Top donor rallies GOP women

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Pennsylvania energy executive Christine Toretti, who served as the finance co-chair of the Republican National Committee in 2012, told POLITICO’s Alexander Burns she will head up a super PAC dubbed Women Lead. The organization aims to drum up contributions from other deep-pocketed Republican women, and use them to promote women running across the country in 2014 and beyond. A longtime member of the RNC who has donated some $600,000 to Republican candidates and committees over the years according to the Federal Election Commission, Toretti said she came away from the 2012 election convinced that female donors needed a stronger role in intra-party Republican politics. … Republicans lost women voters by 11 percentage points in the last presidential election, according to national exit polls, and failed to win multiple Senate races where male GOP candidates made [offensive] comments about rape and abortion …

Toretti will have only one adviser on staff at Women Lead at the outset: Courtney Johnson, a former Mitt Romney campaign aide who managed the Women for Mitt outreach effort. … In a statement to POLITICO, [Speaker] Boehner endorsed both the goals of Toretti’s project and her leadership. … The RNC, National Republican Congressional Committee and Republican State Leadership Committee have all announced initiatives to recruit women candidates for the 2014 election cycle. (There are already four Republican women who serve as governors, compared with just one female Democratic governor, Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire.)

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