Congresswomen Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Chair of the Joint Economic Committee, won big in her primary last night with over 80% of the vote. She beat back a challenge that had the backing of some Wall Street interests. Maloney is a champion of women’s rights legislation including truth in advertising to curb misleading claims by so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers, the Debbie Smith Act to reform DNA evidence collection in rape cases, the Equal Rights Amendment, and global women’s rights.
She was endorsed by the Feminist Majority PAC, NOW PAC, Emily’s List, and a host of feminist leaders including Gloria Steinem. Maloney’s primary win in this solid Democratic seat is tantamount to re-election. Since Maloney is also a champion for consumers’ rights, she had been targeted by the financial interests. Wall Street behavior was curbed by Maloney’s Credit Cardholder’s Bill of Rights, which she authored and championed. It went into effect this February and protects consumers from deceptive credit card practices resulting in astronomical interest payments.
Progressive feminist Ann McLane Kuster (D-NH) won in the second district of the New Hampshire Democratic primary for the 2nd Congressional District against blue dog Katrina Swett. Kuster, a strong pro-choice candidate and supporter of women’s rights legislation won by more than 2 to 1 (71%-29%) over anti-abortion rights candidate Swett.
Both women have political legacies. Kuster, an attorney specializing in education and health law, is the daughter of the late state representative Susan McLane, a founder of NARAL Pro-Choice America, while Swett is the far more conservative daughter of the late U.S. Representative Tom Lantos from California, who was a human rights champion during his long tenure in Congress.
“I’m thrilled that Maloney and Kuster won,” said Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal. “Maloney provides real strong leadership for women’s rights and consumer’s rights legislation day in and day out. Kuster, an expert in healthcare and education law, will be a pro- choice.”
Also winning in Congressional primaries last night were the following pro-choice women incumbents who did not have strong challenges: Donna Edwards (D-MD), Congressional District 4; Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD); Carol Shea Porter (D-NH), Congressional District 1; Nikki Tsongas (MA-D), Congressional District 5; Gwen Moore, (D-WI), Congressional District 4; and Tammy Baldwin (WI-D), Congressional District 2.