ENDORSEMENTS: Meet 65 Run for Something candidates in 18 states (!!)
We’ve said it from day one: We’re here to invest in talent. We find good people wherever they are, we elevate their stories, and we help them get what they need to advocate for progressive values on a local level to engage voters, volunteers, and rebuild our party from the ground up.
We are SO excited to endorse 65 candidates across 18 states who are the present and future of progressive politics.
Our candidates look like the country we’re trying to represent and the base of the party we’re trying to rebuild. Our slate is nearly half people of color and nearly half women. Their backgrounds range from veterans to teachers to digital marketing. (We’ve even got a former rapper in the mix.) The youngest candidate in our list is 19; the oldest is 39.
We have folks in California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah (along with our previous endorsements in Virginia).
We’re working with candidates running for state legislature, school board, county recorder and register, county supervisor — you name it, we’ve got it. Every single person is running for office for the first or second time.
We’re obsessed with these people. Honestly, they’re amazing. Meet them and get inspired. You can scroll down to to learn more about them — or head to runforsomething.net/candidates for a searchable database. Want to help them? Sign up with us at runforsomething.net and sign up on the individual candidate’s site, too!
ELECTION IN AUGUST 2017
Ben Haynes — City Council Salt Lake City District 7
Salt Lake City, Utah
Ben is a 25 year old who wants to make the city he loves a little bit better than the way he found it. Currently he’s running to be a City Councilor for Salt Lake City District 7. Former staffer for Hillary Clinton, Salt Lake County District attorney Sim Gill, and University of Utah graduate.
ELECTIONS IN SEPTEMBER 2017
Douglas Arbetter — City Council — District 5
Doug grew up in Worcester, MA, and is a proud product of the Worcester Public Schools. He studied International Affairs at the George Washington University and received his Masters in Public Health from Columbia University. His passion for public service comes from his experience interning for Congressman Jim McGovern and he proudly serves on Worcester’s Community Development Advisory Committee.
Dimple Ajmera — Charlotte City Council at Large
Charlotte, North Carolina
Dimple was unanimously appointed to the Charlotte City Council District 5 in January after serving 2 years on the Charlotte Housing Authority where 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.
Amanda Farias — New York City Council, District 18
Bronx, New York
Amanda Farias is a lifelong Democrat and Bronxite of District 18 and is running for New York City Council to bring fresh, new leadership to her community. She believes in building an inclusive economy that will uplift middle-class families, women, youth, seniors, and communities of color out of poverty. With her extensive experience in the New York City Council, Amanda understands how City government operates and knows exactly how to make sure the Bronx gets the support and resources it deserves.
Christopher Marte — New York City Council, District 1
New York, New York
Christopher was born in the Lower East Side, where his parents immigrated from the Dominican Republic. His work in finance and experience in the community inspired him to help previously incarcerated people start their own small businesses. Christopher is running for City Council to combat the history of corruption in Lower Manhattan politics, to prove that a seat can be won without the influence of special interests, and to improve the quality of life for the generations of immigrants who call District 1 their home.
Marjorie Velazquez — New York City Council, District 13
Bronx, New York
Marjorie Velázquez was born and raised in the Bronx to parents who migrated from Puerto Rico in the 1970s. After going to school in the Bronx, and attending NYU for accounting and finance, Marjorie spent about a decade in a career as an accountant at DirectTV Latin America, managing the books for 16 different countries. Unfortunately, Marjorie’s time there was cut short when she suffered from two major accidents that led to seven surgeries and many years of physical therapy. After having to deal with the healthcare bureaucracy, Marjorie became heavily involved in her community, becoming Treasurer of Community Board 10, being elected the first woman of color to be District Leader in AD82, and started groups like Bronx Women United to keep women civically active. Now, Marjorie is fighting to put families first in her community and represent District 13 with the support of the current City Council Member for the district, James Vacca.
ELECTIONS IN OCTOBER 2017
Wendy Carrillo — California State Assembly, 51st District
Los Angeles, California
Wendy Carrillo has spent her career advocating for educational opportunity, access to quality healthcare, living wage jobs and social justice as a journalist and community advocate. She supports quality debt-free college, health care for all, environmental justice, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and creating high wage jobs in California. Wendy was brought to the US as a young girl fleeing the war in El Salvador and was formerly undocumented. She’s now a proud first-generation college graduate and a mentor to young women.
Irving Allen — Greensboro City Council At Large
Greensboro, North Carolina
Irving is a local community activist — he leads the Black Lives Matter chapter in Greensboro and is the Triad regional coordinator of Ignite NC, an organization dedicated to building leadership in young people. It runs in the family — his uncle was one of the “A&T Four,” a group of students who launched the lunch counter sit-in protests in Greensboro in the 1960s and his father was a civil rights attorney and the first black superior court judge in Guildford County.
Pierce Freelon, Mayor
Durham, North Carolina
Pierce Freelon is a professor, musician, social entrepreneur, and candidate for Mayor of Durham, North Carolina, where he was born and raised. He is the founder of Blackspace, a digital maker space based in Durham, as well as the co-founder of Beat Making Lab, a community music studio, and Emmy award-winning PBS web series. He lives in Durham with his wife Katye and their two children.
ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER 2017
Kyra deGruy — Lakewood City Council Ward One
Kyra found her way into politics after working for a small property management startup, managing their finances. She’s also worked in clinical health care settings, public health, and health policy. For nearly a decade, Kyra has been a volunteer mentor for women in recovery from trauma, sexual assault, eating disorders, and addictions.
Tay Anderson — Denver School Board District 4
Tay Anderson is a 19-year old homeless student and now is the youngest candidate for the Denver School Board ever! He is passionate about empowering young people and making sure they know that their past doesn’t define their future!
Suzie Brundage — Thornton City Council
Suzie Brundage is a mother, long-time Thornton resident, and hospice social worker who has dedicated her life to helping families, individuals with disabilities, and seniors. Suzie is running for office because she is proud to call Thornton her home and she is ready to work hard on City Council to grow a stronger Thornton that works for everyone. As a community member and social worker, she has the skills and knowledge necessary to advocate for working families, ensure transparent and responsive government, and build a sustainable and healthy future for our children and grandchildren.
Liliana Bakhtiari — Atlanta City Council District 5
Liliana Bakhtiari is the daughter of a refugee, born and raised in Atlanta — her father owns a pharmacy on Edgewood where she grew up working on the weekends, and with him she worked as an advocate and activist for the underserved all over Atlanta. She attended Georgia Sate University, and is now a small business owner and homeowner in the city. She has spent time working and volunteering in 22 countries around the world, and has brought that work to Atlanta where she has worked, and continues to work, in housing justice, affordability, alternative and affordable forms of transit, historic preservation, green energy, city design, and homeless outreach. She is proud to be a candidate for Atlanta City Council, and looks forward to serving her district and the citizens of Atlanta.
Angela Becker — Board of Education, USD 373
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.
Nadya Okamoto — Cambridge City Council
Nadya Okamoto is 19-years-old and running for Cambridge City Council on a platform focused on affordable housing, education equity, and progress towards more sustainable living. She is the Founder and Executive Director of PERIOD, a global organization providing and celebrating menstrual hygiene through advocacy, education, and service — now the largest youth-run NGO in women’s health. She is also the co-founder of E Pluribus, a post-partisan media platform that engages young people in discussions around issues that they truly care about, and pushes them to take action.
Sean Tierney — Cambridge City Council
Sean Tierney is a public servant, a volunteer football coach, and a housing policy attorney. Sean was born and raised in Cambridge, educated by its public schools, and shaped by the community. He is running because he wants to be a voice for what Cambridge means to him: a city of opportunity, diversity, and respect.
Marpheen Chann — Portland Maine City Council, district 5
A resident of Riverton Neighborhood in Portland, ME, Marpheen is a first-generation LGBT Asian-American running for Portland City Council District 5. Born to Cambodian refugees and adopted by a white working class family in Maine, Marpheen overcame adversity and became the first in both families to earn a college and law degree. Marpheen works for the Maine Center for Economic Policy and is a board member of the Greater Portland Immigrant Welcome Center.
Maria Taylor — Farmington City Council
Maria is a writer, editor, and historian, and is running for Farmington City Council in this November’s election because she believes that cities work best when they work for everyone. She’s running 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.
Garlin Gilchrist II — Detroit City Clerk
Garlin is a former computer engineer and veteran political organizer who has detailed plans to revamp the recruitment and training of poll workers, reduce obstacles to voter participation, and use the internet to help get citizens engaged with their city government.
Aaron Stephens — City Council in East Lansing MI
East Lansing, Michigan
Aaron Stephens is a senior at Michigan State University running for East Lansing City Council. A former volunteer organizer for Bernie Sanders, as well as a full time field organizer for Hillary Clinton, Aaron has always advocated for what he believes in. He is running not only to ensure progressive values are maintained in his city, but to address downtown development issues, create a better, sustainable relationship between Michigan State University and the City of East Lansing, and to be an accessible and accountable representative for the citizens he serves.
Peter Spadafore — Lansing City Council — At Large
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.
Patrick Martin — Bloomington City Council, District IV.
A native Minnesotan, Patrick is committed to family, service, and community, and has a long history with churches, charities and local organizations in his hometown of Bloomington.
Hillary Shields — Missouri State Senate, 8th District
Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Hillary Shields was raised in Kirksville, Missouri, and earned a 2006 bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology from Truman State University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. As cofounder of Indivisible KC, Shields helped create and lead a grassroots movement fighting for health care, education and economic fairness for Missouri families. She decided to run for office to serve as a real voice for Missourians who need a living wage, access to quality public education and affordable health care. Shields works as a paralegal at Polsinelli in Kansas City.
Olivia Scott — CMS School Board District 3
Charlotte, North Carolina
Olivia Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a B.A. in English and a concentration in Children’s Studies . After college, she worked as an administrator at a five star childcare facility while furthering her passion of advocating for the nation’s most vulnerable: children. As a Big Sister for Big Brother’s Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte, A Urban League Guild Treasurer, small business owner and proud Charlottean, Olivia is eager to continue fulfilling her passion of child advocacy.
Calvin Deutschbein — School Board / Board of Education for Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Calvin Deutschbein is a rising third year Ph.D. student in Computer Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has worked to improve education in communities since sixth grade when he first began working with his local school board and since then has worked in academic advising, admissions, and recruitment with the University of Chicago, taught classes and designed curriculum, and worked to close the gender gap in STEM fields alongside Society of Women Engineers and Graduate Women in Computer Science. He advocates for equality and justice in Chapel Hill as a member of student government, as a member of the Community Policing Advisory Committee, and with Orange County Justice United as a parishioner at the Catholic Community of St. Thomas More.
LeVon Barnes — Durham, NC City Council Ward 2
Durham, North Carolina
As a teacher for the past 13 years, Levon has talked to students who come to school on an empty stomach. He’s talked to parents who are struggling to buy school supplies. He’s running for office because this is his community and it’s about time we were truly represented in local government.
Uriah Ward — Greenville City Council District 3
Greenville, North Carolina
Uriah Ward is a middle school teacher and the founder of New Greenville. He previously served as the Chair-Elect of the Greenville Bicycle and Pedestrian Commission. He was born in Greenville and graduated from East Carolina University with a degree in Political Science.
Balvir Singh — Freeholder, Burlington County
Burlington, New Jersey
Balvir Singh is a teacher, husband, and father. He is running to make Burlington County an affordable and safe place to live and grow families. He will prioritize the needs and concerns of working families over those of big corporations and rid the county of dirty pay-to-play politics that only serves to line the pockets of career politicians and their friends.
Harrison Burke — Hillsborough Township Committee
Hillsborough, New Jersey
Harrison “Harry” Burke was born and raised in Hillsborough Township. He received his bachelor’s degree in government and politics from St. John’s University. He works as an employment specialist at a local nonprofit in Somerset county. He was actively involved in varsity lacrosse in school, and played for St. John’s, a Division I team. He worked in various programs for children and adults with disabilities, including The Arc of Somerset County, Camp Heart of Hillsborough Recreation Department, and Meals on Wheels. In high school, he traveled to Uganda in East Africa, where he assisted building a home for a family of seven, coached lacrosse to youth, and participated in various other projects there. Harry is extremely devoted to community engagement.
Alexander Avellan — Somerset County Freehold
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Alex Avellan was born and raised in Somerset County, New Jersey, following his family’s migration from Latin America. A graduate of Swarthmore College and the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Alex has always sought to serve people, and hopes to bring a focus on common sense, fair, and sustainable problem solving to local government. From tutoring migrant children during his undergraduate tenure, to volunteering with Habit for Humanity, Alex believes that politicians should always serve and represent all voices in their community.
Mariel DiDato — New Jersey State Assembly, Legislative District 13
Hazlet, New Jersey
Mariel DiDato began her interest in policy and community outreach through becoming a crisis response advocate for two Sexual Assault Response Teams in New Jersey. She then became a freelance writer for online magazines such as The Huffington Post, a grassroots organizer for The National Organization for Women, and a Lead Volunteer with Planned Parenthood to fight for family planning healthcare funding. After working to create change as a constituent, she is looking to take her passion and commitment for community to New Jersey’s General Assembly.
Jimmy Pearson — Dutchess County Legislature (New York State), District 25
Salt Point, New York
Jimmy was born and raised in the Hudson Valley before serving in the Navy as a submarine officer, with distinctions including two Naval Achievement Medals, a Global War on Terror Medal and a Meritorious Unit Commendation. After the Navy he worked as a consultant for social and public sector clients, including the State of New York, the Stop TB Partnership, the Cleveland Metro School District and the State University of New York. When he and his husband were ready to start their family they returned to the Hudson Valley, where they were born and raised, and where Jimmy hopes to continue his service in public office.
Megan Thompson — Town Board, Town of Webster
Webster, New York
Megan Thompson holds degrees in electrical engineering, imaging science, and business and is currently in an engineering management position at VisualDx. She is active in her local community through volunteer work as a Girl Scout leader and co-chair for a Susan B. Anthony event. She has been married for 11 years to her husband Paul and has two daughters, Amelia age 8 and Clara age 6.
Jonathan (“Jack”) Harrington — Brookhaven Town Supervisor
Stony Brook, New York
Jack was born and raised in Brookhaven, the son of a public school teacher. Jack is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, an attorney, and a Fellow at the Truman National Security Project. He earned degrees from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and the Yale Law School where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Journal of International Law. After law school, Jack interned in the White House Counsel’s Office for President Obama before returning home to Stony Brook, NY with his wife, Sarah, and their two-year-old son, Jack Jr.
Michaela Burriss — Upper Arlington City Council
Michaela Burriss is a board member of Leadership UA, a volunteer UAHS swim coach, and an attorney who fights for small businesses on behalf of a national non-profit. Having experienced significant adversity throughout her childhood, she considers going from homelessness to homeownership as her version of the American Dream. Michaela will bring fresh experience and passion to UA City Council.
Aryeh Alex — Franklin Township Trustee
Grove City, Ohio
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.
Megan Kilgore — 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.
Heather Ward — Tredyffrin/Easttown School Board, Region 3
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.
Jenna Ott — School Board Director
North Wales, Pennsylvania
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.
Liz Kishbaugh — Mifflin County Register and Recorder
Currently working at Penn State University, Liz Kishbaugh has spent her career in management and marketing and has built a reputation on her ability to evaluate business practices and create efficiencies to improve communication, streamline processes, and ultimately reduce costs. With encouragement from friends and neighbors, Liz decided to run for Register and Recorder and apply her passionate work ethic and business sense for the good of Mifflin County. Liz is grateful for the support of the community and looks forward to doing a great job for the people of Mifflin County, and making her mom proud.
Rod Irish — Washington Township Supervisor
Rod Irish is representing Waynesboro, PA and running for the elected office of Washington Township Supervisor. In May, he secured 69.91% of the Democratic vote in the primary election. With a victory, he will be the first minority candidate to win a seat on the board. Rod works for the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and is extremely active in supporting local non-profit organizations in his community.
Rachel Fingles — School Board Director of Bensalem School District
Rachel is a family law attorney an 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.
Charles Black — Williamsport Area School Board
Chuck Black is an educator, activist, and one of the Democratic Nominees for Williamsport Area School Board. He currently works for his local YMCA in numerous capacities, and he holds a Master of Science in Project Management. Chuck was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf in 2016 to serve on the Council of Trustees of Shippensburg University (his alma mater) which is similar to a local school board.
ELECTIONS IN MARCH 2018
Bob Morgan — Illinois State Representative, 58th District
Democrat Bob Morgan is a candidate for the 58th House District in Illinois. An attorney at a Chicago law firm, Bob previously worked for the State of Illinois where he served as the lead attorney for implementation of the Affordable Care Act and as director of the Illinois Medical Cannabis Program. Bob’s work on state legislation supporting the ACA helped ensure over 650,000 Illinois residents were covered under ACA’s Medicaid expansion. Bob is a current Board Member of the Anti-Defamation League, on the Board of Trustees of Equip for Equality, and a member of Temple Beth El in Northbrook. Bob has been active in politics serving as Jewish Outreach Director for both Pat Quinn and Hillary Clinton in Illinois, as well as for Barack Obama in Florida in 2008.
With the crisis facing state government and national politics, Bob is committed to fighting for a state budget to support human services and public higher education, protecting the rights of immigrants and the LGBTQ community, securing healthcare access for all, and protecting a woman’s right to choose.
Peter Gariepy — Cook County Treasurer
Peter Gariepy lives in Chicago with his wife, their one-year-old daughter and their rescue dog. A licensed CPA, he is a principal with the Midwest’s first certified Benefit Corporation CPA firm. He is running for Cook County Treasurer to provide an itemized taxpayer receipt, invest in areas of the county with the most need and potential for growth, and implement additional measures to stop displacing vulnerable residents and suffocating them with punishingly high interest rates when their property tax debt is auctioned.
ELECTION IN MAY 2018
Tommy Valentine — Athens-Clarke County Commission, 9th District
Tommy Valentine is a candidate for County Commissioner in his hometown of Athens, Georgia, where he lives with his wife, Laura, a 2nd-grade school teacher.
As an experienced community organizer, civil rights activist, entrepreneur, MPA graduate, and management expert, he has a proven track record of bringing people together to solve big problems.
His progressive, grassroots campaign for economic and social justice in America’s poorest college town has attracted a groundswell of support and media coverage, including from Flagpole Magazine, which recently said “he’s become known to a new generation of friends and fans as a thoughtful, constructive voice in Athens politics and the community.”
ELECTIONS IN JUNE 2018
Dylan Roberts — Colorado State House, District 26
Dylan is a native of Routt County and is now a prosecutor in Eagle County. He got his start in politics organizing for President Obama in Western Colorado in 2008 and 2012. He’s running because he believes our state’s challenges could use more people like him who represent the next generation of Coloradans making decisions about our state’s future.
Rochelle Galindo — Colorado State House, District 50
Rochelle Galindo was born and raised in Greeley and is the daughter of working class parents. Since high school she has worked to engage her community and promote inclusiveness. In November 2015 she became the first openly gay elected official to the City of Greeley.
Brandon Paulin — Charles County Commissioner, District 2
Indian Head, Maryland
Brandon Paulin has been an advocate in Charles County since he went to his first Town of Indian Head meeting when he was only 10 years old to advocate for crosswalks. In May 2015 he was elected as the youngest Mayor in Maryland State history at the age of 19. He has delivered grand results for the Town by investing in infrastructure, creating reinvestment, and promoting all the great things in Town. Paulin’s service will not stop there, however. He recently decided to run for Charles County Commissioner District 2. He brings with him a willingness to work diligently with the people of Charles County and a resume full of results. The Democratic primary will take place in June 2018.
Bobby Bartlett — Maryland House of Delegates, District 39
Bobby Bartlett is a devoted father and husband. A lifelong Marylander, he moved to Germantown in 2013 to help launch Washington’s professional women’s soccer team, leading the organization to business success and sustainability as director of sales. Inspired by the 2017 birth of his son to enter public life, Bartlett aims to serve the needs of District 39’s residents while pushing back against the corruption that has tainted Annapolis and Washington.
Ashanti Martinez — Maryland House of Delegates, District 22
New Carrollton, Maryland
Throughout his career, Ashanti has consistently stood for change, from creating the LGBTQ Student Liaison for the Prince George’s County Regional Association of Student Governments, to working alongside fellow progressives like Rep. Elijah Cummings, Rep. Steny Hoyer and Del. Joseline Peña-Melnyk. He’s ready to fight for our progressive values in Annapolis.
Derek Kent — Maryland House of Delegates, District 32
Derek Kent is a husband, father, veteran, engineer, and progressive leader who has been fighting for people’s economic and civil rights his entire adult life. He’s a self-taught Software Engineer who spent almost 5 years working with the non-profit organization OpenStax to help bring high-quality, free education materials to K-12 schools and universities. He now works on projects for US Cyber Command, helping protect our critical national infrastructure. In the aftermath of 9/11, Derek suspended his college education to enlist in the US Army. He served honorably in Kuwait and Iraq as a soldier, even while speaking out against the war in his capacity as a private citizen. He later attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and Syracuse University and holds a degree in International Relations and Chinese Language.
Hiruy Hadgu — Howard County Council District 3
Hiruy earned his undergraduate and graduate degree in Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business. His engineering background married with a business degree has enabled him to gain a unique perspective on the need to balance the need for practical and innovative solutions to problems. He is an active member of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) of Howard County as well as a founding member of IndivisibleHoCoMD in Howard County, Maryland.
ELECTIONS IN AUGUST 2018
Ryan Dillon — Missouri State Senate, 16th District
Ryan firmly believes in building people up, strengthening communities, and providing opportunity for all Missourians and it is these beliefs which led Ryan to run for the Missouri State Senate in 2018. From growing up in his family’s small business to his professional career working on Capital Hill, the U.S. State Department, and the Human Rights Campaign, he learned firsthand the principles that guide his everyday life: inclusion, respect, fairness, integrity, and responsibility. Ryan received his undergraduate degree from Westminster College and is completing a master’s degree from American University’s School of International Service; he currently resides in Rolla, Missouri.
Cedric McMinn — Florida State House, District 109
Coral Gables, Florida
Cedric McMinn is the Chief of Staff for Miami-Dade School Board Member Dr. Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall. His responsibilities include working with community organizations, elected officials, and leaders to benefit the students attending schools in School Board District 2. He was the Political Outreach and African-American Director for the 2008 Barack Obama and Joe Biden Presidential Campaign. Cedric also served as the Executive Director of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party.
ELECTIONS IN NOVEMBER 2018
Sarah Coats —Kansas State House, 54th District
Sarah is a 32-year old social worker that has worked for nearly a decade in our community. She has been an activist and an advocate for children and families for most of her life. She’s running for House of Representatives in the 54th District in Kansas.
Anna Eskamani — Florida House District 47
Anna V. Eskamani is a lifelong Orlando Native and daughter of immigrants who has worked relentlessly her entire life to protect all members of our community through effective advocacy, bold leadership, and strategic management. A community organizer with a proven track record in building consensus while fighting unapologetically for progressive values, Anna currently serves as the Senior Director of Public Affairs and Communications for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.
Faith Chikwekwe — Georgia State House District 106
As a longtime resident of Gwinnett county and the child of a working-class, immigrant family, Faith wants to run for office because there are so many voices in her community who feel unheard. She will fight to make her district and her state a better place for everyone who lives there. Everyone in her community deserves a chance to live well and succeed.
Stephen Adams — Kansas House of Representatives, District 23
Raised in Leavenworth, KS, a graduate of Perry-Lecompton High and the University of Kansas, Steve is the proud son of a working class family. He was raised to believe that no matter how much or how little you have yourself, you have to give back to your community in order to help make it a better place. This lesson has helped lead him to run for Kansas House in the 23rd District, where he hopes to provide a voice that will stand up for working class Kansans.
Jason Fowler — Maryland House of Delegates, District 27C
Prince Frederick, Maryland
Jason Fowler and his wife, Tammy, own and operate Fowler & Fowler Law, LLC, in the great State of Maryland. Jason is running for the Maryland House of Delegates in District 27C representing Calvert County, MD. Jason is passionate about improving educational standards; creating business opportunities; investing in green technology; and, bridging gaps across the aisle to insure that he puts Calvert First.
Elisabeth Anderson — Michigan State Representative, District 68
Elisabeth Anderson is a candidate for Michigan State Representative in District 68 in her hometown of Lansing, Michigan. Elisabeth had the privilege of serving her state in Governor Jennifer Granholm’s administration and continues to serve her community through her work at Michigan State University. She is an active union member, a graduate of Michigan State University, and believes that education, expanded and modernized infrastructure, clean water, and living-wage jobs are the cornerstones of a thriving state.
Marinda Kimmel, Minnesota State House, District 16B
New Ulm, Minnesota
Marinda Kimmel was born and raised in New Ulm, MN in the district she is running. She has a Masters Degree in counseling. With a determined spirit she strives to find common ground and represent her community in the Minnesota State House (16B) in 2018.
Lindsey Port — Minnesota State House, District 56B
Lindsey and her husband Steve run their own small business in Burnsville. She has served on the ECFE Advisory Council in Lakeville and has worked as an active volunteer fighting for marriage equality in Minnesota . She lives with her husband and two daughters.
Matthew Calcara — Kansas House of Representatives, District 30
A third-generation Kansan born and raised in Johnson County, Matthew Calcara is a graduate of the Shawnee Mission School District and the University of Southern California. After spending many years working for CBS Travel Editor Peter Greenberg, Matt was a digital producer and IT project manager for blue chip companies like Guthy|Renker, Capital Group and Disney (where he was a producer for Disneyland.com). A volunteer with the Voter Registration Project as well as Connecting for Good, and a board member of Equality Kansas of Metro Kansas City, Matt is running against an ultraconservative two-term incumbent for the 30th district (Olathe & Lenexa) of the Kansas House of Representatives.
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Run for Something helps recruit and support millennials running for down-ballot office. We are committed to building a…www.runforsomething.net
The not-so-fine print on how we built this list…
Nearly 11,000 people have signed up with us to say they’re interested in running for office. Our volunteers have had 700 hours worth of one-on-one conversations with nearly 1,500 of those potential candidates. The people who meet our criteria (progressive; rooted in the place they’re running; willing to work hard; interesting to talk to!) get admitted into the RFS community. They get access to all the resources we have to offer and to a broader movement of young progressives running for office.
We put out our endorsement application in early July. Over the month, more than 100 people applied for our endorsement — check out the application process here. We asked folks for campaign strategies, budgets, win numbers, staffing plans, and more.
After applications came in, each candidate was vetted — we did a thorough look into their backgrounds and publicly available records. We also had our state leads (volunteer leaders who are experts in local politics) examine the applications and help provide context. In many cases, we or our state lead got on the phone with the candidates to talk through their application.
Finally, the RFS team went through each one and determined if the candidate did or did not meet our criteria.
In addition to all that, we ensure that the candidates we endorse are doing the following:
- Having a field program as a central component of the campaign where the candidate participates by knocking on doors and calling voters directly.
- Fundraising using best practices and using all available mechanisms including but not limited to: call time, events, email, online and in-person meetings.
- Including Run for Something as a strategic partner in the campaign.
- Giving back time to Run for Something as a mentor after the election concludes.