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."
Chris Russell (D)
Chris is running for Senate from Arizona. More will be added soon, but we liked his take on healthcare: " We can eliminate this cost by having non-profit health insurance available to all citizens. The mechanism already exists to do this quickly – through Medicare and/or Medicaid, which is a non-profit insurance program run by the people (through government), and which plays a big role in keeping costs down for its members. Every worker in this country is already paying premiums for Medicare out of every paycheck."
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!
Scott Menor (I)
Scott is an Independent running for Congress in the 9th District and we are impressed by his ability to somehow state his platform without dogma or ideology attached to any one position. He is obviously not happy with our current healthcare system and lists salient facts as to what's wrong with it. What got us was "Making profit is great, but making exorbitant amounts from people who will suffer or die if they don't pay so that someone contributing nothing to society can have a second yacht is ridiculous." How can you argue with that?
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. She will undoubtedly have the money and support of the DNC, as she has devolved from the rebel she was when she was first elected to the millionaire 80 times over, corporate puppet she is today and that, as we know is the DNC's kind of candidate!
Kevin, on the other hand 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. Senate in 2010. 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."
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) where he was instrumental in promoting a nationwide effort to double and diversify the number of Registered Apprenticeships in America, an "an earn while you learn job" that pays workers an average of $60,000 a year.
He built up his political knowledge and experience during his years in government employment, making him more qualified than many of the Blue Wave candidates in dealing with people across the political spectrum. And it doesn't hurt that he looks like a GQ model! But on healthcare he displays his political saavy, giving acknowledgement that "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."
Saira Rao (PD)
Saira is running in the 1st District of Colorado. A graduate of the University of Virginia and New York University School of Law, Saira clerked on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia before landing a coveted position on Wall Street. But she found that rat race wasn't for her.
After her children Lila and Dar were born, Saira quickly realized that children’s books didn’t have protagonists that looked like them. Recalling how isolating it was to grow up as a first-generation Indian-American, she set out to change the script for American youth. With her college friend, Saira co-founded In This Together Media, securing initial funding with a successful Kickstarter campaign. Six years later, Saira and her team have launched a slew of young adult and children’s books that feature black, brown, LGBTQ, and immigrant kids as central characters.
Today, In This Together Media authors include former NBA star and the league’s first openly gay player Jason Collins; former WNBA MVP Tamika Catchings; disabled model Jillian Mercado; teen trans activist Gavin Grimm; Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors; and child author Jesselyn Silva.
Saira has been a Democratic party activist since she was a teenager; she cast her first vote for Bill Clinton. But after the catastrophic November 2016 election, it was clear that the Democratic party establishment had lost touch with the people it claimed to represent. The Party wanted Saira’s time, her advocacy, her money, and her vote – but it didn’t want to hear her pleas about rising rents, police brutality, or healthcare access. In late January, Saira filed as a candidate for U.S. Congress with a platform of economic justice, civil rights, and getting corporate money out of the Democratic Party.
We loved the title on her healthcare page - "Rejecting the Insurance Lobby to Pass Healthcare for All" - exactly what we need our representatives to do! While we wish Saira was more enthusiastic about not wasting more time with public option and lower Medicare age eligibility provisions, she obviously GETS it when she says, "In a single-payer system, medical decisions are made together with doctors and patients, without insurance company interference – the way they should be. The plan must be equitable, accessible, and affordable. It must include the long-term disability care that many with disabilities depend upon to live. It must include access to abortion and reproductive care. It must cover our LGTBQ community by removing bias in healthcare and providing transgender health care, behavioral health, and HIV prevention and care."
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!
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!
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 3rd District endorsement! Brent is a labor lawyer who has supported Bernie Sanders and fought to get big money out of politics. His legal expertise has made him quite familiar with fighting large corporations, something he's prepared to do on a whole different level in Congress.
He 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!
Patrick Littlefield (PD)
Patrick is running in the 3rd District and brings an impressive resume to the job, especially where healthcare is concerned. He has been a successful entrepreneur, founding WaveMark Inc. in the district, providing software services to hospitals and medical device companies. Though he sold the business after almost a decade, it continues to employ more than 200 people in the district and worldwide.
In 2012, Patrick joined the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs as the Executive Director at the Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation, where he brought his private sector experience into the largest integrated health system in the country, delivering dozens of new healthcare capabilities. During this period, Patrick led a team that worked with Veteran stakeholders to develop, negotiate, and ultimately pass the Veterans Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act of 2017, which made Veterans appeals easier and faster. The bill gained unanimous bipartisan support in both the House and the Senate and was signed into law in August 2017. Patrick's commitment to caring for our veterans continues today
Patrick brings a proven track record in both business and government, along with a deep knowledge of the healthcare industry. "If elected, his commitment is to improve our healthcare system, create the jobs of the future, expand access to education, and make government work for all, not just the wealthy few.
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."
Brian Santa Maria (PD)
Brian is running in Minnesota's 3rd District and man!, is he running! It doesn't hurt that he's been a comedy writer, but this has to be one of the best reads in all the websites we've poured over in the last weeks. His page on healthcare made it clear that he GETS it. As he says, "...I believe, deeply, in the soul my God gave me, in not-for-profit medicine because it saved my life. "
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.
Elaine DiMasi (PD)
Elaine is running in NY's 1st District. She has spent 21 years as a federal contractor and project
manager at the Brookhaven National Lab, delivering world-leading solutions in energy, environment and health. She's enthusiastically supported by a national grass roots movement seeking to elect more people with scientific backgrounds to Congress.
We loved how she started her statement on healthcare - ”Health. Life. Freedom. You can't have one without the other two. If you have a serious illness or injury but have no health care, you're not free. You're not free to live your life and move around the way you normally would." True! And we love supporting scientists with their affinity for truth!
Michael DeVito, Jr. (D)
Michael is running in the 11th District. His views on healthcare are personal as well as factual - his wife Natalie has an incurable genetic disease that requires frequent treatment. Michael is a Marine vet, having enlisted at the age of 17 and earning many medals, including the Bronze Star, before he retired. He began his career in public service with the New York Center for Interpersonal Development as a Personal Advocate for the Staten Island Young Adult Borough Center program, and has helped over 2,000 “at-risk” students get their high school diplomas. He's currently chair of the Youth WINS Partnership, a collaboration of organizations creating pathways to employment for young adults.
His slogan is "Let's run together" and he actually is a runner, having won Staten Island’s Triple Crown Award at the age of 43.
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 fahsion model, but she's a fighter and definitelystand 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!
Pat Ryan (PD)
Pat is running from NY's 19th District, hoping to take the seat away from freshman Republican John Faso. We liked that he was focused on the people and specific concerns of the district, calling attention to the access problems for healthcare in the rural parts of his area. But he really got us with his opening line on healthcare: "A good healthcare system is central to a strong community: It keeps families healthy, provides quality jobs, and allows each of us to achieve economic security." All true and yet seldom made points.
Patrick Nelson (PD)
Patrick is running in NY's 21st District, his motto being, “21st Century Policies for 21st Congressional District."
After high school, Patrick attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute where he graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biochemistry and Biophysics. He attended the School of Law at St. John's University from 2012 to 2013 where he was a Dean's List Student and represented low-income defendants being sued by large financial institutions and vulture capitalists as a Public Interest Fellow with the NYS Unified Court System.
As a Delegate to the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA, Patrick fought for marriage equality with an amendment to the Presbyterian constitution which was finally adopted by a super-majority at the 2014 Presbyterian General Assembly.
Patrick has also tried his hand at entrepreneurship, working with two early-stage nanobiotechnology companies. This taught him about the challenges faced by new businesses and he came to see how universal healthcare and student debt relief could help small businesses grow and thrive.
He's another who likes bullet points, but the first bullet under "Healthcare" is "Improved and expanded Medicare for All." That's good enough for us!
Linda Andrei (PD)
Linda is running in NY's 23rd District. We always like endorsing doctors who know the healthcare system from the inside out and Linda is an exceptional example. The youngest of five, Linda grew up in New York City where her father went from farming to welding and her mother worked to keep the kids in Catholic school. Linda's mother developed breast cancer and died soon after Linda graduated from Hunter College CUNY. Linda credits her mother’s spirit of determination for her own approach to life’s obstacles. “Linda, where there is a will, there is a way.”
Dr. Linda Andrei first dared to dream of becoming a doctor after reading the biography of Elizabeth Blackwell (the first woman to receive a medical degree in the U.S.). Linda began preparation for medicine by volunteering to help others. First working at a summer camp for children with Down’s Syndrome, then volunteering in NYC hospitals to be sure she understood what a career in medicine would mean. Finally, she applied to medical school after graduating with Honors in Biology and Honors Research in Genetics. She applied for medical school at a time when fewer than 25% of women were admitted to medical school and despite good grades and all her hard work she was denied admission. Her mother's words echoing in her mind, she went to the International Institute of Education and sought admission to a well-respected medical school in Mexico. That the course of study was in Spanish did not deter her. Hard work and perseverance enabled her to pass the Federal Licensing Exam that permitted her to return to the U.S. and enter practice as a cardiologist. Her fluency in Spanish has served her well in diagnosing and treating patients in NYC.
Linda’s first residency was in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai, where she was Executive Chief Medical Resident. Subsequently, she was awarded a Fellowship in Cardiology (the only female in her program) at Mount Sinai Services, City Hospital at Elmhurst, then a Fellowship in Interventional Cardiology at The University of Wisconsin Medical School. Subsequently, she returned to NYC to teach and serve as Director of The Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at Elmhurst and as Assistant Professor of Medicine and Cardiology at Mount Sinai Medical School, NYC.
After an academic career and conduct Grand Rounds at Chongqing University in China, Linda went into private practice in New Bern, North Carolina where she practiced for seven years, enjoying the small town connections to her patients. After 9/11, she felt she needed to move closer to her family and found just the right community in The Finger Lakes region of New York. Linda has worked in Elmira, Corning, Painted Post, Bath, Watkins Glen and Ithaca.
We were pleased by her focus on increasing access to primary care in rural communities, as well as her awareness and concern about "the contributing factors to illness -- poverty, food insecurity, lack of decent housing and social isolation." She says, "The most efficient and effective approach to health care will focus on the circumstances that cause our systems to fail, and it will seek to remedy these failures." And she's right when she says, "If we believe as I do that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that our government has a moral obligation to protect and empower its citizenry, then we need to move to a system that places people above profit."
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."
Samaria Graham (I)
Samaria is an Independent running in the 10th District. Samaria is from Harlem, New York, with deep roots in Charlotte North Carolina where her parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and brothers are natives. Raised by her grandparents and her mother, she is an artist, educator, activist, lifetime Girl Scout and lifetime mentor. Her father inspired her with his story about walking with Martin Luther King Jr.
Samaria attended Fiorello LaGuardia HS of Music and Art where as a teen, she created a neighborhood watch and a school newspaper. She then went on to State University of New York at Fredonia, graduating with a BFA. In college she served as the Black Student Union Tutorial Chair, The Drill Team Captain, Gospel Choir Director, Student Association Rep, had two jobs and maintained a 3.25 average. She joined the AEA and SAG committees as she entered the workforce. Samaria continues to be a passionate Youth Empowerment Advocate. She is an effective organizer and prides herself in being a valuable asset to communities she belongs to. With more than 25 years of experience on stage, screen and behind the camera, along with her devotion to using the arts as a tool in schools and the community to elevate, educate and build bridges, Samaria has developed strong skill sets.
She moved to North Carolina in 2004 to reconnect with family. She jumped into serving her new community by volunteering at the library, assisting with various programs for all ages, as well as helping adults with computer skills. Cuts came to the library and she fought to keep the library open. She joined the Cherryville Main Street Program to help restore her city’s historical brilliance and she helped establish a Farmer's Market to help the community economically.
Her platform is progressive and she is the only candidate we've endorsed who includes alternative medicine in her position on healthcare. "Access to alternative medicine and therapies must be included in insurance coverage...Insurance companies must be reconfigured. Insurance companies must serve their purpose or be removed from the process because currently they are more problematic than they are effective...We will incentivize healing versus maintaining illness and disease. Medicare For All, addressing the prescription/pharmaceutical industries and doctor relationships with the system is necessary. A healthy community is a powerful community."
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!"
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! That may be contested by his opponent, but he's a winner to us! Unfortunately, though he ad 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!
Mal Hyman (PD)
Mal is in the run-off election on June 26 in the 7th District and we had to go no further than the home page of his website to know he had us. Then there's the video explaining his stance on healthcare. Mal hit it out of the park!
Mal has a history of fighting against establishment Dems like his opponent State Rep Robert Williams. It's always an uphill battle with the DCCC doing all they can NOT to support progressives like Mal. As a long-time teacher at Coker College, teaching Sociology and Political Science, Mal researched policy and political matters, from local high-school dropout rates to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as well as traveled to and worked on human rights issues in eight countries.
Mal has served on numerous local boards including the homeless shelter, the Disabilities Board, Christmas in April (low-income housing), as well as the South Carolina Democratic party. He currently serves on the board of the Boy’s and Girl’s Club of Hartsville, is a co-chair of the local Earth Day Festival, as well as the co-chair of the conference “Sustainability and Faith.”
For 12 years, Mal has taught government and economics at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Math, helping students understand the importance of civic engagement and economic policy. His book, “Covering High Treason: Media Coverage of the Assassination of President Kennedy.” will be available early 2018.
Throughout his career, Mal has been a loud and proud progressive, not afraid to state clearly where he stands on ay issue. If yo live in the 7th district and want more than just the expansion of Medicaid, vote for Mal on June 26!
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."
Stephen Brandon (PD)
Stephen is running in TN's 6th District. He's a veteran (with a very cute baby) and he pledges, "I will fight for a Single Payer Health Care system that will ensure that all of us can be healthy and receive treatment, and not be beholden to any Insurance Company or any one employer. You shouldn’t have to risk your life, or that of your family’s to change a job." More coming soon!
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."
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!
Pramila Jayapal (PD)
Pramila is running again for Washington state's 7th District and is the only sitting Congresswoman DUH has endorsed so far. She is also the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the District's first female congresswoman, and the first Asian-American to represent Washington in Congress. She was elected in 2016 and has already racked up an impressive collection of votes and legislation on progressive issues, including co-sponsoring HR 676.
Having immigrated alone at the age of 16, Pramila attended college at Georgetown University and went on to earn her MBA at Northwestern University. She worked as a Wall Street financial analyst after college, but wanted to advance social justice. She began by working at Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) in 1991. Pramila became the director of the Fund for Technology Transfer, providing funding for socially responsible health projects all over the world. Later, Pramila was named a Institute of Current World Affairs Fellow, and she returned to India, working there for two years.
Pramila's legacy as a social justice activist was cemented in 2001 when, after 9/11, in response to hate crimes and discrimination targeting the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities, she founded Hate Free Zone, which later became OneAmerica. OneAmerica is now the largest immigrant rights advocacy group in the state.
We urge you to go to her website to read about the many things OneAmerica accomplished, as well as her achievements as a State Senator from 2015 until she was elected to Congress
It took only the first 23 days of her first term in Congress for her to become a co-sponsor of HR 676 saying it "will ensure fair prices from drug companies and make strategic health care investments in communities across this country based on accountability and outcomes, not profits." She's a great example of a politician who walks her talk, unapologetically declaring her support for "a 'single-payer' model that creates comprehensive coverage for all Americans..." and she was a front line warrior in fighting the cruel Republican plans that have failed to pass.
Robert Hunziker (PD)
Robert is running in the 8th District. His family was working-class, and the paycheck-to-paycheck life, for Robert, it's impossible to forget what it means to choose between late bills and a proper trip to the grocery store. The recession hit him hard - newly married, without a home, car, or job, in a suddenly grim job market. he and his wife moved around, staying in hotels, chasing down any work available. He took far less than his work as an IT contractor was worth more often than not. Though the wages in his industry are livable, "the pay structures of the gig economy are only contributing to America’s 45-year streak of wage stagnation."
Robert is a Candidate with a Contract, pledging he won’t take a dime of PAC, superPAC, or corporate money, now or ever. he says, "I have no interest in representing entities whose sole purpose is the generation of profit, especially when that pursuit leads to the damage or destruction of already-vulnerable communities."
Though he website is weak on healthcare, mentioning only standardization of costs, we've heard him speak at a forum and his support for M4A is solid. He's running in a crowded field, most of the other candidates have more money, so we hope that DIH's endorsement will help him even the playing field and keep his promise not to take corporate money. Send him a few bucks!
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!