Image: Ann Richards, by Ave Bonar

History

Annie’s List was started in 2003 by a small group of women who saw our representation being eliminated in the Texas Legislature. Executing on the plan of Karl Rove, House Republicans specifically targeted Democratic women for elimination in the 2001 redistricting process. The result? Five Democratic women did not return to the Lege in 2003 and Democrats lost their majority in the Texas House for the first time since reconstruction.

The Republican leadership then balanced a $10 billion budget deficit by slashing programs that supported the needs of women and children -- cutting and diverting funds from CHIP, Medicaid, prenatal care, textbooks and more.  Annie’s List was born and dedicated to recruiting, training and supporting progressive women candidates across the state.

While many people think we were named after one of our heroes, Gov. Ann Richards, our namesake is actually Dr. Annie Webb Blanton.  She was a suffragist leader and the first woman elected to statewide office in Texas (1918). Read more about her on Our Namesake page.