Emerge Pennsylvania Announces 2018 Cohort

One year after Trump’s election, the training program for Democratic women was flooded with applications.

HARRISBURG – One year after the presidential election, interest in Emerge Pennsylvania’s intensive seven-month training program was higher than ever. The organization received 57 applications from Democratic women who are interested in seeking public office across the Commonwealth. The Emerge Pennsylvania board has been interviewing applicants for weeks to narrow down the list of women who will be accepted into the 2018 cohort.

“I am so encouraged by the sheer number of women who are telling me that they want to run for office,” said Emerge Pennsylvania co-founder and State Representative Tina Davis, “The political climate of this past year has women fired up and ready to challenge the status quo.”

The 2018 cohort will be in good company. Emerge Pennsylvania is building upon a strong alumnae network, having graduated two cohorts since its inception in 2015. This past November, the organization celebrated a 100% success rate, with six out of six alumnae on the ballot winning their races.

“After conducting interviews all over Pennsylvania, I think we have an incredibly inspiring group of women for the 2018 cohort,” said Emerge Pennsylvania co-founder and State Representative Mary Jo Daley, “This is an ambitious and diverse group of women, that includes a farmer, a veteran, an electrician, a doctor and a homemaker. I cannot wait to see where they end up after their training is complete.”  

Emerge Pennsylvania is proud to announce the following women have been accepted into the 2018 Cohort:

Mary Aucker-Endres - Elizabethtown

Ethelind Baylor - Philadelphia

Emily Best - McConnellsburg

Christa Caceres - Bushkill

Sara Campbell-Szymanski - Audubon

Maria Collett  - Ambler

Shavonnia Corbin-Johnson - York

Amy Cozze - Nazareth

Linda Fields - Pottstown

Rachel Fingles - Bensalem

Valerie Fleisher - Pittsburgh

Danielle Graham Robinson - Pittsburgh

Pamela Hacker - Spring City

Liz Hanbidge - Blue Bell

Bonny Hodges - Springfield

Michele Knoll - Pittsburgh

Katie Muth - Royersford

Jennifer O'Mara - Springfield

Felicia Parker-Cox - Philadelphia

Anna Payne - Langhorne

Tara Pellegrino - Warminster

Nicola Serianni - Philadelphia

Rupali Shah - Philadelphia

Melissa Shusterman - Phoenixville

Paige Van Wirt - Bethlehem

Jennifer Wagner - Boalsburg

Claudette Williams - Mt. Pocono


Since the first Emerge state was launched in 2002 Emerge has trained more than 3,000 Democratic women to run for office to date. Fifty-two percent of Emerge alumnae have run for office or been appointed to local boards or commissions. Of those who have run for office, 70 percent won. Additionally, Emerge has a strong record of diversity – 39 percent of alumnae are women of color. Emerge Pennsylvania started in 2015 and graduated its first class of women in 2016. Follow Emerge Pennsylvania on Facebook for more updates on the program.

Media Contact:

Anne Wakabayashi | anne@emergepa.org | 717-480-0149

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