ACROSS THE COUNTRY: Including VA, as of 4am ET, nearly 40% of our endorsed candidates won their elections. The usual win rate for first-time candidates is 10%.
IN VIRGINIA: Six of RFS’s 10 candidates for House of Delegates won. One race is still too close to call.
Maria Taylor, Farmington MI — City Council
Maria is a writer, editor, and historian, and ran for Farmington City Council in this November’s election because she believes that cities work best when they work for everyone. She ran to bring together historic homes *and* food truck rallies…social media, senior citizens, *and* safe sidewalks. She’s ready to give our city a 21st-century boost…and, at the same time, leverage the deep-rooted sense of community heritage that makes Farmington unique.
Michael Pare, South Windsor, CT — Board of Education
Mike Paré is a proud progressive who has the budget expertise and leadership needed to maintain continued excellence on the Board of Education in South Windsor. He is a strong believer in public education and recognizes the importance of supporting education at the local level, particularly with the challenges being posed by state and national policies. Mike looks forward to working with all parties in town to promote educational opportunities for all South Windsor students.
David Hamilton, Troy, MI — City Council
Born and raised in Troy, Michigan; a graduate of the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering, David has worked in the auto industry for the last 12 years programming self-driving cars, working on advanced safety technology, and enhancing car connectivity to the internet. He wants to see more STEM experts (science, technology, engineering, and math) run for office and help advance their communities. ”The main reason I’m running is because the people of Troy were there for me during my youth and it would be an absolute privilege to represent them on City Council.”
Peter Spadafore, Lansing, MI — City Council
Peter has served on the Lansing School Board for the last six years–three as president and two as secretary. Through those experiences and more than a decade of working in policy, he’s balanced budgets, worked collaboratively toward shared goals, and made tough decisions on behalf of the residents of Lansing–including developing our strategic plan and helping the Lansing Pathway Promise Bond become a reality for Lansing’s children. He believes he brings a demonstrated ability to collaboratively craft a shared vision for our residents and achieve those goals, we face big problems–we will only solve them together.
Brian Jackson, Lansing, MI — City Council
Brian Jackson embraces diversity and leads by example. After earning a law degree from Howard University School of Law, he returned to his hometown of Lansing to work as a prosecutor. After noticing systemic flaws in the way that government and the criminal justice system operates, Brian left the prosecutor’s office to work as a defense attorney. Now, Brian has his own firm and volunteers his time by teaching students how to respectfully assert their rights during police encounters. Brian is running for Lansing City Council to ensure that everyone, including the underrepresented, has a voice in decision making.
David Stockton, Hatboro, PA — Borough Council
Dave Stockton is a proud Democrat who is excited to put into practice his belief that individuals are responsible for making the changes they wish to see in government. He believes that progressive, inclusive solutions are the only way to move our nation forward. With a strong background in business and education, he is seeking a Council position within his local municipality to help implement those solutions.
Heather Ward, Berwyn, PA — School Board
Heather Ward, 22 years old, is an auditor and recent Villanova graduate. She is passionate about public education and is running to advocate for students and provide transparency to her community. She is running in the district where she attended K-12 and would be the youngest person to ever sit on her School Board.
Kevindaryan Lujan, Newburgh, NY — Orange County Legislature
Kevindaryán Luján is a Hudson Valley community organizer and social justice advocate from the City of Newburgh. He is a member of Orange County Young Democrats, No Body Lives Mid-Hudson, the NAACP and a member of the Orange County Democratic Committee. In this capacity Mr. Lujan has worked to find sustainable methods to empower youth and minorities by encouraging their participation in political campaigns. Mr. Lujan has been endorsed by the Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation, New York State Young Democrats, Orange County Democratic Women and the Latino Democratic Committee of Orange County, 1199 and Run for Something. If elected he would be the first Latino American to ever be elected to the Orange County Legislature and amongst the youngest.
Jacob LaBure, Lakewood, CO — City Council
I am running because I care about my community. I believe it’s important to ensure that we are moving the city forward, and we’re not putting up barriers to our future. If elected I’ll be a proactive community leader who’s willing to knock doors and work hard to ensure we’re moving Lakewood forward.
Megan Kilgore, Columbus, OH — Columbus City Auditor
Megan Kilgore is a municipal advisor with H.J. Umbaugh & Associates in Columbus, Ohio. From 2004 through 2015, Kilgore was the assistant city auditor for Columbus under City Auditor Hugh J. Dorrian, where she managed all debt of the city. In 2016 Megan Kilgore was the recipient of The Bond Buyer’s “Rising Star” Award. In 2012, Megan was selected as a member of the “40 under 40” list by Columbus Business First. She was also the recipient of the 2012 Women in Public Finance’s Rising Star Award, and a 2009 Columbus Alive Person to Watch. Kilgore is an adjunct professor at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at the Ohio State University. Kilgore serves on the boards of Goodwill Columbus, the Columbus Landmarks Foundation, Ohio Women in Public Finance, and recently ended a six-year term with the YWCA of Columbus. She has coached Special Olympics women’s basketball for Columbus City Schools since 2006.
Daniel Pritchard, Watertown, MA — Library Committee
Daniel Pritchard is a writer and editor living in Watertown’s East End with his wife and their eight-month-old daughter. Born and raised in Quincy, MA, Daniel graduated from Boston College and has a background in literary publishing. He currently serves as a communications and development associate for MIT’s School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences.
Jerred McKee, Manhattan, KS — City Commissioner
Jerred McKee is business professional at an Inc. 5000 company in Manhattan, KS. He serves as a strategic adviser for city and county governments all over the country on how they can better leverage technology to be more transparent with citizens, make internal processes more efficient, and make it easier for citizens to do business with the municipality.
Aryeh Alex, Grove City, OH — Franklin Township Trustee
Aryeh Alex has fought his entire career for working people to have great paying jobs and live in a safe, clean place — now he wants to serve Franklin Township as their next Township Trustee. Aryeh currently works for the Ohio Environmental Council, where he leads advocacy efforts to ensure that Ohioans have clean air, water, and public lands, and has previously worked for both the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees. Aryeh resides in Franklin Township, a suburb of Columbus, Ohio, with his wife, Grace, where he serves as President of the Friends of Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks, enjoys hiking, nature photography, and volunteering as a naturalist.
Kirkland Carden, Duluth, GA — City Council
Kirkland Carden grew up in Duluth Georgia, and later when on to graduate from Duluth High School and Georgia State University with a degree in Political Science. He’s a transportation and city planner by trade and currently works for the Georgia Department of Transportation. Kirkland has served the community on the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Citizens Budget Advisory Commission, among other local commission and boards. He loves Duluth, and it’s the place he calls home; he looks forward to fighting for our city each day when elected.
Lydia Edwards, Boston, MA — City Council
Lydia Edwards is a Boston-area public interest attorney whose spent her entire career fighting on behalf of domestic workers and women. In her current job as the Deputy Director of the Office of Housing Stability, Lydia seeks to keep the middle class in Boston as gentrification pushes families, seniors and longtime residents out. She is running to be Boston’s next city councilor as a bold, independent voice and will bring a fresh perspective to solve some of our districts most complex problems.
Ashley Bennett, Mays Landing, NJ — Atlantic County, NJ Freeholder
Ashley Bennett, 32 is a Democrat running against Republican John Carman for Freeholder in District 3 of Atlantic County, NJ.; after seeing Carman’s comment, “Will the Women’s March be over in time for them to cook dinner.” Ashley is a long-time Atlantic County resident. After 9–11, Ashley became an EMT and discovered her passion to serve others in the back of the ambulance. Her dedication to others has led to her becoming a professional crisis counselor, where she is always helping those in need.
Jennifer Carroll Foy, Woodbridge, VA — House of Delegates, VA-2
As a former Magistrate judicial officer, foster parent, one of the first females to graduate from Virginia Military Institute and a current public defender, Jennifer understands the needs of her community and has the knowledge and experience to find solutions to strengthen our economy, improve education and transportation, reform our criminal justice system, and advance women’s rights.
Chris Hurst, Roanoke, VA — House of Delegates, VA-12
Chris Hurst is a former broadcast journalist and anchor for WDBJ7 (CBS) in Roanoke, Virginia. The on-air murder of his late-girlfriend, fellow journalist Alison Parker, has motivated Chris to run for public office and fight for families in Southwest Virginia. As Delegate, he vows to give a voice to the voiceless, demand support for public education and protect those at-risk to violence and abuse.
Danica Roem, Manassas, VA — House of Delegates, VA -13
Danica is a 32-year-old step-mom, journalist, and lifelong Manassas resident. She worked as the lead reporter of the Gainesville Times from 2006–2015, and most recently served as the news editor of the Montgomery County Sentinel from 2015–2016. If elected, Danica would be the first out transgender person ever seated in an American state legislature.
Kelly Fowler, Virginia Beach, VA — House of Delegates, VA-21
Kelly Fowler is the Virginia House of Delegates Democratic nominee in the 21st District, which encompasses parts of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake. She is a real estate broker where she leads a team of women specializing in military family relocations and a former public school teacher. She is a lifelong resident of Virginia Beach where she currently lives with her husband and two daughters.
Donte Tanner, Fairfax, VA — House of Delegates, VA-40
Donte Tanner is an Air Force Veteran, small business owner, husband and father. Donte, who was taught the importance of service from his parents, is running because he wants to continue serving his country and carry on the Air Force Academy’s tradition of putting “Service Before Self” by fighting for Virginia families.
Schuyler VanValkenberg, Henrico, VA — House of Delegates, VA-32
Schuyler is a public school teacher who is running for Delegate to fight for strong public schools, to create 21st Century jobs, and to level the playing field for all citizens. Schuyler is raising his three children in the Lakeside neighborhood in Henrico County, and he teaches government and history at Glen Allen High School.
Rachel Fingles, Bensalem, PA — School Board
Rachel is a family law attorney and the single mother of two girls. Empowering women and girls is one of Rachel’s top priorities, and she feels that a well-rounded education is the key to doing so.
Angela Becker, Newton, KS — School Board
Public education is the bedrock of our democracy. Angela is running to protect and improve the system that so many of us rely on. With a Master’s degree in Business Administration and a successful career in corporate financial analysis and planning, Angela will be able to help our district allocate scarce educational resources in a way that is fair and equitable to all the children in our district. She will be an unbiased voice for our children and will be able to serve our school district without an agenda.
Kelsey Waits, Hastings, MN — School Board
Kelsey Waits is a mother of two, a devoted Hastings resident, and a young, fresh voice in the community. She is running for office because she loves Hastings and would like to use her talents to help the city thrive. Kelsey’s experience as a mother to a child with special needs and her background in Statistics and applied research make her a strong advocate for children with learning needs and a rational voice at the decision-making table.
Dimple Ajmera, Charlotte, NC — City Council
Dimple was unanimously appointed to the Charlotte City Council District 5 in January after serving 2 years on the Charlotte Housing Authority wheres she passionately advocated for affordable and workforce housing. In order to serve all of Charlotte at a higher level of service and responsibility, she is now running for Charlotte City Council at Large. She is a CPA and a Housing Provider.
Jenna Ott, North Wales, PA — School Board
As the youngest candidate currently running for the North Penn School Board in Pennsylvania, Jenna hopes to bring fresh eyes, innovative ideas, and progress to her district. She holds a B.S. in Communications from Ithaca College, which led to a wonderful 8 year career in Television Production and now an exciting career as a Marketing Director with a company that supports local startup and emerging growth companies. She’s always been involved with education in various volunteer positions and combining her belief that education is a cornerstone of our society with her love of the community that she lives in, Jenna hopes to have the opportunity to help it grow and thrive by supporting and strengthening public education in her district.
Matthew Shorraw, Monessan, PA — Mayor
Matthew T. Shorraw (“Matt”) is an eclectic and caring community organizer. Matt hopes to inspire Monessen’s next generation of youth, in order to spark positive change within the City of Monessen, both socially and economically. He also hopes to encourage youth and young adults to stay in their hometown, and tackle the issues there, and throughout the Rust Belt region. In May of 2017, Matt won the Democratic nomination for Mayor of the City of Monessen. If he wins in November’s General Election, he will become the youngest Mayor in the city’s history, and the second youngest in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania.
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