Members of the WNDC and the GOTV Task Force research candidates that, with volunteer help, can either claim or protect a seat with the goal to elect a Democratic majority in the White House, the US Senate, and the US House of Representatives. Below is a brief description on each candidate that WNDC is working to elect and a link to Act Blue, a Democratic site that allows you to securely donate to individual candidates.
US SENATE CANDIDATES
Dr. Barbara Bollier (Kansas)
Dr. Barbara Bollier is a champion of abortion rights, gun control, Medicaid expansion, LGBTQ rights, and public schools. A Republican for decades, she was upset by GOP shifts to the right under Trump. In 2018 she threw her support behind Democrat Laura Kelly’s successful run for governor, then became a Democrat herself. As she explained it to Bustle magazine, “I have always said, ‘I’m trying to change things from within, on the Republican side.’ But at some point, obviously, I realized it was failing. People need leadership and things to actually happen in government for the good of the people. It was time to move on.” She believes in principled leadership and is eager to represent the moderate voices in Kansas.
Dr. Bollier is running against physician and current anti-choice Congressman Roger Marshall, who promises “there will be no space between the president and ourselves.” He’s a strong Trump supporter with votes that regularly align with Trump’s priorities. As of the end of August, Cook Political Report rated the race lean-Republican, but some polls show Bollier in a dead heat with Marshall. Her message of moderation and independence resonates with Kansans. Bollier currently has the fundraising advantage, having broken all Kansas Senate fundraising records earlier this year. Join WNDC in supporting Dr. Bollier as she strives to flip a reliably Red Senate seat… and in doing so, put an end to Mitch McConnell’s reign! You can support her campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcbollier#.
Steve Bullock (Montana)
Former Montana Attorney General, Steve Bullock is finishing up his second term as governor, where he worked hard to expand Medicaid, protect public lands, and ban dark money from outside the state. He was persuaded by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and former President Obama to run for the Senate after he suspended his run for the presidency in 2019. They saw his strong approval ratings, high name recognition, and history of garnering GOP voters as a way to win another Democratic Senate seat in Montana…. and a path to a Democratic Senate majority in Washington.
He’s running against the GOP incumbent, Steve Daines. A former businessman, Daines has also been working on public lands issues as well as support to Native American communities. In late June, the race was rated as a toss up by the Cook Political Report. Bullock’s approval ratings over his strong handling of COVID-19 have garnered him support and money for his Senate bid. However, during his presidential bid, Bullock announced support for an assault weapons ban, which may cost him votes in this hunting state.
Governor Bullock is doing well but still needs our support. Join us in helping him make the MT Senate delegation and the US Senate Blue! You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcbullock#.
Cal Cunningham (North Carolina)
Democratic challenger Cal Cunningham is a former state legislator and Iraq war vet. He’s a centrist, having fought off a progressive in his primary. He comes to this race focusing on health care, key in NC. He contrasts starkly with GOP incumbent Thom Tillis, who has voted with Trump 93.3% of the time. This includes votes against abortion rights, in favor of gun rights, and to repeal the ACA. Cunningham has been growing his vote share. A June CNBC/Change Research showed Cunningham with 51% support in the state, with Tillis at 41%. You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndccunningham#.
Sara Gideon (Maine)
The race is on in Maine for the Senate, where Sara Gideon is challenging GOP incumbent Susan Collins, along with a host of Independent candidates. Collins has been in the Senate since 1997 and had a reputation as a moderate, until she voted to confirm Justice Kavanaugh. With this vote, she disappointed many and turned herself into a Democratic target in 2020. She’s seen as increasingly out of touch with Maine, and her disapproval ratings have skyrocketed
Gideon, in contrast, is a well-regarded Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives and handily won her primary. She has a large fundraising advantage over Collins and has been playing up Collins’ Supreme Court vote, casting it in light of all the important cases that have and will come to the Court. As of July, this was rated as a toss up race by almost all pollsters, although some are starting to see it leaning Dem. You can support her campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcgideon#.
MJ Hegar (Texas)
Air Force combat veteran MJ Hegar easily won her July 14th runoff race to challenge Republican incumbent Jon Cornyn for the US Senate seat. She narrowly lost the House race two years ago against incumbent Republican John Carter. We all remember the ad she ran then, entitled “Doors.” It went viral almost overnight, with good reason. View video here.
Cornyn spent money on ads encouraging voters to go all out for her Democratic primary challenger state Senator Royce West, so he clearly deems her to be a formidable candidate that he didn’t want to face in November. Cook Political Report still rates this race as “Likely Republican,” and Inside Elections as “Leans Republican,” but Cornyn’s tight hold on Trump’s coat tails could soon prove to be a liability. There’s also reason to believe that this race will most assuredly require Republicans to spend a lot of money in this state, thereby potentially shortchanging resources in other state races.
It’s also believed that her campaign war chest will receive a healthy injection after her primary win, much-needed resources in an expensive media market state. Though as a rescue helicopter pilot, winning a Purple Heart and Distinguished Flying Cross for her valor, Cornyn is labeling her “Hollywood Hegar,” or scary “Elizabeth Warren on a motorcycle.” Hegar has fired back, calling this tired, weak three-term incumbent what he is: “a lackey and spineless bootlicker for Trump.” You can support here campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndchegar#.
John Hickenlooper (Colorado)
Crucial to Democratic hopes for taking back the Senate, the race is looking good in Colorado. GOP incumbent Cory Gardner is trailing significantly in the polls, and seems to have little to fall back on. He was elected in 2014, which was a GOP wave. It was also the last time a Republican won a statewide election in Colorado. Democrats are tying Gardner to Trump, and can cite a long list of Gardner’s pro-Trump votes—difficult for Gardner when Trump’s own CO polling is bad-getting-worse.
John Hickenlooper, by contrast, is deeply trusted by many as a former two-term governor of Colorado. Many see him as a real guy, not a politician, and one who served Colorado well. Pollsters note that in the same year Gardner won his Senate seat and Hickenlooper was being re-elected as governor, Hickenlooper won his seat with two percentage points more than Gardner won his—an intriguing and encouraging comparison. You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndchickenlooper#.
Mark Kelly (Arizona)
Retired astronaut and Navy fighter pilot Mark Kelly has been putting up a strong fight for the Arizona Senate seat that is open this year. He refuses to take corporate PAC money, and indeed one of his major issues is reducing corporate power. Kelly is the husband of former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, and, like her, is also known as a strong gun control activist. He was a devoted partner during her recovery from a severe gunshot wound, and helped her set up a gun control advocacy organization. Gun control organizations endorsed him early.
He’s running against Martha McSally, the incumbent Republican senator who was appointed by the governor after Senator John McCain died. McSally had run, and lost, in 2018 to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema, so is seen as a weak candidate. While Kelly has been greatly outraising McSally, as of mid-August, the GOP has been dropping attack ads that are credited with erasing Kelly’s lead. This seat is crucial to Democratic hopes for retaking the Senate, so join WNDC in helping Kelly win this! You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcmarkkelly#.
Jon Ossoff (Georgia)
33-year-old Jon Ossoff runs an investigative journalism TV production company. He is a strong supporter of major liberal issues such as clean energy and health insurance for all. He had the strong support of the late US Representative John Lewis and continues to be supported by a number of major environmental and other organizations. He ran for 6th district congressional district in 2017 and lost to the Republican by 3.6% of the vote. Ossoff speaks very directly on issues, with phrases such as ”health is a human right” and “Amazon provides a great service [$3.6 billion in Georgia] but its corporate behavior is unethical.”
Jon’s main problem may well be name recognition, which is where support of organizations such as WNDC is crucial. Recent research found that only 65% recognize his name compared to 85% for David Perdue, the GOP incumbent. Perdue is the incumbent senior senator since 2015. He serves on a number of important Senate committees, which Georgians will like, but is a strong supporter of President Trump, which increasingly Georgians do not like. Some pollsters call it a close election with Perdue slightly ahead…but that’s where we come in! You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcossof#.
US HOUSE CANDIDATES
Wendy Davis (Texas-21)
The current representative of the 21st Congressional District in the central portion of the state (between San Antonio and Austin area) is one-term Republican Chip Roy. Just in the past month, this race seems to be moving into a very competitive area. Roy’s predecessor Republican Lamar Smith held this seat for over 30 years, but in 2018 Roy only won by less than 3 percent!
Harvard Law School graduate and former Democratic state senator and indefatigable marathon filibuster queen Wendy Davis won the Democratic primary earlier and is closing in on Roy. She is also outperforming him when it comes to fundraising. Roy is running scared, using the usual tactic of labeling her and “extreme liberal”, “right there with AOC, Ilhan Omar, Pelosi and the rest of the Socialist Democrats!” Roy, who once served as Chief of Staff to Ted Cruz, voted against corona virus relief funding, and after receiving heat for that vote, claimed he didn’t have sufficient time to review it before voting. “Sure, Jan.”
Wendy Davis belongs in this seat, and high-profile political ratings groups likewise have upgraded their ratings. Cook Political Report switched this seat from Leans Republican to Toss Up. Inside Elections upgraded from Likely Republican to Tilt Republican. Davis has been endorsed by the Brady Campaign, Emily’s List, Everytown for Gun Safety, Human Rights Campaign, J Street PAC, NARAL Pro-Choice America, NEA, Sierra Club, and many others. We will never forget her “sheroic” filibuster in the Texas Senate Special Session, when she spoke for 12 hours straight to protect women’s reproductive rights. After running for Governor in 2014, not only has she managed to remain a political commentator, but also founded a non-profit for engaging young women in politics – “Deeds Not Words.” Well, we need her deeds and words in Washington! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcdavis#
Sri Preston Kulkarni (Texas-22)
This is an open seat created by the retirement of Republican Pete Olson.
Former diplomat and national security expert Sri Preston Kulkarni won the March Democratic primary in this eastern portion of the state. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas and his M.P.A. from Harvard University. In addition, he served in the United States Foreign Service from 2003 to 2017 and worked as a policy and defense advisor for Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls handily won a July 14th Republican runoff and will face Kulkarni in November. According to the DCCC, Nehls has downplayed the coronavirus in the community and was fired as a police officer for destroying evidence. Yikes!
Kulkarni has been endorsed by Everytown for Gun Safety, Sierra Club, J Street PAC, Council for a Livable World, Human Rights Campaign, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, and many other major organizations. Both The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections rate the race as toss up. Olson only won re-election two years ago by five percentage points. Let’s help put Kulkarni over the top! You can support his campaign by donating through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndckulkarni#.
Elaine Luria (Virgina-02)
Since flipping a red seat in 2018, Congresswoman Elaine Luria has been active. She’s on the House Oversight and Reform Committee and on the Armed Services Committee, where she holds leadership of several subcommittees. Luria is co-sponsor of the PPP Flexibility Act offering business owners more time to spend their PPP funds. She also co-sponsored a bipartisan bill to ban assault weapons and works on other legislation regarding gun control. She is working on proposals to stop robocalls as well as a number of health issues.
Her legislative work reflects her life prior to Congress. Luria joined the Navy at age 17, retiring 20 years later with the rank of Commander. She was the first woman to attend the US Naval Nuclear Power School. From 2014 to 2017 she was the commanding officer of combat ready unit of 400 sailors. She didn’t stop there, as she also started a family business which created a large number of jobs in Virginia and gave $50,000 to charities before she retired in 2018 to run for office.
She’s in a rematch this year with Scott Taylor, who was the incumbent Republican representative in 2016 when she won her seat. Taylor is looking to take back the seat, and the Cook Political Report rated the race as a toss up as of early August. Join WNDC in keeping Luria’s talent and expertise in the House! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcluria#.
Kathy Manning (North Carolina-06)
Kathy Manning has received many awards for her North Carolina public service, a set of values and experience that is fueling her campaign for Congress. In addition to leadership roles in organizations such as the United Way and the Community Foundation for Greater Greensboro, she practiced as an attorney and then started her own business. She’s supported by the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, United Auto Workers, National Education Association along with many other organizations and interest groups.
This is an open seat with good chances for Manning. Her GOP opponent is Joseph Haywood, and two independents are running for the seat as well. Haywood is a staunch conservative who opposes the Affordable Care Act and wants to get rid of the Department of Education and turn education entirely over to states. Happily, this district was redrawn for this election, and now includes more urban, Democratic areas. Help WNDC support Manning in ensuring this new NC seat is a blue one! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcmanning#.
Lucy McBath (Georgia-06)
Lucy McBath’s road to Congress began when she left a position with Delta when her son was shot in a racially-charged incident—killed by a man who complained that the young man’s music was too loud. Grieving her son, McBath became a national spokesperson for organizations focused on gun control. She took that determination to the campaign trail, flipping a red seat in 2018. Then she took it to Congress. Lucy McBath is cited as one of the most effective lawmakers in her first term, both in terms of measures introduced as well as passed. Five of her measures are included in the Higher Education Act (including improving education, lowering college costs, and expanding opportunity.) She introduced the Haven Act to protect military veterans in need. Congresswoman McBath also initiated and won measures to provide $500 million for the CDC Covid relief package as well as $25 million for CDC & NIH gun violence protection work.
McBath is facing the challenger she narrowly defeated in 2018, GOP businesswoman Karen Handel. According to the Cook Political Report, Georgia’s 6th district is leaning (but not certain) Democratic. Congresswoman McBath is a voice we depend on. Join WNDC in helping her keep her seat! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcmcbath#.
Gina Ortiz-Jones (Texas-23)
This is an open seat created by the retirement of Republican Will Hurd.
Air Force veteran Democrat Gina Ortiz-Jones won the March primary and is thought to be in a strong position to pick up this House seat in the western portion of the state. Her professional experience is quite impressive, including serving as director for investment at the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and as the senior advisor for trade enforcement. Ortiz-Jones earned her master’s and bachelor’s degrees in economics and a bachelor’s degree in East Asian studies all from Boston University. She also earned a graduate degree from the US Army School of Advanced Military Studies.
Ortiz-Jones has been endorsed by Brady Campaign to prevent Gun Violence, Emily’s List, Human Rights Campaign, National Education Association, and many other major organizations. The Cook Political Report and Inside Elections both rate this race as Lean Democratic, two more good reasons to get behind this candidate for another seat pickup. You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcortizjones#.
Abigail Spanberger (Virgina-07)
A moderate Democrat who flipped a red seat in 2018, Abigail Spanberger initially was against pursuing impeachment. However, when the whistleblower came forward in 2019, she and five other centrist Democrats wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post urging impeachment, a decisive move that really gave the process steam. She knew the action could cost her seat, but said it was not worth having a seat if one did not use it to stand for principles.
Spanberger’s entire career has been for public service. She worked in federal law enforcement, then at the CIA before becoming a Congresswoman. Her special issues are health care/ prescription drugs and gun violence control. She has co-sponsored bipartisan legislation around background checks and support for CDC gun control research. She has co-sponsored successful legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate prices and has joined a bipartisan effort to ensure that social security remains solvent.
Her opponent is Nick Freitas, seen as a strong libertarian in the Virginia state legislature. He is backed by the anti-tax Club for Growth among other very conservative groups. His fundraising is strong, and as of early August the race is rated as a toss up by the Cook Political Report. Help us keep this principled Dem in the House! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcspanberger#.
Pat Timmons-Goodson (North Carolina-08)
In what is being seen as the most competitive House race in North Carolina, a state Supreme Court justice is giving the incumbent Republican a run for his money. Timmons-Goodson became the first African-American woman on the state Supreme Court in 2006 and went on to be nominated by President Obama for the federal bench. She’s been fundraising extremely well lately, with most donations from individuals and half of those from low-dollar donors. This indicates enthusiasm for her candidacy, born out in reports of her deep ties to the district.
Timmons-Goodson is challenging 5-term GOP incumbent Richard Hudson, who previously was a Congressional staffer himself, and is married to Kellyanne Conway’s chief of staff. As of mid-August, her race was moved from “likely Republican” to “lean Republican”—a positive trend reflecting her reach and her fundraising. Let’s bring this honorable woman into Congress! Join WNDC in supporting former North Carolina State Supreme Court Justice Pat Timmons-Goodson! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndctimmonsgoodson#
Dr Hiral Tiperneni (Arizona-06)
Dr. Tipirneni is an emergency room physician who also became a cancer research advocate when her mother and nephew died of the disease. She takes her role in the community seriously, having served on several NGO boards and led a TedX on positive solutions for development of Arizona’s Northwest Valley. She champions an evidence-based approach to issues, which has led her to positions on the need for universal healthcare, against building a wall with Mexico, and for common sense gun safety laws. As a physician, she listens carefully, which is why she knows she can represent her district well.
Dr. Tiperneni is running against Republican Congressman David Schweikert, who recently was reprimanded by the House for ethics violations including using campaign funds for a trip to the Super Bowl. This race as of mid August has been classified as a toss up by the Cook Political Report, testament to the increasing enthusiasm for her candidacy.
If she wins, she’ll be the first woman of color to represent this district. She’s doing well in fundraising, but this race still needs our help to move from toss up to Lean Dem. We can help put this strong, intelligent woman in the House! You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndctiperneni#.
Candace Valenzuela (Texas-24)
The current representative of the 24th Congressional District in the northern portion of the state is Republican Kenny Marchant, who is retiring. Democratic Primary winners facing each other in July runoff were Weatherford School Board Member and retired Air Force officer Kim Olson and Carrolton School Board Member Candace Valenzuela. Valenzuela proved victorious, claiming 60% of the vote. Valenzuela highlights her experiences being homeless as a child. She believes that the people closest to pain should be the ones in power. If elected, Valenzuela will become the first Latina to serve in Congress.
Irving Texas Mayor and HUD official WITH the Trump Regime, Beth Ann Duyne is the Republican challenger. As predicted, the “extremists” and “socialism” attacks from her campaign and the right have already begun.
Valenzuela has been endorsed by the DCCC Red to Blue Program, Emily’s List, LCV Action Fund, Equality PAC and Giffords PAC. She says she’s running to “make sure that people have access to food to eat, have access to a roof over their heads, have access to clean air and clean water.” Now if those aren’t reasons to back her, not sure what is! Both the Cook Political Report and Inside Elections now rate this race as a toss up. You can support her campaign through ActBlue: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/wndcvalenzuela#.