“Candidly, I wondered a lot the last few years why I waited so long to run for office. I don’t know that I grew up around any women in government,” said Amico, who was raised in Joplin, Missouri. “There are too many voices left out. Too many people who could bring better governance — whether on a school board or in the state Capitol.”
Sarah Riggs Amico's Our American Dreams PAC, in its first round of endorsements, is backing about 20 candidates, including many women of color running in competitive districts. Ben@BenGray.com / Special
Among the endorsements is a slate of Democrats with diverse backgrounds, including state Reps. Angelika Kausche, Donna McLeod and Bee Nguyen. The group is also backing Zulma Lopez, a state House candidate, and Deborah Gonzalez, who is running to be the top prosecutor in Athens-Clarke County.
Nguyen, first elected in 2017, praised Amico for not abandoning politics after her defeats and pushing to include more women in the process. Roughly one-third of Georgia state lawmakers are women, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
“Women often think running for office is the only path to politics. But it’s critically important to have women who lift up other women,” Nguyen said. “I respect and admire her courage for not throwing the towel in — instead of disappearing from the political space, she’s continuing to find her voice.”
Amico didn’t specify how much she’s spending to finance the PAC, but she said she returned to donors from her last two campaigns and asked them to consider chipping in. She also said her family, which recently regained a majority stake in a car-hauling firm where she served as a top executive, will financially support the initiative.
In the long run, Amico said she hopes the PAC can develop a blueprint for how government and society can operate in a post-pandemic world. She recently recovered from a bout with COVID-19, and she sees the coming years as a chance to overhaul systems rooted in systemic racism and inequalities.
“It’s not about going back to the way things were before COVID,” she said. “It’s about whether the country can choose leaders who understand we have an opportunity to reset the system and eliminate some of these biases.”