Kevin Boyce is the current Treasurer of Ohio. He was appointed in January 2009 by Gov. Strickland after having served on the Columbus City Council. Kevin is a remarkable progressive leader who grew up in Columbus and now leads the treasury of one of the largest states in the nation. Notably, Kevin steered the Ohio treasury through the most recent recession without losing a single penny for the state. Kevin faces a very tough election, however, against a well-funded and very conservative state senator. Helping Kevin win in November is a top priority for the progressive movement.
Sen. Claudia Kauffman is running for re-election in the 47th legislative district. We helped recruit Claudia for her first run in 2006, based on her activism within the Native American community, particularly for her role as the Intergovernmental Liaison at Muckleshoot Tribe. We worked closely with Claudia's campaign to overcome both a tough primary opponent where we took on the Democratic Party and tough general election fight in 2006. The 47th is a swing district and one Republicans view as vulnerable in this tough political climate for progressives. Claudia and her two house Democratic seatmates are some of the top targets of the Republicans and we expect them to spend a great deal of resources here. President Obama won this district by 55%. A member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho, Claudia is the only Native American woman in the state legislature.
Paul Meunier is the candidate for Senate District 49. Paul is currently the Mayor of Ham Lake, MN. Paul is deeply connected to his community and is a strong voice on state issues. His opponent, Michelle Benson, is a staunch conservative. Progressive Majority fielded two candidates for state House in 2008 in this district, winning one of those races. Paul has an outstanding campaign. He has an active volunteer base and his campaign is being managed by a Progressive Majority farm team member. Progressive Majority staff recruited Paul in 2008 through local DFL partners. Victory in this race will be important to ensure that the DFL maintains its veto-proof majority, and will be an important inroad in a very tough county.
Kevin Staunton is the city attorney for Excelsior, Minnesota running for State House in District 41A. This election, Kevin is facing an ultra-right wing incumbent who defeated Kevin in 2008. But Kevin isn't giving up - he's going to fight back, because there's more at stake if he loses. The current incumbent has voted against K-12 and early education bills and voted for raising property taxes. With redistricting looming, Minnesota needs Kevin in office to ensure that children get the best education possible. This is Progressive Majority's opportunity to unseat an unpopular conservative candidate in Hennepin County - one of our most important targets.
Nickie Antonio is a member of the Lakewood City Council and is running in an open seat vacated due to term limits. Nickie has served as a special education teacher and is a former administrator of a multi-county HIV/AIDS prevention program. If elected, Nickie would be the only lesbian serving in the state House. Nickie has a very strong campaign with grassroots energy, particularly in Lakewood. A win in this race would be an important hold as we fight back against the Republican effort to reclaim the state House.
Rep. Marian Harris' win in 2008 was a major progressive victory. In 2010, Marian faces a strong challenge from an extremely conservative Republican. Since 2008, Rep. Harris has built strong constituency services that have helped her expand her already strong base in the district. Marian is a strong progressive and has fought for progressive values during over 30 years of her work in human services, having served under former long-time liberal Senator Howard Metzenbaum and former Ohio Gov. Richard Celeste. She's endorsed by over 30 organizations, including The Columbus Dispatch. Her district, which runs the eastern side of Franklin County, is a key swing area that must be protected in order to ensure the strength of the Democratic majority following the 2010 election.
Andrei Cherny most recently was an Arizona Assistant Attorney General before becoming a full time candidate. He worked as a White House aide for President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore, and served as the youngest Presidential speechwriter in history. He is also the author of two top selling books, The Next Deal: The Future of Public Life in the Information Age, and most recently, The Candy Bombers: The Untold Story of the Berlin Airlift and America's Finest Hour. He is an officer in the Naval Reserve and is a member of SEIU. Andrei is already garnering national support for his election, including having Clinton host a fundraiser, and Gore writing a solicitation for his campaign.
Angela Cotera is another of our repeat candidates, however, this time she is running for the state House instead of the state Senate. Angela, an astrophysicist, garnered 47.5% of the vote in the 2008 elections. This district is in the fast growing far western portion of Maricopa County and is part of our strategic plan. She holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University and is a research astrophysicist for the Carl Sagan Center, SETI Institute. She has volunteered in schools for years to bring her passion for astronomy to students. She and her husband have lived in Avondale since 1991. During the 2006 elections, her frustration with elected political leaders at the local, state and national levels compelled her to do whatever she could to help change the political landscape of Arizona. She is a graduate of Emerge program and has participated in the Center for Policy Alternatives training, attended the Take Back America Conference and gotten messaging help from us.
Rae Waters picked up a traditionally Republican-held state House seat in District 20. Rae was a late entrant into this race because the Democratic Party's previous candidate, Corey Harris, was recalled to active duty in Iraq and cannot stand for election. District 20 is a traditionally Republican district that, due to changing registration numbers, is trending Democratic, however, Rae is the only Democrat elected in the district and is one the Republicans top targets. In 2008, Rae only won by 700 votes. Rae is running on her record fiscal responsibility, and strengthening health care and education. Professionally, most recently she served as a community columnist for the Arizona Republic. For the last 12 years, Rae has also served as an elected m ember of the Kyrene School District governing board, where she held a variety of leadership positions, including chairing the state association. She is running as a clean election candidate.
Progressive Majority fielded Pat for her in her first bid for the House in District 25 in 2006 against an entrenched incumbent. While unsuccessful, Pat ran a great race and ran again in 2008, this time successfully. In 2010, she is running for reelection and is a top target of the Republicans, as they have control of the other state house seat in this district and the district is trending Republican. District 25 is a sprawling rural district that runs along much of the Mexican border where illegal crossing is occurring. Pat is retired from the Department of the Defense, where she oversaw multi-million dollars budgets. She is a retired member of American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE). Pat is a graduate of the Emerge program, has worked with Jennie Blackton on messaging, has attended the Take Back America conference and has worked with Progressive Majority on all aspects of her campaign.
Cheryl Cage is a repeat candidate for a Senate seat in Legislative District 26. The seat had been held by a Democrat between 2006 and 2008; Cheryl's close loss (she garnered 49% of the vote) allowed the Republicans to win the seat. A retired member of the Association of Flight Attendants (AFA), Cheryl is now a consultant in the aviation industry. As a small business owner, she understands the need for fiscal responsibility, and wants to rein in the irresponsible budget practices of the Republican majority in Phoenix. Her opponent is the extreme right-wing Sen. Al Melvin, upset a popular, moderate, well-funded in Republican House member in the primary in 2008. This district has featured very close elections in recent years, but all three seats (this and the two house seats) were all captured by Republicans in 2008. Year in and year out, LD 26 has been a top-tier target for all progressive stakeholder groups and the Democratic Party.
Andrea Dalessandro is another of our repeat candidates who ran in 2008. This year, she's running for the House of Representatives in District 30, which has two seats currently held by Republicans. Andrea lost by 3% of the vote in 2008. Andrea is a graduate of Emerge, our partner organization, that trains women. There is one open seat and one conservative running for reelection. This is a targeted district for taking control of the Statehouse, and a viable race due in large part to Andrea's tireless campaigning in the last year. She is a certified public accountant and a former high school math teacher. Andrea and her husband, a retired letter carrier. She is a retired member of the Arizona Education Association and a host of community, civic and political organizations. She attended numerous trainings, including Center for Policy Alternatives' values training and Progressive Majority's messaging training.
Todd Camenisch is a dynamic progressive running for Arizona State Senate in District 30. Todd has been committed to helping people throughout his professional career. He served the US Navy as a fieldsman and the US Marine Corps as a field medic. Todd is a professor in the Department of Pharmacy at the University of Arizona where he teaches graduate level courses, and he served on the Catalina Foothills School Board. Todd is running against a recently appointed Senator who was elected to his first term in the State House in 2008 in a crucial swing district in the eastern suburbs of Tucson. Todd has been a strong proponent of restoring funding for public education and ensuring that all citizens have access to affordable health care.
Sue Dolphin is a Democratic activist and accountant running for State Senate in Arizona's 4th District. Sue is the Chair of the General Federation of Women's Club Central District Education Committee and has served on the Nadaburg School District Budget Committee. She is also an elected precinct committeeperson and a Democratic state committeeperson. Sue has strong union support-endorsements from the Arizona Education Association, AFSCME and IBEW-as well as environmental and choice organizations. As a suburban Tucson district, District 4 is a crucial pickup opportunity if we are able to make inroads in the Republican majority.
Rep. Nancy Young-Wright is a progressive leader in the Arizona House of Represenatives and is running for re-election in District 26. She is the ranking Democrat on the Water and Energy Committee and serves on the Education Committee. Nancy was elected to the Amphitheater Unified School District Governing board in 1996 and served on the board for ten years. Rep. Young-Wright vision is to build a state with a nationally-recognized environmental record and outstanding public schools. This district in the foothills around Tucson is a crucial protect for one of the progressive champions in the Arizona Legislature.
Todd Schwarz is an SEIU member and candidate for the Governing Board of the Balsz Elementary District 31. Located in Maricopa County (Phoenix), Balsz School District is one of the most important school districts in Arizona. For the past two years, Todd has been a leader in the Arizona Budget Coalition, a group of labor, education, and environmental leaders committed to rejecting the GOPs slash and burn budget policies and, instead, offering concrete fixes to the budget crisis. This is Todd's first run for elective office.
David Longoria was appointed to the Pima Community College Governing Board District 2 last February and he is now running for election to that seat. David is an SEIU member and has been a coordinator of the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program in the Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation Department. He presently serves as the Vice Chair for the Pima County Regional Transportation Authority's Citizens Accountability for Regional Transportation Committee.
Mona Alvarado-Rios (she will appear on the ballot as Mona Rios) is the third generation of her family to be born and raised in National City. Her father is a long time aide to US Rep. Bob Filner, the representative for National City, and her mother serves on the National City School Board. Mona works as a Library Technician and is a member of SEIU. She wants to bring economic opportunity to National City while championing education and environmental issues.
Pete Lee has lived in Colorado Springs for over 34 years, and practiced law for 25 years, where he represented individuals and small business owners in commerical and real estate transactions. Pete has been active in the community, including serving on the boards of numerous community organizations. As a candidate, he is running to help fix Colorado's health care system and to strengthen environmental protections.
Kathy Hartmann is finishing her first term as Jefferson County Commissioner. Jefferson County is the top target for statewide campaigns and is historically a ''bellweather'' for success statewide, however, tends to elect Republicans at the county level. For example, in 2004 the county was carried by Bush by 5%, yet went for Obama by 9%. On the local level, in 2006, Kathy was the first Democrat elected to the board in 14 years. Prior to Progressive Majority recruiting her to run in 2006, Kathy worked as the Executive Director of Stride, a nonprofit organization that helps families on welfare get back on their feet and back into the workforce. She also sat on the Jefferson County Workforce Development board and the Mental Health Board. As commissioner, she was chosen as the Colorado ''Freshman of the Year'' by the organization of county elected officials and has worked to bring hundreds of new energy jobs to Jefferson County.
Doug Milliken is finishing his first term as Treasurer of Arapahoe County. Doug is a native of the county and served as the first City of Centennial Treasurer when the city was formed in 2001. Doug is a Certified Public Accountant and has two Masters Degrees in Accounting and Financial Management. During the 1980s, he worked on Wall Street as a vice president of finance, handing more than $5 billion in capital. As treasurer, his investment experience helped the county earn more than $43 million in just three years - over three times the earnings of the preceding three years. In addition, he's created a unique program to use county funds to loan to local businesses to stimulate the economy. As an activist, he is a board member of the Nunez Foundation, which provides scholarships for low-income students. Doug is the first progressive and the first Democrat ever to be elected to this countywide post since statehood. Doug is also the first openly gay county elected official in Arapahoe County. While Obama won the county with 55%, Bush won the county with 52%, and the county regularly backs Republicans at the local level, including having a supermajority of county commissioners. Doug is being heavily targeted by the right, as he is the only Democrat elected countywide. His opponent is the same as in 2006, Republican Sue Sandstrom, who Doug beat by 1% last time around. Sandstrom is a CPA and member of the Aurora City Council.
Tom Mowle was appointed El Paso County Public Trustee by Governor Bill Ritter on February 1, 2008, the day after he retired from a 20-year career in the United States Air Force that included service in Baghdad during the Iraq War. While in the Air Force, he managed the development of aircraft, missile, and information systems. He also taught the concepts underlying American and international politics at the United States Air Force Academy, earning awards for teaching and research. Tom holds Ph.D. in political science from The Ohio State University, a master's degree in international affairs from the University of Dayton, and dual bachelors degrees in government and electrical engineering from Notre Dame. In the community, he is first vice-chair on the Community Advisory Committee of the Pikes Peak Area Council of Governments, and a member of the Building a Vibrant Economy and marketing teams in the Quality of Life Indicators project. Progressive Majority recruited Tom to run for county clerk and recorder several years ago. The challenge in a race like Tom's is that he lives in a very populous county, but it's hard to raise money for a county clerk race. In addition, he'll have to persuade about 20,000 voters to split their ticket and vote for Tom even if they are voting Republican for Senate or Governor. He started walking in February and plans to hit all 93 swing precincts.
Brett Godfrey is an attorney and candidate for the Colorado House of Representatives' 37th district. Brett holds a degree in Chemical Engineering and is a former Air Force officer. Brett is running to foster economic growth, protect financial, educational and medical security, and to protect the right to privacy and the environment. Brett has worked for more than 20 years within the judicial branch of government, forging new law in the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals. Brett is running in a crucial swing district in Arapahoe County, in the suburbs south of Denver.
In 2006, John Morse ran and won in one of the most competitive State Senate districts in Colorado. He was the first Democrat to win in El Paso County since 1974. Now, he is running for re-election in a tougher environment. John has served as a police officer and as a Police Chief for nearly 20 years, worked four years as a CPA, worked as a paramedic in Denver, and ran a $3.3 million nonprofit organization that helps seniors age with dignity and remain independent. In the Legislature, John serves as Vice Chair of the Judiciary Committee and a member of the Finance and the Health and Human Services Committees. He has fought for improved public pensions and increased investment in health care.
Dan Pabon is a former staffer at the Office of White House Counsel who is running for House of Representatives in District 4. Dan worked with President Obama's top advisors creating and drafting the President's first Executive Order on Ethics. While a student at Colorado University, Dan helped create a recruitment and retention program for at risk students. As a young lawyer, Dan worked in a legal aid clinic helping economically disadvantaged clients obtain child support, alimony, and social security benefits. Dan recently won a tough primary against two other accomplished progressives. Dan is an outstanding progressive champion and will be a leader in the Colorado House of Representatives for many years.
Steve Kjonaas is a candidate for El Paso County Commissioner. Retired from the United States Air Force, Steve goals include: managing area growth, addressing water and environmental issues and increasing tourism. Steve is running against a staunch conservative who is advocating privatizing core government services at the expense of the public workers and the people of El Paso County. El Paso County is a crucial swing area where progressives need to make inroads at the local level.
Senator Gail Schwartz is running for re-election in the Colorado Senate District 5. Gail has lived in the Western Slope for 32 years. During that time, she has worked to serve the unique needs of the Western Slope in over a dozen nonprofit, government, and business organizations that focus on helping students graduate, providing rural health care services, and constructing affordable housing for working families. Prior to being elected to the Colorado Senate, Gail was appointed by Governor Roy Romer to be a member of the Colorado Commission on Higher Education, and was elected by the voters of the 3rd Congressional District to serve as a member and Vice-Chair of the University of Colorado Board of Regents. Her current legislative focus is on re-energizing Colorado's economy by creating jobs and investing in the future of renewable energy.
Dennis Apuan is running for re-election to House District 17 in Western El Paso County. A member of the Asian-Pacific Islander community, he has a strong background in community organizing and brings a base of grass-roots support. His top issues are economic justice, development of renewable energy sources and affordable healthcare. District 17 is a unique district in that it encompasses a large military base. Dennis is a strong progressive and his return to the Colorado House of Representatives is essential to advancing progressive issues.
Representative Dianne Primavera is seeking re-election Colorado House of Representatives in District 33. Dianne is a progressive leader on healthcare issues and must return to the Capitol to finish the job she started. She received the Colorado Legislator Award from the CO Women's Chamber of Commerce and Denver Women's Commission. Rep. Primavera represents key counties in the state where Progressive Majority has worked on both state and city races. Dianne is a passionate, dedicated and hard working progressive legislator.
Art Reyes II is running for state representative against an incumbent Republican. The Republican is pursuing the GOP nod for Secretary of State and, if successful, it would become an open seat. Progressive Majority can make the difference in helping increase viability and providing training support and other campaign expertise. When Art is elected, Progressive Majority succeeds in increasing the ''progressivity'' of the state house and keeping majority in Democratic hands. This seat is also a strategic pathway to a highly competitive state senate seat that serves both Genesee and Oakland County. Art is the President of UAW Local 651. In the past, he has been the organizer for the GOTV efforts of the local UAW Region in Genesee County. He has the passion to fight for working families, and create a state that allows his grown children to find work and raise their families here. Progressive Majority will be critical in providing the messaging and fundraising capacity building to make Art a viable candidate. Referred to Progressive Majority by leaders in the progressive community, Art's candidacy is taking notice by those in labor and the broader progressive movement.
Mark Lightfoot, the Supervisor for Freeman Township, is running for state representative. Mark is a progressive who brings a strong profile and credentials that creates a possible pick-up for Democrats in the state House, while increasing the progressivity of the Democratic majority. This district is located in rural mid- Michigan, and Mark has a unique profile that will play well in the area. He is a Navy veteran, a retired firefighter and a current business owner in the district. As the next state representative, he will champion 21st century job creation, strengthening public education, protecting farmland, and securing the state's natural resources.
State Rep. Mary Valentine is running for the state Senate, District 34. She is running for the state Senate in a district that is being vacated by a Republican due to term limits. Democrats need a net gain of four seats to win majority, and this potential pick-up is critical to that goal. Prior to becoming a legislator, Mary was a speech therapist for over 30 years and retired from a local school district. As a legislator, Mary was a leading voice in the fight to stem the flow of Canadian and out-of-state trash into Michigan, create good-paying jobs for Michigan workers, increase investment in renewable energy and protect our Great Lakes. Among all the top tier state Senate races this year, only a few have front running progressive candidates like Mary. Mary is known as a tireless campaigner, and Progressive Majority can provide the support to insure that Mary wins in November.
Harvey Santana is running for State Representative in District 10. This Detroit district has crowded primary for the Democratic nomination in August. Harvey is a Navy veteran who stands out as a progressive leader. He completed the Michigan Political Leaders Program, Center for Progressive Leadership's Local Candidacy Training. Professionally, he is an urban planner and brings a unique perspective as to how to redevelop and revitalize Detroit, and urban areas across the state. Once elected, Harvey will focus on correction reform, job creation, and initiatives that help increase population in our core urban centers. At 37, Harvey will be among the youngest members in the legislature. When elected, Harvey will also be the only Puerto Rican serving in the state house and would increase the number of Latinos in the legislature.
Macomb County Commissioner Ken Lampar is running for State Representative in District 30. This seat, open due to term limits, is currently held by a Republican, and has been in Republican control for nearly twenty years. Ken's election is essential to leading progressive change in Michigan. Ken is campaigning with a message of reforming Lansing and creating jobs for working families. Ken has extensive experience working behind the scenes in the Macomb County Prosecutor's Office, in former Governor Blanchard's office, and currently runs his own consulting company which in part helps other political campaigns. All of his political experience has taught him how to run an effective grassroots door-to-door campaign; skills he's putting into place for this election.
Dian Slavens is running for reelection for State Representative in District 21 in Wayne County. With Dian as a candidate in 2008, Democrats surprisingly picked up this open seat. During her first term, she has been a strong progressive member of the Democratic Caucus in the Michigan House of Representatives. Before getting elected, Dian worked as a respiratory therapist for more than 20 years in Southeast Michigan hospitals; first at William Beaumont Hospital and later at Henry Ford Hospital. Her experience gave her a firsthand look at how families are hurt when they don't have access to affordable health care. Drawing on her many years as a respiratory therapist, where she witnessed the devastating and often fatal effects of secondhand smoke, Dian was also instrumental in banning smoking in most indoor places in Michigan, including bars and restaurants. Dian also is fighting for aggressive job creation strategies that take advantage of Michigan's manufacturing expertise and highly skilled workforce to help make the state a leader in advanced battery technology.
Joan Wadsworth is running for State Representative in District 20. She is currently serving her 14th year as member of the Northville School Board. She has years of civic engagement in the community including serving on the Downtown Development Authority, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Senior Citizens Council. This is an open seat due to the two-term Democrat choosing not to seek re-election. The seat has historically been a Republican seat in northwestern Wayne County. Joan is well on her way to building the political support to be successful in the fall with the support of the Northville Mayor and outgoing Democratic State Representative Marc Corriveau.
Paula Zelenko is running for State Senate in District 26. This 'toss-up' seat, currently held by a progressive Democrat, is vulnerable this year because of term limits. Paula, also a former state representative, is a current councilwoman in Burton, Mich. A former member of UAW Local 651, Paula is a strong labor advocate who understands the plight of working families in Michigan struggling to make ends meet, afford health care, and get ahead. Paula is the strong progressive in the race, and will be a tireless champion of progressive values when she is elected. Democrats cannot win the majority in the state senate without this seat. She has already earned the endorsements of leaders like Lt. Governor John Cherry (who resides in the district and once held the senate seat) and many other local, county, and state leaders in the district.
State Representative Dan Scripps is running for re-election in District 101. Two years ago, Democrats picked up this seat for the first time in history. Dan is dedicated to turning Michigan's economy around by creating good-paying jobs, expanding educational opportunities to more residents and protecting our special way of life in Northern Michigan. He started the Buy Michigan First! website to create a forum to support efforts to help Michigan's small businesses, protect and create local jobs and revitalize our economy by purchasing Michigan-made products and services. Scripps, an environmental attorney, has emerged as a statewide leader in protecting our natural resources and promoting clean energy. Scripps, who previously owned his own consulting business, has worked with the Leelanau Conservancy to develop a farmland protection strategy for Leelanau County.
Kathy Hagopian is a Democrat running for the 16th Oakland County Commission seat. She is a local businesswoman and has been active in many local community affairs. She was re-elected to the West Bloomfield Township Wetlands Board in 2008. She has 30 years in manufacturing and owns her own company, Building Accessories Corp. She is active in the Women's Officials' Network, Construction Association of Michigan, West Bloomfield Youth Assistance Board. The Republican, Shelly Goodman Taub, is a former commissioner and state representative, and defeated the won in 2008 by just 128 votes. Kathy's election will result in flipping majority on the county board in this county that has historically been a conservative stronghold in southeast Michigan. Kathy will focus on creating and attracting jobs, supporting public transportation, and protecting the environment in Oakland County.
Jocelyn is a first time candidate running for Secretary of State, seat progressives have not held since 1994. Jocelyn has a career that makes her among the strongest candidates ever to seek this office. She started her career at the Southern Poverty Law Center, and in 2002 joined the Harvard Civil Rights Project as their Voting Right Policy Coordinator and helped pass the Help America Vote Act in the wake of the 2000 Presidential Election. On a shoestring budget, she has built a statewide campaign, and brought early attention and enthusiasm to this race. Jocelyn's election will not only usher in a new generation of statewide of elected leadership, but will insure that integrity and protection of our election system is paramount.
Dave Leyton is running for Michigan Attorney General. Dave is currently the Genessee County Prosecutor, and as Attorney General he will be committed to fighting crime and seeking justice for Michigan's residents. Furthermore, he will revive the consumer protection division of the office that the current conservative has systematically dismantled over the last eight years. The current Republican Attorney General has joined with others to sue in court and oppose the new health care reform. Not only will stop Michigan's role in it, but he will be a strong supporter to seeing health care reform is fully enacted in America.
Lisa Brown is running for re-election for State Representative in District 43. Lisa is the first Democrat to ever represent this area which has a less than 50% DPI. Located in Oakland County, a Progressive Majority targeted county, Lisa's seat is a strategic pathway to increasing seats in the state senate down the line. Her re-election is crucial to increasing the progressivity of the state house. As a state legislator, Lisa has been a tireless advocate for public education, protecting a woman's right to choose, and prompting stem cell research.
Sarah Roberts is running for re-election for State Representative in District 24. This young leader has already shown how she is a progressive pipeline leader. Prior to being elected to the state house in 2008, Sarah served on the Macomb County Commissioners. As a state legislator, Sarah demonstrated her leadership in helping lead the effort to form a Progressive Caucus within the Democratic Caucus. Having worked as a Clean Water Action community organizer and representing a district that borders Lake St. Clair, Sarah has been a strong advocate for progressive environmental policy. For Progressives to win majority in the state house in November, this is a must win race.
Pam Drake is running for state representative in District 85, in mid Michigan. This seat is open due to term-limits, and is currently held by a Republican. Pam is a seasoned campaign manager having run the campaigns of a number of major mayor and state representative candidates. Motivated by the lack of leadership she saw in Lansing and a strong desire to see her values put into action she opted to step outside her comfort zone and run. Education is crucially important to her and her rural community, and as state representative she will fight to insure all children have access to quality and affordable education opportunities. She understands that education is a critical piece of revitalizing an reinventing Michigan to create jobs for working families.
Kathleen Law is running for the state senate in District 7. This seat is currently held by a conservative Republican. This western Wayne County seat is an open seat due to term limits. Currently, Republicans have a 22 - 16 seat majority in the state senate. Of the open seats in the state senate this year, this is a must win race for Democrats to win majority of the senate for the first time in 25 years. Kathleen is a former state representative who had a strong record as a leader on labor and woman issues. Kathleen's leadership in the state house illustrates how she will be a progressive champion in the state senate. She led efforts to increase growth in the renewable energy sector, advocated for environmental protection, fought to extend unemployment benefits and pushed for an increase in the minimum wage.
Tim Burns is running for re-election for county commissioner in Oakland County's 19th District. First elected in 2006, Tim represents a traditional Republican area Democrats hold 12 seats on the 25 member board, one seat from majority. To flip the county board, Tim must be re-elected in 2010. Oakland County is a historically GOP stronghold in southeast Michigan with 1.2 million people. Tim is very active and visible in the community, and has been a strong Progressive leader in this traditionally conservative area. On the board, Tim has led the effort to adopt progressive economic development policies, curbing urban sprawl, and helping working families prevent foreclosures.
Steve Schwartz is running for re-election for county commissioner in Oakland County's 14th District. In 2008, Democrats won this district for the first time ever with Steve's first run for office. Republicans have recruited a strong candidate this year. Democrats hold 12 seats on the 25 member board, one seat from majority. To flip the county board, Steve must be re-elected in 2010. Oakland County is a historically GOP stronghold in southeast Michigan with 1.2 million people. As a commissioner, Steve, a lawyer specializing in municipal law, has been a tireless champion for regional mass transit in Metro Detroit and progressive economic development policy.
In Wayne County, MI, Hoon-Yung Hopgood is running for the Michigan State Senate in District 8. Hoon-Yung, a former state representative, will be the only Korean American in the state legislature and the first to serve in the state senate. With at least 30 of the 38 members of the senate being new next year, Hoon-Yung will be a progressive leader with the experience to take on a leadership role and be a champion for the community. At 35, Hoon-Yung is a pipeline leader who not only leads with his values, but is committed to helping elect other progressives to office.
Jim is a first time candidate for state representative in District 26 in Oakland County. This seat is open due to term limits. This legislative seat has a history of being fiercely competitive when there is no incumbent running. Having prevailed in a string progressive Democratic Primarily, Jim goes into November prepared to face off against a strong conservative. Jim embodies the type of progressive leadership Lansing needs. Jim is currently the Executive Director of the Tourism Economic Development Council leading economic development in Metro Detroit. Prior to his current role, he created the Michigan Suburban Alliance non-profit organization devoted to revitalizing and reinventing Detroit's surrounding communities. This seat is critical to Democrats controlling the state house next year.
Christine Green is running for State Representative in District 52 in Washtenaw County. This district, open due to term-limit with a DPI of 50%, is viewed as one of Michigan's most hotly contested races. Democrats and Republicans have held this seat in the last decade. Democrats need to hold this seat, currently held by a progressive Democrat, to insure majority and increasing the progressivity of the state house. Christine Green is a lawyer who has championed civil rights and the fair treatment of employees. As a community leader, Christine has devoted her efforts to Scio Township as an elected trustee and focuses on environmental issues and the protection of vulnerable citizens.
Ben Gillette is running for State Representative in District 91 in Muskegon County. The seat, currently held by state Rep. Mary Valentine who is a Progressive Majority endorsed candidate for state senate. This district, with a DPI of 50%, is historically highly competitive and Ben has a strong, independent wealthy and very established GOP candidate who ran two years ago. Keeping this seat in the progressive Democrat column is important to keeping the Democratic Majority in the state House. At 27, Ben is an elected member of the Fruitport Board of Education, and will be a strong voice for education in Michigan.
Toni Sessoms is running for state representative in District 99, in mid Michigan. This seat has a DPI of 49% is open due to term-limits, and is currently held by a Republican. As a nurse, she has worked with children and parents to return them to healthier lives. As an active person in her church and ministry, she has worked to help families live more enriching lives. As an attorney, she has worked to help people recover from injuries and personal problems so they can return to their normal lives. She is openly gay; and is a strong advocate for civil and equal rights. Toni has strong roots in the community, and will be a strong progressive leader when elected.
Paul Gieleghem a former state representative and current Chairman of the Macomb County Commission, is running for the State Senate in District 10. He won a fiercely competitive Democratic Primary and now faces a strong Republican in November. This district also overlaps with another Progressive Majority targeted state house race. Paul is running on a reform platform focused on job creation in Macomb County. A former aide to Congressman David Bonior, Paul is a seasoned campaigner who knows how to run very strong grassroots competitive campaigns. He is a strong and proven progressive champion that must win in order for the Senate to have any chance at gains in the state senate. Macomb County, the place where the term Regan Democrat was termed, is a place where all eyes will be on Election Day. Paul's candidacy gives promise to progressive candidates running locally and across the state.
Aaron is running for the State Senate in District 13 in Oakland County. Albeit his first run for office, Aaron has gained statewide attention for running a strong campaign against an incumbent Republican. This district overlaps with a number of other targeted Progressive Majority races. Aaron was the first member of his family to earn a four-year degree when he graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and he became the third generation of his family to serve in the military. Throughout his tenure in the Army, Aaron served our nation in numerous leadership positions as an Airborne Ranger qualified infantry officer. Upon returning to civilian life, Aaron earned a business degree from the University of Michigan and is proven leaders in helping private and nonprofit firms succeed in today's changing economic times. Aaron in the progressive communities best shot on beating an incumbent in the state senate this year.
State Representative Robert Jones, who was the former Mayor of Kalamazoo, is running for State Senate District 20 in Kalamazoo County, which is an open seat due to term-limits. After winning overwhelmingly in his Democratic Primary, Robert will face a very strong opponent, GOP State Representative Tonya Shuitmaker. Jones has a long and distinguished record of public service. Under his leadership, Kalamazoo experienced significant economic growth, attracting new investments and witnessing new development in the downtown area. As Mayor and State Representative, Robert has proven to be a strong progressive leader, and will bring that same type of leadership to the state senate. Democrats must win four new seats to win majority in the senate, and there is no road that gets there that doesn't go through this seat.
John Paul Torres is running to fill an open seat on the Waterford Twp. Board. John Paul's victory in November will give Democrats a majority on the board. Furthermore, Waterford Township is located in Oakland County and makes up a large portion of Progressive Majority endorsed candidate Paula Zelenko's state senate seat. Waterford is a swing community, and John Paul's win in November will position him to become a pipeline leader in the future. He is an appointed member of the county's Mental Health Authority Board, and worked previously for the county Probate Court. His vision for stabilizing neighborhoods and for economic development in this traditional working-class community will make him a refreshing voice on the township board.
Jennifer Haase is running for re-election for Michigan House of Representatives in District 32. Prior to being elected in 2008, she was a public school teacher for more than a decade. As a member of the House Education Committee she has been a tireless voice in support of public education and seeing that schools have what they need to help students succeed. She represents a district with a 48.5% DPI and is the first Democrat in recent times to hold it. She also has a strong progressive voting record for this leaning GOP area, and has done a great job in incumbency protection over the course of the last 18 months.
Greg Lemke is a dynamic progressive running in one of the most Democratic districts with a conservative incumbent. Greg is a lieutenant in the Fargo, ND police department and he would be the only progressive police officer in the House. He also currently serves on the Moorhead City Council. In that role and in his role in law enforcement, Greg has been instrumental in the effort to protect the Red River Valley residents from recent flooding. Progressive Majority worked with Victory Fund to recruit Greg to run for this seat - one of the few powershift opportunities this year. We have worked with Greg to create strong campaign and finance plans, and has provided message training.
Katie Rodriguez is the candidate for House District 32B. Katie is a former public finance director in local government and has been a dynamic leader in this suburban district. Katie's opponent, Kurt Zellers, is a conservative and the House minority leader. Katie has one of the most dynamic campaign teams in the state. Katie has doorknocked over 2,000 doors. Katie's exceptionally strong campaign puts her in a position to be one of the pickups in tough districts in 2010.
In 2008, four DFL incumbents lost their bids for re-election in swing, suburban districts. In one of them, young Republican Tara Mack soundly defeated her DFL opponent, because the Democratic base was not motivated to support the incumbent. Derrick Lindstrom is a first-generation college graduate and a professor of Communication Studies. This district is in the highly targeted southern suburbs, where voters pride themselves on splitting their ballots. A win in this district would be an important pick up in the effort to build progressive power south of the Twin Cities.
Audrey Britton is a communications and public relations professional with both public and private experience. She is running in a swing suburban district represented by one of the most conservative legislators in the Minnesota House. In 2008, Progressive Majority endorsed a candidate in this district and lost narrowly. Audrey has already knocked over 1,000 doors and her private sector background has proven a strong asset among swing voters. This district is located in suburban Hennepin County and will be an important pick up as we seek to grow progressive power further away from the urban core.
Chris Knopf is a candidate for House District 53B, the only legislative seat in Ramsey County held by a Republican. Chris ran for this seat as a Progressive Majority-endorsed candidate in 2008 and lost 54-46. Chris is a lawyer who formerly served as regional director for the Trust for Public Land. Chris is running against Carol McFarlane, a former White Bear Lake School Board member who is perceived as a moderate Republican (despite a conservative voting record) in one of the most Democratic districts in the state with an incumbent Republican. Chris has a campaign manager, a strong core of committed volunteers, and a motivated base of citizen-leaders and environmentalists with whom we are working closely. By endorsing Chris, Progressive Majority will help to finish a complete sweep of House Districts in Ramsey County, one of our top targets at the state and local level.
Jen Peterson is a dynamic progressive who will be the first Progressive Majority pipeline candidate in Minnesota. With strong Progressive Majority support, Jen won election to the Cottage Grove City Council, where she has worked to build a strong progressive base. In this swing suburban district, building an independent base is crucial for success in partisan election. Jen faces a staunch conservative in the general, and her win is crucial in order to maintain a strong majority in the house.
Zak Chlebeck is a 27 year-old law enforcement officer in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities running for State House. Zak has been working full-time as a police officer since he was only 21, and recently earned a Master of Arts degree in police leadership from the University of St Thomas. Zak began working as a school resource officer in August 2007. Zak is running in a swing district that elected a strong Democrat in 2006, only to elect a staunch Republican in 2008. Zak has strong record of protecting the people of his community and will work to do so in the State House.
Becky Fink is lifelong Anoka County resident and has been an anti-homelessness advocate, DFL activist and volunteer for more than 30 years. Becky is running for Anoka County Board in 2010. Becky is running to replace conservative incumbent Scott LeDoux - who has resigned his post due to progressive ALS. Becky has a terrific vision to ensure that everyone in Anoka County can thrive and would be an outstanding addition to the Anoka County Board.
Rena Moran is a community organizer and dynamic progressive. If elected she will become the only African-American woman in the legislature. Rena has been at the forefront of organizing in the African-American community in St. Paul and the immediate suburbs. She is a former Wellstone Organizing Fellow and a graduate of the Organizing Apprenticeship Project. She is a true grassroots leader in her community and faces both primary and general election challenges from moderates of both parties.Rena has a remarkable life story and an unrivaled commitment to grassroots organizing. If she wins, she would be the only woman of color in the 134 member Minnesota House.
Hussein Samatar is a banker and community organizer and the founder and executive director of the African Development Center (ADC). ADC is an entrepreneurial nonprofit organization that works with the African communities in Minnesota to start and sustain businesses, build wealth, and promote community reinvestment. Hussein formerly served on the now defunct Minneapolis Library Board and is a leader in Minneapolis. If elected, he will become the first Somali-American to serve on a Minnesota school board.
Becky Siekmeier is a community activist and former long-time Best Buy employee running for State Senate. Becky is currently working to earn an MPA at the Humphrey Institute. She is a dynamic progressive who has a clear vision for improving Minnesota. She is running against incumbent Ray Vandeveer in a tough swing district. A victory here is an important step towards building a strong progressive movement in Washington County.
Now that Jen Peterson has decided to run for state House, her seat is open on the Cottage Grove City Council. Tanweer Janjua is running for election to this seat. Tanweer is a Pakistani-American and would be the only Pakistani-American elected to public office in Minnesota. He works as an architect for the University of Minnesota and has a clear vision for better land use in this suburban community. He has doorknocked over 500 doors - he started in March - and is well placed to hold this important local seat.
Mike is an active progressive in this south suburban district. He has worked with the Blue-Green Alliance, fighting for pro-labor/pro-environment policies; Transit for Livable Communities, fighting for affordable housing and improved transit; and Clean Water Action, fighting for clean water in his community. Most importantly, Mike is working hard to make sure everyone in his district has an opportunity to get a good job, send their kids to a great school, and life in a safe community.
Cindy has lived in the district for over 30 years and has led the local progressives for many of these years. She is the founder of the North Branch parent/teachers organization and she has led the effort to improve the quality of life of the people in her district. This is Cindy's first time running for public office, as she seeks to turn her community commitments into advocacy at the state level.
Jim Godfrey is a teacher and Education Minnesota member from Cambridge, MN running for MN House in District 17A. Jim ran for this seat as a Progressive Majority-endorsed candidate against incumbent Rob Eastlund, who has since retired. Therefore, Jim is running in an open seat in 2010. Jim is running to restore representation for average working Minnesotans, focused on improving our health care affordability, ensuring high quality public schools, and protecting our environment.
Kim Kang is a lifelong children's advocate and public policy expert. She is currently the Public Policy and Early Childhood Director for the PACER Center, a non-profit in the Twin Cities. Kim is a dynamic progressive who has decided to turn her political work into a run for office in this western suburban district.
Laurie Olmon is a member of the Nowthen City Council in the western exurbs of the Twin Cities. She is a dynamic progressive, and a leading advocate for women's issues in her community. As a member of the City Council, Laurie has worked tirelessly to improve the city's ability to attract and retain residents and make the city more livable. If elected, she will bring this focus on improving communities to the state House.
Eric Peterson is an artist, web designer, and real estate agent in Wyoming, MN. He has decided to run for Mayor because he believes that Wyoming has lacked leaders who actually listen to the needs and concerns of residents. Eric has been one of the leading progressives in his community for many years, and this race presents an important opportunity to bring new leadership in this northern suburban city.
Doug Schroeder is a union member and a pro-labor progressive running for City Council in Otsego, MN. Doug is a member of the Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Union, and currently serves as their Business Representative. Doug has been extremely involved locally in his community, helping with numerous local projects and building a strong reputation as a community leader.
Liz Kuoppola is the Executive Director of the Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, a city council member of Eveleth, MN, and a candidate for Mayor. Liz is one of the great progressive leaders in northern Minnesota. She is working to try to bring much needed jobs to northern Minnesota and to do so while ensuring that a great quality of life continues. If elected, Liz would be the first progressive ever elected to this seat, and she would accomplish a much needed flip.
Maryellen currently serves as Clerk of Franklin County's Court of Common Pleas. Prior to serving as a court clerk, Maryellen served for three terms as a member of the Columbus City Council, where she was a progressive leader. She is a dynamic progressive facing a tough election against a well-funded and staunch conservative. Maryellen came into this race late, as progressives in Ohio helped push out a conservative Democrat from the race. In 2006, Progressive Majority-fielded candidate Jennifer Brunner won election to the Secretary of State's Office. Maryellen is building a strong campaign. With the help of Progressive Majority staff, she has a strong campaign plan, a strong finance plan and a compelling message. Maryellen participated in a Progressive Majority communications training in March. This is a vital race to ensure that we have a strong progressive in the secretary of state's office.
Rep. Mike Skindell currently represents District 13 in the Ohio House. Rep. Skindell served the city of Lakewood as the Councilman At Large and was first elected to the Ohio House in 2002. He is a well-known consumer advocate and environmental leader in the Ohio House, and is a Board member of the Single Payer Action Network Ohio. Rep. Skindell won a tough May primary over two opponents (47% to 28% to 25%). Rep. Skindell has strong support from the Ohio Association of Justice and would be an outstanding addition to the Ohio Senate.
Rep. Sandra Williams has served in the State House for the past three years. She represents a part of the City of Cleveland, as well as inner ring suburbs Brooklyn Heights, Cuyahoga Heights, and Newburgh Heights. Prior to her election to the Ohio House, Sandra worked in the criminal justice system as a probation officer and a parole officer. In these positions, she gained a deep appreciation for the state's role in maintaining a just society. She has worked to achieve social justice as a State Representative. With Progressive Majority's assistance, Sandra has crafted a strong campaign plan, developed an effective fundraising strategy, and dramatically improved her ability to deliver a strong stump speech. This is an important race as we work to protect the majority that we won in 2008.
Edna Brown currently represents District 48 in the Ohio House. Rep. Brown is a lifelong resident of Toledo and one of its most trusted leaders. She was involved in the founding of the Greater Toledo Urban League and currently serves as the First Vice President of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus. Rep. Brown won the May primary over Toledo City Council Member Joe McNamara (56% to 44%) and now faces another Toledo City Council member, Tom Waniewski, in the November general election. Rep. Brown is a courageous progressive and will be an immediate leader in the Ohio Senate.
Nancy Garland's election in 2008 was widely considered one of the great progressive triumphs in Ohio when she won with Progressive Majority's support. Despite her strength, however, Nancy represents a very marginal district near Columbus and her race is one of the GOP's top targets to ''take back.'' Nancy has been a dynamic progressive leader in the legislature and it is vital that we protect this seat. As well, she has won the endorsements of all major unions, choice groups, environmental groups and other partners. Progressive Majority staff continues to advise Nancy on her campaign strategy and targeting, and she is well-placed to continue to lead within the progressive caucus in the Ohio House.
David Robinson is an outstanding progressive champion running for state House in one of the most winnable seats currently held by a Republican. David is the vice-president of an international manufacturing company locally owned. David's business experience gives him a powerful, progressive voice in the job creation debate - his principal focus in his campaign. He has a background in religion and philosophy (he earned his Ph.D. from Emory University) and has a demonstrated commitment to ethical leadership. He has been actively doorknocking throughout his swing district. If we can pick up this seat, it will move the Democratic majority in the Ohio House towards a more progressive majority.
Dan Ramos is a young progressive leader in Ohio. For the past five years, he has worked as the senior policy analyst in the House majority to Speaker Budish, concentrating on healthcare and higher education funding. Dan worked on continuing a tuition freeze at all public colleges and universities, and providing health coverage parity to those suffering from diabetes and autism. As an aide, he has gained invaluable experience serving constituents and pushing for progressive reforms. If elected, Dan would become the first Latino Democrat elected to the Ohio Legislature, and would be one of the youngest to serve. Progressive Majority staff have helped Dan create a strong campaign plan, implement improved fundraising strategies and developed a strong targeting approach. His district is in a swing area where we have an opportunity to elect a more progressive Democrat than had previously served.
Prior to running a successful campaign for this seat in 2008, Ray was in the Navy for six years and worked for 25 years at the Ohio Bureau of Employment Services as a Veteran's Representative and Veterans Licensing Coordinator. With his wife and three of his four children as educators, Ray understands the importance of funding Ohio's public schools, and will work hard to protect funding for education. Ray has been endorsed by the Ohio Education Association, SEIU and many other key unions.
Josh graduated from law school in May of 2010. The same month, when he returned to his hometown of New Philadephia, the sitting representative stepped down to take a position with the county and Josh was appointed to represent the district. John is running now to stabilize the economy and establish a sense of security for working and middle class Ohioans. Josh has been running an active and vibrant campaign, garnering endorsements from several organizations, including the ALFCIO, United Steel Workers, Ohio Association of Public School Employees, Ohio Nurses Association, and Teamsters Local 92.
Mark Pfeifer is a talented progressive running for Ohio State Senate in a suburban district outside Columbus. Mark worked in business and finance and earned his MBA before starting the Pfeifer Funeral Home in 1999. Despite the fact that his district has been a Republican stronghold for 59 years, Mark is working hard to build strong, lasting relationships in this community.
Matt Patten has a long history of activism and labor organizing and is currently a Regional Labor-Management Field Coordinator. As a professional community organizer, Matt is a fearless champion for improving economic opportunity, education, and universal access to healthcare. He has been a great leader in the Ohio House of Representatives and his re-election is essential.
Connie Pillich is running in a district that includes the northern suburbs of Cincinnati. Connie is a general practice attorney representing families, small businesses and consumers. Connie has been an outstanding leader in the Ohio House of Representatives and is a committed progressive and a talented and tough campaigner.
Mike Moran has been a terrific leader in the Ohio House of Representatives. A former environmental attorney and the former president of the Hudson City Council, Mike has a track-record of delivering real, practical solutions to his constituents. This is a crucial district to maintain the majority in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Senator Morano is the only registered nurse in the Ohio General Assembly and is a candidate for re-election to the Ohio Senate. Originally elected in 2006, Sue serves as Ranking Minority Member on both the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee. She played an instrumental role in the Nurse Staffing Bill, aimed to improve working conditions for nurses and ensure greater safety for patients.
Linda is running to represent a large and rural district in the Ohio House of Representatives. Linda served for over 32 years as a counselor and Executive Director of a Drug and Alcohol program in Guernsey County. She is committed to ensuring that Ohio invests in its schools, its infrastructure, and provides needed social services to its people. This district is currently held by conservative Democratic Rep. Jennifer Garrison, who ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State.
Debbie and her committed volunteers knock on thousands of doors every election cycle. She has been a great legislator and she has demonstrated her commitment to improving the lives of average Ohioans. She has won critical endorsements from Ohio educators, electrical workers and service workers.
Rep. Jay Goyal was re-elected in 2008 to the Ohio House of Representatives' 73rd District, an area that includes rural/exurban Richland County. Jay is a 29 year old legislator, engineer and vice president of a manufacturing company. He was the first Asian-American to serve in the Ohio General Assembly and has been an outstanding leader in the House.
Pat Bruns is a candidate for the Ohio State Board of Education, District 4. Pat has been an art teacher in the Ohio public schools for over 30 years, she was past president of the Northwest Association of educators, and has been a tireless advocate for public schools. She's a strong Ohio Education Association Member and will offer an experienced voice on the Ohio State Board of Education.
Jeffrey Mims, Jr. is a candidate for Ohio State School Board, District 3. Jeff is a former teacher and administrator, a member of the Ohio Education Association, and is currently the President of the Dayton School Board. He retired from the Dayton Public Schools with more than 35 years of service. His legislative efforts helped to pave the way for Ohio's School Facilities Program. Jeff is an Executive Board Member for the Council of the Great City Schools, Chairperson for the Urban 21 Ohio School Board Coalition, and will be a great addition to the Ohio State Board of Education.
Bill Wallace is a dynamic progressive and public school teacher running in a tough swing district. Bill has been a Democratic a committee person for 20 years and was endorsed by Progressive Majority when he ran for county council in 2007. He is running against an ultra conservative who won a special election last Sept with only 5% turnout. He has strong union endorsements and has been endorsed by the mayors of Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton. Progressive Majority has actively helped Bill set up his campaign with a strong finance and campaign plan. His race is a Pennsylvania bellwether, pitting one of the most conservative senators against one of the most progressive challengers in a highly contested district.
Jerry Policoff is a lifelong leader in the progressive movement. He is currently chair of the Lancaster-based organization Progressives for Pennsylvania, a group of leading progressive activists working to build support for progressive legislation. He has won the endorsements of several key progressives, including Congressman Joe Sestak, former NARAL President Kate Michelman, and CeaseFire Pennsylvania. Jerry is running against a young Republican who is aiming to follow in the Sarah Palin mold of ultra-conservative, reactionary politics. The district is currently represented by a moderate Republican who is leaving the Legislature.
Andrea Baptiste is a Collegeville Borough Council member and candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives. She is running against a conservative incumbent in an important swing district. With more than 34 years of experience in commercial real estate and retail, Baptiste has been putting her skills to use to help the residents of Collegeville as the sole Democrat on the Collegeville Borough Council. If elected, Baptiste will focus on creating local jobs, and working proactively to improve the health and quality-of-life of each resident.
Charles Dertinger, a former Northampton County Council member and current IBEW member is running for Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Charles is focused on creating good jobs that support strong benefits for all people. He is also a strong advocate for open space preservation, and has served on the Northampton Open Space committee.
Pam DeLissio, a long term adult care consultant, is a candidate for Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Pam is recognized for her strong leadership skills and has volunteered in various capacities for professional associations and community organizations. Pam is running to improve the quality and accessibility of health care, protect a woman's right to choose, and achieve marriage equality. Pam won a hotly contested primary and is well-placed to be a leader in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Dr. Fern Kaufman, a licensed pharmacist and pain manager in hospitals, is running for re-election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Currently a hospital pharmacy administrator, she has a keen awareness of the healthcare system from the inside. In addition to working for quality health care for all, Fern is committed to ensuring that civil liberties are protected.
Rick Taylor is a leading progressive in the Pennsylvania legislature facing a very difficult re-election campaign. Rick is a lifelong progressive - originally from Minnesota and a former intern for the late Senator Paul Wellstone - and believes strongly in the power of government as a positive force in people's lives. In the legislature, Rick has fought to make college more affordable, boost protections for children, and improve funding for hazardous waste cleanup.
Barbara McIlvaine Smith is running for re-election to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, district 156. Barbara is a lifelong resident of Chester County whose family roots date back to 1683. Barbara is an enrolled member of the federally recognized Sac and Fox Nation of Oklahoma. In 2001, she was elected to the West Chester Borough Council and served as the vice president from 2004-2006. Barbara is a member of American Association of University Women; Sierra Club; League of Women Voters; National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; National Organization for Women; and The National Women's Political Caucus. This is an essential race to win if Democrats are to hold their slim majority in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives.
Senator Eric Oemig was supported by Progressive Majority when he first ran for Senate in 2006. Since his election, Eric has been a champion for reform and efficiency in government. Once a Republican stronghold, the 45th district of East King County has elected Democrats in recent elections and the current delegation is 100% Democratic. Re-electing Eric ensures we retain progressive representation in a swing district that has only recently trended democratic.
Andy Billig is President and part-owner of the Spokane Indians Baseball Club. He is proud to have worked with the Spokane Tribe of Indians on the team's logo design in 2006, which is a rare instance of cultural sensitivity in professional sports. A recognized business leader with a self-stated "commitment to progressive values like equality, justice and prosperity," Andy should do well in the 3rd district which has a 59.4% democratic performance. Andy graduated cum laude with a degree in government from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and is the leading candidate in the race. Electing Andy ensures we retain a strong, progressive voice representing the most left-leaning district in Eastern Washington.
Laurie Jinkins is running for State Representative in the 27th district in Tacoma. Electing Laurie ensures we retain strong, progressive representation in one the most left-leaning districts in the state (democratic performance of 63.7%) and would give voice to a totally unrepresented group. Laurie would be the first and only openly lesbian member of the Washington State Legislature if elected. Laurie has been a human and civil rights advocate for more than 20 years and co-chaired last year's successful ballot initiative to affirm domestic partnership rights for the state's gay and lesbian couples. Laurie is a respected public health expert, having served as Deputy Director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and worked for the Department of Health in the state capital for 13 years. She worked with Governors Gregoire and Locke to assist in developing the state's healthcare budget and is credited with transforming Washington's regulation of the healthcare system to one that proactively protects the public. As Washington moves to implement recent federal healthcare legislation, Laurie's skills will be a tremendous asset in the state capital. Likewise, Laurie is an education leader, having served as a Tacoma Community College Trustee for over a decade. Her focus on job creation, worker retraining and college readiness will be a strong asset for Washington's Legislature.
Cindy Ryu, a Korean-American, is running for the open House seat in the 32nd district in North King County and South Snohomish County. Cindy holds a MBA from the University of Washington and is active in a number of local community activities, including the local and state Democratic Party organizations, the Asian/Pacific Islander Community and the local business community. We helped Cindy in her race for Shoreline City Council in 2005, where she later became the first Korean-American mayor in the country when she was elected Mayor of Shoreline. Electing Cindy ensures we retain strong, progressive representation in one the most left-leaning districts in the state (democratic performance of 62.9%). She faces one Democrat and one Republican in the primary.
Tami Green is running for re-election in Pierce County's 28th District. A registered nurse, Tami has championed health care and worker's issues since her election in 2004. Since then she's helped organize the Labor Caucus of her peers, and has been one of the driving forces behind the Blue/Green Alliance, the progressive caucus within the State House. She faces a tough challenge in this swing district, and is the #1 target for the House Republicans in 2010.
As a Navy veteran and a firefighter in Kent for 20 years, Rep. Geoff Simpson is no stranger to a tough fight. First elected to the House in 2000, Geoff has been a progressive champion in Olympia, focusing on improving our economy, fighting for consumer protections and even taking on his own party if necessary to stand up for working families. Every two years, the right-wing smear machine goes after Geoff because he's such a strong advocate for progressive values, and this year will be no different. Geoff Simpson has earned the endorsement of Progressive Majority and we're excited to help return him to Olympia.
Jean Melious is running for Whatcom County Council. Jean is seeking to replace Bob Kelly who resigned late last year to seek election as president of the Nooksack Tribe. We helped elect Bob in 2007 and electing Jean will allow us to retain this progressive seat. Jean's background is in land use, working as an attorney specializing in environmental law for over 20 years. She is the Chair of the Planning Commission and also serves on the historic preservation commission. Jean has drawn two Tea Party opponents, neither with any experience in government and one who jumped in during the last hour of filing week. Jean has compiled a great team of Camp Wellstone-trained volunteers and staff. Jean will need to pull all the partners together to defeat the opposing ideological forces in this swing county.
Carol Gregory is running for the open House seat in the 30th district in Federal Way. After a sudden retirement by the same state representative she challenged in 2008 (and lost to by just 1,600 votes), Carol immediately jumped in. During her last campaign, Carol raised over $150,000; the most of any Democratic challenger in that election cycle. A former President of the Washington Education Association and former board member of Washington NARAL, Carol has a long history of activism for progressive causes. Carol is facing four Republicans in the race, but with the district's 54.9% democratic performance, none of them have raised significant funds as of yet. Carol has a top notch campaign team poised to take this swing district back for progressives in 2010.
Luis Moscoso is running to defend an open seat in the 1st legislative district, located on the King-Snohomish county line, a community that tends to elect Democrats (55.5% democratic performance). Luis has decades of experience as an activist for social and economic justice. His extensive work with communities of color and labor organizations endeared him to the local party organization and the activist community. Luis recently acquired the endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council and has been endorsed by many individual unions. Luis has demonstrated his commitment to progressive values by "walking the talk." He has been the Secretary of the Washington State Democratic Party since 2005.
Sharon Nelson is a Washington State Representative running for the open state Senate seat in the 34th district in Seattle. Sharon has been a strong progressive leader in the state legislature, serving as a member of the Blue/Green Alliance in the House. Sharon has long been a champion of environmental issues, working closely with Preserve our Islands to protect Vashon and Maury Islands, which are part of the 34th District and are critical to the future of the Puget Sound. If elected to the state senate, Sharon would continue to provide the energy needed to advocate for a progressive agenda in the Senate. She will continue to be a champion on consumer protection, protecting working families and, of course, on environmental issues, fighting a proposed barge loading facility that would negatively impact Maury Island.
Joe Fitzgibbon is running for State Representative in the 34th district in West Seattle and Burien. Electing Joe ensures we retain strong, progressive representation in one the most left-leaning districts in the state (democratic performance of 71.3%) and would give voice to a largely underrepresented group: young people. At 23 years old, Joe would be the youngest member currently serving in the state legislature and nearly the youngest ever to be elected. Joe grew up in his district and is now a homeowner. For the past three years, Joe has served as the legislative assistant to the House member he seeks to replace: Sharon Nelson, a Progressive Majority endorsed candidate now seeking election to the State Senate. Joe will be an effective member of the Blue/Green Alliance, the progressive caucus in the State House. Joe is in a tough primary with two other Democrats and an Independent.
Joe McDermott is a Washington State Senator running for an open seat on the King County Council, the state's biggest population center. Joe has been a strong advocate for education, elections, the environment and civil rights during his 10 years in the state legislature, where he is one of six openly gay legislators. If elected to the King County Council, however, Joe would be the first openly gay member of this body, ensuring that key decisions made at the county are inclusive of the many LGBT individuals and families living in Seattle and beyond. Joe would like to see the county extend services to include human services and enhanced public health. He intends to leverage his experience and relationships in the state capital to advocate that the legislature open up new funding sources and lift restrictions on existing ones to allow the county to do so.
Appointed in 2010 to replace retiring Senator Fred Jarrett, Randy is a Bellevue attorney who owns his own law firm, Gordon Edmunds Elder PLLC. He is an Adjunct Professor at Seattle University School of Law, specializing in products liability and remedies. During his first session, Randy sponsored seven bills, one of which provided children from birth to three years old with educational support for developmental disabilities. Randy has a demonstrated commitment to progressive values and has already proven his effectiveness in the State Senate. Randy will be defending his seat for the first time this cycle. Randy is definitely among the most progressive members of the legislature and has a tough fight against a well funded Republican who has ran in this district before.
Nick Harper is challenging incumbent Democratic Senator Jean Berkey. A strong democratic district (58.1% Democratic performance), the 38th District should be home to one of the most progressive voices in the state and instead is represented by a Senator that has been a bad vote on a range of progressive issues from labor to education to the environment. The progressive community is united in their dissatisfaction with Senator Berkey. Nick, 31, and his wife Lacey live in Everett, where Nick serves as the Snohomish County Conservation Director for Cascade Land Conservancy. Nick has a strong interest in conservation and land use management, which he has worked on locally and in the state capital through his current role and his past work with the Realtors. Harper jumped in the race with the endorsement and support of several local elected officials, including his potential seatmate State Representative John McCoy.
John Dean is an Island County Commissioner running for re-election to the third district. We recruited John to run four years ago, based on his 25-year career in journalism and deep engagement in the Camano Island community. We were instrumental in his victory in 2006 - part of a multi-year strategy to flip the Island County Commission, which was achieved in 2008 with the election of Commissioner Helen Price Johnson and Commissioner Angie Homola. One of John's proudest achievements over the past four years is the passage of a one-tenth of one percent sales tax to expand mental health services. John believes education must be a top priority and points to the mental health sales tax, as well as the creation of an Island County Children's Commission, as examples of how he is bringing needed services to the county's most disadvantaged kids.
Derek Stanford is running for one of two open seats in the suburban 1st district, which straddles the King and Snohomish county line. Derek works in the telecommunications industry, and is a member of WashTech, Local 37083 of the Communication Workers of America. He is running to fill the seat opened by the retirement of Al O'Brien, and plans on making job growth and education his top priorities. Electing a champion for working families like Derek will help tilt the balance of power in Olympia.
A park ranger for more than 17 years, lifelong Washingtonian Tom Riggs is running in the 10th District against conservative Republican Barbara Bailey. We first met Tom when he participated in the candidate training at Camp Wellstone in Seattle in May 2010. Tom wants to take his experience in parks management to Olympia and continue his dedication to community service. As a ranger, Tom is also a member of AFSCME/WFSE Local 1466.
Monica Stonier is a middle school teacher who is running for an open seat in the swing 17th district. Monica will be a strong voice in Olympia for education funding and her hands-on experience in this field will provide needed insight in moving toward the goal of more results-oriented strategies in reshaping out education system. The retiring Democrat Monica seeks to replace was a moderate, making electing Monica a key part of our strategy to flip four seats to a progressive Democrat. Monica got involved in politics during the 2008 Presidential election and has stayed involved, connecting with her community as Secretary of the 17th District Democrats. She has comprehensive support from elected officials and the labor community, and has raised more money than all other candidates in her race.
Sherry Appleton has been a leader in the House of Representatives since we helped elect her in 2004. A former city council member and active voice for women's rights, Sherry brings a diverse background to the House, and is a progressive voice we can't afford to lose. The 23rd district has a democratic performance of 55.5%, but her opponent this year is a moderate republican who also serves on the Kingston Port Commission and has pledged to stay on the commission if elected to the House. After a long session, Republicans think they can catch Sherry off-guard, but we want to make sure we keep her progressive voice in the Legislature.
Steve is a three-term Clallam County Commissioner, and has been a small business owner and an active community member for over 30 years. Steve grew up in a large family - one of seven children - and his values in public service of economic, social and environmental justice stem from his childhood. Steve will make an excellent seatmate for Rep. Kevin Van De Wege, who we helped elect in 2006. The retiring Democrat Steve seeks to replace was a moderate, making electing him a key part of our strategy to flip four seats to a progressive Democrat.
Sumner Schoenike, a pediatrician, is in a tough race with incumbent Jan Angel, a Republican completing for her first re-election. Although this is a swing district, the other two legislative seats are held by democrats. Dr. Schoenike's background in medicine and health care administration will be helpful when the legislature takes up implementing the new federal laws. Dr. Schoenike has the support of his local Democratic Party organizations and received the early endorsement of the Washington State Labor Council.
After being appointed in 2004, elected to serve out that term in 2005 and being elected for a full term in 2006, Steve Stuart is now the lone Democrat on the Clark County Board of Commissioners. With our support four years ago, Steve was able to stand up for the values he's had since he grew up in Clark County - now one of Washington's fastest growing and most populated counties. Prior to his service as County Commissioner, Steve worked as a lobbyist and executive director for an environmental group that promotes smart growth. Steve now faces a tough fight against the usual suspects: developers with deep pockets.
Julie Anderson is a former Tacoma City Council member and the current Pierce County Auditor. We helped Julie in her successful challenge to the Republican appointed auditor after Pierce County Executive Pat McCarthy was elected in 2008, and Julie is finishing out the remainder of the short term. Now Julie is running for a full term, and it's critical that we keep her in office. Prior to serving as Auditor, Julie was a Senior Policy Advisor at the Washington Department of Commerce and the executive director of the YWCA of Pierce County. Her office oversees elections in the second most populated county in Washington.
State Representative John Driscoll is running for re-election for State House of Representatives. Driscoll, the director a local non-profit focused on providing healthcare to low-income individuals, faces a general election rematch with the ultra-conservative candidate he unseated just two years ago (by just 72 votes). The 6th is a swing district, making this a tough, but crucial fight in November. Re-electing John ensures we retain progressive representation in Eastern Washington.
With progressive champion Brendan Williams retiring this year, Chris Reykdal is running to take his place as the progressive voice for the 22nd district. Chris is a Tumwater School Board member, and currently the Deputy Executive Director of the Washington State Board for Community & Technical Colleges. His experience working with the legislature has prepared Chris to be one of the House's most effective members, particularly for improving Washington's schools. Chris' campaign centers around one of the most critical issues facing Washington: reforming the state's regressive tax structure. Chris emerged as the top Democrat after the August primary, and faces conservative Republican Jason Hearn in November.
After the retirement of Rep. Dave Quall in the rural 40th district, nine candidates filed to run for his seat. Kris Lytton emerged out of the crowded August primary field. Kris is the president of the Anacortes School Board, and spent years working in the private sector handling business budgets. Kris won the most votes in the primary, and in the general she'll face Republican Mike Newman, a real estate agent from Mount Vernon.
Liz Jones is a dynamic progressive running for state assembly in WI. As a single parent who graduated from college and earned a Master's Degree, Liz understands how important it is to work hard and remain devoted to improving the lives of people around her. She's the former Executive Director of a domestic abuse shelter and currently works in a law firm. Liz is running in a swing district in Western Wisconsin and has an active and enthusiastic base of supporters committed to helping improve the lives of the people of her district.
Steve Brown is a professor of educational leadership and school law at Northeastern Illinois University, an executive producer of a local public radio station in Kenosha, Wisc. and a dynamic progressive in his community. A former reporter, Steve is not afraid to ask tough questions and to investigate each issue to its fullest. He is running to create jobs and protect the most vulnerable people in Wisconsin. This is a vital race where a progressive has a strong opportunity to defeat an entrenched, conservative incumbent.
Brett Hulsey is a dynamic progressive, a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors, and a candidate for Wisconsin State Assembly. Brett is running for a strong public education system, environmental conservation, human and civil rights, health care for all, and the promotion of labor. Brett recently won a tough, five-way primary and now he faces a three-way general against a Green Party candidate and a Ron Paul-style Republican.
Dick Skare is a restaurant owner and local leader running for Wisconsin Assembly. A lifelong resident of Door County, Wisconsin, Dick and his family have devoted much of their lives to building a thriving restaurant and serving their community. Dick is deeply committed to improving the lives of people in Wisconsin, particularly seniors who are too often ignored. He has also taken the courageous and nuanced position of supporting wind energy while being mindful of the costs to local residents.
John Lehman is a former teacher and State Senator from District 21. He served as a progressive voice in the Wisconsin State Assembly from 1996 until his 2006 election to the Senate, and before that for 12 years on the Racine City Council. Re-electing John is crucial in our effort to hold the majority in the Wisconsin State Senate.
Jim Sullivan, an attorney, local Alderman, and Naval reservist, carried his message of strong schools, quality healthcare, and fiscal responsibility in the State Capitol in 2006, winning his Senate race against an extremely conservative incumbent. He now seeks re-election in this crucial seat in the Wisconsin State Senate.
In 2006, Pat Kreitlow challenged 17-year conservative Republican incumbent Dave Zien, and won. Pat is best known as a longtime journalist in the area. He anchored the evening newscasts at WEAU-TV 13 from 1998 to 2005, and worked in several other broadcast positions following his 1986 graduation from University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. He's received several broadcasting awards and has also served for six years on the board of directors of Literacy Volunteers. His wife is a well-respected OB-GYN at the local health clinic. Pat is an extremely well spoken candidate with great political instincts. This is a crucial seat in maintaining the majority in the Wisconsin State Senate.
Sandy Pasch is running for re-election to the Wisconsin Assembly in District 22. The 22nd is a seat that Democrats must protect. Sandy Pasch entered the race early and has been campaigning aggressively. Sandy is a registered nurse and 23-year resident of the 22nd district. She is married and has raised three grown children. As a second job, Sandy teaches ethics, mental health, and community nursing at Columbia School of Nursing. She also serves on numerous community boards and works with the Milwaukee Police Department conducting training on how to effectively deal with people living with mental illness.
Nick Milroy is running for re-election to the Wisconsin Assembly. Nick is a 36 year-old fisheries biologist who was awarded the Southwest Asia Service Medal and a Letter of Commendation for his service in the Navy. Nick serves as an international representative to the Lake Superior Binational Forum, a partnership of government, industry, universities, native organizations, and environmental groups from both Canada and the U.S. dedicated to the restoration and protection of the Lake Superior Basin.
Mark Radcliffe is seeking re-election to the Wisconsin Assembly in district 92. Mark is a life-long resident of Black River Falls and was a first-time candidate in 2008. Mark is a lawyer in private practice and has worked to provide free legal service for local organizations, such as the shelter for battered women and the Boys and Girls Club. One of Mark's core issues is equal pay for equal work.
Alejandra Sotelo Solis, 30, serves as the director of the Community Law Project at UC San Diego. She prepares undergraduate students for law school and careers in public policy. In 2008, Progressive Majority helped Alejandra successfully run for National City City Council after identifying her as an emerging leader in 2006. She brings a high level of energy to a very important local office.