2022 Election Watch: FLORIDA, NEW YORK, OKLAHOMA
Run for Something is thrilled to share 22 endorsed candidates who will appear on the ballot on August 23rd in Florida, New York and Oklahoma! Take a look and see if any of them are in your neighborhood and sign up to ensure they are on the ballot in November by volunteering this weekend.
Pinellas County School Board, District 7
Volunteer with Caprice
Caprice Edmond is a lifelong resident of St. Petersburg and a proud graduate of Pinellas County Public Schools. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, Master’s in Elementary Education with an ESOL endorsement, Master’s in Educational Leadership, and a certification in Infant Family Mental Health.
Informed by her experience in every facet of Pinellas County Schools — as a student, parent, educator, involved community member, and now School Board Member, Caprice brings a unique perspective to Pinellas County School Board. Caprice is running for re-election to continue advocating for policies and practices that benefit all children, improve stakeholder engagement, and ensure the district remains in fiscally sound condition.
While in office, Caprice advocated for reducing barriers in the VPK enrollment process. She garnered support from fellow board members and executive leadership to participate in equity training. As an advocate for safer schools for all children, Caprice successfully incorporated community feedback and best practices into the district’s Law Enforcement Interagency Agreement. Remaining engaged in the community, she hosts virtual town halls, attends neighborhood association meetings, community events and district-sponsored programs. Her attention and careful advocacy makes her an important driving force moving the district forward.
Florida House, District 46
Volunteer with Travaris
A lifelong resident of the district he has the distinct privilege to serve, State Representative Travaris McCurdy was the former chief legislative aide to state senators Geraldine Thompson and Randolph Bracy and formerly served as the deputy political director for the national Super PAC, For Our Future prior to his election to Florida’s 46TH house district in 2020.
As a freshman legislator Representative McCurdy was named Democratic Minority Whip for the Florida House Democrats. He fought ferociously to protect public education, free speech and ensure every Floridian has equal access to the ballot box. Representative McCurdy is eager to continue his work in Tallahassee on the issues of housing and economic vitality specifically in the Florida legislature.
Florida House, District 100
Volunteer with Clay
Clay Miller has dedicated his life to turning compassion into action. Clay grew up in a working-class family in Hollywood, Florida, the son of a veteran turned artist and a public library employee. He attended public schools and went to college using Pell Grants. He knows from experience the good that government can do — and what needs to change. He currently serves as Legislative Director to Broward County Commissioner Beam Furr. From 2019–2020, he served as President of the Broward Young Democrats, turning it into one of the largest Young Democrat chapters in America.
Clay is excited to take his record of effective, compassionate leadership to Tallahassee. He knows what this community needs — and how to get it done. He knows how to bring people together to fight climate change, increase affordable housing, improve public education, create economic and social justice, and much more. With your help, Clay is looking forward to getting to work on behalf of the community he loves.
Florida House, District 113
Volunteer with A.J.
Alessandro “A.J.” D’Amico is the son of a Cuban exile whose family fled the deadly Communist dictatorship to seek a better life in Hialeah, Florida. A.J.’s youth, like many in his millennial generation, was marked with great uncertainty: economic collapse, rising income inequality, and a worsening climate crisis that threatens all our futures.
A.J. entered public service while he attended college at Florida State University. At FSU, he played a direct role in important issues facing Florida as a legislative aide in the Florida Senate. He advocated for the expansion of Florida’s Medicaid program and legislation that provided greater treatment options and resources for Floridians suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Searching for a career in which he could affect positive social change, A.J. attended law school at the University of Florida Levin College of Law, where he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Florida Law Review and graduated with honors. He currently practices law at the law firm of Mase Mebane Seitz in Miami.
A.J. is running for the Florida House of Representatives because he believes that public service can be a force for good in the Miami-Dade community and in the State of Florida. As a millennial, A.J. represents a generation committed to making accessible and affordable healthcare the norm, overcoming the existential threat of climate change, and encouraging the success of small businesses. He is running against the politics of division and fear, and hopes to serve as an effective voice in Tallahassee while representing this vibrant and diverse district within Miami-Dade.
Gainesville City Commission, District 4
Volunteer with Bryan
Bryan Eastman is a dad, a small business owner, a community organizer, and a believer in cities’ ability to make positive change in people’s lives. He has spent his career working on the front lines of progressive change. Whether managing innovative programs for the Obama administration, organizing campaigns for progressive candidates and causes, or as a small-business owner, Bryan has worked to live his values.
He’s running for Gainesville City Commission because he believes it is time for new, progressive voices to build a brighter future for the city. His policy priorities include ending homelessness by building more affordable housing, investing in affordable high-speed broadband for every home, and supporting and growing Gainesville’s vibrant arts and music community.
Mayor of Gainesville
Volunteer with David
David’s journey began in Gainesville, Florida. He was born and raised there and went on to be a graduate of Alachua County Public Schools. As a proud Gator, he has worked for small businesses in Gainesville almost his entire working life, and is currently channeling his passion for renewable energy by installing Solar Arrays in the area. Right next to his passion for hard work is a passion for public service. Since 2017, David has served as a Gainesville City Commissioner and twice been chosen by his peers on the Commission to serve as Mayor Pro Tempore. As a Commissioner, he has already worked towards securing housing as a human right, getting Gainesville off of fossil fuels, and addressing the economic, racial, and systemic injustices in Gainesville. As Mayor, Commissioner Arreola worked to finish the job!
Gainesville needs bold, steadfast, and experienced leadership. David Arreola has worked hard to make Gainesville a better place, and he is ready to lead Gainesville as its next Mayor.
Polk County School Board, District 6
Volunteer with Sara
Sara Jones is an attorney and a passionate advocate for those she represents. Attorney Jones is a Polk County native. She was raised in Lake Wales, Florida, and attended Polk County Public Schools. Attorney Jones graduated with high honors from Frostproof Middle/Senior High School and went on to attend Florida State University, where she earned Bachelor of Science degrees in Sociology and Criminology, and Florida A&M University College of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctor (JD).
Attorney Jones returned to Polk County in 2016 and opened her law firm, Sara Jones Law, P.A., where she represents individuals who have been injured in automobile accidents, individuals charged with criminal offenses, and individuals involved in family law disputes. In addition to her work as an attorney, she has been quite active in her community. Attorney Jones currently serves on the Board of Directors for the City of Lake Wales Code Enforcement, Victory Ridge Academy, and the Green & Gold Foundation and she serves as the President of the Lincoln Community Development Corporation. Attorney Jones also previously served as an Adjunct Professor for Polk State College, an Executive Board Member for the Lake Wales NAACP, and as a member of the Circle of Friends Board of Directors.
Attorney Jones is excited and proud for the opportunity to use her education and experience to advocate for the students and educators of Polk County.
Alachua County School Board, District 3
Volunteer with Sarah
Sarah Rockwell has lived in Gainesville for more than half her life. She is a former special education teacher and mother of two children with disabilities. When she moved back to Gainesville six years ago, it was with the goal of raising her children surrounded by family and sending them to school in this community. As a former teacher and mother, Sarah understands the difficulties teachers and parents face. Her daughter has medical disabilities, and she had to pull her children out of the school they loved because Florida’s response to the pandemic made it impossible to send them to school and keep them safe. Sarah knows she is one of thousands of parents in her community who has had similar difficulties.
Sarah is running for school board because she wants to make sure all students get an education that meets their needs by closing the district’s achievement gaps and improving its special education services. She wants to make sure teachers and staff feel supported as the professionals they are, rather than being censored and persecuted. She wants to make sure all families feel like they are a part of the discussion surrounding big decisions that impact their children. Most importantly, Sarah values and wants to protect public education from attempts to privatize our schools and profit off our children.
Ashley V. Gantt
Florida House, District 109
Volunteer with Ashley
Ashley V. Gantt learned her love for her community because she was raised seeing her grandmother, mother, aunts, and uncle always being there to lend a helping hand to others. Ashley realized she had a passion for helping others in high school. It was solidified throughout college and during her national service as an Americorps member with Teach for America in the Mississippi Delta.
Once she returned home to South Florida, Ashley continued to be active in her community as a teacher and eventually became an attorney. Ashley’s experiences as a teacher and now as an attorney fueled her resolve to run against the anti-choice incumbent for State House District 109, who has a demonstrated history of voting against the needs and interests of its constituents. Ashley saw the need for her community to have an advocate to address the lack of affordable housing, lack of access to affordable healthcare, support for public education, and protection of reproductive rights. Hence, she decided to be the advocate.
In 2021, Ashley pivoted from working at a large firm to opening her law firm, Gantt Legacy Law, P.A. She specializes in Criminal Defense, Estate Planning and Probate, and Personal Injury.
Ashley was raised in this community and has been committed to serving for over a decade and will continue to use her voice to speak for those who feel unseen, unheard, and forgotten. Ashley is running against the incumbent for House District 109 in Miami-Dade County.
Tallahassee City Council
Volunteer with Shelby
Shelby Green is an engineer, researcher, and community advocate running to change the hands of power in Tallahassee. For too long, the people’s needs have gone unmet, causing one of our zip codes to gain the title as, “he poorest in the state.”
Shelby moved to Tallahassee in 2014 to study Chemical Engineering at Florida State University. Since her arrival, Shelby has dedicated herself to creating a sustainable, equitable, and safe Tallahassee by serving as a Soil and Water Supervisor, a Friend of the Providence Neighborhood, and former staff of Leon County’s Office of Sustainability.
During the pandemic, Shelby aggressively advocated for the extension of the utility moratorium and an equitable distribution of funds provided by the American Rescue Plan to prevent utility disconnections and displacement.
As Commissioner, Shelby will bring forth people-centered and data-driven policy solutions that alleviate the hardships of poverty, democratize access to clean energy, and reform the housing market to increase the availability of affordable housing.
Shelby has the experience, skills, and drive to deliver bright and bold solutions for the people of Tallahassee. In the face of extreme uncertainty, now is the time to provide equitable solutions to address climate change, to reform systems that perpetuate racial and social inequities, and to move Tallahassee forward for all residents.
Shelby lives in Lafayette Park with her husband Benji, their two cats Zoro & Luna, and their expanding grove of satsuma and orange trees.
Florida House, District 38
Volunteer with Sarah
Sarah is running for the Florida House of Representatives in District 38. She has always been committed to public service, inspired by a grandfather who served in the Navy for 20 years before serving as an elected County Commissioner until his death. Sarah has worked in nonprofits throughout her career, currently working to ensure our drinking water is kept clean and safe.
As a young woman and former abortion clinic escort, Sarah understands how crucial protecting a person’s right to choose truly is. Right now, reproductive health and gender equity are mere pawns in Tallahassee. Sarah will be an ardent defender of the right to choose, equal pay for equal work, and appropriate parental leave policies. Sarah will also fight for recent graduates and young families working to establish themselves in Seminole County, and she will fight against skyrocketing housing costs and attacks on public schools. Sarah will work to restore housing funds raided by Governor DeSantis and his friends and return them to those who were meant to receive this crucial support.
Florida House, District 38
Volunteer with Antonio
Antonio’s commitment to District 5 started when he was just a school-aged child attending North Fork Elementary School, Parkway Middle School, and Dillard High School.
After graduating high school, he attended Florida A&M University and received a bachelor’s degree in education. Antonio is committed to enriching the lives of young people, and he returned to the very school district that raised him to teach, lead, and give students the same opportunities and quality education that was given to him.
Currently, he leads district-wide mentoring initiatives, where he has gained a better insight and perspective into the internal workings of the school district. His top priorities as a school board member include: expanding support services, improving safety and security, and increasing student achievement, equity, and access.
Antonio has also served his community through various community organizations for 10+ years.
Orange County School Board, District 2
Volunteer with Maria
Maria is running to represent one of Orlando’s most diverse school districts. With Maria’s unique experience at the intersection of political activism and innovation, she will advocate and bring new perspectives to the school board, and she will make decisions that put students and teachers first.
Maria started her career at FWD.us and Education Pioneers before joining Unshackled Ventures, a venture capital early stage fund that invests in immigrant entrepreneurs. Her motivation to run stems from spending time with teachers and students who were in the middle of politically charged policies in Florida and who want to get back to what matters most: preparing the next generation for the future.
She is an immigration reform advocate, community organizer, and founding COO and board member at SwingLeft. She attended UC Berkeley to study political science and legal studies.
Miami Gardens City Council, Seat 4
Mykita Cherry Prime was born and raised in the Great City of Miami Gardens. She is a wife and mother of four vibrant boys. She’s a business owner of KitaCorp, an administrative support firm. An Educator for 11 years for Miami Dade public schools, she currently works at Norland Senior High. Cherry is not just a teacher but a family member , counselor and support system to many of her students.
She is the Co-Chair for Live Healthy Miami host council, a health initiative in The City of Miami Gardens. Mykita is responsible for developing meetings, setting priorities, chairing the meeting and assisting with development and implementation of Community action plans as an executive board member.
Mykita is a board member for Center for Family and Child Enrichment which is also located in Miami Gardens. CFCE is one of the largest organizations in Miami dade County that services children who have been abused, neglected and who are in foster care. As a board member for CFCE, Mykita establishes board policies, monitoring and managing financial resources, assessing and developing skills to help further the organization.
Mykita is a proud graduate of Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She is an active alumni member and Co-Chair of FAMU Be Out Day Miami. She is a Union Member of United Teachers of Dade where she is a member of the Title 1 task force.
Mykita is an educator and community advocate for Health Wellness, education and public safety for all. She is truly a daughter of the city and answering the call of leadership through community advocacy and residential support. Mykita believes in advocating through grassroots for a healthy, safe and fiscally thriving community for all who Live, Work and Play in Miami Gardens.
Florida House, District 8
Marie is a social justice champion and human rights advocate. She has been on the front lines, working on reproductive justice, criminal justice reform, economic opportunity, and gun violence prevention.
This past session, Marie worked at the capitol as a legislative aide and had a front row seat of how laws were being crafted to directly impact working class people. If elected, Marie will represent a predominantly African American district and the students of Florida A&M University.
She has dedicated a significant portion of her life to public service and is committed to delivering results that will improve the quality of life and protect the rights of all Floridians. She is a two-time graduate of Florida A&M University.
Florida House, District 93
Volunteer with Thomas
Tom is a values-based, effective, and bold leader in his community. As a lifelong Palm Beach County native and advocate, he is eager to use the skills he gained working in the Florida Legislature to advocate for underrepresented communities.
Tom served as the Chief Legislative Assistant to State Representative Matt Willhite and has a proven track record of effectiveness, helping to pass over 20 pieces of legislation and bringing over $40 million in appropriations to Palm Beach County. Working in the legislature helped Tom learn that real and meaningful change is possible. Most importantly, he learned people of all backgrounds are similar and want to live happy and healthy lives.
Tom is the first in his family to graduate from college. He currently works with the Palm Beach County School District as a substitute teacher and paraprofessional.
New York Senate, District 21
Volunteer with David
David is the son of two hardworking Haitian immigrants, a father, a working-class New Yorker, and a candidate for State Senate in District 21 in Brooklyn, NY. For years, David has watched as political leaders repeatedly choose to leave his family, neighbors, and neighborhood behind. After his first daughter was born, he knew he could not standby while leaders ignored the district. So, he’s spent the last five years organizing for healthcare and environmental justice. Saddled with debt and declining employment prospects, David, with many of his neighbors, turned to rideshare driving. He quickly found that he was unable to make a living wage. So he began organizing fellow drivers, eventually creating the largest employee-owned coop in the country: The Drivers Cooperative.
For the past five years, David has organized his community, even as crisis after crisis threatened his neighbors’ livelihoods, safety, and health. Now, he’s running for State Senate to return this district to the people so that the people are never again left to fend for themselves. David’s organized to take on Goliath before. And he’s ready to fight Goliath again in Albany after having seen how the state’s systems — for healthcare, environmental justice, labor, housing — have failed us. Because he’s lived, not just seen, the struggles common to so many people in our district, he’ll never leave working people behind. He’ll use the powers of the state government to organize the community so everyone can have a better future.
New York Senate, District 21
Volunteer with Kaegan
Kaegan Mays-Williams, is the daughter of Grace Williams, who immigrated to the United States from Trinidad and raised Kaegan on her own. She babysat, worked in fast food restaurants and did whatever necessary to put Kaegan through school and put food on the table. And it was too hard. 40 years later it is still too hard for many of the people in Kaegan’s District to provide for their families, particularly those who were born in another country.
She’s running for New York State Senate because our community deserves more. More resources for our small businesses, more protections for our tenants and homeowners, and better health care for those of us who actually survived this pandemic. Kaegan has been fighting for people her entire professional career and has no intentions of stopping now.
New York Senate, District 25
Volunteer with Jabari
Jabari Brisport is the State Senator for New York’s 25th District and serves as the Chair of the Children and Families Committee. He’s a queer, Black former public school teacher and a third-generation, Caribbean-American resident of Brooklyn. Born in Bed-Stuy and raised in Prospect Heights, Jabari has witnessed firsthand his community’s struggles with rapid gentrification, lack of investment in public schools, and the systemic racism that underlies these issues.
At the time of his election, Senator Brisport was a math teacher at a middle school in Crown Heights and an active member of the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) union. As a public school teacher, he saw how chronic underfunding of our schools has created glaring injustices for New York’s students, and how those injustices are compounded by a lack of access to basic needs like housing and healthcare.
These experiences shaped his determination to fight for a just state budget that provides funding for the infrastructure and services New Yorkers need to survive and thrive, especially in times of crisis. Senator Brisport is a vocal advocate of raising taxes on the rich and of policies that place the needs of working-class people above corporate profits, including a Green New Deal, the New York Health Act, universal access to housing, and the cancelation of rent and mortgage arrears accumulated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
New York Senate, District 17
Volunteer with Kristen
Kristen Gonzalez is the proud daughter of an immigrant family, Queens native, community organizer, and tech worker. She is running for New York State Senate in the 17th District, which is plurality Latino & working class. Kristen served on Queens Community Board 4 where she led the Census Committee and currently serves on the Executive Committee. She helped found the Western Queens Community Land Trust, because she believes we need a model for publicly owned land. Over the course of the pandemic, Kristen organized with DSA Tech Action to help launch an Internet For All campaign, and organized with Mutual Aid efforts across the city to create the first community-led and owned resource library in New York City.
She is running because everyone is entitled to a dignified life, and they shouldn’t have to struggle for it. The ruling class makes billions each year turning things that all of us are entitled to into privileges we have to pay for. Kristen believes we deserve a clean environment, good housing, education, and healthcare, and she will fight to make these things a right, not an option.
New York Senate, District 23
Volunteer with Sarah
Sarah grew up in Brooklyn inheriting a legacy of community stewardship from her late grandfather John B. Elliot, a dogged advocate who serviced community members experiencing HIV/AIDs during the height of the AIDs epidemic in the 1980s. This was a time where simply speaking the words “HIV/AIDS” was deeply controversial. She spent her youth building community gardens and food pantries as a means of increasing food justice with her grandmother Rev. Susie Elliot, when she learned to be unafraid and also fell in love with community stewardship.
Sarah is the only candidate who considers both sides of the Verrazano home. She gave birth to each of her 6 children in Brooklyn. Her first home in Staten Island was a domestic violence shelter. Eventually, her family found permanent housing in NYCHA where she is a proud resident. She’s spent the last 10 years organizing in NYCHA, for affordable housing, found justice and digital equity.
Sarah knows that no one will fight for housing, healthcare, or education harder than she will. Legislation should be crafted by those who have been most divested in and those who are most impacted by the outcomes of that legislation. Legislation will be more than just a piece of paper for her. It will determine if she will have to climb three flights of stairs while existing in the city as a disabled New Yorker. It means that her children will receive care instead of having the police called on them. The newly drawn district embodies her lifelong home and she’s ready to go to work to support District 23.
Oklahoma County Commission, District 1
Volunteer with Carrie
Carrie Blumert is a public health professional with a passion for justice reform and mental health. In her time as County Commissioner, Carrie has focused her work on improving access to treatment for mental illness and addiction, improving the Oklahoma county jail, investing in roads and bridges, government transparency, and helping the community recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, Carrie formed a coalition of mental health and addiction treatment providers and advocates to ensure that a new city sales tax package included funding for treatment and emergency housing. Her efforts secured $40 million in funding for our residents who need treatment and housing during a crisis.
When COVID-19 hit Oklahoma County, Carrie was the only Commissioner to fight for $25 million in direct financial assistance to renters, small businesses, and nonprofit.
Carrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Services from Oklahoma State University and a masters of public health from the University of Oklahoma. She lives with her two dogs, Dottie and Taco, in Oklahoma City.