By KATIE GLUECK, POLITICO
RedState Women is set to go live online Wednesday morning, said officials, who provided an exclusive first look to POLITICO. The organization will offer web-based videos featuring both elected officials and voters that are designed to show that Democrats don’t have a monopoly on women in politics, according to the PAC’s executive director, Cari Christman.
“It’s no secret that when Ms. Davis launched her bid for governor, women participating on the Democratic side stood up and were very vocal about her actions,” Christman said. “A number of Republican women are standing up to say Ms. Davis does not speak for them. We want to change, revolutionize, the way we communicate with women in this party. To stand up and say, ‘Democrats don’t corner the market on women.’”
Davis energized Democratic voters in Texas and beyond last summer when she launched a lengthy filibuster that temporarily derailed a restrictive abortion bill. She is running for governor against GOP nominee Greg Abbott, the state attorney general.
Christman said the organization will stress that the GOP is “not a one-issue party.”
“It’s not just about, are you pro-life or pro-choice,” she said. “It’s a lot more than that. Women have a wide range of interests. We want to make sure we reach them.”
The first video features Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, who offers a mostly lighthearted, personal perspective on politics and parenting in the two-minute clip.
“What makes me laugh the hardest is my daughter,” Craddick says. “She’s 2 and she’s absolutely hilarious, but she’s also very strong-willed, so she’s got an opinion, which is good in my family. We’ve got a lot of strong-willed women, so she fits right in, actually.”
She concludes: “The Republican women in this state built this party, if you look at the history of the party. I’m a RedState woman because this is where I work, this is where I want to raise my child. These are the values that this state embodies.”
With Davis waging an uphill battle in staunchly conservative Texas, Democrats are banking on women turning out to vote for her in big numbers. National Democrats are also hopeful that she will benefit from their charge that Republicans are waging a “war on women.”
Battleground Texas, a grassroots-focused group aiming to turn the state blue, also is working on those efforts, sparking a series of responses from Republicans in the state. Texas Sen. John Cornyn, for example, launched the “Keep it Red” initiative, which specifically swings back at Battleground Texas, as part of his reelection campaign.
RedState Women is aiming to generate overall enthusiasm about the GOP and offer new voices and platforms through which to deliver its message. It will emphasize online communication in particular.
“I just think the Republican Party has not done a good job in general of reaching out to women, communicating with them, listening to their concerns,” Craddick told POLITICO. “I respect Wendy Davis, but the Republican Party is not a one-issue party … for me, being a fiscal conservative, running a household, having to meet a budget, are very important. Republicans understand that. We don’t talk about those issues as well as we should. I think that’s the opportunity.”
Christman, the executive director, wouldn’t comment on funding or donors, saying that information would be available in summer financial disclosure reports.
Craddick says in the video that she is the youngest GOP woman elected statewide in Texas history and also is a single mom whose daughter was born during her campaign.
“We want to make sure people understand what Republicans are for, instead of letting Wendy Davis or Battleground Texas go out and say our message,” Craddick said.