Our Future: Jason Kander
He’s a contributor for CNN. He’s been featured in Politico, Salon, Huffington Post, and Vogue. He’s been all over the country speaking at Democratic events. Who is he? Technically, a loser — a man who has only been elected to state office and lost his bid for the United States Senate just last year. He’s also our future. He’s Jason Kander. And, in my eyes, he’s a winner.
Jason Kander knows what it’s like to serve. Kander saw it up close as a young boy. Both of his parents, Janet and Steve, were juvenile probation officers. Kander’s dad was also a law enforcement officer at night. His family welcomed vulnerable kids that came from troublesome families. And when our country was attacked on September 11, 2001, he knew he had to do something — so he joined the Missouri National Guard. He would also volunteer to go to Afghanistan, something he did after graduating law school, and would leave the Army reserve as a Captain.
This sense of duty and love of country would lead him to expand upon the service he has known throughout his entire life. In 2008, he would be elected to the Missouri House of Representatives. In the house, he reached across the aisle to pass the first major ethics reform bill in his state’s history since 1991. He would win reelection to the house in 2010 with nearly 70% of the vote.
After a admirable time with the Missouri House of Representatives, Kander went on to serve his state in another capacity. He would run for Missouri Secretary of State. Although the majority of voters disagreed with Mr. Kander on the issue of voter ID, he stood firm and they respected that. In the end, he would end up defeating his opponent in the 2012 race. During his time as secretary of state, he would fight for Missourians and ensure that they all had access to the ballot box no matter what zip code they lived in — he has continued his passion for voting rights today through Let America Vote.
In 2015, Kander would make an important decision. A decision that would not only affect himself, his family, and his state but also the United States and the Democratic Party. Kander has been unstoppable in his service to the American people and he wanted to take that service to the next step. So, on February 19, 2015, Jason Kander announced his run for the United States Senate.
“While the presidential race in the Show-Me State was never much of a contest, the battle between Blunt and Kander quietly snuck up the ranks of the races most likely to swing control of the upper chamber.” — Gabrielle Levy, U.S. News
As he did in past campaigns, he didn’t shift to the middle (most Democrats running in a red state do). He stood firm in his progressive values and believed that the voters would respect him — if he was honest about himself.
In the end, he would lose to Senator Roy Blunt, gaining 46.2% of the vote to Blunt’s 49.2%. A loser indeed. Not quite. Jason, a progressive in a red state, lost by a narrow margin. In a state, where President Obama and Secretary Hillary did poorly, Kander always performed.
After the political upset in the 2016 presidential election, the Democratic Party is a ship that has no commanding officer and is in uncharted waters. We desperately need a message and someone to take the helm.
The Democratic Party and all of it’s hands are looking at Jason Kander. The man who performed well in a red state while Democrats took major hits.
Since his loss, he’s been all over the country — Georgia, Iowa, New Hampshire, New York, etc. He’s rendering aid and electrifying fellow Democrats across the nation. Kander even started an organization: Let America Vote, which aims to stop voting suppression and intimidation in it’s tracks. They have already made significant strides — taking on SB3 in NH, condemning Kris Kobach’s run for governor, convincing Dekalb County to add an early voting location for Georgia voters, and so much more.
While Kander transverses the nation, hearing and listening to the American people, let’s look to him for our future. Let’s hear what he has to say. Let’s work with him to resist and act in accordance to our American values.
He’s young. He’s energetic. He’s passionate and has the yearning to serve. He’s still technically a loser — and that’s okay. Because, in our eyes, he’s the winner we are all are looking for.
And no, I didn’t mention the the rifle ad.