What’s Really At Stake: Meet Our 2019 December Endorsement Class
To say that we’re ending 2019 with a bang would be an understatement. From the incredible piece of political theater happening on the Hill to the ever-rotating number of candidates running for the 2020 Democratic nomination, the US political landscape has never been more of a rollercoaster. But if we’re keeping it 💯, we have our sights set on an even bigger goal in 2020: winning as many down-ballot seats as possible.
That’s why we’re so excited about our latest and last round of 2019 endorsements! We have 22 new (and 5 not so new) candidates running for seats in 2020 with the hopes of solidifying Democratic power and progressive values at the local level. Though many of them are new to the political world, they have shown an incredible amount of commitment to their communities.
- Hunter Cain is a single foster parent that joined the military a month after the Twin Towers fell, and honorably served for nearly a decade. Now, he’s running for Clark County Commission in Nevada, to focus on reforming the DFS and addressing veterans issues on the local level.
- Nida Allam began organizing in 2015 after losing her close friend Yusor to a hate crime in the Chapel Hill shooting. She chose to channel her pain into work, fighting injustices faced by marginalized communities. Today she’s a candidate for Durham County Commissioner in North Carolina.
- Joshua Ashton is an 18-year old public education advocate and candidate for the Vail Unified School District Governing Board who’s worked as the Political Director for March For Our Lives Arizona and a Program Coordinator for the Metropolitan Education Commission.
We have a responsibility to take every opportunity we can to ensure that Democrats are in the driver’s seat in and after 2020. That’s why we’re working from the bottom-up. We’ve already seen how impactful progressive candidates can be when given the opportunity to lead. Today, we are re-endorsing Alessandra Biaggi, a New York State Legislator who has been behind a number of recently passed bills dealing with sexual violence against children and minors. This is the kind of work that matters and this is what’s really at stake in 2020.
So take this holiday season to learn about 27 accomplished leaders and show your support for their work (and ours) by donating today.
* denotes a re-endorsed candidate
Andrew Collins *
State House of Representatives, District 35
Andrew is serving his first term in the Arkansas House, representing District 35. He is an attorney who works in real estate for Cypress Properties. He grew up in Little Rock and graduated from Duke University and Columbia Law School. In between college and law school, he worked in the AmeriCorps VISTA national service program. Andrew has been involved with several civic and professional organizations, including President of the Board of Directors of Our House, the UA-Pulaski Tech Foundation Board, and Leadership Greater Little Rock. He lives in Little Rock with his wife and three children.
Tempe City Council
Casey Clowes is a caring and passionate Tempe advocate who has spent her personal and professional life working to improve the lives of others. Casey is running for City Council in order to pursue more equitable solutions to modern challenges, improve education for all, and foster sustainable communities. Casey thoughtfully considers complex policy matters by consulting with stakeholders and experts before making decisions.
Casey will carry on Tempe’s tradition of excellent public service by working to build sustainable communities, ensuring Tempe is the best place to live for residents of all ages, and giving families the resources they need to thrive.
Vail Unified School District Governing Board
Joshua Ashton is an 18 year old proud graduate of the Vail Unified School District and a first-time candidate for its Governing Board. He is bringing new ideas for the new decade with his campaign, through a progressive, policy-driven, people-powered focus on revitalizing the democratic process in the Vail area. His highest priorities are school safety, mental health, and supporting our educators.
Joshua has been an advocate for public education since 2014 (when he was only 13), most recently working as the Political Director for March For Our Lives Arizona and a Program Coordinator for the Metropolitan Education Commission.
State Senate, District 22
Sarah Tyree is an 8 year Army veteran. She continues to fight for her country by supporting military families as the Medical Special Needs Coordinator at Luke Air Force Base. As a social worker with 13 years of experience, she understands how important prevention and early intervention is when keeping families safe and together.
Her unrelenting work with the Utah legislature propelled her forward, returning your home to Arizona, where she is now fighting for change in; ending surprise billing, ensuring veterans have access to community providers, providing access to quality public education and keeping are Arizona children safe.
Jennifer Love Tang
Monterey Park City Council, District 2
Jennifer Love Tang is running for City Council to represent her hometown of Monterey Park. As the daughter of war refugees, Jennifer knew how lucky she was to live in a stable, safe community. At age 21, Jennifer traveled to Cambodia, where she started her career as a teacher. As an educator, Jennifer has helped narrow the achievement gap in her classroom, designed innovative technology for startup companies, engaged student-activists in the political process, advocated for policies on Capitol Hill, and co-founded a progressive grassroots organization. She is running to be the working and middle class champion her city needs.
Noelia Corzo *
San Mateo-Foster City School District Board Trustee
Noelia is running for re-election in her hometown school district where her son is now a student. Noelia is only the second Latinx person to serve on the San Mateo-Foster City School District where Latinx students are the majority and make up over 35% of the student body. Her experience as an English Learner and low income student have informed leadership and continue to be a unique perspective rarely represented in elected office in her community. Noelia hopes to continue championing equity, inclusion, and diversity in her school district and community.
State House of Reprensentatives, District 48
I'm a proud Colorado native who grew up in rural Weld County. I value family, and small-town values, so before our son was born, my wife and I bought our home in Milliken.
I have had a successful career in the healthcare industry while pursuing two college degrees, and have a genuine passion for helping others in my community. I decided to become more active in politics when my father took his own life in 2009. My wife, Jessica, and I celebrated our 13th anniversary this year, and welcomed our son, Liam, into this world in July.
Javier Estevez *
State House of Representatives, District 105
Javier is running for FL State House in District 105, because it’s time that we had a representative that understands the issues and is willing to fight for their voters. From expanding Medicaid, raising the minimum wage, protecting public education and ensuring we have common sense gun reform, Javier stands with the people of Florida and District 105. I’m 2018, Javier came within 417 votes of flipping 105 and in 2020 we are going to finish what we started.
Derrick J. Wilson
Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 3
Derrick J. Wilson is a serial entrepreneur and the majority owner of a tax preparation company. Working as a contracted insurance adjuster brought Derrick to Georgia, where he fell in love with Gwinnett County.
Derrick’s dedication to family and community caused him to seek ways to be more involved. He joined Gwinnett County’s chapter of NAACP, which led him to become more politically focused. He later joined Gwinnett County Young Democrats and the Gwinnett County Democratic Party. Now, Derrick is fighting for diverse representation, economic development, and more, as a candidate for Gwinnett County Commissioner, District 3.
State House of Representatives, District 106
Rebecca is a veterinarian, public health researcher and a mom of four small children, running for Statehouse in suburban Gwinnett County, Georgia. She is focused on bringing changes to healthcare in Georgia to expand coverage and increase mental health services for at-risk populations. As a mother of a child with a birth defect, she is passionate about improving maternal health and reproductive justice in Georgia.
State Senate, District 41
Yterenickia ‘YT’ Bell is a public servant, organizer, and advocate that’s running for Georgia Senate District 41. She is a native Georgian and graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and Political Science and a Masters in Social Work and Public Administration. As a graduate student, YT coupled her academic work with a career at Planned Parenthood Southeast serving as an advocate in the Public Policy Department. YT has worked as a social worker and public policy professional serving vulnerable communities and solving complex problems for almost a decade. YT values equity, people, and efficiency. YT is also a Councilwoman in the City of Clarkston where she works diligently to create an inclusive city.
State House of Representatives, District 54
Ryan Huffman is a candidate for state representative in Illinois’ 54th district. A former energy policy analyst and White House intern in the Obama administration, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago. In 2018, he ran for Congress in Illinois’ 6th Congressional district, and went on to join the campaign team of his former rival Democrat Sean Casten in his successful bid to flip the district blue. A Palatine resident, Huffman works as a data analyst at a Chicago digital advertising company.
State Senate, District 10
Lindsey has been a public school teacher for 16 years and specializes in STEM, professional development and mentorship. Lindsey was elected to the Shawnee City Council in 2017 and serves as a member of the National League of Cities Energy, Environment and Natural Resources Committee and the Council on Youth, Families and Education.
Lindsey is co-founder of Climate Action KC and together with 100+ local leaders organized a Climate Action Summit for 750 leaders, facilitated a 10 county wide Climate Action Plan, and created a Climate Action Playbook.
Lindsey earned Master’s degrees from the University of Kansas in Curriculum and Instruction as well as Education, Leadership and Policy Studies. She is the recipient of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching, the League of Women Voters Making Democracy Work Award, and the Climate and Energy ChangeMaker Award. Lindsey is married with two children who serve as her key motivators to impact change.
State House of Representatives, District 45
Brendan Johnson is a proud Michigander who wants to bring a new generation of values-based leadership to his hometown. Born and raised in the greater Rochester area, his background in national security – he interned as an analyst for Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and political officer for the U.S. State Department – make him a uniquely qualified candidate to tackle the most pressing issues in Michigan: clean fresh water, secure infrastructure, and well-supported schools. Brendan has a B.A. in International Relations from Michigan State University and a M.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University.
Genesee County Commissioner, District 4
Born and raised in Flint Michigan, Domonique Clemons understands the challenges that Genesee County working families face, because he’s lived them. As Commissioner, he will fight to invest in the community equitably, while supporting better-paying jobs, accessible education, clean drinking water and housing that fits every budget.
Domonique holds a Public Policy Degree from Michigan State University, and a master’s degree in Political Management from George Washington University. Domonique has several years of government and advocacy experience, currently serving as Legislative Director to State Representative Alex Garza as well as Founder and Executive Director of the Genesee County Leadership Corps.
Clark County Commission, District C
Hunter is a single foster parent that has fostered 12 youth and adopted two over the last three years. He joined the military a month after the Twin Towers fell, and honorably served for nearly a decade. After military service, Hunter served as Director of Community Outreach and Senior Veterans Caseworker for Congresswoman Dina Titus for 5 years.
Hunter is running to focus on the underserved communities, reform the DFS, address veterans issues on the local level, and tackle the homelessness crisis in Clark County, NV.
Sparks City Council, Ward 1
Wendy Stolyarov is running for Sparks City Council Ward 1 to fight for housing, workers, and equality – as well as to be the first LGBT+ councilmember in the City of Sparks. She is a government affairs professional and a community activist who’s worked for years to advance progressive policies that improve the lives of regular Nevadans.
As an LGBT+ Ward 1 resident and renter, Wendy knows how important housing, security, and dignity are for all of Sparks’s residents. Sparks must prioritize housing, fair wages, equality, and inclusion. On City Council, Wendy will make sure all of Sparks has a voice.
Alessandra Biaggi *
State Senate, District 34
Alessandra Biaggi is the Democratic New York State Senator in her home district (Bronx/Westchester), and Chair of the revived Ethics and Internal Governance Committee. The granddaughter of Italian immigrants who lived in Hunts Point, she is the fourth generation of her family to live in District 34.
Before launching her campaign, she served in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Counsel’s Office focusing on the New York State’s women’s policy agenda, advocating for passage of the Reproductive Health Act and the Comprehensive Contraceptive Coverage Act. During the historic 2016 election, Alessandra was the Deputy National Operations Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, overseeing a budget of $500 million, 38 state directors and 45 associated staff.
Her run for office was preceded by a decade of advocacy and service to the people of New York. She interned for the Kings County D.A.’s Office, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, and was a legal fellow for New York State Homes and Community Renewal, working to ensure that families across New York State had access to affordable housing. She served as Assistant General Counsel for Governor Cuomo’s Office of Storm Recovery, working with small businesses and municipalities to rebuild New York after Hurricane Sandy. She was a 2015 New Leaders Council (NLC) fellow, sat on NLC’s Advisory Board, and is a member of The New Agenda's Young Women Leadership Council. Alessandra attended Pelham public schools and holds degrees from New York University and Fordham Law School. She is also a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale University.
Asheville City Council
Kristen is running for Asheville City Council because she believes in building a community where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. This includes safe and affordable housing, a transit system that is free and reliable, and growth that is equitable and sustainable. Kristen’s lived-experience gives her the courage to fight for bold solutions. She’s a shift worker, a former architect, and since 2016 she’s been a precinct leader and organizer for the Democratic Party. Kristen believes in the aspirational, progressive values of Asheville, and she’s going to fight to translate those values into policy realities.
Kristen Powers *
Alamance County Board of Commissioners
Kristen Powers is a candidate for Alamance County Board of Commissioners in North Carolina. Kristen sees incredible opportunity in Alamance County and is excited to bring new ideas to the board from her non-profit work in criminal justice reform as well as her documentary filmmaking background. Her experience includes storytelling, community organizing, and policy advocacy. She is excited to get local government back on our side.
Kristen Powers lives in Saxapahaw, North Carolina.
Durham County Commissioner
Nida Allam began organizing in 2015 after losing her close friend Yusor to a hate crime in the Chapel Hill shooting. She chose to channel her pain into working to fight injustices faced by marginalized communities. Nida served as Political Director on the Sanders 2016 campaign, elected as a Vice Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party, serves as the Chair of the Durham Mayor's Council for Women, and an Executive Council member of her local NAACP chapter.
Nida is running for Durham County Commissioner to fight for what our communities deserve.
Buncombe County Commission, District 3
Parker grew up in Winston-Salem and moved to Buncombe County in 2007 after graduating from Appalachian State with a degree in Community Planning and Geography. He was lucky to be raised by a single mom who taught him the importance of service and giving back. Parker and Maia, his wife, an elementary school teacher in Buncombe County, live in Candler, with their one-year-old son, Austin.
Parker now works at a national utility scale solar energy company in Asheville where he works with local governments across the South in an effort to move our nation away from fossil fuels and toward a 21st century clean energy economy.
State House of Representatives, District 55
Zach Stepp is running for the Ohio House to bring results-driven representation for Lorain County to Columbus and break the right-wing Republican Supermajority. Zach believes Ohio needs bold new leadership willing to tackle the tough problems that have led to the continued flight of young people from the state, the demonization of public education, and the partisan gerrymandering of our communities. As your Representative, Zach will support strategic investments in our future, end partisan gerrymandering, and strive to bring people together.
Eugene City Council, Ward 8
Ryan Moore got his start as a progressive activist fighting for a better mental health care system. He has since championed a wide range of causes and co-founded the Springfield-Eugene Tenant Association and Our Revolution Lane County, two non-profits that carry on their missions to this day.
Ryan’s professional background includes work in the State Legislature, in Lane County Drug Treatment Court, and on the City of Eugene’s Budget Committee.
As an LGBT millennial, he is running for Eugene City Council to bring missing perspectives to the table and push for urgent, progressive solutions to the big challenges we face.
State House of Representatives, District 97
Gabby Salinas is a scientist, healthcare advocate, and three-time cancer survivor who’s running for Tennessee House District 97. Gabby immigrated to Tennessee twenty-three years ago to be treated for cancer at St. Jude. It was while going through cancer therapy that she fell in love with science. She earned a BS in Biochemistry from Christian Brothers University and is currently pursuing her PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Gabby is running in 2020 to fight for better healthcare, fair wages, and fully-funded public schools for all Tennesseans. Gabby is on a mission to give back to a community that gave her a chance at life.
State House of Representatives, District 90
Torrey Harris is a Human Resources Leader within local government and a small business owner. When elected he will bring extensive knowledge and leadership experience to the seat while fighting for public education, building a stronger workforce, advocating for women’s choices, improving gun control laws, supporting Medicaid expansion, and the equal rights of all people in Tennessee.
He serves on the board of one of the State’s Largest Reproductive Health organizations, an executive member of Shelby County Young Democrats, and a known Youth Mentor in the community. He promises to bring real democratic values: to listen, empower and serve Tennessee.
State Senate, District 1
Audrey Spanko is a solution focused candidate running to serve Texas Senate, District 1. She is a licensed social worker with both an undergraduate and Masters’ degree in social work from the University of Texas.
She is a strong advocate for public education and healthcare. For over a decade she has worked in healthcare, nonprofit and government settings, and through this work she’s witnessed the impact of ineffective Texas politics. She is running to shift the state’s focus back to the people.