Though we started out intending to endorse state legislature candidates, as well as potential governors, we weren't prepared at all for the Blue Tsunami of House and Senate candidates that keeps growing. In 2016, we had nine federal candidates - at present, we have 130 and growing. We regrettably just don't have the time or staff to cover state and local legislative races, so no more than the ones already here will be added. We will, however, continue to cover gubernatorial races in hopes to help replace the evil Republicans like Snyder, Walker, Lepage, etc.
In March, Illinois made yet another fatal mistake that, like the 2016 presidential race, has left us with no choice but the "lesser of three evils" situation (disgusted with the Republican incumbent, a Republican state senator is now running as a Constitution Party candidate) when we could have had a state senator and former state Rep, who lives simply on $40,000 a year, is smart (a mathematician!), visionary, honest, and truly of and for the people of Illinois. But no, after four years of failure, increased state debt, third-world level healthcare everywhere but Chicago, nothing but cuts to social services and anything that helps the poor, we'll either have four more years of the same from a Republican mini-Trump, four years of an ultra conservative who'd never win Chicago, or another billionaire, this time in Democratic costume, with NO governing experience, connected to the infamously corrupt Chicago Machine, with more concern about which watch to wear than he has about the people of Illinois.
DON'T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE! We allowed Pritzker's money to hypnotize us with big flashy mailers, TV and radio ads, and even Internet pop-ups. Illinois voters were STUPID, refusing to learn from the evidence right in front of us. Pay attention, find out about ALL your choices and be a knowledgeable voter!
Abdul El-Sayed (PD) MI
If there were such a thing as DUH Magazine, Abdul El-Sayed is a likely candidate for "cover doc." Not only is he handsome with a great smile, but he's an internationally known expert in public health policy
Abdul went on to become a Rhodes Scholar, earning a doctorate from Oxford University and a medical degree from Columbia University. As a public health professor, Abdul became an internationally recognized expert in health policy and health inequalities.
At the age of 30, Abdul became the youngest health official of a major American city and was tasked with rebuilding Detroit's Health Department after it was privatized during the city's bankruptcy. As Health Director, he worked tirelessly to improve government accountability and transparency, as well as instituting several programs that benefited the children of Detroit, ensuring lead-free water in schools and daycare centers, providing glasses to children in need, and reducing asthma by working with polluters to reduce emissions and create parks and other green spaces..
After the tyranny of "Emergency Financial Managers," the blatant crimes against the people of Flint, the culture of racism and violence between police and the citizenry, and the general destruction of the state's economy wrought by the Snyder administration, the people of Michigan deserve a governor with love, not hate, in his heart; logic and knowledge, not selfish ignorance, in his mind; and compassion and concern, not scorn and disregard, for the people of Michigan.
Bob Massie (PD) MA
Bob Massie is running for Governor of Massachusetts. We weren't going to weigh in on this race, but then we read that Bob's knowledge and experience with both American and foreign healthcare systems has fueled a passion in him to bring the single-payer healthcare he got in another country to the U.S. Born with hemophilia, he says, "I am able to walk today because I received health care in another country where I was a foreign resident. In other words, my commitment to single-payer care and to healthcare as a right has been burned into my bones." We hear you, Bob!
Howie Hawkins (G) NY
Howie Hawkins recently entered the race for NY Governor, giving us reason to endorse a candidate in that race. Howie doesn't have the backing of the Democratic Machine like Cuomo or the celebrity, fashion, or money of Nixon, but he DOES have the historical creds, integrity, and balls to run in full-throated support of the New York Health Act (the NY single-payer bill currently almost passed in the state legislature), which the other two don't even mention on their websites.
Howie is a contender, one of the few Greens who managed to win enough votes in the 2014 gubernatorial race (184,419) to move the party up on the ballot. And this time, he has added a much-needed element of fierceness to his campaign. His upgraded website declares, ""Demand More!" and ""We are demanding more than piecemeal reforms. We are demanding system change." With all that demanding, it seems only right that DEMAND Universal Healthcare be one of his first endorsers!
His issue page on Healthcare outlines the provisions of the NY Health Act, summarized by, "The New York Health Act will provide comprehensive, universal health coverage for every New Yorker and would replace private insurance coverage. You and your health care providers work to keep you healthy. New York Health pays the bill." Familiar language to those of us who know H.R.676.
While Cuomo is probably being wined and dined by insurance company lobbyists and Nixon waits for the next day's stump speech script, Howie is the candidate who knows and can provide what people in the whole state (not just the city) need.
Dennis Kucinich (PD) OH
Dennis Kucinich has a history as a Congressman and presidential candidate who, like Bernie, supported single-payer healthcare long before it was the issue of importance that it is now. He was in fact the principal author of several landmark pieces of legislation, including Medicare for All.
Kucinich’s penchant for beating the odds has made him a proponent of “possibility thinking,” which involves a deep inquiry into any challenging situation or condition, envisioning and discovering alternative outcomes and creatively calling forth and establishing new conditions enabling positive change. He developed this skill as Mayor of Cleveland when he refused to sell the city's municipal electric company to private interests which would have charged residents more. While fighting this epic battle, Mayor Kucinich cut city spending by 10% without reducing services, and ran city government on a cash basis.
Fifteen years later, the people showed their appreciation of his courage in refusing to sell, by electing Kucinich to the Ohio Senate and then to eight consecutive terms in the United States Congress.
Evidently, his commitment to true public service hasn't ended. He announced his candidacy for Governor in January and two days later, introduced Akron City Councilwoman Tara Samples as his running mate. She shares his progressive values and was a delegate for both Obama and Sanders at the national Democratic conventions. A single mother of four, Tara always dreamed of life in politics and worked her way through school to become a paralegal and court bailiff before being elected and re-elected to the Akron City Council. Like her friend Nina Turner, Tara is a natural politician. She is intelligent, articulate, empathetic, energetic, and has one of the most valuable tools of any candidate - a great smile! This is indeed a dream team and proof of Kucinich's good decision-making!
We here at DUH celebrate the reemergence of Dennis Kucinich as Ohio's governor, reflecting his courage and passion to be a force for good for all Buckeyes and a steadfast ally to our Medicare for All colleagues, the great activists of SPAN Ohio and their indefatigable leader Debbie Silverstein! We're excited about hearing the Congressman speak at SPAN-Ohio's Annual Conference in April!
Kelda Roys (PD) WI
Kelda has a huge mountain of money to overcome, first in her primary and then, if she wins, in challenging Scott Walker, one of the most greedy, selfish, unjust, sneaky, and dishonest governors in the country. But she dynamited a big chunk of that mountain when she catapulted herself to the attention of the repressed, titillated (no pun intended) American public by behaving like (gasp!) a MOTHER in a campaign ad wherein she breastfed her daughter. The subsequent media furor seemed to puzzle her when interviewed about the video. "This is real life," she said, "“I don’t want to have to hide a really big part of myself in order to win an election,” Kelda told HuffPost.
We are happy to say that we applaud her, in this "International Year of the Woman," for demonstrating that among the basic functions of being female is the ability to feed your children, not just trying to erase men's significance in our lives or in what they've done for us.
Kelda, 38, is a small business owner, former state representative, attorney, and advocate for women and children. A mom and stepmom of 4 girls, Kelda is relentlessly focused on building a Wisconsin where everyone has the chance to succeed. We also applaud her for being the only candidate in an overpopulated field that seems to know the facts about Medicare for All and to have thought of ways to apply the concept to Wisconsin, though all agree to accept Medicaid expansion funds. She states, "As governor, my first act will be to accept federal healthcare dollars. I’ll make Badgercare a public option and available to all to buy in. I won’t rest until every single Wisconsinite has access to quality affordable, comprehensive healthcare.”
State Legislature Candidates
We wanted to make sure these three guys didn't think we took our endorsement away! They earned it fair and square, but then we had to stop endorsing state-level legislative candidates. We'll try to include them in their state's pre-primary banner, but Michigan has so many that they might not fit!
Mark Bignell (PD) MI State Senate
Mark is still "delivering progress," only now it's to Michigan's State Senate instead of Congress. DUH respects his wisdom in choosing to climb the State legislative ladder, which will give him experience that will benefit his future political career.
Mark has plenty of experience choosing to defer his own immediate goals in order to take care of the needs of others. He did it for his family when they faced severe poverty; he's done it for his wife and kids, re-educating himself and finding an occupation that would support them; and now he seeks to do it for the people of Michigan's 33rd legislative district.
He knows what his would-be constituents want and need because he's been there with them, as one of them, as the Snyder administration has hurt their democracy, the economy, and the people. He knows how urgently change is needed and, as he's always done, he's stepping up to be an agent of that change. DUH endorses his platform which includes a single-payer system for Michigan, but we also applaud his desire to make a positive difference.
Robert Van Kirk (PD) MI State House
Robert is another awesome MI candidate, running for the State House in District 77. He credits his mother and grandparents for raising him with values that included defending those that cannot defend themselves and speaking truth to power which he witnessed his mother doing after his biological father abused her after he was born.
The desire to serve his community was also deeply instilled in Robert, which led to political awareness and action. DUH was impressed by his early healthcare advocacy while he was in graduate school at Michigan State earning his Masters degree in Criminal Justice. He chaired the Council of Graduate Students' Health Care Subcommittee which addressed the health care crisis graduate students faced when the university attempted to shift more of student health care costs onto the backs of students who could not afford such a move.
He currently serves as Parliamentarian of the Progressive Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party as well as the Membership Director of the Young Democrats of Michigan. He is also active with his local Progressive Caucus in Kent County and the Grand Rapids United Progressives, a group of activists committed to bettering their community.
As an openly gay man, acceptance and inclusiveness are also foundational to his goal of representing all people in the 77th District. DUH believes his passion for bettering his District will serve the people, as well as providing a strong first step into what could be a long, successful political career.
Darin Mann (DSA) UT State House
Darin is running for the Utah District 24 Statehouse seat. As a child of the Wasatch, growing up in the foothills and forests of Northern Utah, he recognized the importance of the people and places that formed his communities and he channeled his youthful angst into a dedication for service and community defense. He became interested in a variety of martial arts, finally settling on his beloved sport of boxing. While studying literature at the university of Utah, he also acted as the boxing coach while developing a growing passion for politics. While coaching,, he founded U Fight Parkinson’s Disease with the Department of Physical Therapy and coached inner city kids at State Street Boxing Gym. Simultaneously, he mentored foster kids through the nonprofit Rise.
In 2016, he worked as an organizer for the Bernie Sanders campaign in Utah, California, and Nevada. He then joined forces with multiple public leaders to found the United Progressive Coalition.
After the election, Darin took a job as the Outreach Director for the Utah Rivers Council and plunged into environmental policy. The interconnectedness of all struggles was obvious and he joined the fight for indigenous sovereignty at Standing Rock and as Action Director on the board of the Salt Lake Air Protectors. He then worked to ensure food security by directing Green Urban Lunch Box’s FruitShare program, harvesting fruit trees throughout Salt Lake Valley and distributing to those in need. Through his established advocacy, he was elected chair of the Environmental Caucus of the Salt Lake Democratic Party, using this position to develop a core cadre of citizen lobbyists to advance this fight on the policy level.
Darin Just can't get enough activism, it seems. Having accomplished all of this in his twenties, he flies in the face of our often disheartening world with a stubborn pervasive optimism, always insisting on action to build a better one for all. Recognizing the urgent importance of adding new, young voices to the established older activists who continue to fight for Medicare for All, DUH believes Darin is a rising star who we will probably be endorsing for Congress in 2020!