EMILY's List is poised to face its first major test in getting a woman in the White House in 2016 with the likely candidacy of former secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
The political action committee was created for the purpose of helping elect pro-choice Democratic women, and it just celebrated its 30th anniversary, which included a gala Tuesday night with Clinton as the headliner, The New York Times
EMILY's List president Stephanie Schriock, 41, may be facing the biggest election to date for the group, following significant losses for Democrat women in the 2014 midterm elections and as abortion rights are being challenged in states around the country.
However, she has had some significant successes as well.
After Schriock became president of the group in 2010, she made a visit to Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren and urged her to run for Senate in 2012 against former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown. Warren became Massachusetts' first female senator with the help of the $1.2 million raised by EMILY's List on her behalf.
The group was started in 1985 by Ellen Malcolm, who named the group after the phrase "Early Money Is Like Yeast" (because it "makes the dough rise"), the group explains. Malcolm still serves as the chair of the board.
Schriock brings experience both as a fundraiser and a political strategist. The Butte, Montana native served as the finance director for former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean in 2004 and as Minnesota Sen. Al Franken's campaign manager in 2008.
"It’s very difficult in the political world to find people who are both political strategists and who know how to raise money," Malcom said.
When Schriock began heading up the group in 2010, there were 500,000 members and the group had raised $38 million in donations. In 2014, there were three million total members, and EMILY's List had raised more than $60 million.
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