The Future of Our Country: Meet Our July Endorsement Class!

Run for Something
Jul 18 · 17 min read

In the wake of the on-going drama from the White House, we need a little relief. Today, we are proud to announce our newest endorsement class, featuring 16 all new candidates and 23 incumbents you already know and love.

In a time of political uncertainty we are excited to support young progressives that are doing the work so desperately needed on a state and local level. In less than two years, our 23 re-endorsees have proven that they are worth their salt, fighting to pass policies and laws that address the needs of thousands of their constituents; just take a look:

  • Erin Zwiener (TX-HD45) successfully amended the Texas state budget, to add funding for examination and investigation ofsexual assaults reported in Texas.
  • Yadira Carveo (CO-HD31) successfully co-sponsored a bill calling for comprehensive human sexuality education in public schools.
  • Mari Manoogian (MI-HD40) introduced House Bill 4795 to prohibit corporations from deducting certain expenses incurred while outsourcing work.

Our incumbent candidates aren’t the only ones making waves — — our 16 new candidates are leaders who’ve earned their stripes working as union organizers, environmental leaders, public educators, and civil rights leaders.

This latest round of endorsements brings the RFS roster to 862 candidates, representing 49 states. What’s better: nearly half of our endorsements are people of color and women. Our candidates are the future of the Democratic Party and a true reflection of the changing demographics of our country. These candidates represent the best we have to offer and we stand in full support of their runs.


*denotes second time endorsement


Brianna Titone*
State House of Representatives District 27

Brianna, a geologist and Information Technology professional by trade, has lived in Jefferson County for over ten years. She has served her communities her entire life, first as a volunteer firefighter, HOA President, and more recently in Democrat Party leadership positions. Brianna hopes to continue this service as the State’s first openly trans statewide representative and fight for all Coloradans to live healthy, productive, and meaningful lives.

Bryan Lindstrom
Aurora City Council Ward 6

Bryan Lindstrom is a lifelong Aurora resident, union organizer, and teacher. He sees first hand everyday the impact that the decisions made at City Council has on students and their families. He is running for City Council to tackle the issues that impact our community like affordable housing, public health and safety, our crumbling infrastructure, campaign finance reform, and local government corruption. We need a leader like Bryan who will prioritize our neighbors, our environment, and our future over the profits of developers.

Dylan Roberts*
State House of Representatives

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.

Yadira Caraveo*
State House of Representatives, District 31

Yadira Caraveo, your 2018 candidate for House District 31, is the daughter of immigrant parents who moved to Denver from a small town in Mexico in the 1970s. The oldest of four children, Yadira and her siblings grew up in Adams County. After graduating from Northglenn High School, Yadira went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Regis University and a degree as Doctor of Medicine from the University of Colorado. After spending three years of pediatric residency, she returned home to her beloved Adams County, settling down in the city of Thornton where she currently resides and practices as a pediatrician. As a Latina woman, a pediatrician, a labor advocate, and an environmental activist, she has never backed down from tackling the issues that Coloradans face. While she has received accolades for her work, like the “Champion of Change” honor from the Obama administration in 2013, she fights for her neighbors because she wants to help improve our lives and move Colorado forward.


Anna Eskamani*
State of House of Representatives, District 47

Anna V. Eskamani is 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.


Matthew Wilson*
State House of Representatives, District 80

Matthew knows the impact of Georgia investing in its most important resource: its people. He grew up in a family of public servants in Griffin, learning the value of hard work and commitment to community. Matthew attended the University of Georgia on a HOPE Scholarship, worked as a sixth-grade STEM teacher, and returned to UGA for his law degree. He now runs a law firm in Brookhaven and volunteers as a consumer rights advocate.


Bob Morgan*
State House of Representatives, District 58

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. The state’s medical cannabis program has already helped over 18,000 residents struggling with debilitating medical conditions like cancer and PTSD, and Bob continues to advocate for patients still waiting for access to the program.

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.

Daniel Didech*
State House of Representatives, District 59

Democrat Daniel Didech is a candidate for the 59th House District in Illinois. As a municipal attorney, Daniel provides legal counsel to units of local government, including villages, townships, school districts, park districts and community colleges. Daniel is a lifelong resident of Buffalo Grove where he lives with his wife, Jen, who is a 6th grade math teacher, and their dog, Captain Hook.


Rachel Junck
Ames City Council, Ward 4

Rachel Junck was born and raised in the college town of Ames, and currently studies chemical engineering at Iowa State University. On the city council, Rachel will strive to make Ames the best it can be for life-long residents and the student population alike. She believes we must fight climate change on a local level, protect tenants’ rights, lower the cost of living, and make Ames a city where young people want to start their lives. When elected, at age twenty, Rachel will be the youngest woman elected to any office in the history of Iowa.


Jessica Hembree
Shawnee Mission School Board, South Area

As a mother to three sons and long-time children’s health advocate, Jessica is uniquely suited to serve her community as a member of the Shawnee Mission School Board. Jessica spent fifteen years as an advocate for children’s health, including projects focused on school-based mental health services. Jessica holds her Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton University. She believes in positive whole child outcomes — including academic achievement and social-emotional well being — for all the diverse students in Shawnee Mission. She also knows that teachers are the most important factor in student success, so her support begins with quality teachers and leaders.

Brandon Woodard*
State House of Representatives, District 30

Brandon is running for re-election to represent District 30 in Kansas to lower the sales tax on groceries, invest in public education to build the future workforce of Kansas, and to ensure every Kansan has access to quality, affordable healthcare. As one of Kansas’ youngest legislators, Brandon works to empower other motivated young Kansans to make a difference in their community by standing up and making their voice heard. In 2018, Brandon became one of the first two openly-LGBTQ legislators elected to the Kansas Legislature.


Josie Raymond*
State House of Representatives, District 31

Josie has dedicated her career to creating opportunities for people in poverty. In her current role coaching students at the University of Louisville, she is responsible for making sure thousands of young people have the best shot at graduating. She has one husband and two small children.


Safiya Khalid
Lewiston City Council, Ward 1

Safiya Khalid is running for Lewiston City Council for Ward 1. She wants to bring the changes Lewiston deserves, advocating for a vibrant community where everyone can thrive.


Burhan Azeem
Cambridge City Council

Burhan Azeem is running for Cambridge City Council in Massachusetts. His family immigrated from Pakistan and growing up he struggled with housing instability. His parents worked long days at a deli and Dunkin. He is running because he understands what it’s like to struggle and fight to survive. He’s studied sustainability firsthand at MIT and seen the irreversible climate damage it’ll cause. He knows the tough challenges we face, but that is why he is running in Cambridge. Cambridge is the most progressive, prosperous, and educated community in the Commonwealth. He knows progress can and should start in Cambridge.

Maria Robinson*
State House of Representatives, 6th Middlesex

Maria Robinson is running for State Representative in the 6th Middlesex District of Massachusetts. A former Town Meeting member, Maria is a clean energy policy expert and advocate, who has spent the last decade helping state policymakers and public officials throughout the country to address climate change through renewable energy and energy efficiency policies. Maria is an MIT graduate and the child of public servants and union members, who taught her the value of hard work and giving back to her community. Maria serves on the board of the Framingham Public Library Foundation, the Friends of the Framingham Library, and is a member of the Framingham Democratic Committee. Maria lives in Framingham with her husband, their two foster (soon-to-be-adopted!) children ages 10 and 12, her parents, and their lively dog Guinness.

Tram Nguyen*
State House of Representatives, 18th Essex District

Tram Nguyen is running for Massachusetts State Representative for the 18th Essex District. When she was five years old, Tram and her family fled the hostile communist regime of Vietnam as political refugees and immigrated to the United States, where they settled in the Merrimack Valley. Tram is a proud graduate of Massachusetts’s public schools. Tram has dedicated her career to public service and has been a champion for people who needed one. She has consistently been on the front lines helping victims of domestic abuse, exploited workers, and vulnerable people navigate the legal system as a Staff Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services.

Tram is committed to taking her expertise navigating the laws and legal system to the Massachusetts State House where she can continue to be a strong advocate on behalf of the Commonwealth and 18th Essex District. She is a graduate of Tufts University and received her J.D. from Northeastern Law School. Tram is the first Vietnamese American woman to run for public office in the history of the Commonwealth.


Mari Manoogian*
State House of Representatives, District 40

State Rep. Mari Manoogian was born and raised in Birmingham, Michigan. She is serving her first term representing the 40th District. She is an Assistant Minority Whip for the House Democrats and treasurer of the Progressive Women’s Caucus.

At 26, Manoogian is the youngest woman serving in Michigan’s 100th Legislature. She began her career as an intern for Congressman John D. Dingell and for Ambassador Samantha Power at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. Manoogian also worked at the U.S. Department of State.

Manoogian is a third-generation Armenian-American whose great-grandparents escaped the Armenian Genocide. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the Elliott School of International Affairs at the George Washington University

Laurie Pohutsky*
State House of Representatives, District 19

Michigan State Representative Laurie Pohutsky is serving her first term representing 19th House District, which encompasses the majority of the city of Livonia, MI. Previously, she was a microbiologist and worked in the fields of healthcare and toxicology. She brings this knowledge to the legislature, where she serves on the Natural Resources and Health Policy committees. In her first term, she introduced legislation to strengthen environmental protections and prevent the privatization of public services.


Kimberly Sanberg
Golden Valley City Council

Kimberly Sanberg is a founding organizer of the Golden Valley Pride Festival, Minnesota’s first suburban LGBTQ pride festival, and serves on Golden Valley’s Open Space and Recreation Commission. She has worked at small businesses and nonprofits dedicated to LGBTQ+ equality, environmental health, and peace and justice. Kimberly is running for Golden Valley City Council because we need collaborative, forward-looking people on city council who will take action and move Golden Valley forward. She believes, together, we can build a better Golden Valley. Kimberly lives in Golden Valley, Minnesota with her wife, two children, and two dogs.

Heather Edelson*
State House of Representative, District 49A

Heather is a mom, a mental health therapist, and an avid community leader. She loves Edina and is deeply invested in seeing the city thrive. She is about putting people first. Politics should always have people front and center. Heather will put her community first and be the strong voice Edina needs at the Capitol.


Keri Ingle*
State House of Representative, District 35

Keri is a wife, mother of two, former military brat, and Licensed Master Social Worker who has served her community working in child welfare, community mental health centers, schools, and hospitals. These experiences left an indelible mark on her- and lead to her wanting to advocate for the most vulnerable communities at the legislative level. Keri will fight for fairness, justice, and to amplify the voices of those struggling beneath the weight of bureaucracy.

Matt Sain*
State House of Representative, District 14

Matt is a husband, a father, and a 2018 graduate from University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law with a goal of doing pro-bono work for individuals who are barred from the court system. As a son of two pastors, Matt has been active in the church since he was a child and has always held a community service attitude. He plans on taking this community first mindset to Jefferson City by ensuring that public education is fully funded, making sure there is access to affordable healthcare and will fight to protect unions.


Matt Wilhelm*
State House of Representatives, Manchester Wards 1–3 (Hillsborough 42)

Matt Wilhelm first moved to Manchester thirteen years ago to serve two terms as an AmeriCorps member with City Year, leading a diverse team of young adults in high-need public schools. He and his wife, Jody, fell in love with Manchester, put down roots, started a family, and built a career in the nonprofit sector. Matt earned his master’s in public administration at UNH’s Carsey School for Public Policy and hopes to continue his career in public service as a member of New Hampshire’s citizen legislature, bringing a fresh perspective, new ideas, and bold leadership to the State House.

Jon Morgan*
State Senate, District 23

Jon Morgan was raised in New Hampshire and is a cybersecurity professional with a background in international business development. He currently serves as a member of the Planning Board in Brentwood, where he lives with his wife of eight years, Katie, and their three young sons.


Elizabeth Smith
Mount Pleasant Town Justice

Elizabeth’s interest in public service began in childhood, leading her to earn her degree in Criminal Justice from Marist College (Poughkeepsie, New York) and later her Juris Doctor from Quinnipiac University (North Haven, Connecticut).

She has practiced law for fifteen years , the last twelve of which in the highest volume court within the Ninth Judicial District (comprised of Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange and Dutchess counties). She has written over 2,000 decisions in various areas of law and successfully settled hundreds of cases. She believes in the prompt and fair administration of justice and will bring her honesty, experience and commitment to the bench while keeping Mount Pleasant a safe place to live, work and raise a family.

Elizabeth has held substantial professional and community leadership roles: Associate Court Attorney in the New York Unified Court System; Vice President of her union, the Ninth Judicial District Court Employees Association; Catechist and Parish Council Member of Holy Name of Jesus and Cub Scout Co-Den Leader. Elizabeth’s first and strongest supporters remain her husband, Kevin and four sons.

Austin Morgan
State Senate, District 57

Austin is running to make sure his corner of rural Western New York isn’t left behind. A graduate of Cornell University, an educator, former business manager, and former legislative analyst for the NY State Senate, Austin is committed to putting people over politics. As a State Senator he would bring a much-needed rural perspective to the new Democratic majority in Albany, tackling issues important to NY like agriculture, small business, infrastructure, and population loss.


Aaron Wolff
Holly Springs Town Council

Aaron is a father, small business owner, veterinarian, and community advocate who is running because he believes that, to better manage growth, Holly Springs needs a new vision, inspired by what already makes it special. To do this, Aaron will work to diversify the neighborhoods being built to make Holly Springs more accessible, affordable and connected, make green investments and encourage environmentally conscious development, and help small businesses to get off the ground and thrive. Aaron believes this new vision will allow Holly Springs to reach its full potential and create a stronger, healthier, more prosperous town.

Ashton Clemmons*
State House of Representatives, District 57

Mother of three young children, Ashton Clemmons has always had a passion for serving the people of North Carolina. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill as a NC Teaching Fellow, she taught in Durham and Guilford counties, and went on to earn Master’s in School Leadership from Harvard University. As principal, she led the turn-around of one of the state’s lowest performing schools. Most recently serving as assistant superintendent of the Thomasville City Schools, Ashton was selected one of the Triad Business Journal’s “40 Leaders under 40” and has also been honored by the United Way with its Human Rights Advocate award.

Wesley Harris*
State House of Representatives, District 105

Wesley is running for NC House of Representatives in District 105. He is a North Carolina native, PhD Economist, small business owner, and adjunct professor at UNC-Charlotte. Wesley believes that in order to have an economy that works for everyone, we have to invest in quality public education, smart infrastructure, and economic mobility. Wesley will go to the NC General Assembly so that all North Carolinians have the opportunity to succeed and to ensure that our economy not only continues to grow, but that growth reaches all levels of our society.


Brad Presutto
Lakewood City Council, Ward 2

Brad is a 15-year Lakewood resident. He’s running for city council to represent neighbors in Ward 2, and work toward a city that’s welcoming, affordable, and safe for everyone.

Inclusion and representation are goals Brad works on each day, whether as a volunteer or in his career. He helps match job-seekers with employment opportunities, and works with people across different time zones and cultures, finding ways for everyone to be heard and respected. On city council, he will apply that experience to represent Ward 2 faithfully.

Sam Melden
Toledo City Council, District 5

Sam Melden grew up in the Toledo area and currently lives in West Toledo with his wife Lindsey and their three young daughters. Sam has built his career in leadership roles with various non-profit organizations, including as the Executive Director of Food for Thought, Executive Director of the Servant Leadership Center, and Director of Growth and Advancement for Leadership Toledo. Currently Sam serves as the Director of Strategic Engagement for The Ability Center of Toledo.


Karen Alzate*
State House of Representatives, District 60

Karen Alzate is running for Statehouse district 60 in Rhode Island. Karen was born and raised in RI and loves her community. Karen is running because the country is at a turning point where we are seeing that women rights, immigrant rights and people of color are under attack and our current administration isn’t not reflective of the issues at hand.


John Loveday
Columbia City Council, District 3

As a first-time candidate, John is running for City Council (District III) in Columbia, South Carolina. John has witnessed firsthand that service to others can change not only one person’s life, but an entire community. John is running for Columbia City Council because he’s tired of individuals that are more interested in being in elected office, versus working hard and getting the job done. As a first-generation college graduate and public school educator, John is ready to put public service back into politics. John is also a proud husband and father of two sons.


Theryn C. Bond
Memphis City Council, District 6

Theryn C. Bond also known as #PoliticalBarbie is a native Memphian whose family legacy runs deep in politics and civil rights. She is running for Memphis City Council, District 6. If elected, she will be the 1st woman (by vote) to ever serve in her district. Coming from a bloodline of game changers, it only makes sense that she continue the legacy through community work, motivational speaking, and fighting for what’s right. Being a voice for the voiceless is not for the faint of heart, but she does it with an edge never before seen.

Kyonzte Toombs
Nashville Metro Council, District 2

Kyonztè Toombs is a managing attorney with over ten years of government experience who has been actively involved in the community through her work as a founding board member of The Equity Alliance, The Equity Alliance Fund, Past President of the Napier-Looby Bar Association, and Rosebank Elementary PTA President. Her leadership has been recognized through elections to the boards of multiple organizations, awards, and recognitions such as Nashville Emerging Leaders. Kyonztè has been married to her husband, DeAngelo, for eight years, and they have four children.


Erin Zwiener*
State House of Representatives, District 45

Erin Zwiener is an author, educator, and conservationist from Driftwood, Texas. After organizing an Indivisible Town Hall for her congressman, she became determined to give Texans more democratic and progressive representation. A fifth generation Texan, she is running to fight for her Texas values: healthy communities, inclusivity, and common sense government. Let’s put the all back in y’all!

John Bucy III*
State House of Representatives, District 136

John Bucy is a small business owner whose organizational skills and leadership as past Chair of the Williamson County Democratic Party led an impressive string of Democratic victories — from city councils, to County Commissioner. He is running to lower our local property taxes by improving public education funding, expand Medicaid and access to affordable healthcare, and protect local control. John believes we must seek innovative solutions to our regional problems, especially issues such as traffic. An avid fan of parks and sports, he lives in Northwest Austin with his wife, Molly, a public school teacher and small business owner.


Natalie Pinkney
South Salt Lake City Council At-Large

Natalie Pinkney is an advocate and leader dedicated to justice and change. Natalie’s personal experiences have spurred her efforts to promote equity, increase representation, and act as an advocate for those members of our communities who have too long been ignored.

Growing up experiencing the same realities as many families in South Salt Lake, Natalie has dedicated her life to activism on the streets, within politics, and with policymakers. Natalie understands the real needs of South Salt Lake and knows what policy and community change is needed so we can thrive to have fundamental needs.


Kevin Schilling
Burien City Council, Position 4

Kevin Schilling is running for Burien City Council, Position 4. Growing up in Burien was Kevin’s American dream. He attended St. Francis of Assisi School (where he still attends church and works as the Youth Minister), Aviation High School in the Highline School District, and completed his B.A. at Washington State University and MA/MSc at Columbia University/London School of Economics. Kevin believes in building trust between our law enforcement and neighborhoods to keep us safe, incentivizing more business creation and home ownership, and better city services for our most vulnerable communities. As a locally grown resident, Kevin also knows the value of new residents and lifelong ones. Join Kevin in building a brighter Burien!

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Recruiting & supporting young people running for office. Building a Democratic bench. Want to help?

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