EMILY’s List Endorses Claire Russo in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, endorsed Claire Russo for Congress in Virginia’s 5th Congressional District. Stephanie Schriock, president of EMILY’s List, released the following statement:

“Claire Russo is a courageous leader dedicated to serving her country and her home state of Virginia. As a Marine Corps veteran and a fierce advocate for women’s equality, Claire is ready to continue her outstanding career of service as a champion for hardworking Virginia families in Congress.

“Claire is challenging Repbulican incumbent Denver Riggleman, who advocated for defunding Planned Parenthood and has made it clear that his priorities are out of touch with the realities of the Virginians he was elected to serve. Claire Russo has what it takes to flip this seat, and EMILY’s List is proud to support her campaign to bring new leadership to Virginia’s 5th Congressional District.”

Claire Russo was raised in Virginia and joined the Marine Corps at age 23, serving as an intelligence officer. She deployed to Fallujah, Iraq, where she led a team of Marines targeting insurgent networks. Claire is a survivor of sexual assault committed by a Marine aviator in 2004, and she took on the military bureaucracy to make sure her attacker was prosecuted and jailed. She also deployed to Afghanistan and served as a counter insurgency adviser to the infantry and went on to serve on General Petraeus’s counter insurgency advisory team. She returned home and served as a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs fellow studying the role of women in combat and conflicts. Claire and her husband Josh, an Army Special Forces officer currently deployed overseas, are the proud parents of three young children and live in the community of Earlysville, Virginia.


EMILY’s List, the nation’s largest resource for women in politics, has raised over $600 million to elect pro-choice Democratic women candidates. With a grassroots community of over five million members, EMILY’s List helps Democratic women win competitive campaigns – across the country and up and down the ballot – by recruiting and training candidates, supporting strong campaigns, researching the issues that impact women and families, and turning out women voters to the polls. Since our founding in 1985, we have helped elect 150 women to the House, 26 to the Senate, 16 governors, and nearly 1,100 women to state and local office. Nearly 40 percent of the candidates EMILY’s List has helped elect to Congress have been women of color. During the historic 2017-2018 cycle, EMILY’s List raised a record-breaking $110 million and launched a record independent expenditure campaign. We helped elect 34 new women to the House, including 24 red-to-blue victories; enough seats to have delivered the U.S. House majority alone. Since the 2016 election, more than 50,000 women have reached out to EMILY’s List about running for office laying the groundwork for the next decade of candidates for local, state and national offices.