Meet Our June Endorsement Class!

Summer days are officially upon us and we’re heating up for the next round of Run for Something endorsements! This June, we are excited to introduce 26 amazing state and local candidates from across the country (FYI: 64% of them women!!!!).

As usual, our candidates support issues the are as unique as the communities they hope to represent. Here are a few highlights:

  • Anna Payne, a candidate running for Middletown Township Supervisor, who after living with cystic fibrosis, works as a member of the Pennsylvania Rare Diseases Advisory Board, fighting for equal healthcare.
  • Tia Walbridge, a sheep farmer and agricultural advocate, running to protect Loudoun County’s active green spaces in Virginia.
  • Nathan Dominguez, a student at Newton High School running for school board looking to address anti-discrimination and bullying policies.
  • Gicola Lane, an organizer who recently led the successful charter referendum to create Nashville’s first Community Oversight Board now running for Nashville Metro Council At-Large.

As we inch closer and closer to some pretty important moments in our country’s political history, it is critical that we invest in state and local candidates with the same fervor and enthusiasm as the presidential race. TBH, these candidates are on the front lines — they are the representatives that act as gatekeepers to the rights and privileges we hold most dear. From reproductive justice to public education, these representatives see and hear it first.

So take a look at these phenomenal individuals, and after you’re inspired by their platforms (we know you will be 😉), chip in and donate to help us make sure they reach the finish line…in 1st place.

ALABAMA

Marche Johnson
Montgomery City Council, District 3
www.marcheonthemove.com

Marche` Johnson is running for Montgomery City Council District 3. She is a combat veteran that has dedicated her life to serving and protecting the United States of America. Her focus now is to serve and protect the Montgomery, Alabama community through wishes to hold the seat of City Council in District 3. She is a mother and community advocate. Not only does she believe in bridging the gap between youth and seniors, but also hopes to change the narrative of distrust between the community and local officials. Her campaign slogan is “Bringing Visibility and Giving Voice to District 3”.

COLORADO

Kyra deGruy
Lakewood City Council, Ward 1
www.Kyradegruy.com

Kyra is a community and health advocate and a candidate for City Council. She has directed campaigns that have secured millions of dollars for public schools, park space, police, and transportation infrastructure. As a government affairs professional for the most diverse and affordable institution of higher education in the state, she advocates for students who would otherwise not have a voice at the state capitol.

In her free time, she mentors women in recovery from substance abuse and eating disorders, rock climbs, skis, practices yoga and bikes. She lives with her wonderful fiancé and their menagerie of animals.

IOWA

Jonathan Grieder
Waterloo City Council, Ward 2
https://www.griederforwaterloo.com/

Jonathan Grieder is running for Waterloo City Council Ward 2. He is a husband, father, and high school educator. As an educator and a father Jonathan is constantly working towards building brighter futures for all. Jonathan is running to amplify the voices of everyday citizens and seek common solutions to community issues.

Jonathan’s campaign is focused on addressing the affordability and accessibility of childcare across Waterloo, working to raise wages to a livable level, investing in Waterloo’s infrastructure, ensuring quality city services, and fighting to ensure equitable economic development that lifts up all people in Waterloo.

KANSAS

Nathan Dominguez
Board of Education, USD 373

Nathan Dominguez is a student at Newton High School running for school board. Nathan hopes to bring his unique perspectives and experiences to the board in an effort to address mental health, establish a safe learning environment for all students, and ensure all voices are represented in USD 373. Nathan Dominguez understands the needs of our students and faculty with mental health and plans to address the issue by expanding mental health services and hiring additional support staff. Nathan plans to reach out to all communities and ensure all students are covered by the district anti-discrimination and bullying policies.

MAINE

Kiernan Majerus-Collins
Lewiston School Committee, Ward 3
www.Kiernanmc.com

Kiernan is a writer and activist running for the Lewiston School Committee in Ward 3. A Bates College graduate, Kiernan currently serves as chair of the Lewiston Democratic Party and a member of the Lewiston Voter Registration Appeals Board. As a School Committee member, Kiernan will work to reduce class sizes, support extracurricular activities, and make Lewiston schools carbon neutral by 2030. In his free time, Kiernan directs his church children’s choir. He also enjoys reading American history and watching the Red Sox.

MARYLAND

James Hedrick
Rockville City Council, At-Large
https://www.james4rockville.com

A career civil servant with a deep commitment to public service, James wants to bring a new vision to the Rockville City Council. With an extensive background in affordable housing and economic development — including serving on the board of Rockville’s public housing authority — James has seen just how important safe, secure, and affordable housing is to people’s lives. James wants to serve on the Rockville City Council to expand those efforts and create a more unified and equitable community for all residents.

James holds a Ph.D. in political science from Rice University and lives in Rockville, MD with his wife and two daughters.

MASSACHUSETTS

Danielle Kempe
Quincy City Council, Ward 1
www.daniellekempeforquincy.com/

Danielle Kempe is running for Ward 1 City Councilor because she believes she can be a fresh voice for Quincy. A problem solver and results oriented leader, Danielle will confront challenges head on. Her ability to recognize a problem and directly ask for what is needed to fix it will benefit all Ward 1 residents. She will serve as an effective advocate for everyone she represents.

MINNESOTA

Nicole Frethem
Ramsey County Commissioner, District 1
https://www.nicolefrethem.com

Nicole is running for County Commissioner in Ramsey County, Minnesota, District 1. Nicole has been working on behalf of families for over a decade in direct service as a child care provider, as an advocate for access to affordable, quality child care, and as a policy specialist setting state-wide policy in human services and child care. Nicole wants to bring a whole-family lens to public policy at the county level to better support families and children.Nicole is running for County Commissioner in Ramsey County, Minnesota, District 1. Nicole has been working on behalf of families for over a decade in direct service as a child care provider, as an advocate for access to affordable, quality child care, and as a policy specialist setting state-wide policy in human services and child care. Nicole wants to bring a whole-family lens to public policy at the county level to better support families and children. Nicole has a master’s degree in early childhood education and is pursuing a law degree. Nicole is married and has two daughters.

NEW YORK

Caitlin Ogden
Otsego County Board of Representatives, District 3
www.facebook.com/CaitlinOgdenforDistrict3

Caitlin Ogden is running for Otsego County Board, District Three. She moved to the area in 2014, completing her M.A. in Museum Studies, focusing on nonprofit fundraising. Falling in love with the region, she purchased her first home and works as a grant writer for an area museum. Caitlin seeks to address issues in her region such as implementing a rural public transportation system, funding support resources for family farmers, and growing rural Main Streets. After 16 years of incumbent representation in the district, Caitlin feels the time is ripe to bring a fresh perspective, energy, and insight to District Three.

Jenn Puja
White Plains Common Council

Jenn is running for White Plains Common Council. Jenn is a leader, a professional, a mother, a union member, an activist, a PTA parent, an advocate and a middle class, dedicated, hard worker. She currently is the Executive Director of the WPCLB AFL CIO representing over 100,000 working families in Westchester and Putnam Counties. Jenn will create opportunities for families, seniors and youth, continue the progress of our city and be your voice on the common council.

NORTH CAROLINA

Jonathan Melton
Raleigh City Council, At-Large
www.jonathanmelton.com

Jonathan Melton is a family law attorney, community organizer, and nonprofit leader. He is running for Raleigh City Council, At-large because he believes Raleigh deserves leaders who are willing to listen, plan, and effect positive change.

For the past several years, Jonathan has worked to build safe, inclusive spaces for the LGBTQ community in Raleigh and throughout the country. Jonathan wants to make Raleigh more accessible, affordable, and progressive by encouraging responsible development, expanding and improving public transit options, and prioritizing affordable and diverse housing options.

Matt Hughes
Town of Hillsborough Commissioner
matthugheshsbo.com

Matt is running for Commissioner in his hometown of Hillsborough, NC. Hillsborough needs folks who are able to bridge the gaps in the community and confront tough issues small towns face. As a young professional, lifelong resident, and LGBTQ person of color, Matt plays a critical role in solving Hillsborough’s challenges and seizing new opportunities. Whether is economic development, affordable housing, equity, public safety, or water services, Matt’s committed to making Hillsborough a welcoming, safe, and affordable community for everyone.

Patrick Buffkin
Raleigh City Council, District A
http://patrickforraleigh.com

Patrick is running for Raleigh City Council to deal with challenges like traffic congestion, crumbling infrastructure, and housing affordability. Raleigh needs leaders with the vision and experience to address these challenges and continue Raleigh’s legacy as one of the most dynamic communities in the country. Patrick is an attorney for the state government, a current member of the Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Greenways Advisory Board, and a past HOA president. He brings the leadership and collaborative problem solving required to address these challenges.

OHIO

Sheena Barnes
Toledo Public Schools Board
www.barnesfortps.com

Sheena is a committed advocate, mother, and community member. Sheena is a Community Health Worker for Lucas County, working with youth to serve as a bridge between the community and healthcare, government, and social service systems. Sheena has experience with public policy and youth crisis intervention advocacy.

Sheena moved to Toledo from Flint, Michigan about 10 years ago and made Toledo a home for herself, and her three children. Sheena quickly became involved in the community here, she is a board member for Advocates For Basic Legal Equality (ABLE), a Coordinator For The Equality Toledo Food Pantry, and a Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization (BRAVO) trainer. All three of Sheena’s children attend Toledo Public schools and her daughter is a recent graduate of Bowsher High School.

​Sheena will bring her experience guiding youth social, economical and poverty challenges to Toledo Public Schools board with a public health to education viewpoint.

PENNSYLVANIA

Anna Payne
Middletown Township Supervisor, Bucks County
www.middletowntogether.com

Anna Payne is running for Middletown Township Supervisor to give back to the community she has called home for over 20 years.

Anna currently serves as Chair of the Board of Auditors, overseeing township finances and promoting transparency. As Supervisor, she will work to strengthen public schools, support small businesses, and preserve open spaces — all while protecting taxpayer dollars.

Anna lives with Cystic Fibrosis and fights to bring awareness to the challenges of living with a rare disease. A member of the Pennsylvania Rare Diseases Advisory Board, she is a tireless advocate for affordable and quality health care for all.

Dan Wood
Doylestown Township Supervisor
www.wood-ohanlon.com/

Dan Wood is long time Doylestown resident and active member in local government running to be supervisor in his hometown. He is a member of the Public Water and Sewer Advisory board where he helps oversee sewer projects and water safety. He is also a member of the Environmental Advisory Council where he helps improve the environment and move Doylestown to 100% renewable energy.

Dan lives with his wife and three year old son. He hopes to give his son and future generations the same great opportunities he had growing up in Doylestown and more as the next Township Supervisor.

Lydia Laythe
Washington Township Council

Lydia Laythe is running for Washington Township Council in Erie County, Pennsylvania. Before she decided to run for office, Lydia worked as a trauma therapist, working with children and adults. In her work as a social worker and therapist, Lydia saw the impact systemic and community-level decisions were having on the individual lives of her clients, and she realized that many decision-makers didn’t realize the impact they were having. So she became involved in local organizing groups like French Creek Indivisible, Erie County United, Erie County Young Democrats, Fair Districts PA, and People for a Livable Erie. Lydia is the youngest person to run for Washington Township Council, but she hopes her campaign will help other young people in the township see themselves in elected office!

Tom Duerr
Allegheny County Council, District 5
www.votetomduerr.com

Tom Duerr is running for Allegheny County Council, District 5 in Southwest Pennsylvania. He decided to run after speaking with thousands of voters spread across the region while working with Hilary Clinton, Conor Lamb and Pam Iovino’s campaigns. As part of the generation of people who moved out of Southwest PA because the opportunities afforded to past generations aren’t what they used to be, he decided to stay here and give back to the community that made him the person who he is today. Loyal, hardworking, and passionate, Tom Duerr is the type of person County Council needs to advocate and fight for the people of Allegheny County and District 5.

Sarah Arva Grosik
Central Bucks School Board, Region 2

Sarah is an educator and mom who believes passionately in public education. She holds an Ed.D. in Curriculum, Instruction, and Technology in Education and is an administrator and instructor at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously, Sarah taught in the Peace Corps, the School District of Philadelphia, and Bucks County Community College.

A mother of two young sons receiving special education; Sarah will be a decision-maker who advocates for all children and families. Sarah is running for Central Bucks School Board to ensure that the district’s schools, education professionals, and families are given the resources necessary to meet students’ diverse needs.

TENNESSEE

Amelia Parker
Knoxville City Council At-Large, Seat C
www.voteameliaparker.com

Amelia Parker is a human rights advocate and community organizer who is running for an at large seat on the Knoxville City Council. Amelia is committed to seeing her hometown of Knoxville, TN become a city where the human rights of all are respected and upheld, where the gap between the haves and the have nots does not continue to grow, and where the residents of Knoxville are empowered to build a prosperous city with robust public services, living wage jobs, housing options that meet the needs of residents, neighborhoods that are healthy and resourced, and just, equitable budgets that address historical disparities in our communities as well as emerging needs.

Gicola Lane
Nashville Metro Council At-Large
http://www.gicolalane.com/

Gicola Lane began working in her community at the age of 14, bringing awareness to predatory lending practices in her neighborhood.

Gicola is a Nashville native and graduate of Metro Nashville Public Schools. She is a Statewide Organizer. Most recently, she led the successful charter referendum to create Nashville’s first Community Oversight Board.

Gicola is running for Metro Council At-Large to restore trust and transparency in Metro government, redefine criminal justice and safety, and advocate for equity in housing, education, and employment. When elected, Gicola will be the youngest person ever elected At-Large to the Nashville Metro Council.

TEXAS

Raj Salhotra
Houston City Council At-Large 1
http://www.rajforhouston.com/

Raj is a native Houstonian running for Houston City Council At-Large 1. He is a native Houstonian who attended Rice University, then became a high school math teacher in Houston’s Hiram Clarke neighborhood. After teaching, Raj launched two educational non-profits (Students With Ambition Go to College and One Jump). He then completed law school at Harvard and returned to Houston. He is running for City Council to Build One Houston by increasing economic opportunity, improving quality of life, and strengthening flood mitigation.

VIRGINIA

Flourette Ketner
State Senate, District 19
www.floketner.com

Flo is running for State Senate in the 19th District, which includes all of Salem City and Floyd county, and parts of Bedford, Carroll, Franklin, Montgomery, Roanoke, and Wythe Counties. A wife and stay-at-home mother of three young children, she has lived in the New River Valley for over 30 years. She graduated from Floyd County High School and Radford University, with a B.S. in English and currently serves on the board of a budding non-profit as their treasurer. She feels it is time the district is prioritized and given strong opportunities to develop and succeed.

Jennifer Woofter
House of Delegates, District 22
www.jenniferwoofterfordelegate.com

As a sustainability consultant, Jennifer helps organizations grow and create jobs by improving labor conditions, reducing harmful pollution and partnering with communities to build vibrant local economies.

As a Delegate, she will bring people together to find a win-win solution for living-wage jobs, affordable access to healthcare and expanded rural broadband internet.

Jennifer has worked to cut government waste, fraud and abuse as a committee staffer in the US Senate. She’s a former foster parent and now volunteers as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) in the child welfare system. She lives in Lynchburg with her husband and their three children.

Michael Payne
Charlottesville City Council
www.michaelpayneforcville.com

Michael is a community organizer running for Charlottesville City Council in Virginia. He worked for Habitat for Humanity Virginia and co-founded Indivisible Charlottesville to fight for progressive change throughout Virginia.

As a City Councilor, Michael will champion truly affordable housing — including a historic investment in public housing, partnerships with local nonprofits, and a comprehensive rewrite of the city’s zoning codes. Michael has also led the discussion on municipal action on climate change and racial and economic equity in the Charlottesville community. If elected, he’ll push for 100% clean and renewable energy and an end to racial inequities in city schools.

Tia Walbridge
Blue Ridge Supervisor, Loudoun County
www.tia4va.com

Tia is a sheep farmer, mom, and small business owner running to represent Blue Ridge on the Loudoun Board of Supervisors. She is a Governor’s Appointee to the Virginia Agricultural Council and is a board member of Loudoun County Farm Bureau. She also serves on the board of Dandelion Meadow, a nonprofit that provides facilities for women battling addiction in Loudoun County. Tia is running to protect Loudoun’s active agriculture and green spaces, invest in our public schools, and repair our crumbling infrastructure. She’s endorsed by Rep. Jennifer Wexton, several state and local representatives, Loudoun Education Association, and Vote Mama.

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