Moving on Up: RFS Alums In Higher Office

They’ve got next! Check out the RFS alumni who are taking their service to the next level by seeking higher office. From state Capitols to the nation’s Capitol in DC, they are poised to bring incredible leadership into federal office.

Run for Something endorsed all of these folks in their first or second campaign. While we as an organization don’t endorse higher level offices, we’re rooting hard for our alumni! This is what building the bench looks like.

J.B. Smiley

Running for Governor of Tennessee

A native Memphian with five siblings, born to a social worker and a Bronze Star Army soldier, JB Smiley, Jr. knows the value of hard work and a healthy, supportive community. As Governor of Tennessee he is poised to expand healthcare, reduce crime through community investment and strengthen public education.

First endorsed by Run for Something in 2020, JB is a skilled advocate and public servant who currently serves on the Memphis City Council. During his time on the City Council he has focused on public works, transportation, general services and community art in public spaces.

Before becoming a lawyer barred in Tennessee and Arkansas, he completed his education while playing basketball as a college athlete. Never afraid of getting his hands dirty, JB has done everything from working as a landfill cleaner to washing dishes. As his father taught him to “never forget the bridge that brought you over,” he will always operate with working people in mind.

To learn more and support JB visit:

Ashwani Jain

Running for Governor of Maryland

Ashwani Jain is a first generation American, the son of small business owners, a native of Montgomery County, a former appointee with the Obama- Biden Administration, a non-profit executive, and a childhood cancer survivor. He now hopes to use his lifetime of experiences to improve the lives of the people of Maryland as their first governor of color.

First endorsed by Run for Something in 2018, Jain is a political organizer ­and coalition builder that has deep experience working in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. His long-term goal is to engage more progressives in the political process and ensure our political institutions are more representative, responsive, inclusive and accountable.

To learn more and support Ashwani visit:

Kelly Krout

Running for Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas

Kelly is a mom, a graduate student in social work, children’s book author and a lifelong Arkansan. She was first endorsed by Run for Something in 2020 in a successful bid for the Arkansas State House. Kelly and her husband are the proud parents of seven sons and have fostered and adopted out of the system. She has seen how poverty impacts Arkansas families’ ability to care for the health and safety of their children. She is running for Lieutenant Governor because she believes Arkansas can do more as a state to strengthen and empower families.

Kelly deeply believes everyone deserves access to affordable healthcare, mental healthcare, and the resources provided by expert social workers. She believes we are all better students, workers, and citizens when we are well. Kelly is committed to ensuring Arkansas is an empowering place for all.

Kelly is running to become Lieutenant Governor because Arkansas deserves a leader who will help citizens navigate the system AND work to fix it. ​

To learn more and support Kelly visit:

Cynthia Mendes

Running for Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

Cynthia Mendes is a single mom, fierce community advocate, and leader running for Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2020, ​Cynthia has been a champion for reproductive healthcare, government transparency, racial justice, universal healthcare, and climate action as a Rhode Island Senator.

After toppling a corrupt, long-time incumbent, she used her fifteen years of experience in the healthcare industry to make sure those in the community had a voice in the State House, especially those facing medical debt and struggling to survive.

She believes that those that are good enough to serve our community in their times of need, should also be the ones who represent them in seats of decision making.

To learn more about and support Cynthia visit:

Kyra Harris Bolden

Running for Michigan Supreme Court

First endorsed by Run for Something in 2018, Kyra Harris Bolden is running for the Michigan Supreme Court. If elected, she would be the Black woman to sit on the state’s high court. A graduate of Southfield Public Schools, Bolden received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and went on to attend the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

After receiving her Juris Doctorate, Rep. Bolden became a civil litigation attorney. She is an active member of her community, serving as a member of the National Congress of Black Women-Oakland County, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Rep. Bolden is currently serving her second term representing Michigan’s 35th House District. She sits on the Insurance and Judiciary committees and also serves as Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

Matthew Wilson

Running for GA State Insurance Commissioner

Matthew Wilson knows the impact of Georgia investing in its most important resource: its people. He grew up in a family of public servants in Griffin, learning the value of hard work and commitment to community. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2020, Matthew represents the people of Fulton and Dekalb counties in the Georgia House of Representatives.

As State Insurance Commissioner, Matthew will address the needs and protect the pocketbooks of working class people. By focusing on lowering premiums, bettering coverage and expanding Medicaid to those who need it most, Matthew will ensure that Georgia’s consumers and small businesses come before the profit margins of big insurance companies.

To learn more about and support Matthew visit:

Taylor Sappington

Running for Ohio State Auditor

On his first day on the job as Nelsonville Auditor, Taylor Sappington noticed something was off. Not only was the City in the red and teetering on financial disaster, but he found City financial records and emails were illegally wiped and missing. As he began to dig deeper, after just eight weeks on the job, he uncovered what would become the City’s largest theft and fraud bust ever.

Today, with his steady hand and leadership, Nelsonville is in the black with a $1 million surplus, and the community is growing stronger everyday. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2018, Taylor is running to become the Ohio State Auditor, where he will bring his signature can-do spirit and inspired leadership to Columbus to fight for working class people.

Taylor is deeply committed to fighting corruption, will keep balanced books and, when necessary, catch any crooks he finds along the way.

To learn more and support Taylor visit:

Jevin Hodge

Running for the United States House of Representatives- AZ-01

Born in Tempe to a single mother, Jevin Hodge saw first-hand how our government can help those who need it the most. Since then, he found meaning in public service and giving back. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2020, Jevin is a community servant who has dedicated his life to serving the people of Maricopa County, including leading the Booker T. Washington Child Development Center, the longest running Head Start in Arizona.

Jevin, a natural problem solver, is running for the US House of Representatives to strengthen voting rights, expand access to healthcare, address income inequality and fully fund public education.

To learn more and support Jevin visit:

Yadira Caraveo

Running for United States House of Representatives- CO-08

The eldest daughter of proud Mexican immigrants, Yadira Caraveo is a pediatrician, labor advocate and environmental activist. Never one to back down from a challenge, Yadira was first endorsed by Run for Something in 2018.

While serving the people of Colorado in the state house, she has fought back against special interests, big tobacco, big pharma and the CEOs of oil and gas companies. She knows her patients, 65% of whom use Medicaid to access health care, and all Coloradans, deserve representation in Congress that is ready to work to lower health care costs, address the high cost of housing, combat climate change, protect a woman’s right to choose, and stop Republicans from taking away Americans’ right to vote.

To learn more and support Yadira, visit:

Alessandra Biaggi

Running for United States House of Representatives- NY-17

Alessandra Biaggi is a lifelong New Yorker and two-term New York State Senator in Westchester and the Bronx. When she was endorsed by Run for Something in 2018, she went on to defeat a powerful long time incumbent to put Democrats back in full control of New York’s State Senate, for the first time in 100 years.

As chair of the Ethics and Internal Governance Committee, Senator Biaggi immediately began changing the way business was done in Albany.

Alessandra has endless energy, excited every day that voters have given her the opportunity to make a difference on their behalf. In just her first two days in office, she helped expand voting and LGBTQIA+ rights. In her first two months in office, Senator Biaggi — herself a sexual abuse survivor — chaired the first public hearings in 27 years on sexual harassment in the workplace and led the charge in New York to pass some of the strongest legislation in the country to strengthen protections for survivors and hold employers accountable for addressing sexual misconduct. During her first term, Senator Biaggi championed the passage of the Healthy Terminals Act, giving tens of thousands of airport workers access to fair wages and affordable healthcare. Working with her colleagues in the Democratic conference, Senator Biaggi worked to pass transformational legislation including tenant-centered housing reforms, the strongest climate change law in the country, unprecedented criminal justice reform, common sense gun safety legislation, and nursing home regulations that protect seniors.

A proud New Yorker with a track record of getting things done, she is running to break through the noise in DC and deliver real change in the people.

To learn more and support Alessandra, visit:

Jasmine Crockett

Running for United States House of Representatives- TX-30

Jasmine Crockett is a State Representative, civil rights and criminal defense ttorney, and is running to be the next Congresswoman for TX-30. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2020, Jasmine is ready to continue to fight and usher in the next generation of servant leadership in the halls of Congress and Washington, D.C.

As the youngest Black member and the sole Black freshman during the 87th Legislative Session, Jasmine hit the floor running and lit a fire in Austin. She filed more bills than any other freshman member to address the kitchen table issues that are most important to everyday Texans.

From her work as a public defender to the halls of the capitol, Jasmine has never lost sight of the people and has been a voice for thousands of Texans. Jasmine has represented over 5,000 Texans in court, including over 400 peaceful protesters whom she represented pro bono.

When Texas Republicans tried to strip away Texan’s voting rights, Jasmine fought back — in committee, on the House floor, and on the national stage. A lead architect of the Texas Democrat’s quorum break, Jasmine built a coalition and helped convince her colleagues to head to D.C. to push for federal voting rights legislation. Jasmine used her voice and her platform to shine a national spotlight on the injustice in Texas.

She is a founding member and Vice Chair of the Texas Progressive Caucus, and serves as the Treasurer of the Texas Caucus on Climate, Energy, and the Environment. Jasmine’s efforts in the Texas House have earned her awards and recognitions including being named one of the most effective freshmen by Texas Monthly, Freshman of the Year by the Dallas Observer, The National Caucus of Black State Legislators, and the Texas Legislative Black Caucus. Jasmine’s efforts to protect voting rights have earned her a spot on the 2021 The Root 100 List of Most Influential African Americans. Jasmine has a 100% pro-choice record, pro-labor, gun sense, and climate friendly voting record.

To learn more and support Jasmine, visit:

Jennifer Lewis

Running for United States House of Representatives- VA-06

Jennifer Lewis is a mental health worker, community advocate, and environmental activist. First endorsed by Run for Something in 2018, Jennifer has a track record of being a civically active member of her community in Augusta County and Waynesboro, volunteering for various local groups, serving on boards and commissions, and fighting on the front lines for the values of the valley.

Jennifer grew up on a small, family-owned dairy farm where she spent summers unloading hay and picking rock. She attended SUNY Oneonta in New York. After college, Jennifer worked for a violence intervention program as a rape counselor and as a counselor at the domestic violence safe house. She later continued her professional career working in the Virginia public school system, providing mental health services to at-risk youth. She currently works with adults with mental illness who are transitioning from inpatient care back into the community where they can thrive.

As a member of Virginia’s Congressional delegation, she will focus on fully funding healthcare, environmental justice, increasing rural broadband access, bolstering voting rights and tackling the opioid crisis.

To learn more and support Jennifer, visit:

There are also ten Run for Something alumni running for higher office within states, whether it’s moving from state house to state senate or city council up to state legislature. If you’re interested in those folks, just email




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