06/22/2010 10:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Elaine Marshall Wins Democratic Primary Runoff in Spite of the Political Establishment

I just received the best news I've heard in a while: WCF-Endorsed Candidate Secretary Elaine Marshall has won the Democratic primary runoff for U.S. Senate in North Carolina.

WCF is proud to be one of the very first national organizations to stand behind Marshall - a proven leader for women and progressive values in her state.

We were in Marshall's corner from the beginning - even before Washington insiders recruited a less experienced man to run against her.

We sent former WCF Fellow, Mary Schilling, to join the Marshall team on the ground full-time, and we are proud to know that Marshall has triumphed in her primary race - despite the lack of support from the political establishment.

Time and again, talented women are overlooked by their Parties, despite the fact that women's representation in Congress is abysmally low.

Looking to November, I call upon all the power players who should have been behind Marshall from the beginning to join us in supporting her. We need Elaine Marshall in Congress.

Elaine Marshall's victory tonight proves that North Carolina is ready to embrace a strong, intelligent woman who has a historic record of leadership for North Carolina and women.

The results of the primary race leave no room for doubt: Elaine Marshall is the right choice. She was the first women ever elected to statewide office in North Carolina and she has since been re-elected four times. Marshall helped to regain $340 million for North Carolina from Wall Street banks.

Marshall has always been a strong advocate for women and minorities' rights. She speaks about how her own experiences with discrimination affected her decision to enter public life:

"When I grew up and became the owner of a small business, I discovered that if I wanted a line of credit, my husband had to go to the bank and apply for the loan - because I was a woman. So as a lawyer, I stood up for people without a voice."

I'm confident that as a U.S. Senator, Marshall will continue to fight for all those who have been left behind. But she can't do it alone. Marshall will face a tough race against the incumbent, and she is one of our best hopes for electing more progressive women who support reproductive health choices to the U.S. Senate.

WCF has fought for Elaine Marshall from the beginning, and we will be with her throughout this race. With only 17 women in the U.S. Senate, we cannot waste a single moment.

I hope the Political Establishment will now join WCF in standing strong with Marshall and many other women like her in November.