Coalition totals more than 23,000 members
HOUSTON, Texas – Today, Presidential candidate Ted Cruz announced the formation of "Women for Cruz" – a coalition of more than 23,000 members and led by accomplished, distinguished women from a variety of backgrounds. Women for Cruz will work to spread the campaign's message throughout the country highlighting how Cruz's policies will benefit women. National Co-Chairs include Cecilia Abbott, Becky Bontrager, Debra Burlingame, Kaye T. Goolsby, Jewels Green, Rebecca Hagelin, Commander Theresa Hubbard, Katie Kieffer, Melissa Klein, Rachel Little, Jenny Beth Martin, Mica Mosbacher, Ann Marie Murrell, Betty Poe, Sandy Rios, Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, and Julianne Thompson.
"I am humbled and honored to have the support of these strong, capable, talented women who represent the strength and leadership of women across the country," said Cruz. "Bold and courageous, these women come from diverse walks of life, all fighting to bring our country back from the precipice. The energy and commitment of these women, in particular, make me more dedicated to restore and reignite the promise of America."
On the heels of the endorsement by Texas governor Greg Abbott, Ted was delighted when the First Lady of the Lone Star State agreed to help lead Women for Cruz. "Ted is a courageous, common-sense conservative with the right values and principles to lead our country into a bigger and brighter future," said Cecilia Abbott. "America needs a strong, fearless leader, and that leader is Ted. I am honored to support him for President of the United States."
Cecilia Abbott has devoted her life to serving others. She was a teacher, vice-principal and principal at several Catholic schools across Texas. She then went on to work as the managing director of community relations for a company specializing in senior adult health care facilities and services. Cecilia believes in giving back to our communities. She serves on the board of several organizations and educational institutions, and is a member of numerous philanthropic groups. Most importantly, Cecilia is a proud mother to her daughter, Audrey, and a devoted wife to her husband of 34 years, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott. With her husband's election as Governor, Cecilia made history by becoming the first Hispanic First Lady of Texas.
Constitutional conservatism is the bedrock of the Cruz campaign and Ted is grateful to have the support of powerful constitutional conservatives including Virginia "Ginni" Thomas, a longtime activist for conservative causes. She has worked as a top congressional advisor, a senior political appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor, and a senior executive with The Heritage Foundation. Her popular video series at the Daily Caller News Foundation focuses on conservative leaders who are breaking through in today's politics. For many years she has been an advocate for conservatives and is a conservative media talent in her own right.
Ted Cruz has a long-standing record of defending life, marriage, the family and religious liberty. He is proud to align himself with women who share his commitment. Rebecca Hagelin is a bestselling author and pro-life speaker who has advocated pro-life, family, faith, and freedom policy for over 25 years. A former vice president of The Heritage Foundation, Rebecca is a columnist, public speaker, and author of Home Invasion: Protecting Your Family in a Culture That's Gone Stark Raving Mad and 30 Ways in 30 Days to Protect Your Family. Rebecca was named one of the nation's Top 10 Evangelical Women by Concerned Women for America in 2006. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Dr. James Dobson's FamilyTalk and is the secretary and an executive committee member of the Council for National Policy.
Jenny Beth Martin serves as the Tea Party Patriots Citizens Fund Chairman and is one of the founders of the modern Tea Party movement. Under her leadership, Tea Party Patriots has grown to be the largest and most effective national umbrella group within the Tea Party movement. She reaches millions of Americans every week with education and updates about fiscal responsibility, free market principles, and constitutionally limited government. In 2010 Time Magazine listed Jenny Beth Martin as one of the 100 Most Influential Leaders in the World.
Melissa Klein owns the Oregon cake shop, Sweet Cakes by Melissa. She was persecuted for declining to make a cake for a same-sex wedding because of her religious beliefs. Melissa was forced to close her business and continue her work at home.
Jewels Green is a former abortion clinic worker who was pressured into an abortion as a teenager and survived a subsequent suicide attempt. She is a mother, writer, public speaker, volunteer, and tireless advocate for the right to life from conception to natural death. Jewels is featured in the documentary film 40 and her candid articles have been published online and in print. Jewels Green was a featured speaker this year at the March for Life in Washington D.C.
Becky Bontrager, her husband Marlin, and their 10 homeschool educated children reside on a dairy, grain, and hog farm in Kalona, IA. The whole family loves working together as a team both on the farm and in their travels throughout the country with their family ministry and band, the Bontrager Family Singers. Becky and her family are also involved in their church and local community and host several family encouragement events that draw well over a thousand each year.
The Women for Cruz coalition is comprised of many gifted communicators and women who use their media platforms to advance the conservative cause. Among them is Ann-Marie Murrell, the publisher and editor of PolitiChicks.com. She is the co-author of the bestselling book, "What Women (Really) Want." Ann-Marie is a frequent political commentator on television and radio including Fox & Friends, Hannity, the Dr. Phil Show, CNN, C-SPAN and more. Ann-Marie is a native Texan and a direct descendent of Captain John Yeary, who arrived in the Republic of Texas 3 years after the Battle of the Alamo. She has become e a symbol of the effort to restore religious liberty in the U.S.
Sandy Rios is the Director of Governmental Affairs for the American Family Association, one of America's largest, pro-family grassroots organizations, and host of "Sandy Rios in the Morning" on AFR Talk which can be heard on nearly 200 stations through the American Family Radio Network.
Katie Kieffer is an entrepreneur, author, commentator, public speaker, and weekly national columnist. Random House recently published her first book titled Let Me Be Clear: Barack Obama's War on Millennials and One Woman's Case for Hope. Katie chaired a National NAIOP Young Professionals Forum of rising stars in commercial real estate. She was also named one of "Twin Cities 25 Youngest Professionals."
Ted Cruz recognizes the threats to our national security and is committed to keeping Americans safe. He is honored to have National Co-Chairs of Women for Cruz who are leaders in the national security space. Commander Theresa Hubbard first entered the service by enlisting in the United States Coast Guard Reserve in 1989. She was commissioned in the United States Coast Guard Reserve in 1998 in Yorktown, Virginia and has served in a variety of administrative and operational billets throughout her career. She spent seven years on active duty as a Reserve Program Administrator from 2002 to 2008. Commander Hubbard has received the Coast Guard Commendation Medal with gold star and the "O" device, Navy/Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Coast Guard Achievement Medal with gold star, Commandant's Letter of Commendation, Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Port Security Unit insignia.
Debra Burlingame is the sister of Captain Charles F. "Chic" Burlingame III, pilot of American Airlines flight 77, which was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Ms. Burlingame is the co-founder of 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America. A former attorney, Ms. Burlingame was a producer at Court TV where she covered dozens of civil and criminal legal proceedings ranging from the OJ Simpson trial and the Clinton impeachment hearings to the Microsoft anti-trust case. She has written numerous feature articles for the Wall Street Journal and other national publications on terrorism and national security issues.
The Cruz campaign is a grassroots effort that has been successful due to the commitment of political leaders across the country. Women for Cruz National Co-Chair Kaye T. Goolsby is a former Texas Federation of Republican Women officer, a former Board Member of National Federation of Republican Women and was honored as one of the 10 Outstanding Republican Women in Texas. She currently serves as the National Grassroots Chairwoman for the Cruz campaign.
Mica Mosbacher is the author of the memoir, Racing Forward, a philanthropist, and advocate on social issues prompting legislation such as funding for sexual assault victims. She has co-chaired two presidential campaigns, John McCain and Rick Perry, and served as Inaugural Chair for Governor Perry. Mica is a frequent contributor to Fox News and Fox Business. She is the widow of former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, Bob Mosbacher.
Rachel Little is Georgia Co-Chair for the Cruz for President campaign and the immediate past Chairman of the Gwinnett County Republican Party. She recently received the Georgia Republican Party Chairman of the Year Award. She was recognized as the Woman of the Year by the Conservative Republican Women of North Atlanta and served as Mitt Romney's and Herman Cain's Georgia state co-chair in 2012.
Julianne Thompson is one of Georgia's most active Republican leaders and serves as Georgia Co-Chair for the Cruz for President campaign. She is the former co-chairman of the Atlanta Tea Party and co-founder of the Capitol Coalition of Conservative Leaders, Georgia's largest political coalition, and a former press secretary of the Georgia Republican Party.
Betty Poe, a retired insurance executive, is the immediate past 1st Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Women, an organization with over 60,000 members nationwide. She has served previously in numerous political roles including State President of the South Carolina Federation of Republican Women and the Greenville County Republican Party Chairman. Mrs. Poe is an avid Clemson Tiger fan, and has helped to raise millions of dollars for the university.