Ready. Set. Go! Meet the first Run For Something Endorsement Class of 2023

Run for Something
Run for Something
Published in
25 min readFeb 15, 2023

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A new year means new races, candidates, and opportunities to build on the historic success achieved by Democrats in last year’s midterms. Today, Run for Something (RFS) is excited to introduce you to our latest endorsement class featuring 36 outstanding candidates from 16 states! Learn more about them below!

CANDIDATES

ALABAMA

Marquetta Johnson

Montgomery City Council, District 2

Election Date: August 22, 2023

Marquetta is a U.S. Army combat veteran. She was born in Montgomery, AL, where she is running for city council. She attended Montgomery public schools, and her children also attend these schools. She has been a part of the community, working tirelessly to make it a better place. Marquetta is a voice for the community and is a friend to veterans and all first responders.

Marquetta will work to expand law enforcement to decrease crime in her community, and she will work with mentors and counselors to support law enforcement with mental health cases, drug abuse, gun violence, and conflict resolution in the community and in schools.

As an entrepreneur, Marquetta will work to increase entrepreneurship and support businesses that help residents, who can then contribute to the local economy.

COLORADO

Tiffany Caudill

Denver City Council, District 2

Election Date: April 4, 2023

Tiffany is an activist, organizer, and community advocate, who is dedicated to care-based work and young people. As a parent of two children living with chronic health conditions, she ensures they have their most basic needs met while navigating a broken healthcare system to keep them alive. In that process, Tiffany discovered she has a powerful voice and is working to ensure all families have access to resources and opportunities that help them thrive.

Tiffany is dedicated to improving her community, and she works with those who have been pushed to the margins. She volunteers for organizations that help people access resources and outreach to voters. Tiffany got involved in electoral politics, alongside candidates, using her voice at the capitol or at local board meetings and marching for justice in the streets. She prioritizes the needs of the most vulnerable people in society because all people need and deserve access to safe shelter/housing, food security, healthcare with mental health resources, thriving wages, green spaces, and safe/accessible transit. This is the vision she will fight for on the city council.

FLORIDA

Nancy Fry

Coconut Creek City Commission, District D

Election Date: March 14, 2023

Nancy is a mother, business owner, and strong community advocate. She is an experienced leader and is proud to call Coconut Creek her home. She is a member of Coconut Creek’s Ambassador Program, 3rd Vice President & Fundraising Chair of the Tradewinds Elementary PTA, Vice Chair of the Broward County School Board Human Relations Committee, and a member of the Broward County Commission on the Status of Women representing County Commission District 2. Nancy also works to make communities safer by volunteering with Moms Demand Action, a group focused on gun violence prevention. She is an alumnus of New Leaders Council Broward.

Nancy wants to impact policies that help her community, so she became politically involved. She volunteered and worked for various campaigns at the local, county, and state level. She served as a principal Commission Aide for the City of Fort Lauderdale, gaining invaluable experience in municipal government. Currently, she works as an analyst for the Center for Human Capital Innovation.

Nancy enjoys spending time with her husband and two children. She has a bachelor’s degree in music business and a master’s degree in arts presenting from the University of Miami.

ILLINOIS

Anthony David Bryant

Chicago Police Council, District 3

Election Date: February 28, 2023

Anthony is a Southside native, community organizer, political strategist, public administration expert, and social justice professional with expertise in community building and restorative justice. He has developed community engagement strategies and coalitions with community centers, nonprofit organizations, and government officials to sustain their programs, improve their work culture, and expand their resources. He has attended and graduated from Saint Sabina Academy, De La Salle Institute, and Monmouth College. He has led workshops around social-emotional learning, cultural awareness, criminal justice, and collective economic empowerment. He advocates for civic engagement and political education programs to help residents understand how policies shape our communities.

Anthony understands residents feel watched, but not heard nor cared for by our police department. He knows residents found it uncomfortable and unsafe to interact with the police. His campaign will ensure residents have a direct opportunity to impact the root issues of crime, public safety, and police accountability. He plans to bring the community together by prioritizing the community when working with different stakeholders to develop strategies to implement healing spaces & restorative justice practices.

Corey Dooley

Chicago City Council, District 29

Election Date: February 28, 2023

In 2013, Corey was shot four times by his stepfather, who ambushed his family with a gun on his way home. Doctors gave him less than a 1% chance of survival. As a survivor of gun violence, he knows how important it is to address gun violence.

Since overcoming this obstacle, he was awarded multiple degrees, helped develop a commercial corridor, written a book, gotten married, and is now running to become the youngest alderman on the Chicago City Council.

As an economic developer, youth advocate, and public safety enthusiast, Corey is the only candidate who has been a grassroot organizer in the community and has fought for small businesses, trauma-informed health care, equitable housing, and green jobs. As alderman, he will bridge the community and build the economy to put the 29th Ward on the right track. Corey stands for the community, not privatized interest and not political influence. He will put forward creative, resourceful solutions that engage in peacekeeping strategies, cross-network communication, and neighborhood revitalization.

Leonardo Quintero

Chicago City Council, District 12

Election Date: February 28, 2023

Leonardo is a lifelong resident of the Pilsen neighborhood in Chicago and has been working as a youth advocate over the last 14 years. He has held the roles as substance abuse counselor, street outreach counselor, youth court advocate and program consultant. Leonardo has been responsible for city-wide programming ranging from talent shows, IOP treatment, and life-readiness development programs. He has kept his grassroots approach to organizing as a staple to his work to ensure he’s aware of community concerns around critical issues like public safety. He has been a volunteer violence interrupter, helped establish treaties between local fractions to ensure peaceful summer events, and has co-founded the Peace In Pilsen initiative, along with others, to work towards actively curbing community violence.

The Peace In Pilsen initiative was awarded the 2022 Trauma Informed Care Champion Award from the Chicago Department of Public Health and was named 2022’s Best Youth Initiative by Southside Weekly. Leonardo has worked alongside leading restorative justice leaders and professors across the city to establish new approaches to the current justice system, and re-imagining what public safety can be.

Lindsay Prigge

Barrington Library Trustee

Election Date: April 4, 2023

Lindsay is a payroll specialist at one of the top-ranking payroll companies in the United States. She completed her undergraduate degree in marketing and international business at UW-Milwaukee and her master’s degree in human resources management from Colorado Tech Graduate School after having her first child. As a mom of three, she is deeply invested in the resources of her community, including the Barrington Area Library, in which she is seeking a six-year term as a trustee.

Barrington and its surrounding towns have not been spared from the effects of the pandemic and recent inflation spike. The students are still on the path of recovery from learning loss, and the community has seen a rise in opioid overdose, teen suicide, and death. Empty storefronts are increasing, as the cost of doing business has skyrocketed. Lindsay believes the library can work in partnership with local schools, businesses, and village boards to provide support in these areas. She promises to bring responsible money management, be a voice for all, and utilize library resources to expand community services. Lindsay lives with her husband, children, and three dogs in Barrington, IL.

INDIANA

Dylan T. Liddle

Lawrenceburg City Council, District 2

Primary Election: May 2, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Dylan was born and raised in Lawrenceburg. He received his degree from Ball State University and an associate degree in legal studies from Ivy Tech. Dylan has always focused on putting people first and has been driven to serve by his own personal experience with homelessness and poverty. Over the course of the pandemic, Dylan cared for his neighbors by sending out flyers about grant opportunities, providing book bags and school supplies to over 170 children in need, and showing up for union friends at Proximo, where he stood in solidarity with them and their right to organize.

Dylan, and his fiance Hannah, are caretakers to his two younger brothers to help his family members in their struggle with addiction, an issue critical in his decision to run and create a better community for his family and families like his.

MASSACHUSETTS

Ravi Simon

Lincoln-Sudbury School Board

Election Date: March 27, 2023

Ravi grew up attending public schools. He went to Haynes Elementary School, Curtis Middle School, and graduated from Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School. Ravi is running for Lincoln-Sudbury School Committee to give back through public service and to provide a fresh perspective as a former student.

Currently, Ravi works as the sole staffer for State Representative Carmine Gentile, who represents Sudbury and half of Lincoln. His most important work involves researching, drafting/filing legislation, advising Rep. Gentile, and assisting constituents. His work has also touched on many state and local education-related issues, including successfully fighting for funding for students with disabilities, advocating for universal school meals, and securing earmarks that have benefited the district’s students.

Ravi strongly believes that all students deserve a high-quality education. His first-hand experience and background in the Massachusetts legislature make him especially qualified to make that a reality for Lincoln and Sudbury.

MINNESOTA

Aurin Chowdhury

Minneapolis City Council, Ward 12

Election Date: November 7, 2023

Aurin is a first-generation Bengali-American, the daughter of working-class immigrants, organizer, renter, and experienced policy aide. She is running to fight for working families, deliver progressive change,, and work collaboratively to move the city forward. Aurin grew up on the Southside, went to Minneapolis Public Schools, and developed a deep appreciation for the community. She has always been passionate about public service and community building because she believes that the community has the power to create the world they deserve. She has experience challenging the status quo through organizing, fighting alongside workers, and supporting progressive candidates for public office.

She has spent years shaping public policy and building inclusive coalitions — first at the office of Senator Kari Dziedzic and now as a Policy Aide at the City of Minneapolis. In her time at city hall, she has developed policies to combat wage theft, expand affordable housing for students, and deliver funding for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These experiences have provided her with a strong understanding of what it takes to get things done for residents of Minneapolis and the importance of delivering excellent constituent services. She has a strong record of public service and advocacy and is ready to bring that experience to fight for everyone at city hall.

Cheniqua Johnson

Saint Paul City Council, Ward 7

Primary Election: August 8, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Cheniqua is a Minnesota native, philanthropic leader and long-time community organizer. Cheniqua is running for Saint Paul City Council in Ward 7 to bring new leadership to the East Side of Saint Paul and to be a strong advocate for more affordable housing and protection for renters. She aims to bring forward a robust city-wide public safety plan, invest in climate justice action, sustainability, and foster local economic development.

Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Cheniqua has worked with rural, urban, and suburban Minnesotans and knows what it takes to bring people together from all backgrounds. Since moving to the Twin Cities, Cheniqua has spent the last decade in community, public service, and political organizing. She has served as a congressional staffer for Attorney General Keith Ellison when he was a Minnesota Congressman and for the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Aviation. On day one, Cheniqua will have the experience and relationships to be able to work hard and move the East Side and entire City forward at City Hall.

Cheniqua is a trailblazer, in her community and in her family. She is a proud daughter, sister, and granddaughter who has paved the way for her family by being the first person to graduate with a 4-year degree from University of Minnesota and the first to own a home. Cheniqua has also served the past two years for the Minnesota State Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party as the State DFL Outreach & Inclusion Officer.

MISSISSIPPI

Justin Lofton

Pike County Board, District 1

Primary Election: August 8, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Justin is a consultant and the executive director of a youth-serving nonprofit. As a public health professional, he has partnered with young people to promote legislation to expand high-quality healthcare and create safe and inclusive environments for Mississippi teens.

He is running to represent Pike County District 1 to promote safe and productive communities, reform the county’s criminal justice system, repair roads and bridges, and promote economic development. As a political consultant, he has worked alongside Mississippi lawmakers to secure over $20 million dollars for infrastructure, public safety, and capital improvements. Justin lives in McComb, MS.

MISSOURI

Daniela Velázquez

City of St. Louis Board of Aldermen, Ward 6

Primary Election: March 7, 2023; General Election: April 4, 2023

Daniela is a lifelong public servant who is currently campaigning to become the very first Latina elected to the Saint Louis Board of Aldermen for the city’s newly drawn 6th Ward. Daniela has previously served as a Board Member of NARAL Missouri (now Pro-Choice Missouri), Vice-Chair of the Saint Louis Hispanic Leaders Group (HLG), and was on the staff at both the Ferguson Commission and the ACLU of Missouri. Daniela is also in her second term on the Board of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan St. Louis, which focuses on the success of business, economic development, and personal development for Latino leaders. If elected, Daniela will join the less than 2% of Latinos that are currently serving as elected officials in the United States.

NEW YORK

Chi Ossé

New York City Council, District 36

Primary Election: June 27, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Chi is the Council Member for New York City’s 36th District, representing Bedford-Stuyvesant and North Crown Heights. He entered politics as an organizer and prominent figure in the Black Lives Matter movement. At 23 years old, Chi was elected in 2021 as the youngest member of this council and is the only member hailing from Gen Z.

Chi was called to politics for its potential to combine the institutional power of government with the tidal strength of movements to enact policy and drive social change. Chi’s office works to provide transparent and responsive aid to the people of his district, while utilizing and innovating the powers of municipal government. Chi is committed to meeting the needs of his community, including improving neighborhood sanitation, reimaging public safety, building and protecting safe and affordable housing, promoting local economic development, and strengthening schools.

A third-generation Brooklynite, Chi is the son of a local small-business owner and a hip-hop music attorney. He resides in North Crown Heights.

Jenn Puja

White Plains Common Council, At-Large

General Election: November 7, 2023

Councilwoman Puja is the youngest female elected to the White Plains Common Council. She is an Advisory Board Member for the Mount Sinai Selikoff Center for Occupational Health, a PTA parent, and a member of the Labor Sub-Committee of the Westchester County Board of Legislators. She is the ED of a non-profit that represents 100,000+ working families.

Councilwoman Puja has a passion for giving back and serving those in need. As Chair of the Recreation Advisory Committee, she sought donations for park upgrades and helped streamline practices to effectively serve residents. She created opportunities for all residents by securing thousands in grant funding for new and improved programs.

Councilwoman Puja also advocated for the successful passage of local labor policies, including safer worksites and local hiring so that residents are employed to work on projects in the city where they reside. She and her colleagues are taking steps towards a more sustainable future, and she is an advocate for 60,000+ residents, amplifying concerns about development, buffer areas, solar arrays, gas blowers, etc.

Maurice Brown

Onondaga County Board, District 15

Primary Election: June 27, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Maurice believes that housing, healthcare, and education are human rights. He’s a veteran and an advocate, who is running for Onondaga County Legislature. He is running to ensure residents have access to quality affordable housing and safe and efficient public transportation.

PENNSYLVANIA

Amelia McMillan

Central York School Board

Primary Election: May 16, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Born and raised in York County, Amelia attended the Red Lion School District. As a young adult, she cultivated profound insight into public mental health, after navigating through her own personal struggles.

With exceptional growth, came an exceptional calling to public life. Amelia became active in the community, working as a mentor, assisting victims of domestic abuse to safely relocate, participating in cleanups, being an active blood donor, and so much more.

After over a decade heading human resources and operations for a local restaurant chain, she brings rare experience to the pressures involved in managing budgets around human interest.

Amelia is committed to open discussions with the community, from all sides, and will work to facilitate policies that directly serve people. She resides with her husband, who works as a mechanic, and their two children.

Bethany Hallam

Allegheny County Council, At-Large

Primary Election: May 16, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Bethany is a formerly incarcerated person in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder. In 2019, she beat a 20-year incumbent to become the youngest person ever elected county-wide in Allegheny County, representing 1.2 million people. In Bethany’s first term, she fought for fair pay for county employees and won paid sick leave for everyone in Allegheny County. She helped pass a fracking ban in county parks and increased funding for lead remediation in homes. Bethany created a civilian police review board and passed a conversion therapy ban. She championed the effort to amend the budget to give additional funding to community colleges and the Housing Court Help Desk.

If elected to a second term, Bethany hopes to institute a $20/hr minimum wage for county employees, achieve funding parity for the public defenders and district attorneys’ offices, increase access to and the reliability of public transportation, and implement tenants’ rights to counsel. She plans to continue being an unapologetic voice against the violence perpetuated by the criminal legal system and the Allegheny County Jail and will continue the first-of-its-kind $100 monthly stipend for incarcerated individuals, which she implemented in early 2020 to help them afford phone calls with their families and purchase hygiene products and other necessities from the commissary.

Dan Grzybek

Allegheny County Board, District 5

Primary Election: May 16, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Dan is an engineer, school director, and organizer running for Allegheny County Council in District 5. He’s fighting to improve Allegheny County’s air quality, bring good union jobs to the area, and reform the Allegheny County Jail. Dan is an active member of the South Hills community. He volunteered as a youth mentor at the South Hills Interfaith Movement, regularly helps at the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, serves as a judge for PA Junior Academy of Science competitions, and filled in as an emergency substitute teacher during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. As an engineer working on safety systems for nuclear reactors, Dan is no stranger to utilizing research and data to solve complex problems. He plans on leveraging that experience to help build a stronger, safer, and more prosperous Allegheny County.

Deanna Philpott

North Hills School Board

Primary Election: May 5, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Deanna serves as a School Board Director for North Hills School District. She was first elected in 2019 and currently serves on the Health and Wellness, Finance, and Policy Committees. On these committees, Deanna provides oversight on issues involving the district budget, board policies, school meal program, and physical and mental health programs. She is dedicated to following expert guidance and research to ensure North Hills grows. She is passionate about making North Hills a community where all kids can feel welcomed.

Deanna brings her professional experience and expertise as a school wellness consultant to the board and district. She works with school districts across Pennsylvania to improve areas like recess, school meals, health and physical education curriculum, and other school wellness topics, in partnership with state agencies, organizations, and other elected officials. Deanna has a bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Penn State and a master’s degree from American University in sociology. She graduated from North Hills High School and returned to raise her three kids in the district and to give back to the community.

Mark Shaffer

Wilkes-Barre City Council, District B

Primary Election: May 16, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Mark is running for Wilkes-Barre City Council District B because the residents of the city have been left behind. A researcher and community organizer with experience in housing policy and economic development, he ran in 2019 because an unresponsive city government had allowed crumbling roads, blighted properties, trash and litter, and the drug epidemic to spread throughout the city.

In the last four years, Mark has organized his community, bringing people together to improve their neighborhoods. He founded a community service group called the Wilkes-Barre Worker Bees, organizing weekly cleanups throughout the city. Last October, they planted over 20 trees in 5 parks around the city.

Mark represents Luzerne County as an elected member of the PA Democratic State Committee. He is the Chair of the 6th District of the Luzerne County Democratic Party, helping to recruit members and candidates. He is also a Luzerne County chapter coordinator for Action Together Northeastern PA, a grassroots progressive advocacy organization.

Mark thinks the city council needs to tackle the housing crisis in Wilkes-Barre, using recovery funds to expand affordable housing opportunities through land trusts and other innovative policies. The city also needs to change its policies on addiction, shifting from criminalization to compassion, giving neighbors the resources they need to protect themselves and get clean. Mark believes that through organizing and bold policy changes, a brighter future for Wilkes-Barre is possible.

Monet Reilly

Haverford Commissioner, Ward 9

Primary Election: May 16, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Monet is a mother of two and a committed and active community member for change. Since moving to Haverford 10 years ago, she immediately stepped into spaces and roles to enhance experiences in schools, in equity and inclusion, and in democratic processes. Whether it’s advocating for district change, volunteering hundreds of hours to create safe spaces for all learners to feel seen and heard, or championing the needs of union members across the state, Monet is someone who answers the call to bring ingenuity, creativity, and drive to all that she does.

Monet is running for Commissioner in Haverford Ward 9 to improve township services for working parents, revitalize parks and playgrounds, increase transparency in local government, strengthen civic engagement, and find creative solutions to assist seniors on fixed incomes.

TENNESSEE

Michalyn Easter- Thomas

Memphis City Council, District 7

General Election: October 3, 2023

Michalyn Easter-Thomas is the current Memphis City Councilwoman for District 7, and she is running again for a 2nd term to continue her fight for community access to opportunity, to create equitable policies, and promote transparency in government. Being the youngest African American ever elected to Memphis City Council, Michalyn has showcased her capacity for leadership since 2020. Michalyn currently serves as the chair of the Governmental Affairs committee, and uses her platform to call for cross-governmental support of policies that promote equity and transparency for all populations within the City of Memphis.

TEXAS

Bently Paiz

New Braunfels City Council, District 5

General Election: May 6, 2023

Bently is a fifth-generation resident of New Braunfels. He is running to improve his community and better the lives of residents. Bently, along with many in his family, grew up in Comal Town (a historic district in New Braunfels), where his family worked extremely hard to get by with very little to show for.

At 18 years old, he started in electoral politics early, working on multiple campaigns and giving his time to community service to help others. His commitment to New Braunfels residents is unmatched, and he will work tirelessly to bring affordable housing, accessible public transportation, and so much more to the community.

VERMONT

Hannah King

Burlington City Council, Ward 8

General Election: April 7, 2023

Hannah is proud of her roots in Ward 8. She is the daughter of a single mother who works as a healthcare worker, and her father was a construction worker. The lived experiences of her family have served as the foundation for her commitment to push actionable progressive policy forward. Hannah truly understands the struggles so many Ward 8 neighbors face because she lives them herself.

Hannah is running on a platform that advocates for compassionate public safety that works for all Burlingtonians, a housing-first approach that pushes for rent stabilization, the creation of guaranteed minimum income, and centering climate and racial justice in each and every conversation.

Hannah believes that solving deep challenges will require working together and listening to each other. She has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Ward 8 neighborhood serving as a Steering Committee Member on the Ward 1 and Ward 8 Neighborhood Planning Association, and as the Ward 8 Representative on the Community Development Block Grant Advisory Board.

Over the last year, Hannah has served as the Finance Director on Congresswoman Becca Balint’s historic campaign. Working with Representative Balint was an experience that taught her so much about leading with values and showing up even when times get hard.

Hannah is running for city council to be a representative leader that listens, is responsive, has a thoughtful approach to solving complex problems, and, frankly, puts real progress before politics.

VIRGINIA

Benjamin Michael Litchfield

Virginia Senate, District 27

Primary Election: June 20, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Ben is a consumer financial protection attorney running in one of the most competitive senate races in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Before entering private practice, Ben worked at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau holding credit card, student loan, auto finance, and mortgage companies accountable.

During the pandemic, Ben oversaw the agency’s supervision of the credit card markets to ensure that credit card companies provided clear guidance to consumers on available relief programs and did not engage in unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial practices. He is the current Aquia District representative on the Stafford County Public Utilities Commission. He has been an advocate for ratepayers, raising public awareness about the Youngkin Administration’s failure to provide American Rescue Plan funds timely to low and moderate-income families at immediate risk of utility shutoffs.

Ben was raised by a single mom in a trailer park. He knows firsthand the struggles of working families living paycheck-to-paycheck, and how most Americans live just a medical bill away from bankruptcy. While in college, Ben dealt with food insecurity due to a lack of social programs for struggling students. He graduated from George Washington University with high honors and earned a law degree with honors from Howard University School of Law. Ben will be a fierce advocate for Virginia’s working families by building an economy that works for everyone.

Kellen Squire

Virginia House, District 55

Primary Election: June 20, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Kellen is an emergency department nurse from Charlottesville, Virginia. Kellen first ran for the Virginia House of Delegates in 2017, where he was a part of Run For Something’s first group of endorsed candidates. With RFS’s help, Kellen was, in the words of former Congressman Tom Perriello, able to “hit the sacrifice fly” of Virginia in 2017, causing the Virginia GOP’s caucus chair to spend $500,000 to beat Kellen instead of donating that money to other Republican candidates.

Kellen was on duty treating victims of the mass casualty incident that occurred during the Unite the Right Nazi attack in 2017. He has continued to work in the ER throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, through an epidemic of gun violence in his community. If elected, he will be the only delegate in Virginia with clinical experience, including providing emergent abortion care.

Kellen has also worked in pediatric acute and intensive care and as an elementary and middle school nurse. Kellen decided to become a nurse after deploying to Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. Until the pandemic, Kellen volunteered for the Remote Area Medical clinic in Wise, Virginia.

Kimberly Adams

Virginia House, District 82

Primary Election: June 20, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Kimberly is a lifelong Virginian who loves calling Dinwiddie County home. The daughter of a union worker and a school crossing guard, Kimberly was born and raised in Hopewell, VA. She earned her bachelor’s degree in accounting and information systems from Virginia Tech in 2005. As a working single mother, she earned her MBA in 2017.

A skilled accountant and auditor, Kimberly wants to bring accountability to the Virginia House of Delegates. Her deep love for the area she grew up in is the cornerstone of why she’s running to serve the 82nd District. The District of Petersburg City, Dinwiddie County, Prince George County, and Surry County have seen hardships that are preventable. She’s ready to be a voice for a district that has long been ignored by Richmond. Kimberly will stand with public school educators, farmers, local businesses, and community leaders to help her district thrive.

Mike Pruitt

Albemarle County Board, Scottsville District

Primary Election: June 20, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Mike is a veteran and policy advocate running to represent the Scottsville District on the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors. Mike has dedicated his life to public service, deploying twice to hostile waters in the Persian Gulf before joining the Office of Naval Intelligence in DC. Since leaving the Navy, Mike has transitioned to a career in civil rights law, where he has provided pro bono services combatting eviction in Central Virginia and litigated racial housing discrimination with the Department of Justice.

Mike is running to build a more inclusive and affordable future for Albemarle County, where future generations will want to and be able to start families of their own. He hopes to strengthen the County’s commitment to affordable housing through renewed investment and improved zoning and planning. Having grown up in a rural blue-collar family himself, Mike hopes to better the lives of working families by strengthening career pathways in the trades and fighting for equitable economic development strategies.

Padreus Pratter

Prince William County School Board, Neabsco Magisterial District

General Election: November 7, 2023

A lifelong career civil servant with a deep understanding of education policy and budget auditing, Padreus has spent over a decade serving the U.S. Department of Education across several administrations. He has profound knowledge of what it takes to protect and support public school education at the local level. Padreus is running for Prince William County School Board, Neabsco District in Virginia.

As schools chart a new course in a post-COVID world, Padreus believes the district must prioritize safety and help students develop and maintain positive relationships, while working to accelerate the learning of the students who are most affected by the pandemic. All students deserve an opportunity to learn and engage in environments where they feel safe, valued, and belong. As a mentor to high school students, Padreus wants to have an impact on the youth of the community to ensure they capitalize on the rich education they get from Prince William County schools.

Padreus is a graduate of the 2022 Leadership Prince William Emerging Leaders Program, a Prince William County Human Rights Commissioner, and a small business owner. Padreus is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc, and alumni of Norfolk State University. He lives in Woodbridge with his wife and their two children; their daughter is a kindergartener in PWCS. Padreus comes from a long lineage of educators. His mother was a special education teacher for over 30 years.

Victor McKenzie, Jr.

Virginia House, District 82

Primary Election: June 20, 2023; General Election: November 7, 2023

Victor, or “Vic”, is a nonprofit executive and community leader running in one of the most competitive districts in Virginia. Victor is running because he believes in putting people first and has seen firsthand how broken systems and bad policies have failed Virginian families. Victor will work tirelessly to improve mental health, education, and housing for all.

With an extensive advocacy and nonprofit leadership record, Victor maintains considerable business connections across the district. A consensus builder, Victor has worked with policymakers on both sides of the aisle to build successful coalitions. His experience will help serve the families of the 82nd District.

After attending Old Dominion University with a focus on international studies, he received his Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate from Georgetown University and Nonprofit Fund Development Certificate from the University of Richmond. Victor lives in Old Towne Petersburg with his wife, daughter, and their family dogs. He is committed to uplifting underserved and underinvested communities and making a real difference for all.

Zachary Coltrain

Virginia House, District 98

General Election: November 7, 2023

Zach is a university music student, and he is the youngest candidate to file for the upcoming Virginia general assembly elections. He has been a political campaign organizer, and he works tirelessly to ensure there are progressive Democratic challengers running for the Virginia House of Delegates and the Virginia Senate.

Zach is on an endowed music scholarship for the bassoon, making it possible for him to study music therapy to help future clients. He also serves as the captain of the Appalachian State University Speech and Debate Program, where he teaches proper avenues of argumentation and advocacy to undergraduate students. He also works part-time job in a food truck, serving boba on the weekends.

WISCONSIN

Julia Matthews

Madison City Council, District 12

Primary Election: February 21, 2023; General Election: April 4, 2023

Julia is a lifelong Madison resident, renter, and works in clinical research at UW-Madison. She is proud of her Madison roots and wants to continue to call Madison her home. She knows it is challenging when rent and home prices keep climbing, pushing out young people and those with lower incomes. She wants to serve as an alderperson to work towards lessening disparities across Madison, and increasing access to housing and transportation to help contribute to a future Madison that welcomes everyone. She’s young, dedicated, and eager to serve the people who live in her district. She’s also a very careful listener and will pay close attention to the needs of everyone she represents.

Affordable, attainable, and equitable access to housing is a big priority for Julia, as well as responsible growth in District 12. Another priority is preparing for the incoming F-35s and advocating for direct city involvement to expand access to noise mitigation and run additional environmental studies. She also wants to look at ways the city can increase resources for families who are at risk of being priced out of the city due to rising rent and home prices, cost of childcare, and limitations on public transit in the most affordable neighborhoods. Julia is also passionate about the community engagement aspect of working as an alderperson. She believes that all voices have value and will be proactive about reaching people who have not always had the privilege, ability, or bandwidth to participate in city politics.

Juliana Bennett

Madison City Council, District 2

Primary Election: February 21, 2023; General Election: April 4, 2023

Juliana is a young, queer, Black leader in Madison WI. They graduated from Madison West High School in 2018 and continued their education at UW-Madison. Throughout her time in Madison, Juliana has set herself apart as a community advocate. Juliana became a community organizer during the 2020 Black Lives Matter movement and co-founded the Madison BIPOC Coalition, alongside fellow young, queer, people of color. Eventually, Juliana ran for and won her election to become an Alderperson on the Madison Common Council. During their time on the city council, Juliana championed affordable housing policies, violence prevention initiatives, community investment, fair maps during redistricting, equal access to transportation, and uplifting the voices of those most underserved in the community.

Maxwell Laubenstein

Madison City Council, District 4

Primary Election: February 21, 2023; General Election: April 4, 2023

Max is currently a biological systems engineering student, who will graduate soon from UW Madison. He has been advocating for environmental action for years and is passionate about the intersections of climate action and access to clean water for residents. Max became an activist when he moved to Madison, working to organize around issues ranging from affordable housing to civil rights, and focusing on their impacts on marginalized members of the community. He has worked to build relationships with this community and if elected, will ensure that the seat is used to support the community with appropriate, sustainable, and affordable developments and policies to help fight the rising cost of living.

MGR Govindarajan

Madison City Council, District 8

Primary Election: February 21, 2023; General Election: April 4, 2023

MGR is a student at UW-Madison who is running to represent District 8 on the Madison City Council. He is a first-generation immigrant and advocate for students. He spent the last two years fighting for issues that matter to students — such as affordable housing, access to mental health care, and more. As the Legislative Affairs Chair within the UW-Madison Student Government, he was able to make strong connections with local and state leaders, and he will continue to do so as alderman. MGR is running for District 8 on a platform of achieving more affordable housing, increasing access to mental health services, expanding safer and sustainable transportation, and more.

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Run for Something
Run for Something

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