U.S. House & Senate Candidates
Dmitri Shein (PD)
Dmitri is running for the At-Large seat in the House. He and his mother immigrated to Alaska from Vladivostok, Russia when Dmitri was 12. His mother earned an engineering degree and Dmitri became a traveling CPA, assisting Tribal governments to balance their books and keep grant money flowing to much-needed projects. He is an innovator, too, selling products he's invented and designed on the Internet. His travels have taught him the struggles many Alaskans go through, especially with the unaffordable health insurance (the highest in the nation) there. Dmitri believes that "universal healthcare is the only logical healthcare model that can provide both the best patient outcome, and lower the cost of medicine."
Mary Matiella (D)
Mary is running in the 2nd District for Congress. The daughter of farm workers, she knows the value of hard work. Her lovely intro video is great, but hard to get a bio from, so we recommend you go to her website and watch!
Mary obviously knows right from wrong, something we need desperately in Washington! As she says about healthcare, "While most prosperous countries have moved to a universal health care system, we have stayed in a “sick care” system that costs more and provides less. Medicare for All would drastically reduce administrative costs, help with negotiating drug prices, and encourage preventative care. Because Medicare for All will save billions of dollars annually, providing health care for all Americans is not only the right thing to do, it will actually save lives and money, too." You got it, Mary!
Joan Greene (PD)
Joan is running for the House in the 5th District. And she brings a bipartisan genetic tie to politics to this race. Her grandmother, her grandfather (both Democrat politicians), and her cousin, who was a three-term chairman of the Arizona Republican Party clearly fueled an interest in public policy, government and actively serving her community, as well as bipartisanship. Joan is also a successful entrepreneur with 30 years of success in marketing which started with serving non-profits and now has billion-dollar clients.
Joan brings some unique arguments to her support for universal healthcare. She vows to "make sure that Congress does not try to sneak in 'genetic predisposed' law or discriminate against the LGBTQA Community to stop them from receiving the coverage they deserve. And much to our delight, Joan would introduce a bill "that would allow sealed and unexpired medications to be donated to approved clinics for disbursement to those who need the medicine but cannot afford it."
We hope Joan will carry on her family's political legacy by being a tenacious fighter for Medicare for ALL!
Garrick McFadden (D)
Garrick is running from the 6th district and his love of learning was instilled in him early on by his public school teacher parents. It motivated him to Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. At BVU, he was selected to interview Nobel Peace Prize winner F.W. de Klerk who told Garrick how lawyers and activists were responsible for ending Apartheid. After that, he knew he wanted to be a force for good and he attended law school at USC. He later earned his Masters in Business Taxation and has used his knowledge to help small business and Internet start-ups reach their potential.
Garrick's statement on healthcare is one of the most unique. Not only is he a passionate advocate for the rights of the disabled, being directly impacted by disability himself, but he says something we all need to hear: "Transitioning to a Medicare-for-all, single-payer system is necessary. The transition, however, will likely not be easy and involve work." We agree wholeheartedly - that's why we need Garrick in Congress!
Kevin de Leon (PD)
Kevin de Leon (sorry about the lack of accent mark) is now our endorsee to unseat Diane Feinstein in the Senate.
Kevin has served in the California State Legislature, first in the Assembly for four years and then, since 2010, in the Senate. Senator de León was elected by his colleagues to lead the Senate in 2014, making him the first Latino to hold the position of President pro Tempore in over a century. During his time in the Senate, he's pursued an agenda to increase economic opportunity for all Californians with a focus on maintaining California’s global leadership role in fighting climate change and building a clean-energy economy, rebuilding the state’s infrastructure, public education, work-place and healthcare, equity for women, immigrants, and low-wage workers and public safety.
Kevin is passionate about making life better for Californians and Americans and that includes healthcare. While Feinstein sits on the sidelines continuing to take Big Pharma money ($84,000 according to Open Secrets) with other ACA incrementalists, Kevin pledges to lead the fight for Medicare for All in Washington as he has in Sacramento.
"Even with all the progress of the ACA, 28.6 million Americans don’t have health insurance and cannot access healthcare. Forty-five percent of uninsured adults said they remained uninsured because the cost of health insurance was too high. Across the U.S, many people aren’t offered coverage through their employer, and in states that did not expand Medicaid, many poor adults are ineligible for financial assistance...A recent study found that 28 percent of all adults are underinsured."
In 2018 alone, the health sector spent over $500 million on lobbying and hired over two thousand lobbyists. Thus, politicians get rich and the people don't get what they need and demand. For Kevin, that's why he supports Medicare for All. "The evidence is clear that a single payer health care system will decrease costs and offer coverage to all Americans."
Ro is the third incumbent we're endorsing and he serves the people of the 17th District. We set the bar a little higher for incumbents, as they have records we can research to ensure that they aren't just thinking of political expediency when voicing their support for H.R. 676 or "Medicare for All." We are happy that Ro has been such a consistent, outspoken advocate for single-payer.
Ro's parents immigrated to the United States and Ro was born in Philadelphia in 1976, and learned the value of education and hard work from his parents. Ro’s father studied engineering at the University of Michigan; his mother was a substitute teacher. Ro benefited from a quality public school education and took out student loans to attend great universities, which he is still paying off today. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in economics from the University of Chicago, and received a law degree from Yale University.
Ro became involved in politics while attending the University of Chicago, where he worked on the campaign of a little-known candidate for state Senate named Barack Obama. Later, Ro worked on Obama’s presidential campaign.
In 2009, President Obama appointed Ro to serve as Deputy Assistant Secretary at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Ro broke new ground when he organized clean technology trade missions and expanded the Green Embassy program, which allows American clean technology firms to showcase their products in our embassies overseas. Ro also served on the White House Business Council, where he worked with both business and labor for policies that promote to bring back American manufacturing jobs.
In 2016, Ro was elected to Congress. He is one of only six members of Congress who does not accept PAC contributions, continuing his efforts to keep politics and special interest money separate. He serves as a member of the Committee on the Budget and the Committee on Armed Services in Congress. In Congress, Ro serves as a strong voice for a progressive vision that promotes good jobs and wages for the 17th district and the United States of America.
On healthcare, he sas, "I support Medicare for All and remain committed to making it a reality. I supported HR 676, which would guarantee health care for under a single payer system. This would involve removing Big Pharma profits, hospital monopolies and facility fees from the equation, saving nearly $17 trillion."
Kenneth Mejia (G)
Kenneth is running in the 34th District and shockingly to some (but not to us), he made history as the first Green Party candidate to get this far, coming in second in CA's "jungle primary" where the top two candidates, regardless of party, oppose each other in the general election. We highly recommend that you read the Meet Kenneth section at his website. Kenneth and his family have overcome hardship and he has accomplished many thing academically and professionally that men twice his age would consider reason to brag. But though Kenneth is the one Green candidate who's not close to destitute and could've just sat back and banked his paycheck, he's chosen instead to be an active warrior for justice in his community and hopes to in Congress as well. California 34th voters - send him there!
Ammar Campa-Najjar (PD)
Ammar won his primary in the 50th District, a traditionally conservative area, currently represented (sort of) by Duncan D. Hunter, a Republican who, in 2009, succeeded his father Duncan L.
Ammar was born in EastCounty, the son of a Palestinian Muslim father and a Mexican Catholic mother. He was raised in San Diego until the family moved to Gaza for four years. When war broke out and it became unsafe to remain, Ammar, his mother and brother returned to San Diego. The family struggled, and Ammar sought work as a janitor in a church, where he later became a youth leader. He attended community college and graduated from San Diego State University, after taking time off to help reelect President Obama.
Following the election, Ammar secured a White House position in the Executive Office of President Obama, but when he was unable to afford the move to DC, he secured a loan to serve on the team that selected the 10 letters that the president read every night.
He then worked at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) before moving on to the U.S. Department of Labor where Ammar led the Office of Public Affairs for the Employment and Training Administration (ETA). There he was instrumental in promoting a nationwide an "earn while you learn job" that pays apprentice workers an average of $60,000 a year.
He built up his political knowledge and experience during his years in government employment, and on healthcare he displays his political saavy, giving Party-liners what they want to hear with, "Congress must fix the ACA, not undermine it and tear it down with nothing to replace it...If elected, I would vote to take immediate action to (1) lower the cost of prescription drugs by having Medicare negotiate prices, (2) provide a public option to compete with the private sector based on who provides lower costs and higher quality service and (3) as a short-term solution, allow individuals ages 50-64 years old to buy into medicare."
But he also has a separate page for Medicare for All on which he says, "A Medicare for All system would set prices for medical services and prescription drugs. It could eliminate deductibles, co-pays, premiums and caps on cost-sharing. It could also promote better care, and reduce unnecessary services, through evidence-based guidelines. Removing private insurance industry profits from the system frees billions of dollars for providing healthcare to more Americans...If elected to Congress, I would be proud to support Medicare for All." And with that, we are proud to support him!
Joe won his primary and is running in the 2nd District. Joe’s parents fled Eritrea, a war-torn country in East-Africa, and immigrated to the United States as refugees, eventually settling in Colorado, where he and his sister were raised. As hardworking immigrants and naturalized citizens, Joe’s parents taught him never to forgot or take for granted the freedom and opportunities the United States gave them and their children. He credits that for his drive to give back through public service.
First, after graduating from the University of Colorado at Boulder summa cum laude and working for the then-Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives, Andrew Romanoff, Joe co-founded New Era Colorado, the state’s largest youth voter registration and mobilization non-profit in Colorado. It has since registered over 150,000 young people to vote, secured successful passage of progressive legislation at the state level (including online voter registration and 16/17 year-old voter preregistration), and has led the fight locally against climate change.
While still in law school at University of Colorado Boulder (CU), Joe was elected in 2008 by the voters of the 2nd Congressional District to serve on the CU Board of Regents, the second African-American to be elected Regent in Colorado’s history. Joe served a six-year term on the Board fighting to make higher education more affordable and accessible and to build consensus on tough issues, sponsoring several resolutions that received bi-partisan and unanimous support, including efforts to lower student health insurance costs and make voter registration more accessible to students, as well as working to increase wages for the University’s lowest-paid workers.
Following his term as a Regent, Joe was appointed at the age of 31 to lead the state’s consumer protection agency, making him one of the youngest people to serve in a state-Cabinet across the country. He led the department—an agency with roughly 600 employees and a $90 million budget—for two years, leading the fight to expand economic opportunities by protecting the civil rights of every Coloradan and strengthening consumer protections and safeguards. During his tenure the agency achieved key victories, including the recovery of millions of dollars for consumers, investigations culminating in significant financial-fraud cases, the championing of legislation to combat financial fraud against seniors, and launch of the state’s first online filing system for civil rights discrimination complaints. In recognition of his work to expand the agency’s consumer protection mission, Joe was awarded the 2017 “Consumer Protection Award” by the international Council on Licensure, Enforcement and Regulation.
Along with his leadership and financial skills, Joe is also someone who truly cares about how people are affected by policies that perpetuate injustice and inequality, including healthcare. He supports, "The right to quality health-care, which means opposing efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, fighting for the Expanded & Improved Medicare-For-All Act, which would ensure universal healthcare coverage, and fighting to decrease prescription drug costs ..."
Kerri Evelyn Harris is running for the Senate in Delaware against 17-year establishment Democratic incumbent Tom Carper. Kerri has a unique life story, coming from a diverse, multicultural family that instilled values of equality, opportunity, and respect for all people, regardless of background. Her parents were advocates and organizers who taught their children the value of public service.
Kerri first answered the call to service in the aftermath of 9/11. As a loadmaster in the Air Force, she transported troops and equipment from Dover to bases across the Middle East, Europe, and Africa. Following the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, she volunteered with Habitat for Humanity rebuilding houses along the Gulf Coast.She credits being an airman by day and a volunteer construction worker by night as "one of the most meaningful times in my life." Kerri's time in the military was cut short prematurely when she was medically retired from active duty in 2008, but not before she saw the diversity, greatness, and challenges faced by societies across the world.
She returned to civilian life in the depths of the Great Recession, and, like millions of Americans, struggled to make ends meet. She worked multiple jobs—from cutting grass to frying chicken at a chain gas station—and she and her family were able to scrape by. While working on cars in an auto body shop, when time allowed, Kerri volunteered with the local Red Cross, at homeless shelters, and coached her daughter’s soccer team.
Most recently, Kerri has been serving the Delaware community. As the Program Director for Achievement Matters, she leads a team working with youth to close the educational achievement gap. Through the Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League, she teaches young people how to fight for social change. She also works with the Center for Popular Democracy on solutions to the opioid crisis, healthcare, immigration, and taxes, and as the Kent County Coordinator for Network Delaware, she's organizing to increase engagement throughout Delaware.
Her healthcare position is no-nonsense and inclusive of all the things we at DUH would like to see:
"A single-payer/”Medicare-for-All” system that includes dental and vision
Allowing people to buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada
Protecting Medicaid funding
Preventing “Big Pharma” from price gouging
Increasing taxes and fees on opioids to pay for drug treatment and prevention (without costs being shifted to the consumer)
Banning “gag clauses” preventing pharmacists from sharing about generic drugs
Protecting a woman’s right to choose
Eliminating racial and socio-economic disparities in the healthcare system"
Kerri is our only candidate in Delaware and we hope she'll have your vote!
Tamika Lyles (PD)
Tamika is running for the Senate to unseat Bill Nelson and what a great replacement she would be! The daughter of a single mom who taught her a strong work ethic, she excelled in school, graduating early and pursuing a pre-med degree. However, a great teacher opened her eyes to the world of law and policy and she changed her focus to Law.
After serving in the Air Force Reserve medical squadron during the Iraq war, she returned to earn her law degree at the Birmingham School of Law.
After moving to Florida, Tamika recognized the unjust barriers many Americans encountered when pursuing social security or disability claims and she founded a non-profit organization specializing in mediation: negotiating fair treatment for victims of civil rights violations, and finding solutions for those facing homelessness due to eviction.
Tamika recognizes the intersection between healthcare and poverty, injustice, and quality of life. We have no doubt she will be a force to be reckoned with!
Tom Wells (PD)
Tom is running in the 3rd District, the seat that Republican Ted Yoho currently holds. This is a smart guy. He holds a PhD. in Physics/Nuclear Theory and has, over the course of his career, authored numerous papers, licensed software, and taught short courses in radome technology, microwave material characterization, and design optimization at the Georgia Tech Research Institute.
In 2006, he founded World Radomes Inc. (WRI) "to pursue opportunities to advance the State of the Art in ground based radomes." And if you even know what a radome is, you might be blown away by all that WRI has accomplished! See his resume at his website!
One thing seems certain - Tom would be a welcome addition in Congress to the "Science Caucus" of progressive scientists we've endorsed! What a blissful thing - to have big, functional, thinking, MINDS in Congress instead of pea-brain, self-centered ideologues!
Like most of our scientists, Tom clears away the bullshit and got our vote by his first sentence on healthcare. "The time is now to implement a single-payer health care system and provide healthcare to every American as a right."
Chardo Richardson (PD)
Chardo is running in Florida's 7th district. He's endorsed by Brand New Congress and Justice Democrats, but he is more than a cookie-cutter candidate. A native of Mississippi, Chardo was the guy who protected other kids from bullies, served in the Air Force and witnessed with compassion the injustice, oppression, and injustice that people struggle with in other countries. His response was to work with the oppressed, here and abroad, and to earn a law degree which he's put to good use fighting the endless battles the ACLU dedicates itself to. Ending mass incarceration is his special cause, but we'd love it if he would speak out against the fourth-world country healthcare most inmates are subjected to! We look forward to seeing and hearing more of Chardo's own words and feelings as debates begin!
Tim is running in the 23rd District as an Independent this time, after being screwed by Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the DNC in 2016 (we endorsed him then, too). We applaud his courage and wisdom (hey, Bernie! LEARN from his example!).
Born and raised on Long Island in Merrick, New York, Tim had strong family ties to South Florida before moving there in the mid-1990s. He is from an immigrant half Italian Catholic, half Jewish family, which taught him the traditional values of honesty and hard work. As a teenager and young man, he worked in a wide variety of manual labor jobs, from delivering newspapers and cutting lawns to pumping gas, painting houses, loading trucks in a plastics factory, and picking avocados on a kibbutz in northern Israel.
Tim completed his undergraduate studies in government and economics at Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, earned a law degree, with honors, at the Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., and was a Swedish Institute Visiting Scholar at the University of Stockholm.
As a legislative aide to the late U.S. Senator Paul Tsongas (Democrat, Massachusetts), Tim worked on a range of regulatory and human rights issues. While working on Capitol Hill, Tim began warning about the rise of Wall Street special interests and the assault on working families.
In the 1990s, while an associate attorney at a prominent law firm and then as a visiting professor at the University of Miami, Tim opposed efforts to weaken the 1933 Glass-Steagall Act firewalls that had separated commercial banking from the risky securities markets. He was again prescient with his warnings about the growing bubble in housing prices and was obviously right - Florida still has the highest rate of foreclosure in the country.
Tim left Miami for a tenure-track teaching position at the University of New Mexico School of Law, where he was granted early tenure in 2003. While in Albuquerque, Tim spearheaded a successful grassroots lobbying campaign to abolish the state’s felony disenfranchisement law that had barred about six percent of the state’s voting age population from voting for life, often for non-violent drug offenses. Ever since, he has opposed the misguided “war on drugs” and the privatization of prisons that has resulted in the perverse incentive of warehousing people for profit.
After New Mexico, Tim taught at Chapman University in Southern California, became an endowed professor in International Economic Law, and served as the academic associate dean.
In 2011, Tim took part in the Occupy Wall Street movement, teaching a workshop on the Federal Reserve at the Occupy Los Angeles encampment. He was also selected by U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders to serve on an advisory committee on Federal Reserve reform along with other leading economists.
Tim moved back to South Florida in 2012 for a teaching position at the Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law where he is a professor of law and public finance.
Tim's run as an Independent gives him the freedom to step up his fierce activism on the issues that Floridians most care about and we were pleased to read his page on the issue of healthcare. He may start out praising the ACA as a more glorious step forward than it is, but he is no ACA apologist. " I firmly believe that health care is a universal human right and it is because of this that I want to improve upon the Affordable Care Act, by moving to a “Medicare for all” single-payer health care system that would guarantee every citizen health care as a basic right."
Welcome back, Tim!
Michael Hepburn (PD)
Michael is running for the House from the FL 27th. He is a Justice Democrat and also part of a Brand New Congress! Michael's story is one of inspiration and success through both education and early community service. A native of Miami, he bloomed while attending a magnet school and the world of possibility opened up when he and his team won the distinguished Miami Herald Silver Knight in Athletics from Miami Central Senior High. He attended college and entered the professional world with confidence, working in businesses like Target and Nike and then with the NFL.
President Obama's election inspired Michael to to decide to return to grad school where today he uses his Masters degree in Higher Education Administration as a Senior Academic Advisor for the School of Business at the University of Miami.
Though he has thoughtfully broken down "the healthcare mess" into several solutions, we liked his simple statement: "There has always been a simple solution to our health care mess: cover everyone with Medicare." Touchdown!
Lisa Ring (PD)
Lisa is running in the Georgia 1st. As a military wife, a military mother, and a former corrections officer, we have no doubt that she's tough enough to handle Congress! We were pleased to see Medicare for All listed as her first priority and part of her progressive agenda.
Josh McCall (PD)
Josh is running in GA's 9th District. The son of two factory workers, Josh learned about hard work early. He also learned about job lock as his father , now retired from Lockheed, drove 100 miles each way to work every day, in large part so that he could get good insurance for his family.
Josh earned a B.A. in English and a Masters in English Education from the University of North Georgia, as well as a Masters in Classical Languages from the University of Georgia. He's been teaching high school since 2003, with some of those years spent as an instructor in college at UNG. Josh, his wife Jenifer, and heir three girls have resided in Gainesville, GA.
Josh has a unique view of the path to single-payer. He favors a "National American Health Service, similar to the British NHS. We may very welll get there someday, but for now we really liked his reasoning - "From birth to death, every American must have guaranteed access to life-saving health care without a price tag, because our lives are worth more than money."
Kaniela Ing (PD)
Kaniela is running in Hawaii's 1st District. Raised by a single mother, he saw hardship in his community that inspired him to run, at age 22 in a Republican District, for the State House. He won and held office for six years.Though he doesn't say much about Medicare for All, Kaniela is the only candidate who even mentions it. That, his progressive record, and extensive platform won us over!
Liz won her primary in Indiana's 9th District. A native of Bloomington, IN, she started down a political path with her favorite job in her youth - interning with Congressman Frank McCloskey’s district office. From there, she went to college and Georgetown Law School. During law school, Liz represented victims of domestic violence and helped them get orders of protection from their abusers. After law school, she went on to represent moms who were being denied assistance, simply because they couldn’t do a work assignment without adequate child care for their kids. She also represented working people in low-wage jobs who were treated unfairly—some were victims of pregnancy discrimination, others were unfairly denied unemployment compensation, others got fired over the need to take time off to care for family members.
Working for people the economy has left behind, Liz saw that impossibly low wages are not the only problem, it’s working conditions too. She says, "Our laws have yet to acknowledge the reality of people’s lives – parents working two jobs who need affordable child care, daughters and sons caring for aging parents who need paid family leave, women who need equal pay, people who made mistakes in their lives who need a second chance, and working people who need stronger protections for organizing so that we can restore unions’ strength."
Liz held jobs as the director of workplace justice at the National Women’s Law Center, as the executive director of the Georgetown Poverty Center, and as the Labor Policy Director for Democrats in the United States Congress.
Liz led the development of the $15 minimum wage bill in the House, and worked with Senator Sanders' staff when he introduced the companion bill in the Senate. She drafted first-of-its-kind legislation to end the practice of calling people into work on a couple of hours’ notice and telling them if they don’t report, they’re fired. Senator Warren introduced this legislation for the first time three Congresses ago. Since then, it’s been introduced in cities and states across the country. Liz brought a Working Families Agenda to the United States Congress.
She has a complicated stand on healthcare, including some ACA incrementalism, but she got our vote when she said, "A solid majority of the American people believe that the federal government should insure, and ensure, universal health care coverage. That is why I support the Expanded and Improved Medicare for All Act of 2017, H.R. 676. It is the only proposal on the table that will accomplish the three essential goals of universal coverage, quality care, and affordability."
Brent Welder (PD)
Brent is running in the 3rd District. we are thrilled that there is a powerful progressive like Brent to take over our endorsement of Chris Haulmark, the first Deaf candidate, who withdrew.
Brent was raised a few hours from Kansas City in a small town in Iowa. When Brent was young, his parents worked hard to support their family. During Brent’s high school years his mother, a social worker, took heating assistance to get her and her five children through the cold Iowa winters. They only had three small bedrooms, so Brent made his out of a closet in their concrete basement. His parents imparted their children with a sense of hard work and optimism that kept them happy and healthy. The most important rules in their household were to never lie, and to always help others.
Brent later worked his way through college, pouring concrete in the summer heat, and waiting tables on nights and weekends. Now a labor lawyer and national worker’s rights advocate, Brent keeps these memories close, and has spent his entire life fighting for working families in Kansas and across the country.
Brent held key positions with Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, and Patrick Murphy, the first Iraq Veteran elected to the U.S. Congress. As National Field Director for the Teamsters union, Brent organized over a million union members for better wages, benefits, and workplace safety. After law school, instead of joining a big corporate law firm, Brent continued with his passion—supporting workers’ rights as designated legal counsel for a national labor union. In these roles, Brent worked with local and national leaders to create better paying jobs, revitalize small businesses, and achieve better access to good healthcare.
Brent's wife Kristie, also a labor lawyer, served as Latino Outreach Director for the Kansas Democratic Party in the 3rd Congressional District, helping to elect Congressman Dennis Moore and Governor Kathleen Sebelius. Brent and Kristie have two daughters.
Brent won our endorsement by pledging to support Medicare for All and "fight to end the double standard in health care—where members of Congress give themselves premium health care while everyone else gets second-rate insurance or goes without."
Zak Ringelstein (PD)
Zak is running for the Senate and comes to the table with a strong background in education. He has taught in Maine's public schools, worked on early childhood education policy at the White House, gave a TEDx Talk on standardized testing, and collaborated with Senator Mark Warner and Representative Gabby Giffords to facilitate nationwide civics lessons in schools (clearly urgently needed!). He states clearly that Medicare for All will be his top priority - DUH approves!
Alexandra is running to represent Massachusetts' 3rd District. She may be one of them most unique candidates we've endorsed. While in law school, Alexandra and her wife Cathy lived in New York City. During the 9/11 attacks Cathy was on a subway train under lower Manhattan when the towers fell. Alexandra spent hours not knowing if she survived.
That day, Alexandra made the decision to join the intelligence community, where she served for 12 years in Naval Intelligence preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction and targeting arms smuggling to war zones and terrorist groups. She was also assigned to the Pentagon to enforce the same high standards of excellence and professional ethics across all military intelligence agencies that she set in leading her own division of analysts. Alexandra is the only candidate in this race who has worked in national security. As a former intelligence analyst, she will lead in the effort to stand up for our democracy against threats foreign and domestic. She will work to ensure Russia never dares to interfere with our elections again.
Alexandra knows something about courage: in 2006, as a transgender woman, she was one of the first in the U.S. intelligence community to transition on the job. She got things done against some of the toughest challenges in the world, and will work across boundaries to get things done in Congress.
But she also knows the struggles that Americans face every day. Alexandra and her wife juggled student loan debt and the cost of day care for their two sons because neither had paid family leave. Alexandra understands the difference economic security and health security can make in a person’s life. Growing up, she witnessed her father diagnosed with a devastating illness, struggle with addiction, and lose a job, putting emotional and financial stress on the family.
Reading her Healthcare issue page was at first disappointing, as the first paragraphcould have been taken from the Democratic Party script, but then it got interesting as Alexandra took her own path. "I join associations of doctors, nurses, and patient advocates in supporting a deliberative transition to a Medicare for All system where we cut out the middlemen in healthcare and put patients before profits, she says. She then states, "I will vote for the Conyers-Sanders “Medicare for All” bill, and will offer amendments to add critical details currently missing in the legislation on the specifics of an incremental expansion of Medicare and the sustainment of essential Medicaid programs including for people living with disabilities and seniors." She favors the Medicare buy-in for both employers and those 55 to 64, allowing Medicare to negotiate drug prices, supporting community health centers, urgent care clinics, and telemedicine, and using oversight and budget powers to resist and rollback administration rules that create a "license to discriminate" against women and LGBT people via conscience exemptions.
Alexandra has obviously learned from her own experiences, as well as educating herself on the need for and benefits of single-payer healthcare. We wish all those in Congress would do the same!
Rob Davidson (PD)
Dr. Rob Davidson, like the vast majority of ER doctors, is a strong advocate for NIMA. He's running from Michigan's 2nd district. A lifelong Michigander, Rob serves families in small communities across West Michigan, caring for and saving the lives of thousands of patients each year. He’s running for Congress because he believes that all Americans deserve quality, comprehensive healthcare. Healthcare for all ensures all families have peace of mind knowing that a medical emergency, a major surgery, a trip to the ER, or a child with special needs won’t lead to bankruptcy and financial ruin. All too often Rob’s seen how patients put off treatment because they couldn’t afford going to a doctor, putting their lives and the lives of their loved ones at risk.
Dion Adams (PD)
Dion is running in the 5th District. He has, like many MI candidates, decided to challenge the status quo which, in Michigan, has been worse in the last eight years than in most places. He is a true progressive, but also a "regular guy," set to represent people like him. He's the retired owner of a small business - Underdog Diesel - and the current vice-chair of the Mecosta County Democratic Party.
Dion is a true advocate for M4A, but we give him special applause for this - "You will hear a lot of rhetoric this election cycle about "access" to affordable health insurance. As nice as that sounds, it doesn't address who gets what type of access, or what's defined as affordable. It also leaves insurance companies in the driver's seat, deciding the kind of care you receive."
David Benac (PD)
David is running from the 6th district. He grew up in Alpena, Michigan, in a large family that has roots in the area that go back four generations. His grandparents' farm and their small, family sawmill dominated his early days. Then, after high school, he headed to East Lansing, where he earned a B.A. in history at Michigan State. He continued on to the University of Missouri to complete his Masters and PhD in history.
His education led him to Louisiana, where he began his career as a history professor. He credits his years there as offering “experiences that I could have found nowhere else on earth,” but when the chance came to return home to Michigan in 2013, he took it and joined the history faculty at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.
Teaching wasn’t his only focus, though. In his first months on the job, the faculty elected him as a member of the Association Council of the American Association of University Professors. Within his first year, he was also serving on the Kalamazoo Historic Preservation Council. In the years that followed, he helped found Organize West Michigan, became co-chair of the Environmental Task Force of ProKzoo, joined the steering committee for the Kalamazoo Complete Streets Initiative, co-chaired the Kalamazoo Earth Day Festival, won election to Vice Chair of the Michigan Democratic Party Environmental Caucus, and was a delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders to the Platform Committee of the Democratic National Committee.
His obviously well-informed position on healthcare is definitely worth reading completely and we urge you to go to his website and do so. One of the most effective points he makes is, “Health care costs for employees often account for the largest portion of American businesses’ expenses. The three biggest U.S. automakers combined spend almost seven billion dollars per year just in health care costs.”
We also loved his challenge to the current scam of the public option being pushed by corporate Democrats in Congress. “In its most current incarnation, the public option would be little different from private health insurance other than it would be available to every American. This version of the public option would compete with private insurance but would not offer significantly lower costs other than to the least healthy or those in the most need of significant health care...The public option, much like proposals to expand Medicare or Medicaid, presents an opportunity to make a great leap forward but does not go far enough to solve the persistent problems in our healthcare system.”
And the cherry on top of the sundae, “The real solution to our health care crisis is a single-payer, universal system of health care coverage provided by the federal government. This is the only approach that offers the opportunity to control costs, ensure that every single person in the country is covered, and guarantees the highest quality.” Yep, David was our first endorsee from Michigan and that’s why.
Steve Friday (PD)
Steve is running in the Michigan 7th District. He was born and raised in Metro Detroit and Steve’s parents provided great examples of a strong work ethic and instilled in their children very idealistic views of what it means to be a good person, despite hard times. Steve continues to hold those values. He feels strongly that it is important to strive to put people and relationships before personal gain. Steve has vowed to himself that he will never get ahead by holding someone else back, or by exploiting people to get what he wants.
Although Steve initially worked in fast food, retail, manufacturing and other service industries, he has spent most of his career working in the fields of social work, case management, research, and community organizing. In his experience working with people, he has assisted them with issues including special health care needs, financial hardships, disabilities, health crises, Medicare, Medicaid, social security-disability benefits, sexual abuse, substance abuse, violence, serious mental health issues, unemployment, aging, and death and dying. Steve is also a proud Air Force veteran and understands the importance of treating others with unconditional positive regard and has been gifted with the ability to connect with people from all walks of life.
Steve strongly believes in fairness and equality for everyone and believes that it is imperative to apply any influence one has to pressure leaders and the systems in which they function to guarantee that others without such influence or privilege are treated fairly. It is his firm belief that it is always the responsibility of those who have experienced success to prioritize giving back and supporting those who face difficult challenges.
Having seen people mistreated by our government on numerous occasions, Steve routinely organizes resistance to these attacks. There is now a critical mass of people willing to combat this corruption. As he says, "This is not a fight to save the democracy we thought we had: this is a fight to create a true democracy."
He lists 16 issues he deems vital to that goal, with "Healthcare For All" at the top of the list. With each issue, he provides a sentence or two about his position. This is healthcare's: "Healthcare is a human right and should be provided to all people from conception to death. We believe healthcare should include any hospital, convalescent hospital, health maintenance organization, health clinic, nursing home, extended care facility, or other institution devoted to the care of sick, infirm, or aged person." Not a ringing endorsement of Medicare for All, but we know he's working with Medicare for All Michigan who will no doubt make sure he knows the facts and benefits of H.R. 676 before he's in Congress!
Chris Smith (PD)
Chris is running in MI's 8th District. Coming soon! But his healthcare position is great!
"If we do not make Medicare for All our goal, we will not work toward this important objective. It is not adequate to simply revise the Affordable Care Act. We know from sad experience that the Republicans picked apart the ACA with lawsuits, governors prevented the expansion of Medicaid in several states, and the law always left several million Americans unprotected. We need comprehensive, universal, single-payer health care that includes prescription coverage."
Andy Levin (PD)
Andy is running for the 9th District. His knowledge of the healthcare system is undebateable. He not only has two children who suffer from Crohn's disease, but he is a two-time cancer survivor himself. He gets it - "Health care must be universal. I am sick and tired – and I believe most Americans are sick and tired – of talking about health insurance and coverage when we should be talking about quality care...I am not shy to tell you that Mary and I would have gone bankrupt three or four times over if we did not have good health insurance.
"Enough is enough. Let us say plainly that as a matter of basic morality there are a few things that should not be left to the market to decide, and one is that every man, woman and child will have proper medical care from birth to old age."
Randy won the 1st District primary. Originally from Iuka MS, he has an interesting combination of experience. He has taught chemistry at the University of Mississippi for the last 14 years where his research focuses on developing improved antitumor drugs to treat cancer.
In 2015-2016, Randy worked as a Science & Technology Congressional Fellow in Washington, DC where he analyzed healthcare policy for Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN, Memphis). His scientific experience gave him the ability to critically analyze complex issues, a skill that is needed to get a handle on large issues such as healthcare. During this work, he learned about the complex mess of the current US healthcare system and saw that Washington sorely needs representatives who can tackle such issues.
Randy's experience working for Congressman Cohen has inspired him to run for Congress. He wants "to be a representative who reaches out to, and listens to, his constituents, even if we might sometimes disagree. I want to write policy and laws that help improve the lives of all of us." And that includes healthcare. "The only effective long-term solution to the problem is a single-payer system like Medicare for all. The version of “Medicare for all” put forth by Senator Bernie Sanders is sound and workable, but will be fiercely opposed by the health insurance lobby. Making record profits off sick people cannot continue unabated. Though the insurance industry will fight against single-payer insurance, some in the insurance industry are starting to realize that the current system is unsustainable. The CEO of Aetna recently told his employees that “we should have a debate” about single-payer health insurance coverage."
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Angelica Earl (PD)
Angelica is the only Democrat running against Blue Dog Claire McCaskill. As an ACA insurance verifier she heard enough horror stories to motivate her to run against the DINO McCaskill who "feel[s] that Obamacare can be fixed, that the budget is in such a huge deficit that we can't possibly afford universal healthcare." To Angelica - and DUH - that is not okay. Of course she will receive not a penny from the Democratic Party, anti-Progressive as they are, but Angelica has the guts to run anyway so we endorse her and urge you to send her a few bucks. Only by challenging the corrupt status quo (McCaskill took roughly $900,000 from healthcare industries in 2012) will we win the kind of Congress we're SUPPOSED to have!
Cori Bush (PD)
Cori is running in the 1st District which includes St. Louis. She has compelling proof that she knows exactly what people in her District worry about - what it's like to live paycheck to paycheck, how to put food on the table for her children, how to survive homelessness and domestic violence. Cori plans to take those experiences with her to Congress, using them to fight for the disadvantaged, the disenfranchised, and the voiceless. As a former registered nurse in the mental health field, she also has a passion for improving our healthcare system, especially for the mentally ill.
Robert Hazel (PD)
Robert is running in Missouri's 2nd District as " an old-fashioned, New Deal Democrat without equivocation, qualification or apology..." and we like him! He goes on to say, "I abhor the fear, hatred and prejudice prevalent in this country and want instead to see us offer Medicare for All, Equal Rights for Everyone, and Common Sense Gun Control, just to name three positions I support." Us, too, Robert!
But what would he say about healthcare? "MEDICARE FOR ALL looks like it is the very best way to dramatically reduce rising health care costs and perhaps the only way possible. In contract to what we currently have, which is unsustainable, the 12 point plan outlined in the link below [text fromHR 676] is workable, equitable and practical. If elected, I would add my name to the list of co-sponsors of this legislation."
Kara Eastman (PD)
Kara is running in Nebraska's 2nd District and was a surprise winner in her primary over the DCCC-backed Brad Ashford. Good for you Nebraska voters! Kara escaped our awareness in the primary, but we are now endorsing her for the general.
Kara was raised by her single mom and grandparents and her aspirations to "save the world" became a driving force early. She earned a degree in Soocial Work and, as many do who work in helping jobs, saw up close the struggles families were going thru. She then turned her passion for making things better by founding Omaha Healthy Kids Alliance, her small agency that turned into a nationally recognized, award-winning nonprofit that has raised more than $13 million to support green, safe, and healthy housing in Omaha. OHKA has directly served over 4,000 Nebraska families over the last decade.
In addition, Kara was elected to the Board of Governors of Metropolitan Community College in 2014, subsequently to be elected as Vice Chair of the Board. At MCC, she has strengthened the college’s non-discrimination policies, developed contractor training programs that created jobs in the community, and lead the initiative to ban tobacco usage on all campuses.
She will face Republican incumbent Don Bacon who will no doubt have Republican Party money and support, as he is a Trump sycophant. Kara says, "I’m not going to sit on the fence while our political system is assaulted and undermined by those who don’t represent Nebraska’s values. Nebraskans need someone who isn’t afraid of a fight, someone who will take the lead in healthcare, education, and climate change." We think she'll "send home the Bacon"just fine!
Paul Theobald (D)
Paul is running for Congress in Nebraska's 3rd District. He's a strong advocate for people in rural areas and has taught and written about rural life. What caught our eye was his comparison of Medicare for All to the strong community ethic that results in farmers pulling together to bring in a harvest if their neighbor gets sick. That kind of caring for each other is exactly what we need!
Lincoln Soldati (D)
Lincoln's running in the New Hampshire 1st District. He has a long history of community activism, as well as ascending the Democratic Party ladder, despite adhering to his progressive values in his positions on the school board, as County Attorney and as Mayor of Somersworth. His statement on healthcare may not be new or different, but in that he sort of reminded us of a certain other progressive from New England.
Deb Haaland is running for the 1st District. She won her primary over our former endorsee Pat Davis, who has since endorsed her. If she wins in November, she will be the first Native American woman in Congress as an enrolled member of the Pueblo of Laguna..
Deb is a single mom and was raised in a military family. Her father, who was a 30-year career Marine, is buried at Arlington National Cemetery for being awarded the Silver Star Medal for saving the lives of Marines in Vietnam in 1967. Deb's mom served in the Navy, and met and married Deb's dad while they were both stationed at Treasure Island.
Deb is a graduate of University of New Mexico (UNM) and UNM Law School; in 2016, Deb was appointed as an Honorary Commander of Kirtland Air Force Base to help create a better understanding of its missions - and the U.S. Air Force as a whole - among the community at large.
She has a long history of service to Democratic candidates and Progressive causes, including:
Democratic Lieutenant Governor nominee of New Mexico in 2014.
Served for one year (2012-2013) as Native American Caucus Chair for the Democratic Party of New Mexic.
Served as Vote manager for the 2012 Obama campaign and volunteered full-time for 2008 campaign.
Has volunteered for dozens of local and statewide Democratic campaigns, and for over a decade has worked to engage the
Native American community as voters and active constituents.
In 2005, led passage of SB 482, which she authored, in the New Mexico Legislature, to allow members of New Mexico Indian
tribes in-state tuition at higher education institutions, regardless of their residency.
In 2017, partnered with state LGBTQ civil rights leaders to help pass a ban on Conversion Therapy in New Mexico.
Deb is the first Native American Woman in the country to Chair a state party. In her term as state party chair, she led New Mexico to be one of only two states in the country to flip its State House from red to blue.
Deb traveled to Standing Rock and stood side by side with the Standing Rock people. After that, she led the divestment of the Democratic Party of New Mexico from Wells Fargo due to their significant investments in the Dakota Access Pipeline and for-profit immigration detention facilities.
Her experience as a leader and many qualifications to represent the people of NM-1 in Congress are undeniable and she says of healthcare, "It’s time to challenge corporate dominance over our health, and a corporate healthcare system that is inefficient, rocky, and wildly expensive. No American should face bankruptcy, death, or poverty because of a lack of healthcare. We need national public health insurance -- Medicare for All -- a model that has been proven across the world to lower costs, increase efficiency, and ensure the most people have access to care."
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DSA)
Alexandria is running in the 14th District. We regret waiting so long to endorse her, but after her campaign reached out tenaciously, we took another look at her much-improved website, watched a great video of her speaking about Medicare 4 All, and were solidly convinced that she may look like a Latina fashion model, but she's a fighter and definitely stand up for healthcare for everyone, along with the rest of her platform issues.
Alexandria was born in the Bronx into a proud Puerto Rican family, which motivates her to include in her platform acting in solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico to help end the suffering they are still going through thanks to Trump's ignoring their needs. She is a longtime educator, organizer and activist for the people in her community and beyond.
As fellow Democratic Socialists, we at DUH appreciate her take on the capitalistic approach to healthcare that we all suffer from. "Free market medicine leaves too many Americans struggling, often forced to make impossible choices between medicine and shelter, treatment and food." She goes on to say, "If we are to realize medical justice in our time, we must not only expand the Medicare program to all citizens but also broaden it to include access to vision, dental, and mental healthcare."
Go get 'em, Alexandria!
Phillip Price (D)
Philip is running in the Western N Carolina 11th District. Now that he won his primary, he is much stronger in support of Medicare for All. Be sure to check out his updated website where he says, "It’s long past time for health care to be made accessible to all. The only way to do that is to take the profit motive out of insurance. That’s why I support a Medicare for All healthcare system. My chief priority after being elected will be to work to pass a bill such as H.R. 676 Expanded & Improved Medicare For All Act."
J. Michael Galbraith (D)
Mike is running in the 5th District, currently the seat of Republican Bob Latta who voted against CHIP and for the draconian AHCA. A financial analyst, Mike obviously understands the benefits of Medicare for All to business and the economy.
Joe Manchik (G)
Joe is running in the 12th District. Joe is running for the Green Party and has no Green Party opponent in the May 8 primary or the special election on August 7 for the now vacant seat left by Republican Patrick Tiberi.
Unlike too many Greens, Joe is not running to lose, to gain ballot access, or to "keep the conversation going." He's in it to win it. In following the Green Party's 10 Key Principles, he is a strong advocate for single-payer healthcare. We were impressed by his quite extensive coverage of the facts - backed up by the actual bill (H.R. 676) and several videos - of not just healthcare but other social justice causes. His website is one of the most comprehensive, easy for anyone to understand, informative ones we've seen. We encourage Buckeyes in the 12th to visit it!
Joe believes that electing Green Party candidates, is key to passing Medicare for All. As he says, "If you want to see single-payer healthcare in your lifetime, I advise you to vote Green!"
and as he says, "If you want to see single-payer healthcare in your lifetime, I advise you to vote Green!"
Madeleine is running in PA's 4th District. Born and raised in Glenside, Pennsylvania, Madeleine got her start in politics around the dinner table with her five brothers, and thankfully, one sister. Discussions at the Dean house were never dull: debating politics and being quizzed on current events with the entire family. Soon after graduating from Abington High School, at age 18, she was elected to serve as a local committee-person.
At 19, Madeleine volunteered on her first campaign for Joe Hoeffel’s re-election to the state legislature — a seat she holds currently. While on the campaign trail, she met her future husband, PJ Cunnane, who was also serving as a committee-person.
Madeleine graduated from La Salle University, and earned her law degree at Widener University. Madeleine returned home and practiced law with the Philadelphia Trial Lawyers and went on to serve as the executive director. Mad then opened a small, three-woman law practice in Glenside, and served as in-house counsel for her husband’s growing bicycle business.
While she and PJ were raising three young sons, Mad changed career paths to serve as an assistant professor in the English Department at La Salle University for more than 10 years, teaching persuasive writing and rhetoric, business writing, legal writing and ethics. She continues to write and is a contributor to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News, Patriot News and other publications.
Madeleine then became a public servant herself. She served as a local township commissioner and soon after, was elected to be a state representative in 2012.
Since elected to the State House, Madeleine has been an outspoken member, championing progressive priorities like public education, combating addiction, equal rights, access to healthcare, ethics, criminal justice reform, and gun violence. Following the shooting at Sandy Hook, Madeleine founded and served as Co-Chair of the PA SAFE caucus. The group is an active coalition of legislators and advocates dedicated to passing legislation to end gun violence.
In a legislature comprised of only 19% women, Mad was appointed to the Governor’s Pennsylvania Commission for Women. The commission was designed to advise the governor on policies and legislation that promote equality and health.
Back home, Madeleine has worked closely with local officials to bring millions of dollars in infrastructure projects that promote safer, more livable, and greener communities to the area she represents.
Madeleine believes every person deserves to be able to have access to affordable, quality, and comprehensive healthcare and she supports "a single payer or Medicare for All bill that is economically balanced to fulfill the promise that our government made in 2010."
Madeleine also "stands unequivocally with women in their right to control their own bodies. She believes safe, accessible, quality reproductive health is a fundamental right and need of our communities. As a member of the Women’s Health Caucus and an appointee to Governor Tom Wolf’s Commission for Women, Madeleine has helped ensure that a woman’s right to choose is protected and will continue to protect any and all attacks to Roe V Wade as a member of Congress."
Mary Gay Scanlon won her primary in the 5th District. She attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School after graduating cum laude from Colgate University. Mary Gay then served as a Judicial Clerk for the Superior Court of Pennsylvania.
Mary Gay began her advocacy for children with the Support Center for Child Advocates where she has served as a volunteer attorney or board member since 1985. This led to her appointment as co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Commission on Children at Risk, continuing her fight for better lives for children. She then served as an attorney for the Education Law Center of Pennsylvania where she fought for access to a quality public education and the rights of students with disabilities. At the Education Law Center, she led two class action lawsuits to enforce the rights of students with disabilities. Additionally, she represented parents and students in individual cases to defend and enforce their rights.
Her expertise in education law and policy led to her being appointed to state-wide interagency councils implementing federal special education laws. She testified before the Pennsylvania legislature about the ill-effects of zero-tolerance policies, drafted legislative and regulatory proposals and produced training materials about many other areas surrounding Pennsylvania education policy.
From 2007 until 2015 Mary Gay was an elected Democrat on the Wallingford Swarthmore School Board where she was then elected as Vice President and President of the Board. Being involved in local-level government has given Mary Gay a deep understanding of how government works at its most basic level. Faced with vastly differing opinions from members of the board, Mary Gay excelled at finding creative, common sense compromises that led to real and positive results for students.
Mary Gay has served as the national Pro Bono Counsel at Ballard Spahr for 14 years. In that role, she directs and supervises over 650 lawyers in 15 offices providing more than 43,000 hours of pro bono legal services annually to low income clients and nonprofit organizations. The practice From the beginning, Mary Gay Scanlon’s career has been dedicated to serving others and fighting for children, women, the disenfranchised and underserved. Mary Gay Scanlon has been fighting for progressive values for over 35 years.
Her expertise in education law and policy led to her being appointed to state-wide interagency councils implementing federal special education laws. She testified before the Pennsylvania legislature about the ill-effects of zero-tolerance policies, drafted legislative and regulatory proposals and produced training materials about many other areas surrounding Pennsylvania education policy.
From 2007 until 2015 Mary Gay was an elected Democrat on the Wallingford Swarthmore School Board where she was then elected as Vice President and President of the Board. Being involved in local-level government has given Mary Gay a deep understanding of how government works at its most basic level. Faced with vastly differing opinions from members of the board, Mary Gay excelled at finding creative, common sense compromises that led to real and positive results for students.
Mary Gay has served as the national Pro Bono Counsel at Ballard Spahr for 14 years. In that role, she directs and supervises over 650 lawyers in 15 offices providing more than 43,000 hours of pro bono legal services annually to low income clients and nonprofit organizations. This nationally-recognized pro bono practice has worked on critical issues such as fighting for fair pay and equitable treatment for women; assisting those fleeing violence and persecution. They represent refugees, seekers of political asylum, victims of crime, domestic violence, and human trafficking (more uregently now, wiith the Trump administration seeking to implement unconstitutional restrictions and bans on travel to the United States and deportation of long term residents); serving as legal observers for the massive Women’s March on January 21, 2017 protecting the right to peaceably assemble; implementing the Wills for Heroes program which provides free estate planning for veterans and first responders; and assisting the previously incarcerated with clearing their records, enabling them to fully participate and re-integrate into society, as well as representing juveniles whose constitutional rights have been violated. She and her colleagues have obtained 29 Presidential grants of clemency for nonviolent offenders.
Mary Gay has fought to protect the right to vote, serving as Co-Chair of the Voting Rights Task Force of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, a program that combats voter suppression and gerrymandering.
Mary Gay and her husband Mark Stewart have raised three children Casey, Daniel and Matthew. All three children graduated from Wallingford-Swarthmore public schools. Mary Gay and Mark reside in Swarthmore with their two rescue dogs Abby and Emma, a cockatiel named TJ, and several chickens.
According to her website (we encourage you to read the whole Healthcare issue page!), "Mary Gay supports universal healthcare and believes that every American should have quality healthcare without being subjected to financial hardship. She supports a transition to Medicare for All, but believes that in making that transition, we must protect the Affordable Care Act and support a public option system..." But it went on to say, "Mary Gay wants to reach full universal health care coverage through a single-payer, Medicare for All system. [She] will support Medicare for All legislation that provides a strong safety net during the transition period to single payer coverage. Many Americans received health care for the first time in their lives under the ACA, and many like their employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Rather than eliminating these plans immediately, Mary Gay will support a path to single payer that allows a public option during the transition period. This transition period will expand health care to all people living in the United States, support all-payer rate setting, reduc[ing] health care costs, and eliminat[ing] premiums." We believe it's that kind of thinking that's most likely to get bipartisan votes and thus, pass the law.
Jess King (PD)
Jess King is running from the PA 11th (used to be 16th). We like her slogan, "America is for all of us." Jess is a working mom who is living her Mennonite faith. After graduating Bard College with an MBA, she fulfilled her commitment to a year of unpaid service to the community. But her love of serving the people in her community didn't stop there. She went on to become founding Executive Director of the Union Project, an effort that restored an abandoned church into an arts and social enterprise incubator. Jess has been Executive Director at ASSETS since 2010 and has expanded the organization's impact ten-fold, helping new businesses to start and established ones to flourish, transforming Pennsylvania communities through business.
Marc Friedenberg (PD)
Marc won his primary in the 12th District by a hair - 223 votes! - but he's a solid winner to us! Unfortunately, though he had our endorsement since April, he was dropped from the page mistakenly when PA districts were changed. We're sorry for this error and are set to more actively support him in the general.
Marc Friedenberg is a native of Northeast Philly, the oldest son of Charles and Lori. He is a man of many talents, first earning a Master’s Degree in Information Sciences and Technology at Penn State. Marc has always had a passion for figuring out how technology could be used to improve people’s lives.
Marc then attended Columbia Law School, pursuing his interest in cyber law and Internet privacy. After graduating in 2009, in the midst of the Great Recession, he worked for two law firms and pursued cases against the Wall Street banks that caused it. His skill with computer technology helped to sift through the data and prove that fraud had occurred.
While suing the big banks, Marc saw firsthand the greed, corruption and carelessness that has taken over our economy and our government, and has never forgotten those experiences while talking to working people out on the campaign trail.
In 2012, Marc was recruited for a teaching position at his alma mater, Penn State’s College of Information Sciences and Technology, and returned to State College, excited by the opportunity to give back to the community as an educator. Today, he serves on the Faculty Senate and teaches classes related to cyber law and the global economy.
On healthcare he says, "I’m proud to support the fight for a single-payer, Medicare-for-all insurance program. All of us get sick at one point or another, and all of us get old. It’s time we had a simple, easy to understand national health insurance system in place so that we’re all covered. I will also fight to protect and expand Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. Taking care of each other is a moral decision, and our federal budget needs to reflect our moral priorities." Exactly.
Joe Cunningham (PD)
Joe won his primary in SC's 1st District. He brings a rich variety of life experience to his campaign, with fatherhood being recently added with the birth of his first son, Boone. In addition to now learning the process of diaper-changing, Joe earned his Bachelor's degree in Oceanic Engineering from the College of Charleston, working as a runner for a small law firm and as a deckhand on tugs and barges in the summers, saving his money to help pay for his education.
After graduating, Joe worked at a small firm designing, permitting and overseeing the construction of marina and coastline development. During that time, Joe worked with various state, local and federal agencies and environmental groups in acquiring all necessary permits and striving to ensure the development did not negatively impact the marine environment. In addition to having his private pilot’s license, Joe also earned his SCUBA certification.
While earning his law degree, Joe worked several jobs, gaining valuable experience in both civil and criminal areas of the legal profession. At the prosecutor’s office, and with a limited license to practice law, he worked with local and state law enforcement agencies, presenting indictments, arguing motions and prosecuting felonies. He also served as President of the school’s Student Bar Association and was eventually elected as the American Bar Association’s Vice-Chair of the Law Student Division, where he fought to curtail the ever-rising costs of legal education. Upon graduating law school, Joe accepted a position at a small boutique firm in Charleston. Contrary to his Republican opponent's attempts to label him as a "Washington insider," he still practices with the same law firm.
His stance on healthcare is less than perfect, but along with some good information and lobbying by H.R. 676 supporters, his personal experience with the current system may be enough to convince him to go further for the people in SC1 and the nation. "After going through the medical uncertainties of my wife’s pregnancy and the arrival of my son, I understand how stressful—both emotionally and financially—the increasing cost of healthcare can be. In times when your family members are at their most vulnerable, we shouldn’t have to focus on the costs."
Sean Carrigan (D)
Sean is running in South Carolina's 2nd District. He retired from the Army in 2015 after 28 years of service, during which he was selected to run the largest general medicine ward at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. We had a dilemna about Sean in that he mistakenly thinks the ACA can be fixed by a Medicare buy-in (how much on top of what we've already paid in?) for 55-year-olds. He also seems to favor the erroneous idea of a long-term implementation (using the establishment language of "responsibly") replacing the ACA with Medicare for All. But his support of Roe v. Wade, his concern for veterans' care and his understanding that M4A "will create a win-win-win scenario for our citizens, our businesses, and our communities," as well as his strong character won us over. Besides, we happen to know that there's a kick-ass advocate down there who can educate him on the realities of the buy-in approach!
David Moore (American)
Dave is running for the American Party in the 3rd District. Coming from a family with a lengthy history of voluntary military service during war, Dave joined the Army to fight communism after graduation from high school in 1970. He volunteered and served as an elite paratrooper, a duty not many soldiers can perform. Although he had volunteered for Special Forces training, he was sent to Vietnam right after graduation from airborne training. There, Dave served in the Army as a volunteer radio operator and paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne. He received the Bronze Star Medal for heroic service.
After the Army, he went to California State University, Sacramento, and enrolled with a double major in German and Anthropology-Archaeology. Prior to his graduation in 1978, he earned a spot as an exchange student to the University of Heidelberg in West Germany. Dave says, "I would always recommend to any student to study abroad, as it is not only incredibly fun for a young person, but helps us realize we can bridge other cultures."
He worked his first archaeological dig in Israel, at first staying with a Bedouin family in the West Bank of Jericho while his wife stayed at a kibbutz. This experience gave him an opportunity to directly observe the effects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict had on on both peoples. While in Israel, he survived five terrorist bombings.
Back in the States, his wife and he moved to the DC area and Dave began working at the Library of Congress. His position as a German Specialist made him responsible for acquiring German language materials by purchase, gift, or exchange. Since the budget was rather limited, Dave would call authors and publishers to request they provide a copy free of charge, acquiring close to one hundred thousand dollars of free books every year. He found great satisfaction also by bringing in speakers, at his own expense and time, for Veterans Forum event. He brought in 50 veterans from WWII to the current wars, a number of which were filmed by CSPAN's Book TV.
Dave is a great follower of Thomas Jefferson, who believed that education is a life-long experience. Dave says, "I always like to learn new things, whether taking classes on how to write screen plays, computer programming, or languages. I have recently enrolled at Clemson to start learning Chinese. After that, who knows."
One thing is clear - he has a firm grasp on the realities of our healthcare system and makes his support crystal clear. "Eight out of ten Americans want a single payer system. I am one of the eight." Us, too, Dave!
Marc Whitmire (PR)
Marc is running from Tennessee's 2nd district. Like Arkansas' Rob Ryerse, he is that rarest of candidates - a Progressive REPUBLICAN! He's endorsed by Brand New Congress and his stand on healthcare is exemplary of the kind of fact-based, fiscally responsible argument all Republicans should be embracing. Marc is, however, also informed about the corruptive influence of big-money corporate donors on both sides of the aisle and his determination to end that is also why he has DUH's vote!
Steven Reynolds (PD)
Steven is running for the 4th District. He's a 30-year infrastructure professional, beginning his career in the rock quarries of Rutherford County with a shovel in hand. Over the years, Steven has traveled all around the world negotiating for his company and he will take those skills to Washington when elected. Steven believes we need strong leadership in Washington who will stand up for Tennessee values and bring the resources needed to create better jobs, healthcare, education and help the rural areas with digital and traditional infrastructure.
His stand on healthcare got our endorsement: "How we treat our sick, poor, and most vulnerable defines our country, which is why I fully support Universal, Single-Payer Healthcare. It is the best return on investment AND it is the moral choice."
Beto O'Rourke (PD)
There will be those who accuse us of abandoning our principle criteria for endorsement with this one and indeed, it grieves us that among all the other things Beto has proven to be NOT a party-liner about, he spouts the DNC politispeak about lowering drug cost and creating a public option. Have no fear that WHEN he beats wingnut Ted Cruz, we will be among a torrent (Healthcare for All Texas and Cathy Courtney, get ready!) of groups and individual activists eager to pull him onto the Medicare f or All bandwagon! In Beto, we'd at least have a chance - with Cruz, deaf ears.
Beto O’Rourke is a fourth-generation Texan, born and raised in El Paso. After graduating from Columbia University, Beto worked in New York for a few years before deciding to move back to his hometown and start a small technology company, Stanton Street, which was so successful it hired dozens of people in high skill, high-wage jobs that one might not expect to see in a border community.
Outside of work, Beto became deeply involved in the civic, business and community efforts in El Paso. He ran for El Paso City Council in 2005 and served for two terms before running for U.S. Congress in 2012, taking on an eight-term incumbent and winning, a good omen for the race he's now in. As a Congressman, Beto has made it a priority to host monthly town halls in El Paso to hear directly from his constituents. For nearly five years he hasn’t missed a single one. And he’s running his campaign for U.S. Senate by visiting all 254 counties in Texas, some in which a Democrat has not been seen in years.
The fact that Beto cares passionately about Texas and the people who live there can be measured by the number of times he's said "fuck" throughout his campaign (we applaud each one, BTW - THAT'S authenticity!) and like all our other candidates, politician or not, he's a real guy who's written his own story, good and bad, in his own way. And at the end of his healthcare page, he says, "Achieving universal healthcare coverage— whether it be through a single payer system, a dual system, or otherwise – so that we can ensure everyone is able to see a provider when it will do the most good and will deliver healthcare in the most affordable, effective way possible." Fuck, yeah, we can get him!
Veronica Escobar (D)
Veronica is running in the 16th District. Beto O'Rourke, the current Rep., is a Democrat who has not signed on to HR 676 and supports the Medicare buy-in notion. Veronica is a former El Paso County judge who has a history of expanding access to care through the hospital system, as well as helping to create the El Paso Children’s Hospital, the only stand-alone children’s hospital on the border.
Since winning her primary, Veronica has improved her stance on healthcare. "The current debate at the national level is focused on cutting care – especially healthcare to women – and giving tax-cuts to the wealthiest Americans. We should instead be focused on fixing a broken healthcare system and covering more Americans, especially those in need of mental health-care and those like El Paso residents, whose states refuse to allow them access to coverage.
I will fight for health coverage for all. The only way to care for everyone is to have a single payer healthcare system, and I will work tirelessly at the federal level as I did at the local level to ensure you have access to quality healthcare."
Lee won his primary in Utha's 1st Disttrict. Like many new candidates, he was born and raised in Utah to a working class family. He worked in the agricultural fields, attended the public schools, and has been serving professionally in his communities for over fifteen years.
Since receiving a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Utah, Lee has served Airmen at Hill Air Force Base’s Family Practice Clinic, helped keep families together through the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, and is currently working for the Utah State Hospital, helping people suffering from mental illness in county jails. He credits these experiences for seeing "first hand that hard times can fall on even the best of us and that Utahns truly are compassionate and believe in second chances."
Lee's policy on healthcare includes learning from other countries. " I support a single-payer, universal healthcare system that would ensure healthcare access for all our citizens. To develop this healthcare system we should study the systems in countries like Luxembourg, Switzerland, Netherlands, and France to identify what does and does not work. Using this research we should then create a system that works best for our citizens." We like the idea of of a uniquely American system that includes the wisdom of what works (and doesn't) for other coutries.
Bernie Sanders (PD/DS)
We could just put "LOL" here, but since Bernie is the fuel that lights our fire, we should go on and on and on. But we'll let him tell you about the issues. You'll notice on this campaign website page that Bernie includes several things other candidates hardly, if ever, mention - the creation of an HIV/AIDS-free generation, plans for Puerto Rico and Guam, and the empowerment of Tribal nations and Native Hawaiians. If that's not enough for the people of Vermont, let alone the nation, then, as Mrs. Landingham famously said, "Well, Jed, then I don't even want to know ya."
Dan Freilich (PD)
Dr. Dan is running for the At-Large seat currently held by Peter Welch. Born in New York City, Dan moved with his family to Israel and then back to Queens and Long Island for middle and high school. His mother, a lawyer, was active in the progressive movements of the 1960s, and instilled in him a deep commitment to the idea that together, a group of committed citizens can stand up and fight for real and lasting progress. His father, a physician who worked with Holocaust survivors, taught him the ingredients of good bedside manner, empathy, listening, and humor. Inspired by their humanism and public service,
Dan earneda B.A. in Government from Cornell University (1984) and an M.D. from State University of New York Health Sciences Center at Brooklyn (1989). Upon completion of his Internal Medicine internship, Dan volunteered for a U.S. Navy commission and assignment to the Fleet. He served as General Medical Officer on the USS Coronado AGF-11 and Fleet Surgeon for the Third Fleet based in Pearl Harbor and San Diego.
Dan moved with his family to Vermont in 1992, where they lived briefly in Bolton before settling in a family home in Westford. After completing his residency at the University of Vermont, Dan stayed to attend and teach Internal Medicine. As an Adjunct Professor, he started a malaria and trauma research program, while also working as an Internal Medicine and Emergency Medicine physician at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, and founding a private practice clinic in Jeffersonville dedicated to predominantly serving the poor.
In 2008, Dan returned to active duty in the Navy and completed his medical fellowship training and taught at the Naval Medical Center in San Diego. After being transferred to the Naval Medical Research Center in Silver Spring, MD, he collaborated in, directed, and participated as a clinical volunteer in advanced malaria vaccine research. Dan also founded and directed the Navy’s Blood Substitutes research and development program, aimingd to develop synthetic blood substitutes to save trauma patients with severe bleeding who didn’t have access to rapid life-saving blood transfusion, such as combat casualties and trauma victims in rural areas, like much of Vermont.
Dan has also chaired clinical trial safety boards, served as a member on human research ethics and medical school admissions committees, and co-directed bioterrorism research projects at the U.S. Capitol after the anthrax and ricin attacks. He’s published numerous peer-reviewed articles in trauma, malaria, and bioterrorism and has led educational and humanitarian medical missions to Guyana and El Salvador. Most recently, he developed and directed a $100 million program to overhaul the Navy’s approach to treating pain in response to Congressional concern about the opioid epidemic.
His significant contributions to the Navy earned him a rapid promotion to Captain after only twelve years of Active Duty and he was awarded personal decorations, including Navy achievement, Commendation, and Meritorious Service Medals.
Dan’s medical and military career has been accentuated by his commitment to public service, his patients and students, medical research, federal healthcare program management, and improving the lives of people in underdeveloped countries and underserved communities. His experiences have also instilled in him a deep appreciation for our troops’ dedication to honorable public service and belief that our elected officials should do the same.
Having maintained his Vermont residency throughout most of his 23-year military career, Dan lives with his wife Sondra in Brownsville and is currently a staff physician at the VA Medical Center in White River Junction, with occasional Navy Reserves medical service at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
As a career physician, he says, "I know that single-payer health care (Medicare for All) is the only way we can achieve affordable, quality, and portable healthcare. I have never seen patients with government-sponsored health insurance (e.g., Medicare) not get the care they need. But I have seen it countless times with patients who have private health insurance, even those with expensive employer-based private policies."
Leslie Cockburn (PD)
Leslie won her primary in Virginia's 5th District. Leslie's distinguished career in journalism spanned thirty-five years. A producer for CBS News “60 Minutes,” a correspondent for PBS “Frontline,” a Ferris Professor of Journalism at Princeton, a writer and author, Leslie has won two Emmys, two George Polk Awards, two Columbia Dupont journalism awards, and the Robert F. Kennedy Award. She has covered major events of our time, from the financial meltdown to nuclear weapons, from radical jihad to the drug cartels. She covered the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Colombia, Cambodia and Central America.
Leslie and her husband Andrew bought their farm in Rappahannock County, Virginia in 1999. Rappahannock County hugs the Blue Ridge Mountains, has many more cows than people and has yet to install a stoplight. It is a place where income disparity is acute, where the community services, as fine as they are, must be enhanced to serve all. It is a place where the loss of Medicaid would destroy families and gut the special needs programs in schools. It is a place where stripping disability from Social Security would devastate the lives of older Virginians. It is a place where the proposed massive cuts in the Farm Bill would cripple farmers.
Leslie has done many years of community service on the boards of the Piedmont Environmental Council and the Krebser Fund in Rappahannock, both dedicated to conservation. She has been engaged in battles against unnecessary power lines, pipeline and uranium mining. She is equipped to stand up for the rights of Virginians in the pipeline battles that are raging in several counties. She can see the folly of repealing stream protection and allowing the poisoning of our waterways.
Leslie is a graduate of Yale University. She and Andrew (Washington Editor of Harper’s Magazine) celebrated their 40th anniversary this year and have three children and four grandchildren.
On healthcare, Leslie says she "thinks it is wrong that Congress gets the “Gold Plan” for its own members while legislating deep cuts for others." She supports single payer Medicare for all. Leslie will add her name to the Expanded and Improved Medicare For All Act (HR 676). She will fight to reduce the extortionate cost of drugs changed by Big Pharma, in some cases a thousand times what it costs to buy the same drug in Canada. She will fight the fraud and waste in the medical industry.
Anthony Flaccavento (PD)
Anthony is the winner in the primary for Virginia's 9th district. Anthony says,"I ’m running to help level the playing field for the 9th District of Virginia; to put people and communities first. To restore our land and rebuild our livelihoods. To build a strong, diverse and resilient economy from the bottom up." Hehas done that work as a farmer, an entrepreneur, and the author of a book about "building healthy economies from the bottom up, because I know that good work almost always starts with local communities." Anthony, or "Flacc" as he's know, wants to take that work to Washington.
We give him a big gold star for saying out loud, "It’s time for us to move away from incremental steps that do nothing to improve health or challenge the power and profits of the insurance industry and Big Pharma. It’s time to begin the transition to a system of universal health care, or “Medicare for all."
Jennifer "Gigi" Ferguson (I)
Jennifer is running as an Independent candidate for the Senate. DUH met her at the Peoples' March for Medicare for All in Tacoma in early May and were impressed by her strong activism. Raised by her father. after losing her mother to breast cancer, Jennifer credits the leadership roles and qualities in her father, paternal grandmother, great aunt, and her community as the strongest influences in shaping her commitment to community which is why she has never wavered from doing the activism work so evident in Tacoma.
Leadership seems to come naturally to Jennifer. In high school she held various positions in student government then being appointed by the Governor to manage the Illinois Youth Traffic Safety Council, affording her the opportunity to work with the State Patrol, the School District, and many youths and adults in the community, and at the pleasure of the Governor's office.
While attending Austin Peay State University on a golf scholarship, Jennifer majored in Business Administration with a dual minor in Computer Science and Military Science. At the beginning of her Junior year, she met and married her husband, Charles Ferguson, and moved to Mainz, Germany. As a military wife, Jennifer served as Assistant Mayor in Mainz, working with Army Command to be a liaison between the mayor or the military and families, later creating a position that centered on family needs. After defining her position, she became Hand Receipt Holder (Supply Clerk) for more than a million dollars worth of supplies. Her responsibilities included accounting for, controlling and safeguarding government property. Jennifer served her country as an active wife in each unit her husband served, volunteering with soldiers and families, and learning the importance of well-rounded support for our military families.
Back in the States,Jennifer has lived with her family in Washington for 35 years, earning certifications in Case Management, Human Services and Chemical Dependency. Jennifer began her internship working with youth at El Camino outpatient chemical dependency program in Pierce County and with inpatient juveniles in detention at Remann Hall Juvenile Detention Center in Tacoma. After graduation, Jennifer stayed with El Camino while receiving her BA and into her MA in Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family. Jennifer completed her college internship at Madigan Army Medical Center where she worked in the Intensive Outpatient Program with patients that had a multiplicity of mental health issues. After leaving Madigan, Jennifer began her state internship as a Family Preservation Therapist, Family Therapist, Parenting Coach, writing Mental Health Assessments, Parenting Assessments and various other therapeutic positions working with families involved with the Department of Children's Services before starting her non-profit continuing the same work.
As though she doesn't have enough on her plate already, we urge you to visit her website's Activism page to see her impressive experience as an activist for a variety of issues. We loved that she showed up at the People's March for Medicare for All and that she's been instrumental in bringing political awareness to those who may be apathetic via Rap In Politics.
Clint Tannehill (PD)
Clint is running as a Democrat for WA's Senate seat currently held by corporate Dem Maria Cantwell. DUH has also endorsed Independent candidate Jennifer Ferguson.
Clint is a fifth-generation Washingtonian and grew up in Hillyard, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Washington. But Clint says, "Hillyard is also a place where the people take extreme pride in where they come from. When we were growing up, we didn’t really care if our neighborhood was poor – in fact, I don’t think we even really knew. All I remember is that we were proud of where we were from and the people we grew up with. I still take pride in that to this day."
After leaving Rogers High School, Clint attended the auto mechanic program at Skagit Valley Community College which led him to working in auto shops and eventually owning them and then of building up and owning other businesses. Owning small businesses has made him realize the disadvantage that many people have and how much more can be done on the state and federal level to lower the obstacles to opportunity.
On healthcare, Clint couldn't be more clear: "I will implement a single-payer healthcare system/Medicare for all. All Americans deserve the right to healthcare. A single-payer system will reduce burdens on employers to provide insurance, and will reduce burdens on employees by separating their healthcare from their job."
Dorothy Gasque (PD)
Dorothy is running from Washington state's 3rd district She also has a kick-ass website (note to candidates using social media only - GET A WEBSITE like hers so people seeking to endorse you can see where you stand on the issues!)
Dorothy is a third generation public servant. She served eight years in the U.S. Army. In 2005 she was the only woman in a combat unit deployed to Iraq. Although she was trained as an anti-tank missile systems technician, the insurgent forces did not have tanks. Due to her rank as a non-commissioned officer, she was often asked to lead combat patrols, organize traffic checkpoints, and manage base security. After leaving the military and her brothers in arms, she earned a Bachelors of Science in Mathematics from Portland State.
In the spring of 2015, Dorothy joined in the efforts to build the progressive movement in Clark County, registering voters and informing them about the caucus process. In her role as a community organizer, she developed and encouraged emergent leaders throughout the county to build a cohesive network of dynamic organizers and volunteers.
Dorothy not only recognizes, but reflects the true values of a leader; courage, integrity, compassion, and public service. In a time of uncertainty both inside and outside of the party, Dorothy is still fighting for much needed change. As assistant director of the non-profit startup Concerned Humans Against Poverty (CHAP), Dorothy has organized dozens of volunteers that are making immediate positive changes for our houseless neighbors. Dorothy works to support other veterans and is the First Vice Chair of Washington State Veterans and Military Families Caucus.
Dorothy lives in Hazel Dell with her husband Jose and son Ramses, a sophomore in high school. Dorothy enjoys working on her urban farm that includes her dog, cat, 10 chickens, and permaculture yard.
A Medicare for All supporter, she's right when she says, "Private insurance companies have been allowed by generations of corrupt politicians to become monopolies with the power to extort many hundreds of billions of dollars from the American people each year. The health insurance industry spent $150 billion dollars last year in lobbying expenses alone, to protect their monopolies — money that could have been spent on providing care and saving lives."
Christine Brown (D)
Christine is running in the 4th District. As a child, her upbringing was in a happy, middle-class environment, her mother a nurse, her father a permanently injured WWII vet and small business owner. She credits their "unabashed determination to defend what they believed in, whether I agreed with them or not" as what sparked her interest in the political debate that she still loves today.
After earning a bachelor’s degree from Central Washington University in 1975, Christine's first lasting work experience was for Yakima County in the Human Services Department, administering state funds that would help the developmentally disabled. I worked with a citizen’s advisory board appointed by the Yakima County Commissioners.
Seven years later, Christine got out of the office and onto TV, where she would find her "niche" at KAPP-TV, the ABC affiliate in Yakima. She worked her way up from part-time host of a daytime, dialing-for-dollars program to the newsroom, first as a reporter, then as an anchor. Over a 30-year television career, she would develop skills as an interviewer, reporter, producer, videographer, anchor, News Director and ultimately Station General Manager. I worked at KAPP-TV for five years before moving to the Tri-Cities where I worked for KNDU-TV (NBC affiliate) for 25 years. We're thinking she'll at least have some good video!
Throughout her TV career, Christine learned or honed skills she'll need in Congress. Being a skilled listener, she believes "to genuinely help people directly affected by an issue, you must have the patience, compassion and empathy to listen with great intent to their concerns. Skilled listeners are better equipped to then ask the right follow-up questions, look for and examine the proof and rely on facts, not fiction, to make informed decisions. We should accept nothing less from our elected officials."
DUH liked her thoughtful and pragmatic examination of the history and controversy of healthcare in this country, as well as her established advocacy for M4A. The energy and enthusiasm with which she participates in marches and rallies is not just political - we believe she really enjoys it! She's the only challenger to Republican incumbent Dan Newhouse and we suspect she's a fighter!
Sarah Smith (PD)
Sarah is running in the 9th District. As she says, "True representation begins with shared experiences." Like millions of Americans, Sarah lives a typical American life, the same as most of her constituents. She's a young working woman, squeezing her small budget to get by, going to work when she's sick because she can't afford to miss a day if she wants to pay that healthcare premium, never seeming to make a dent in her student debt. She knows what her constituents' lives are like because she lives one herself.
Early in her college days, Sarah felt the recession of 2008. Her family was forced to move, leaving her on my own at the age of 17, new to Washington state and rapidly building student debt. She saw the devastation of the economy first-hand as a foreclosure specialist, a paralegal, and a bodily injury insurance adjuster. Witnessing the constant struggle of everyday people drew her to activism, from volunteer work with Planned Parenthood to direct support for immigrant families. She shares Bernie Sanders' vision country where we take care of the students, the elderly, the vulnerable, the easily left behind. Her motto is, "I will never forget where I come from and who I serve: the everyday American people, and nobody else."
Her story about Medicare saving her father's life, as well as her statement on healthcare as a right earns her DUH's endorsement.
Tambourine Borelli (PD)
Tamborine is running in WA's 10th District for the seat currently held by Denny Heck who acts more like a Republican than the corporate Democrat he is when it comes to healthcare. Tamborine is a descendent of Italian immigrants, daughter of a veteran, and entrepreneur who became involved in politics when inspired by working on Bernie Sanders' campaign which gave her a way to put her passion for justice and service to work. This led to opening a volunteer campaign office, becoming a deputy field organizer, a caucus site leader, and a National Delegate.
She continued her political work as a contributor to the Thurston County Democrat Platform committee and then ran for State Senate, coming within 5% of winning against a 20-year political veteran in Thurston County.
Tamborine currently serves on the board of Election Justice USA, focusing on developing an open source solution to our broken election system. She has also opened a local chapter of Represent US, the anti-corruption organization leading the movement in making it illegal for lobbyists to bribe politicians. She strongly believes that "the life's blood of reclaiming our democracy is incumbent on getting big money out of politics." In the name of repealing Citizens United, she participated with the activist group Democracy Spring in the march on the Capitol in April 2016 and even went to jail for justice.
Her drive has always been driven to make life better for her community which led her to opening a café/community center where everyone could come together for good food, coffee, live music, theatre musicals, yoga, and dance classes. It was a labor of love and focused on serving the people above profit. That, coupled with the insurmountable overhead, forced her to close the doors in 2012.
In addition to helping people, Tamborine has also rescued, fostered, and re-homed hundreds of animals over the years. She has now created an organic pet treat company that she started locally and is planning to launch nationally. Between that and activism, her simple life in Thurston County with my fiancé, dogs, cats and chickens may soon move to the chaos of Congress!
DUH endorsed her for the first two sentences of her "Single Payer Healthcare" statement: "The 'care' in healthcare should be the primary focus of medical staff and patients. Our profit-driven, employer based insurance model is outdated, too costly, and needs to be replaced." We're looking forward to watching Congress be shaken BY the Tamborine!
Randy Bryce (PD)
Randy is running for Congress from the Wisconsin 1st and our hopes for him increased with the "retirement" (retreat?) of the reviled Paul Ryan, Speaker of the Houset. Randy is a vet, a cancer survivor, and an iron worker. With his now famous announcement video, it could be said that Randy was the first bucketful of the coming Blue Wave, inspiring more and more "real people" candidates to emerge. He was the first one we endorsed from outside our own states and we now have over 118!
Besides that video, he has an extended statement supporting healthcare for women and the transgender community that sealed our endorsement. "Randy believes it’s important that all those who identify as women have the healthcare they need. As a Congressman, Randy would support and advocate for policies that ensure people of all genders identities and expressions – including trans men and non-binary identified individuals and others – have full and equal access to comprehensive, culturally and technically competent and reproductive healthcare."
Tom Palzewicz (D)
Tom is running in the 5th District, the seat Jim Sensenbrenner now occupies. It would be great if a Democrat could replace that Republican! Tom has a variety of experience, including in the Navy on a nuclear sub; as a banker helping people understand investment and financial strategy, and as a small business owner. Though he tends to be brief and to the point in his issue statements, he declares (rightly) that "Universal healthcare is the only logical solution to our country’s healthcare needs."
Margaret Engebretson (D)
Margaret is running in the 7th District of Wisconsin. She joined the Navy right out of high school and credits her 24-year experience there, as well as in the Naval Reserve and Minnesota Air National Guard, with teaching her the values of honor, courage, and commitment which have guided her decision to run for Congress. Margaret has also been a union railroad worker, repairing locomotives and then dispatching BNSF freight trains across the country before deciding to take advantage of her GI Bill benefits to attend college.
She graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Superior in 2004 with a degree in history. She later attended the University of Wisconsin Law School and focuses much of her work now on guardian ad litem cases to protect children and people with disabilities in Balsam Lake, Wisconsin.
Following the 2016 elections, Margaret joined together with people in Polk County to help organize their local Democratic Party.
About healthcare, she says, "As a veteran of the United States military, I’m fortunate to have never had to worry about my health care. That should true for every American. We need a Medicare for All public health insurance program that guarantees everyone their coverage." She goes further,, "We must also defend Medicaid. Wisconsin’s failure to accept the federal Medicare expansion has had a devastating effect on our rural hospitals. Proposed federal cuts to Medicaid would just make things worse. Rural Wisconsinites need the same access to health care as anyone else."
Gary Trauner (D)https://traunerforwy.com/about/
Gary is running for Republican John Barasso's seat in the Senate. We LOVED the video on his Home page and his comprehensive understanding of our healthcare mess. Sue especially appreciated his observation that while technological advances are necessary and beneficial in medicine, they aren't always what works best. Going to the doctor used to include the squirmy-yet-somehow-reassuring experience of your doctor seeing you naked. Gary seems to understand the harm done by the extinction of that experience. In any case, we want to see him ride a buffalo into the Senate!