OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (March 5, 2021)— A new Political Action Committee (PAC) launched today to help build the bench of Republican women running for elected office across Oklahoma.
The Promoting Oklahoma Women in Elections & Representation (POWhER) PAC is a network of grassroots individuals committed to helping inspire and support Republican women running for office at all levels of government and strengthening the network and unity of Republican women across the state.
Each year, the POWhER PAC will issue checks to eligible women running for election, hold member-only events with PAC endorsed candidates and host an annual networking event for members with former and current elected Republican women.
“We have seen an increasing number of Republican women from across the nation raise their hand to run for office, and we are committed to elevating that movement here at home,” said the POWhER PAC board members. “Our desire is to help inspire and support female candidates and give them the boost they need through financial support and our membership network. We welcome Republicans across Oklahoma - women and men - to join this grassroots effort to help talented, conservative women run for office, deliver change and lead our state at all levels of government.”
The POWhER PAC is governed by a 9-person Advisory Board that is responsible for strategic decisions relating to endorsements in key races across Oklahoma. The Advisory Board is made up of a diverse network of Republican women from across the State, to include four former elected officials that represent the State House, State Senate and a Statewide seat. The Advisory Board determines in each election cycle whether its funds will be utilized and which candidates it will place on a ballot sent to PAC members for a final vote on financial endorsements. Members of the Board include:
AJ Griffin: Former Oklahoma State Senator to District 20 and Vice President of Government Affairs for Paycom. Awarded child welfare advocate, former teacher, Logan County resident, mom of two.
Patrice Douglas: Counsel at SpencerFane, former bank executive, former elected Oklahoma Corporation Commissioner, and former elected mayor of Edmond, Edmond resident.
Lisa Johnson Billy: Speaker Pro Temp for the Chickasaw Nation Legislature, serving her fourth term. Former Oklahoma House Representative to District 42, where she was the first woman, first Native American and first Republican elected to her district. Founder of Peacemakers Inc, Purcell resident, mom of three.
Jennifer Howard: Territory Manager at Corteva Agriscience, agricultural advocate, CASA volunteer, Altus resident and Altus Air Force Base supporter, member of Jackson County Republican Party, spouse to Senator Brent Howard.
Rachel Brewer: Lead Sales Representative for Liberty Mutual, former leader of the Tulsa Young Republicans Club, Tulsa resident, mom of four.
Lee Denney: Former House Representative to District 33 and former Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, former mayor of Cushing, former co-owner of Veterinary Medical Associates, Cushing resident, mom of two and grandmother of four.
Julia Jernigan: Executive Director of Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association and owner of Creative Capital Strategies, Oklahoma City resident.
Donelle Harder, president: Founder and CEO of Pliris Strategies and former spokesperson for Governor Kevin Stitt and U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe. Oklahoma City resident, mom of two.
Jenna Worthen, treasurer: Founder and CEO of the James Martin Company, founder of Mom Who Works, OKC resident, mom of three.
Donelle Harder will serve as chair of the POWhER PAC and Jenna Worthen will serve as Treasurer for the first year until elections are held among board members by 2022.
“I am honored to be among this incredible group of former elected Republican women of Oklahoma and respected female leaders as we organize to support our fellow ladies in their run for office in Oklahoma,” said Donelle Harder. “I look forward to serving as chair of the Board for the POWhER PAC’s inaugural year until elections are held.”
In coordination with its launch, the POWhER PAC announced today the endorsement of four Republican women by issuing its first set of PAC checks to the following candidates:
Congresswoman Stephanie Bice: Bice was elected in 2020 to represent Congressional District 5. Since joining Congress, Bice was elected by her peers to serve as Freshman Class President and serves as a member of the Republican Whip Team. Prior to her election to Congress, Bice served in the Oklahoma State Senate for six years. During her tenure, she was Assistant Majority Floor Leader and Chair of the Senate Finance Committee.
State Senator Jessica Garvin: In 2020, Garvin was elected to represent Senate District 43 and also became the first woman elected to this district encompassing communities in Garvin, Grady, McClain and Stephens counties. Garvin is a nursing home and assisted living administrator. She also serves as the executive vice president of Bison Health Care Management and is the co-owner of Kindful Hospice.
State Representative Tammy West: West is currently the most senior woman in State House leadership, serving as Majority Whip. West has represented House District 84 since 2017. Prior to serving in the House, she was board president and District 4 member on the Putnam City school board, the fifth largest school district in Oklahoma.
District Attorney Angela Marsee: Marsee was the first woman to be elected as District Attorney for District 2, representing Beckham, Custer, Ellis, Roger Mills and Washita Counties. She also serves as the president of the Oklahoma District Attorneys Association and has 24 years of experience as a prosecutor.
Oklahomans can join the POWhER PAC with a $250 annual membership fee here:
An electronic ballot to vote in each cycle on which candidates the PAC will endorse
An invitation to join free, in-person meet and greets with PAC-endorsed candidates
A discount rate at the annual POWhER PAC gala
Individuals currently enrolled in an undergraduate college program can join the POWhER PAC at a discount rate of $30.
The Advisory Board pays a higher annual membership due. Oklahomans interested in joining the 9-person Board in the future can email POWhERPAC@gmail.com for more information.
To learn more about the POWhER PAC, visit powherpac.org.