“Be flexible in your life. You make a big decision as an 18-year-old freshman about your major which set up a large part of your post-college life. BUT have the courage to go a different direction after you graduate based on your passion if your interest changes.”

Image for post
Image for post

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Cynthia Wallace: In 2019, the 9th district went without representation in Congress for 9 months after the discovery of election fraud by Republican operatives canceled the results of the 2018 election. The current Republican congressman missed 33% of the votes in his first month in office. By that time, I had served as the 9th Congressional District Chair for the Democratic Party across all of the district’s eight counties for nearly three years. My deep commitment to the district — and seeing the Republican incumbent only show up in Congress when he could vote against the interests of his constituents — drove me into this race in December. …


Image for post
Image for post

“Do not worry about what others think of you, do not look to get others’ approval. You know who you are and what your value is. No one needs to define that for you.”

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Hiral Tipirneni: I’ve spent my life in service of others — focused on solving complex problems and improving people’s lives. For over 20 years, I’ve worked in my community, first, as an emergency medicine physician, then, as a cancer research advocate. I also serve on the board of Valleywise Health Foundation, which supports the only public hospital in Maricopa County and the largest safety net hospital in AZ. After the 2016 election, my family, friends, and I were devastated by the results. The idea that over 20 million Americans would be thrown off their healthcare if the ACA was repealed was unfathomable to me. I couldn’t stand by and let that happen, and I knew I had to do more. …


Image for post
Image for post

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Gina Ortiz Jones: As a first-generation American who was raised by a single mom and earned a four-year Air Force ROTC scholarship to attend college, I’ve been fortunate to live the American Dream. And, having spent nearly 15 years working in national security, to include deploying to Iraq as an Air Force intelligence officer, I’ve seen first-hand the importance of American leadership. Our country’s example and leadership matter — our country is special, and she’s worth fighting for.

OTS: Tell us about where you’re running and what your district is like.

GOJ: I’m most grateful for the support and encouragement of voters in TX-23. It’s clear our message is resonating and giving people hope about what is possible with a representative willing to fight for them and for the issues they care about — from affordable health care, to addressing crushing student debt, to the ways we can build the infrastructure needed to close the gaps between our urban and rural communities.


Desiree Tims
Desiree Tims

“Be true to yourself and trust your gut — it will all work out.”

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Desiree Tims: I was born and raised in Dayton, Ohio and I’m a proud product of Dayton Public Schools. After graduating from Dayton Dunbar High School, I became the first in her family to graduate from a four-year college and attended Xavier University. Most recently, I graduated from Georgetown Law.

As an undergraduate at Xavier University, I joined the 2008 Obama presidential campaign as a volunteer in Southwest Ohio. Later, that experience would land me in The White House during President Barack Obama’s first presidential term. Following my time at The White House, I began working on Capitol Hill for United States senators Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York). …


Image for post
Image for post

“Stretching into new roles and environments is a good thing. Being uncomfortable when you are doing something means you are really growing.”

Off the Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Gretchen Driskell: I was born and raised in Port Washington, New York. I earned my Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Lynchburg College and a Master’s of Business Administration degree from George Washington University. I worked as a CPA in D.C. for many years then moved to Michigan with my family in 1988.

As the grand-daughter and daughter of Navy Veterans, I grew up learning that we have an obligation to give back to our community and that the most valuable things in life are always worth standing up for. …


Image for post
Image for post

“Sometimes we doubt ourselves so much and compare ourselves to others’ expectations. I would tell my younger self to have a little more faith.”

Off The Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Val Demings: When growing up, my mother always told me “never grow tired of doing good.” As a 27- year law enforcement officer, I worked my way up through every barrier to become the first female Chief of Police of the Orlando Police Department. We engaged the community to make sure that they received what they wanted from their police department. We were able to reduce crime by 40%. I decided to run for office because I wanted to continue doing good for our community. …


There’s nothing quite like a good book. It can transport you, captivate you, teach you, and — perhaps most importantly these days — offer a much-needed distraction from everyday life.

So we put a call out to our Off the Sidelines candidates: What book — or books — would you recommend to a friend during this challenging time?

We received a ton of responses, from beloved children’s books to powerful non-fiction and just about everything in between. I hope you’ll take a look! …


Image for post
Image for post

Off the Sidelines: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

Sara Gideon: Years ago, when my three kids were all under the age of five, I came home to a message someone had left for my husband, Ben on our answering machine asking if he would consider running for our local town council seat. When I heard that message I thought — actually — I think that’s the right job for me and a place where I can really make a difference. …


Image for post
Image for post

OTS: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

RF: I got off the sidelines because of Sen. Gillibrand. I met the Senator at an EMILY’s List reception and she brought me on the next day as an intern — from then on I only worked for women in politics. Senator Gillibrand has supported each and every one of those women. Now, I’m running, in large part because she’s always pushed me to be engaged and to advocate for the issues that matter to me.

OTS: Tell us about where you’re running/what your state/district is like? …


Image for post
Image for post

OTS: Tell us about yourself. Why did you decide to get off the sidelines and run for office?

JG: I have spent my entire life serving others; as a combat veteran, an educator and a local elected official. I’ve always worked hard, done more and gone the extra mile for my community. The gridlock in Washington summoned me to be the change I wanted to see. I had no choice but to step up and run for Congress.

OTS: Tell us about where you’re running/what your state/district is like?

JG: I’m running in NY-02. It straddles Nassau and Suffolk County and hugs the south shore of Long Island, running from Levittown to a portion of Patchogue with a piece of Fire Island. This is a toss-up district, which both Trump and Obama have won.

About

Off The Sidelines

Off The Sidelines is @SenGillibrand’s movement to help women run for office—and win.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store