

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