2012 Federal Candidate Endorsements

Arizona | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Florida | Illinois | Iowa | Hawaii | Maine | Massachusetts | Minnesota | New Hampshire | New Mexico | New York | Ohio | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | Texas | Vermont | Wisconsin



PFAW supports the re-election of President Barack Obama.




Richard Carmona, running for Senate in Arizona – Carmona, a solid progressive, is a Vietnam War veteran, recipient of two Purple Hearts and two Bronze Stars, and the former Surgeon General of the United States. This election represents a rare opportunity to convert Arizona into a genuine swing state for years to come.



Congressman Raul Grijalva, running for Congress in Arizona’s 3rd District – Mr. Grijalva is the current representative for Arizona’s 7th District but is running for reelection in the 3rd District due to redistricting. The son of a migrant worker from Mexico, Grijalva was first elected to the House in 2002. Grijalva has been a strong progressive voice in the House, standing up for the rights of all Americans.



Kyrsten Sinema, running for Congress in Arizona’s 9th District – Sinema has extensive experience serving Arizonians as a former member of both the Arizona House and theArizona Senate. A People For the American Way endorsee, former PFAW Foundation board member, and member of the Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network, Sinema has been a dogged advocate of civil rights for all Americans.




Alan Lowenthal, running for Congress in California’s 47th District – First elected to the California state Senate in 2004, Lowenthal currently represents California’s 27th District as a state senator. Lowenthal received the Rivie Award from the Friends of Los Angeles River (FoLAR), an organization dedicated to restoring the natural habitat surrounding the L.A. River, for his promotion of environmental stewardship. He has received endorsements from a variety of progressive organizations and PFAW is proud to join them.



Lee Rogers, running for Congress in California’s 25th District – A nationally-known podiatrist and expert on health policy, Dr. Rogers has vowed to use his extensive healthcare experience to promote sensible measures that will protect Social Security and Medicare, improve the quality of care for all Americans, and shift towards a preventive emphasis for treatment. Rogers faces Republican incumbent Bud McKeon, who was first elected in 1992.



Jared Huffman, running for Congress in California’s 2nd District – Huffman is a Democratic member of the California State Assembly, where he has served since 2006. Huffman has an impressive progressive record in the legislature and has vowed to continue his fight for accessible healthcare, equality, women’s rights, and investment in education in the U.S. House. Huffman served his local community for 12 years as a member of the board of the Marin Municipal Water District.



Dr. Raul Ruiz, running for Congress in California’s 36th District – Dr. Ruiz is a medical doctor and Latino activist who won the 2009 Influential Latino of the Year Award from the Inland Empire Hispanic Image Awards in recognition of his community work. Ruiz is running against Republican incumbent Mary Bono Mack, in a very tight contest. 



Dr. Ami Bera, running for Congress in California’s 7th District -- A medical doctor and former county health official, Dr. Bera is uniquely positioned to advance strong, progressive healthcare solutions.  Dr. Bera most recently served as the Sacramento County Chief Medical Officer, where he fought to expand access to affordable healthcare.



Jay Chen, running for Congress in California’s 39th District – Chen has an impressive background as small business owner, intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve, and community activist. His opponent, incumbent Rep. Edward Royce, has repeatedly co-sponsored a bill that requires all governmental services be English-only, has tried to end the Voting Rights Act, opposed much-needed governmental regulation of the mortgage industry in the wake of the Recession, and is a proponent of Arizona’s draconian new anti-immigrant law.



Mark Takano, running for Congress in California’s 41st District -- A Martin Luther King Visionaries Award winner, Takano has extensive experience at the community level and embraces a series of sensible, progressive policies that will better the nation. Takano’s election will help bring diversity to the U.S. House and advance progressive causes at the national level.




Sal Pace, running for Congress in Colorado’s 3rd District – Pace currently represents Colorado’s 46th District in the state House, a position he’s held since 2008. While a state representative, Pace has worked with both parties for the good of Colorado, fighting for good paying jobs, and accountability and transparency in the state government.  Pace is exactly the type of leader we need in Washington.



Joe Miklosi, running for Congress in Colorado’s 6th District – Currently a member of the Colorado State House, Miklosi is now running for Colorado’s 6th District against Mike Coffman,  a proud member of the Tea Party Caucus.  Colorado’s 6th District has been labeled the most competitive district in the nation.  Miklosi has vowed to fight for every woman’s access to birth control and a woman’s right to choose.




Congressman Chris Murphy (D-CT), running for Senate in Connecticut – Murphy has been a trendsetter for progressivism in Connecticut – in 2005 he was one of the first co-sponsors of a bill that made Connecticut only the third state to legalize gay marriage (the bill was upheld by the state Supreme Court in 2008). Murphy faces business magnate Linda McMahon of World Wrestling Entertainment fame, and is sure to be outspent as McMahon pours her personal fortune into her campaign.




Alan Grayson, running for Congress in Florida’s 9th District – A self-described “congressman with guts,” Grayson gained notoriety when he worked as a specialist in whistleblower fraud causes directed at Iraq War contractors. Grayson filed a suit under the False Claims Act which became the only successful prosecution of those who illegally profited from the war.  He is a proven force for progressivism and the People For the American Way is happy to lend him our support.



Lois Frankel, running for Congress in Florida’s 22nd District – A former Mayor of West Palm Beach and Florida state representative, Frankel was named one of the top 10 progressive candidates to watch in the 2012 Congressional elections by Democracy for America. Frankel has a strong record of promoting civil rights for all Americans. The 22nd District is a competitive district and represents a great opportunity to elect a proven progressive champion.




David Gill, running for Congress in Illinois’ 13th District – Illinois’ 13th Congressional District, while typically a Republican stronghold, has been rendered competitive due to recent redistricting, presenting an excellent opportunity to help shift the seat to Democratic control. An emergency room physician, Dr. Gill is a respected medical expert who will bring his knowledge to bear on healthcare policy – among other things, Dr. Gill has vowed to uphold and expand Medicare.




Christie Vilsack, running for Congress in Iowa’s 4th District – Vilsack was Iowa’s first lady from 1999-2007, and if elected will become the first-ever female member of Congress from Iowa. She is facing Rep. Steve King, a five-time Republican incumbent and one of the national leaders of the anti-immigrant movement.  It is important that progressives around the country lend her their support.




Congresswoman Mazie Hirono (D-HI), running for Senate in Hawaii – A former lieutenant governor of Hawaii, Hirono has consistently advocated for the affordability and accessibility of healthcare for all Americans and has sponsored numerous bills promoting these goals. Meanwhile, her opponent -- former Hawaii governor Linda Lingle – supports a cluster of regressive policies: as governor she ended Hawaii’s Immigrant Health Initiative and vetoed a bill that would have legalized civil unions, and she now supports regressive spending and tax cuts that will harm the middle class. Hawaiians face a stark choice this November.




Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME), running for reelection in Maine’s 1st District– In 2010, Pingree became the first woman ever elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from Maine, a year in which she was also a PFAW and PFAW Voters Alliance endorsee. Pingree advocates for affordable healthcare, the promotion of viable alternative energy sources, and the protection of veterans’ benefits.




Elizabeth Warren, running for Senate in Massachusetts – Warren has extensive knowledge of finance policy, serving as chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel, a group responsible for overseeing the operations of the Troubled Assets Relief Program (TARP). Warren subsequently became the primary advocate for a federal entity dedicated to protecting consumer rights, leading to the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in 2010. Warren is in a hotly contested race to unseat Republican incumbent Scott Brown, who is facing his first reelection effort this year.




Jim Graves, running for Congress in Minnesota’s 6th District – Graves, a successful businessman, is running to unseat Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann, a well-known Tea Party extremist. People For the American Way is proud to lend him its support. His victory will represent a strong refutation of the right-wing extremism that has taken over much of the Republican Party.




Carol Shea-Porter, running for Congress in New Hampshire’s 1st District – In 2006, Shea-Porter became the first woman elected to Congress from New Hampshire after winning an upset victory against her Republican opponent. Now seeking to regain her former House seat, Shea Porter has vowed to protect veterans’ benefits, oppose deficit reduction measures that harm the poor and middle class, preserve essential social welfare programs, and expand investment in education.



Ann McLane Kuster, running for Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd District -- Kuster has a long history of promoting progressive change in New Hampshire through her legal career, community work, and progressive advocacy. She supports LGBT equality, including the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. Her race is expected to be extremely competitive.




Congressman Martin Heinrich (D-NM), running for Senate in New Mexico – Congressman Heinrich was first elected to the U.S. Congress from New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District in 2008, becoming the first Democrat ever to represent that district. Sabato’s Crystal Ball – a prestigious website run by the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics -- said in March that Heinrich’s race will be one of eight that will effectively decide which party controls the Senate next year.




Congressman Tim Bishop, running for reelection in New York’s 1st District – After a long career in education, Bishop became involved in politics in 2002, running for and winning a seat in the U.S. House as a representative for New York’s 1st District. He is a top-rate progressive advocate running in one of the most competitive Congressional districts in the nation – he won reelection by a mere 593 votes in 2010.



Nate Shinagawa, running for Congress in New York’s 23rd District -- If elected, Shinagawa, along with Grace Meng, will become the first Asian American representatives in Congress from the Northeast. Shinagawa, a strong progressive, is a longtime participant in People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials (YEO) and Front Line Leaders Academy (FLLA) programs.



Grace Meng, running for Congress in New York’s 6th District –  Meng  has represented New York’s 22nd District in the state legislature since 2009.  Meng has promised to fight for good jobs, safe neighborhoods, and quality schools in Washington.  Meng was a public interest lawyer and has vowed to fight for unions and against the war on women. 



Julian Schreibman, running for Congress in New York’s 19th District – Schreibman has an impressive record of governmental service, including serving as a federal prosecutor and as the legal counsel for the CIA, where he helped prosecute terrorists responsible for several U.S. embassy bombings. Schreibman is running against Chris Gibson, who supports the Romney-Ryan austerity budget and who voted to defund Planned Parenthood. People For the American Way is glad to support Schreibman in what will undoubtedly be a tight race.




Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH), running for reelection to his second term – Sen. Brown has served Ohioans for over 30 years, in the General Assembly, as Secretary of State, and in the U.S. House and Senate. Now, as the senior senator from Ohio, Brown occupies a crucial position that he has consistently used to bolster progressive causes on the national stage.



Congresswoman Betty Sutton, running for reelection in Ohio’s 16th District – Sutton has represented Ohio’s 13th District in the U.S. House since 2007 but will be running in the 16th District against Republican incumbent Rep. Jim Renacci due to redistricting. Sutton has advanced progressive causes throughout her career, which began when she became the youngest woman ever elected to the Ohio House in 1993.




Kathy Boockvar, running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 8th District – Running in what will be one of the most competitive U.S. House races this election cycle, Boockvar, a strong progressive, faces Independence Hall Tea Party endorsee and incumbent Republican Rep. Michael Fitzpatrick, who has a 0% rating from both NARAL and Planned Parenthood, a 100% rating from Right to Life, and voted to strip funding from Planned Parenthood.  Despite this, Fitzpatrick labels himself “one of the most independent members of Congress.”



Dr. Manan Trivedi, running for Congress in Pennsylvania’s 6th District – Dr. Trivedi is an Iraq War veteran and a physician at Reading Hospital and Medical Center in Pennsylvania. Trivedi advised the Obama campaign on healthcare policy and has recently been named one of Democracy for America’s “Dean Dozen,” the most prestigious endorsement a candidate can receive from that organization.




Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), running for reelection to his second term –Sen. Whitehouse, first elected to the Senate in 2006, has been a strong progressive voice in Washington: he opposes the unnecessary and regressive austerity of the Romney-Ryan budget, and has vowed to protect Medicare and Social Security and promote economic initiatives that bolster the middle class.




Joaquin Castro, running for Congress in Texas's 20th District -- Joaquin Castro currently represents the 125th District in the Texas House of Representatives. Born and raised in San Antonio, Castro was on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention introducing his twin brother, San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro, who delivered the convention keynote address. Rep. Castro is a member of People For the American Way Foundation's Young Elected Officials (YEO) Network.




Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT), running for reelection to his second term -- Sen. Sanders has been a stalwart advocate of progressive values throughout his years of service and is a powerful force for progressivism in national politics.




Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), running for Senate in Wisconsin – Baldwin has served Wisconsin for over 25 years, as Dane County Supervisor, a member of the Madison Common Council, a state representative and a member of the U.S. House. If elected this year, she will become the first openly LGBT member of the U.S. Senate.



Mark Pocan, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 2nd District – A Young Elected Officials Network  member and current representative of Wisconsin’s 78th District in the state legislature, Pocan was recently named one of the top 10 progressive candidates in the country by Democracy for America. Pocan, who was first elected in 1999, has a proven record of promoting progressive causes.



Pat Kreitlow, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 7th District – Kreitlow is a former state Senator and the first of his family to graduate from college.  In March 2010, his opponent, Incumbent Sean Duffy, told attendees at a town hall that he still “struggles” even though he was making $174,000 on a Congressional salary.  Duffy has refused to do any televised debates with Kreitlow, even though he wanted 20 debates when he was running for the same seat in 2010.



Rob Zerban, running for Congress in Wisconsin’s 1st District – Zerban is running to unseat Rep. Paul Ryan, who is also the Republican vice presidential nominee (Wisconsin law allows Ryan to simultaneously maintain a House reelection bid while running for vice president). This election has great symbolic importance and, with progressive support, a Zerban victory would serve as a definitive refutation of Ryan-esque fiscal policy that will resonate around the nation.


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