Emerge Pennsylvania Announces Inaugural Class

January 25, 2016– Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – The Board of Emerge Pennsylvania has selected the inaugural class of women to participate in Emerge’s intensive training.

“We were overwhelmed by the response we got to the Emerge Program,” said State Rep. Tina Davis, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Emerge Pennsylvania. “It’s a true testament to how needed this program was that we had over 35 women submit applications. We’re excited to begin working with the extraordinary group of women we’ve chosen and look forward to building a pipeline and community of women ready to run for office, and win.”

“This class is full of outstanding women, all of whom are leaders in their communities and deeply passionate about making Pennsylvania a better place for all of it’s citizens,” said State Rep. Mary Jo Daley, Co-Chair and Co-Founder of Emerge Pennsylvania. “These women are not only future candidates, but six of the twenty-two are candidates for office in 2016 and we look forward to working with the entire class to change the face of politics in our commonwealth.”

Emerge Pennsylvania is proud to announce the following women have been accepted into the Inaugural 2016 Class:


LauraEllen Ashcraft - Pittsburgh

Mary Ellen Balchunis - Ardmore

Heather Boyd - Drexel Hill

Carolyn Comitta - West Chester

Kelly Fraasch - Mount Lebanon

Lissa Geiger Shulman - Pittsburgh

Linda Hee - Abington

Kristine Howard - Malvern

Movita Johnson-Harrell - Philadelphia

Kimberly Kaplan - Pittsburgh

Barbarann Keffer - Drexel Hill

Jasmine Kurjakovic   - Pittsburgh

Gillian Kratzer - Altoona

Nikki Lu - Pittsburgh

Sharon Overton - Elkins Park

Sully Pinos - York

Megan Pilkington - Irwin

Laura Quick - Palmyra

Christine Reuther - Wallingford

Elaine Schaefer - Newtown Square

Lauren Vidas - Philadelphia

Lindsey Williams - Pittsburgh


Since the first Emerge state was launched in 2002 Emerge has trained more than 1,500 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 - forty percent of alumnae are women of color. Follow Emerge Pennsylvania on Facebook for more updates on the program.


Media Contact: Anne Wakabayashi | anne@emergepa.org | c. 717-480-0149



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