Young Elected Progressives Program 2012 Endorsees

People For's Young Elected Progressives program seeks out and supports young leaders - 35 and younger - running for office at the state and local level. These young leaders will be the backbone of the progressive movement for years to come. Among them are tomorrow's strong progressive candidates for U.S. House, Senate and maybe even the White House.

Below find a list of all the young candidates for state and local office we are supporting this year and click the links to their web sites to find out more and to support them.

Here are 19 candidates we've designated as "On the Way" -- they are in races we've identified as particularly important and could use your support. Click their image or find them under their state in the longer list below to find out more.

Stefanie Mach, AZ House
Steve Hansen, Sacramento, CA City Council
Brittany Petterson, CO House
Matthew Lesser, CT House
Bryan Townsend, DE Senate
John Alvarez, FL House
Dar'shun Kendrick, GA House
Angie Buhl, SD Senate
Matt Moonen, ME House
Andrew McLean, ME House
Henry Beck, ME House
Jacob Candelaria, NM Senate
Jeremy VanMeter, OH House
Shemia Fagan, OR House
Will Sylianteng, PA House
Kelly Devine, PA House
Cyrus Habib, WA House
Noel Christina Frama, WA House


Ed Ableser, running for state Senate in Arizona’s 23rd District – Ableser is currently serving as the 17th district’s representative, and is running in the newly formed 23rd Senate district this year.  In addition, Ableser works as a mental health counselor for the public school system in Tempe and is the Democratic Party committeeperson. As a representative, he has fought hard against public education cuts and hopes to build an equitable public education program.

Stefanie Mach, running for state House in Arizona’s 10th District – After earning her master’s degree in public policy from Brown University, she started her own business consulting with non-profit organizations.  Mach will fight to improve the education system in Arizona, as well as help create a path to boost the economy and create more jobs. She has been endorsed by multiple other organizations, including Arizona’s List, a network supporting pro-choice women.

Emily Verdugo, running for state House in Arizona’s 8th District – Verdugo previously served on the Coolidge City Council and volunteers for a variety of community service organizations, including Latino Family Initiative, the American Red Cross, and the Arizona Rural Human Services Network. Verdugo has vowed to fight for affordable and accessible healthcare and education.

Juan Mendez, running for election to state House in Arizona’s 26th District – Mendez serves on the City of Phoenix Human Services Advisory Committee and manages the nonprofit Community Voice Mail, an organization that provides communication tools (e.g., a local phone number and voicemail) to the poor. Mendez supports full equality for LGBT persons and will be an able progressive advocate once elected.


Todd Gloria, incumbent San Diego City Councilman for California’s 3rd District -- He was first elected to the council in 2008 and is a third generation resident to the San Diego district. Gloria is the chair of the Budget and Finance Committee and serves on several other committees. As a representative of the LGBT community in San Diego, he received an endorsement from the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund and works hard to ensure the rights of all people.

Ben Allen, running for reelection for president of the Santa Monica, CA School Board – Allen is an adjunct professor at UCLA. He was unanimously voted in as president by his fellow school board members. He is fighting to receive more government funding from the state and working to improve race relations between the students within the Santa Monica and Malibu-area schools.

Steve Hansen, running for Sacramento, CA City Council -- Hansen previously worked with the Downtown Sacramento Partnership, a non-profit focused on improving the community. With the Partnership, he spearheaded an initiative to create the Downtown Sacramento Foundation, supporting arts and cultural activities and working to reduce homelessness. More info on Hansen can be found here.

Evan Low, running for California State Assembly -- In his current role on the Campbell City Council, Low has worked to balance the budget without cutting vital services. He has extensive experience serving the community which has given him a good understanding of the issues facing local residents and small business owners. He made history by becoming Campbell’s youngest ever, first Asian American, and first openly gay councilmember. For more information on Low, click here.

Kalen Gallagher, running for a seat on the Campbell Union High School District Board -- Kalen taught 7th and 8th grade Social Studies in East San Jose, where he encouraged students to develop the skills they need to succeed and helped them achieve excellent standardized test scores. Last fall he joined an education startup that develops free technology for teachers. He is co-director of New Leaders Council, which trains civic-minded young professionals to make positive changes in their communities. Learn more about Gallagher here.

Chris Clark, running for a seat on Mountain View’s City Council – Previously serving on Mountain View’s Environmental Planning Commission and Community Healthy Awareness Council, at age 25 Clark will be one of the youngest politicians in the country if elected. Clark hopes to represent the 18-36 year old demographic group, a constituency in Mountain View that has lacked representation.

Matt Haney, running for a seat on San Francisco’s Board of Education – Haney has a J.D. from Stanford Law School with an emphasis on education law, was a member of State Senator Joe Simitian’s education policy team, and currently serves as the Executive Director of the University of California Student Association.  Haney also serves on the SFUSD Public Education Enrichment Fund Advisory Committee, where he advises the district on where to spend funds on a variety of educational needs.

Wendy Ho, running to become an Evergreen Community College District Trustee – A San Jose native, Ho was a legislative fellow for Congressman Mike Honda and currently serves as the Advocacy & Public Policy Manager at United Silicon Valley and is on the San Jose Human Rights Commission. Ho has been dedicated to public service for over ten years.

Lawrence Robinson, running for election to Roosevelt, California’s School Board – An attorney for the Democratic Caucus in Arizona’s House of Representatives, Robinson formerly worked for the Brooklyn Family Defense Project (BFDP), an organization dedicated to providing quality legal representation to low-income families. Robinson has vowed to strengthen anti-bullying measures and promote afterschool programs.


Brittany Pettersen, running for state House in Colorado’s 28th District – Petterson has served as the Denver Organizing Director for New Era, a non-profit dedicated to engaging youth in government and politics. She is a strong supporter of LGBT rights as well as a woman’s right to choose. Pettersen also believes in fighting voter suppression to protect the right of every citizen to have their voice heard at the ballot box.

LeRoy Garcia, running for state House in Colorado’s 46th District – Garcia currently serves on the Pueblo City Council, representing the 3rd District. Garcia is a Marine Corps veteran and teaches at Pueblo Community College. Garcia will fight for the expansion of public education funding for both K-12 and higher education, as well as protecting the rights of every individual.

Jessica Garrow, running for a seat on the University of Colorado Board of Regents -- Currently, Garrow serves as the Long Range Planner for the city of Aspen. Garrow graduated from the University of Colorado-Boulder and believes in higher education’s power to positively affect communities and wants to help facilitate that process as a member of the Board of Regents.

Crisanta Duran, running for reelection to the state House in Colorado’s 5th District -- Duran has been a member of the Judiciary, Finance, State Veterans & Military Affairs and Joint Council committees while serving in the state legislature. Additionally she was recognized in a Denver Post article entitled “Women Who Broke Political Barriers.” She has proven herself to be a progressive champion and fights hard for the rights of all Coloradans.

Dominick Moreno, running for state House in Colorado’s 32nd District – Raised in a working class family, Moreno worked hard and earned a scholarship to Georgetown University. During college Moreno worked to help others in his community, including tutoring children in low-income schools during college. He was elected the youngest city councilmember ever in Commerce City. There he earned the respect of his colleagues and was promoted to Mayor Pro Tem. Read more about Moreno here.

Jessie Ulibarri, running for state Senate in Colorado’s 21st District – Coming from a working class background, Ulibarri worked three jobs while attending college and ultimately became the first member of his family to receive a bachelor’s degree. Ulibarri has since been a grassroots activist for over a decade, advocating initiatives that help Latinos, working people, and young people. Ulibarri previously served as the ACLU of Colorado’s Public Policy Director.


Matthew Lesser, running for reelection to the state House in Connecticut’s 100th District – First elected in 2010, over the past two years Lesser has passed legislation to help the middle class. Lesser believes in the value of a strong public education and has fought hard for it in Connecticut. He also believes that every person is entitled to the same rights and freedoms and hopes to make this a reality in the lives of all people in Connecticut.

James Albis, running for reelection to Connecticut’s state House in the 99th District – Albis serves on the Judiciary, Banks, and Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committees. He has been a strong voice for seniors in the community and has fought to improve lives of the middle class through his work as a Community Development Coordinator and legislator.


Bryan Townsend, running for state Senate in Delaware’s 11th District – Townsend has been a volunteer with Special Olympics Delaware for the past thirteen years and is a “big brother” with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Delaware. He hopes to greatly improve the public education system in the Newark/Bear community as well as to create jobs through construction projects. Townsend strives to fight for the voices of those in the community that are not often heard.


Nicole Goines, running for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Washington, D.C. – At 18 years old, Goines is an extremely passionate and driven individual with a promising political career. Goines will ably serve the 5C-05 district upon being elected and supports a variety of progressive causes, including LGBT equality, comprehensive immigration reform, and restricting how much corporate money can be spent in elections.


Dwight Bullard, running for state Senate in Florida’s 39th District -- Bullard is the democratic ranking member in the education committee and the preK-12 education policy committee. Bullard has received numerous awards for his work – most recently, the Young Elected Officials Network’s Barbara Jordan Leadership Award. Bullard also sponsored the Florida DREAM Act, which creates a pathway for young immigrants to access education.

Leo Cruz, running for reelection to the state Senate in Florida’s 10th District – Cruz is a progressive community organizer and an Iraqi War veteran. He is running against incumbent Sen. David Simmons, who helped write the “Stand Your Ground” law in the district where Trayvon Martin was killed. Cruz plans on working to revitalize public education in the area as well as fight for the civil rights of all Floridians.

Ricardo Rangel, running for state House in Florida’s 43rd District – Rangel is a retired Army veteran and has been active in politics for several years after he finished active duty. In 2003 he was selected as the “Florida Young Democrat of the Year” and was awarded the “Emerging Leaders Award” by the Central Brevard NAACP.

Andrew Gillum, running for reelection to the Tallahassee City Commission – Gillum – who is the National Director of affiliate People For the American Way Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network – was first elected to the Tallahassee City Commission in 2003. Andrew has been a leading progressive voice, fighting for working families and small businesses, forming community partnerships, and improving youth academic, personal, and professional development. For more information on Gillum, click here and here.

John Alvarez, running for state House in Florida’s 53rd District – Alvarez is an advocate for healthcare, the environment, job creation, education, and equal rights – a platform he summarizes as “putting people first.” Alvarez is also an outspoken opponent of the Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and supporter of abolishing corporate personhood. Learn more here, and be sure to support Alvarez.   

Joe Saunders, running for state House in Florida’s 49th District – A native Floridian, Saunders has extensive experience serving his community. He has worked for Equality Florida, a statewide group dedicated to advocating for LGBT rights, with Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando, and has served on the Orange County Democratic Party Executive Committee. If elected Saunders promises to continue his fight to end discrimination across Florida.


Dar’shun Kendrick, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 93rd District -- First elected in 2010, Representative Kendrick is the only freshman to co-chair a committee, which she does for the Economic Security and Development Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Children and Youth, Interstate Cooperation and Special Rules Committees. She has recently received endorsements from Planned Parenthood and Georgia’s WIN List.

J. Craig Gordon, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 162nd District – This past legislative session, Gordon served on the Economic Development and Tourism, Health and Human Services, Retirement, and Special Rules Committees. He strongly believes in re-evaluating the education system, revitalizing public education in Georgia, and fighting to ensure the rights of every Georgian.

Yasmin Neal, running for reelection to state House in Georgia’s 75th District – Elected at age 25, Neal is the youngest member of the Georgia House of Representatives. Neal is currently a police officer at the Clayton County Police Department and was a detective in the major felony unit. She is a member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network (YEO). She also has received endorsements from Georgia’s WIN List, Planned Parenthood, and more.


Nate Murphy, running for state House in Idaho’s 29A District – Elected to the 25th District’s school board at age 21, Murphy believes in the importance of education as both an institution and as an economic issue and hopes to improve the public education system. He also will fight for civil rights and for the creation of jobs in Idaho.


Sean Gatewood, running for reelection to state House in Kansas’ 50th District – Gatewood is currently the ranking member of the Children and Families Committee, while also serving on both the Taxation and Federal & State Affairs Committees. He is committed to helping improve the job market and the economy through increasing funding for public education and for clean environment jobs.


Sean Garballey, running for reelection to state House in Massachusetts’ 23rd District – Garballey has been a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives since 2008, having previously served on the Arlington School Committee from 2005 to 2008. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Joint Committee on Election Laws as well as a member of the Special Joint Committee on Redistricting and the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government.

Carl Sciortino, running for reelection to state House in Massachusetts’ 34th District – A founding member of affiliate PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network for which he served as State Director for two terms,  Sciortino has also been named “Best of the New” by Boston Globe Magazine and “Legislator of the Year” by the National Association of Social Workers. He is one of the few LGBT members in the Massachusetts state legislature and has proved to be a strong defender of social and economic justice.


Henry Beck, running for reelection to state House in Maine’s 76th District – Beck just finished his first term in the Maine House of Representatives after serving on the Waterville City Council from 2006-2009. Beck is one of the strongest advocates for health insurance reform in Maine and has served on the Insurance and Financial Services Committee. Beck has also fought to improve the public education system in Maine and to prevent the layoffs of teachers.

Adam Goode, running for reelection to the state House in Maine’s 15th District – Goode currently serves on the Joint Standing Committee on Insurance and Financial Services and is a member of the Worker Rights Board of Eastern Maine. He has proven to be a leader in engaging Mainers in the public decision-making process as well as in fighting for health care reform.

Matt Moonen, running for state House in Maine’s 118th District – Moonen was the Political Director for Equality Maine and played a vital role in the successful passage of the 2009 marriage equality bill. Prior to working with Equality Maine, he worked for MassEquality and on the Fair Wisconsin campaign to defeat a discriminatory marriage amendment. He has also worked with Maine Citizens for Clean Elections to try and reduce the influence of big money in government.

Andrew McLean, running for state House in Maine’s 129th District – McLean has worked as a Resident Director at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham. McLean is a progressive champion and has been endorsed by The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. McLean will be a leader on education and economic opportunity for Gorham and for Maine as a whole.

Diane Russell, running for reelection to the state House in Maine’s 120th District – Russell serves on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee and is a proven progressive champion advocating for working families and the immigrant community of Maine. She is a founding board member of the Opportunity Maine Campaign which fights to make college more affordable.

Justin Chenette, running for state House in Maine’s 134th District – Chenette, who works as a producer at Fox 23’s “Good Day Maine” program, will be the youngest member of the state legislature if elected. Chenette served as an ambassador and public relations director for Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership from 2007-2011, earning a Presidential Service Award from President Obama in 2008 in recognition of his work.


Rashida Tlaib, running for reelection to state House in Michigan’s 12th District – In her first term she was appointed to the House Appropriations Committee and was also named the Minority Vice Chair of Judiciary and Department of Community Health Subcommittees. She also made history by being named the first female Muslim elected to the Michigan legislature and the second ever in the country.

Adam Lawrence, running for state House in Michigan’s 99th District – Lawrence serves as a community organizer and recently received his master’s degree from Central Michigan University. He hopes to greatly improve public education funding and help veterans and seniors receive benefits to which they are entitled.

Brian McGrain, running for reelection to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners – Originally elected in 2008 and reelected in 2010, McGrain serves as the associate director of Community Economic Development Association of Michigan (CEDAM), a nonprofit organization committed to rebuilding neighborhoods. He serves on the Board’s Human Services and Finance Committees as well as on the City of Lansing’s Board of Zoning Appeals.


Zachary Dorholt, running for state House in Minnesota’s 14B District – Dorholt is currently the Treasurer for the Central Minnesota Sustainability Project – a non-profit organization that promotes local sustainable food production and community building. A native Minnesotan, Dorholt was formerly the chairperson of State Representative Larry Haws’ Campaign Committee. Dorholt has been a consistent advocate for progressive ideals and will continue to advocate for them upon being elected.


Bryce Bennett, running for reelection to the state House in Montana’s 92nd District – Originally elected in 2010, Bennett currently works for Forward Montana, a non-profit organization that engages young Montanans in the political process. Bennett was appointed to the Education and State Administration Committees and is also the first openly gay man to serve in the Montana legislature.


Lucy Flores, running for reelection to the state House in Nevada’s 28th District – Flores was appointed to the Nevada Commission on Minority Affairs in 2008, serving her community ably in this position. Flores subsequently ran for state house in Nevada’s 28th District in 2010, joining a group of leaders who became the first ever Hispanic women to join the Nevada Assembly. Flores currently serves as Vice Chair of the Legislative Operations and Elections Committee and as a member of the Education, Government Affairs, Health and Human Services, and Taxation Committee.

Teresa Benitez-Thompson, running for reelection to state House in Nevada’s 27th District – First elected in 2010, Benitez-Thompson formerly worked as both an adoption and hospice social worker. During the 2011-2012 legislative session, Benitez-Thompson served on the Health and Human Services and Government Affairs committees. Benitez-Thompson is dedicated to protecting the rights of the most vulnerable, including seniors, children, the poor, and persons with disabilities.


Tim Keller, running for reelection to the state Senate in New Mexico’s 17th District – Before his election to the State Senate, he co-founded Data Digital Divide, an organization which helps land mine victims and other disadvantaged persons in Cambodia. Keller has also served on the boards of the Open Hands Foundation, Albuquerque Southeast Team for Entrepreneur Development, and several others. He has also received the New Mexico “Bipartisan Rising Star,” “40 under 40,” and “Defender of Justice” awards, among others.

Jacob Candelaria, running for state Senate in New Mexico’s 26th District – Candelaria is currently the director of Equality New Mexico – a statewide advocacy organization that promotes the civil liberties of LGBT persons – and is running for a seat in New Mexico’s 46th District. A former leadership analyst for Speaker of the New Mexico House Ben Lujan and program evaluator for the New Mexico Legislative Finance Committee, Candelaria will be the first openly gay member of the New Mexico state legislature. Candelaria has vowed to promote LGBT rights, adequately fund education, and work toward equitable access to healthcare for all persons.


Micah Z. Kellner, running for reelection to the state House in New York’s 76th District – Kellner was first elected to the Assembly in 2007 in a special election to replace Alexander Grannis in the 65th District. Kellner is a progressive champion who has spearheaded efforts for marriage equality and worked to support the rights of persons with disabilities, reproductive rights, and fairer government funding for New York City’s public schools.

Andrew Gounardes, running for state Senate in New York’s 22nd District – Gounardes currently serves as an attorney for the Citizens Committee for New York City, a non-profit that gives grants to community groups improving their neighborhood, and as a member of Community Board 10. Gounardes hopes to help reform public education in order to provide students with access to the best education possible. He will strive to “finally reform campaign finance” and protect the integrity of our democracy.


Danielle Adams, running for reelection as the Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor in Durham – Adams previously won 46% of the vote in a three-way race. Adams is extremely passionate about her position and hopes to move environmental and agricultural issues to the forefront of people’s minds.


Corey Mock, running for reelection to state House in North Dakota’s 42nd District – In addition to serving in the state House, Mock serves as the executive director of Third Street Clinic, a non-profit organization that provides access to healthcare for low-income residents of Grand Forks and Polk counties. Mock served on the Education and Political Subdivisions committees in the 2011-2012 legislative session.


Jeremy VanMeter, running for state House in Ohio’s 78th District – VanMeter has served on the board of the Berne Union Local School District and on the Fairfield County Education Service Center governing board, where he was recently named Board President. VanMeter hopes to establish public education reform and to provide the public school systems in Ohio with more funding and “elimination of wasteful spending on the for-profit charter schools.”

Michael Stinziano, running for reelection to the state House in Ohio’s 18th District – Stinziano is a board member for several organizations, including the Boys and Girls Clubs of Columbus, and serves as chairperson of the Columbus Bar Association’s Government Agencies Committee. He also is a member of the Insurance, Judiciary and Ethics, Public Utilities, and State Government and Elections Committees in the legislature.

Nicholas Celebrezze, running for state House in Ohio’s 15th District – Celebrezze has served on the Parma City Council for the past six years and was selected to replace State Rep. Timothy DeGeeter in January. While in Columbus, he has served on the Local Government and Transportation, Public Safety and Homeland Security Committees.

Ryan Jolley, running for state House in Ohio’s 19th District – Jolley was first elected to the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education at age 18 and is currently a member of the city council as well as a member of the council’s finance committee. As a member of the House, Jolley will fight for “freedom, opportunity, and security for all Ohioans.”

Steve Newsome, running for state House in Ohio’s 30th District – Newsome endorses an impressive array of progressive policies that will move the nation forward. Newsome has stated that if elected, he will work to close tax loopholes that corporations exploit to avoid paying their fair share and invest significantly in alternate forms of energy that will both secure energy independence for the nation and produce manufacturing jobs for Ohio.  Newsome also advocates for investing in jobs training programs for Ohioans.


Shemia Fagan, running for reelection to the state House in Oregon’s 51st District – Fagan serves her community by working as a volunteer on a local school board and by regularly doing pro bono legal work for struggling Oregonians. Fagan has vowed to preserve K-12 funding and jobs training programs for veterans and unemployed persons. She also seeks to hold corporations accountable by protecting consumers’ rights. Fagan will continue to be a staunch advocate for progressive ideals if reelected.


Will Sylianteng, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 151st District – Sylianteng currently practices law in Blue Bell, PA and has vice-chaired the Montgomery County Bar Association’s Civil Practice Committee and served on its Diversity Committee. Sylianteng has also been named a “SuperLawyer Rising Star” and “Pennsylvania Diversity Attorney of the Year.” He advocates for improving public education and investing in infrastructure to help create jobs and improve the community.

Bret Binder, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 156th District – Binder serves as a small business owner of a gourmet rice pudding emporium. Binder will fight against House Bill 934, a bill that disenfranchises up to 700,000 Pennsylvanians based on lack of identification, as well as advocating to increase the importance of public education in the eyes of the Pennsylvania legislature.

Erin Molchany, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 22nd District – Molchany began serving her community in the Emergency Services Department of the Red Cross.  She parlayed this experience into a position at the Coro Center for Public Leadership, where she led the Emerging Leaders in Public Affairs and Women in Leadership programs. More recently, Molchany was elected vice president of the board of directors for the Mount Washington Community Development Corporation, where she served her community by promoting economic development and public safety.

Sarah Speed, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 47th District – A licensed attorney, Speed is currently the Animal Law Legislative Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association and is the secretary of the Pennsylvania State Animal Response Team. Speed is also a volunteer firefighter for York County. Upon election, she plans to promote the ability of women and children to access healthcare services.

Kelly Devine, running for state House in Pennsylvania’s 150th District – Devine is a former journalist who served as president of the Montgomery County Young Democrats for the past two years and currently serves on their Executive Committee. Devine has vowed to ramp up investment in infrastructure, protect the environment, and help keep college affordable.


Henri Thompson, running for state Senate in South Carolina’s 12th District – Born and raised in South Carolina, Thompson was a community organizer in Baltimore and served as the associate director of community affairs at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Thompson also has experience within the political system, having served as a staff member in U.S. Representative James Clyburn’s Washington office, the only Democrat in the South Carolina Congressional delegation.


Angie Buhl, running for reelection to the state Senate in South Dakota’s 15th District -- First elected in 2010 at the age of 25, Buhl is the youngest woman ever to serve in South Dakota’s senate. Buhl has already risen to the position of chair of the Senate Democratic Caucus. She is a leader on women’s rights in South Dakota. Buhl has also served on the board of Equality South Dakota and worked with South Dakotans Against Discrimination and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Kevin Killer, running for reelection to the state House in South Dakota’s 27th District – Killer was first elected in 2010 and has been a leader for equal rights, especially for Native Americans, while in office. This past legislative session, Killer served on both the Education and Judiciary Committees. He sponsored a bill that would allow tribal IDs to be recognized as equivalent to certain state-issued IDs.


Mary E. Gonzalez, running for state House in Texas’ 75th District – Gonzalez will run unopposed in the general election in November. She will become the second ever LGBT member of the Texas State House, bringing the number of state legislatures without an LGBT member down to sixteen.


Luz Robles, running for reelection to the state Senate in Utah’s 1st District – Robles currently serves on the Senate Ethics Committee, the Health and Human Services Committee, and several others. While in office, Robles has fought for the rights of all people.  During the 2011 session, she sponsored a bill that would give illegal immigrants an “accountability card,” giving them the right to work without changing their legal status.


Kesha Ram, running for reelection to the state House in Vermont’s 3-4 District – First elected in 2008 at age 25, Ram is the youngest legislator serving in Vermont. Ram spent her first three years serving as the clerk of the General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee, and this year was appointed to the Ways and Means Committee. Additionally, she serves on the Joint Legislative Technology Committee. She is the Legal Director for the organization Women Helping Battered Women.


Justin Wilson, running for a seat on the Alexandria City Council – Wilson, who previously served one term on the city council,  strongly supports marriage equality, supports Gay/Straight Alliance clubs in local schools, and has been a member of LGBT Democrats of America since 2003. He is a member of Alexandria’s NAACP chapter and when on the city council served on the Youth Policy Commission and Alexandria Library.

Joel McDonald, running for Virginia Beach School Board – McDonald has dedicated himself to the field of education, having worked as a data support specialist with the Virginia Beach City Public Schools for the last six years. McDonald is currently a member of the Virginia Beach Education Association and is a pro-equality Democrat with an endorsement from the LGBT Democrats of Virginia PAC.


Joe Fitzgibbon, running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives in the 34th District – First elected in 2010 to represent Olympia, Fitzgibbon has served as vice chair of the Local Government Committee and as a member of the Transportation, Environment, and General Government Appropriations and Oversight Committee. He has taken the lead on numerous issues including “expanding access to the polls for young voters and other disenfranchised communities.”

Cyrus Habib, running for state House in Washington’s 48th District – Habib is a disability advocate, having lost his eyesight at age 8 due to a rare form of child cancer. He serves as the Human Services Commissioner for the city of Bellevue, Washington, and formerly served on the city’s Civil Rights Commission. If elected, Habib will be the first Iranian-American member of any state legislature in the country.

Noel Christina Frame, running for state House in Washington’s 36b District – Frame serves as the state director for Progressive Majority in Washington, facilitating the recruitment of state and local progressives to promote a variety of worthwhile causes. She worked as the deputy campaign manager for Approve Referendum 71, a successful ballot measure that ensured the legality of LGBT domestic partnerships. She will continue to fight for equality, working families, and the environment in the state House.

Marko Liias, running for reelection to the Washington House of Representatives in the 21st District – The son of Finnish immigrants, Liias was first elected to his current position in 2008. Liias is a member of the Education and Transportation Committees and has vowed to continue his efforts to prioritize funding for education and for transportation measures that will generate jobs.


Mandela Barnes, running for state House in Wisconsin’s 11th District – Born and raised in Milwaukee, Barnes serves as a community organizer in his hometown and formerly served in the mayor’s office. Barnes has vowed to properly fund education, modernize transportation infrastructure, and invest in the local economy to create jobs.


Joseph Barbuto, running for reelection to the Wyoming House of Representatives in the 48th District – Born in Rock Springs, Wyoming, Barbuto worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2008. He was appointed to his current position when its incumbent stepped down. Once in office, Barbuto served on the House Minority Caucus; he is currently assigned to the Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee as well as the Select Committee on School Facilities. Barbuto has been a strong force for progressive change in Wyoming.

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