Though we just don't have the time or staff to cover state and local races fully, the following are significant enough to earn our endorsement. These candidates for governor, lieutenant governor, state legislatures, town or city councils and other offices are researched as we do with the federal candidates, first using Politics1 and Ballotpedia if their office is listed, then using candidates' websites and/or Facebook pages (sorry, but our social media search is limited to Facebook Issues tabs - if you don't have one and you want voters to know where you stand, GET ONE!), local news stories, and videos. In some cases, candidates or their campaign managers have reached out asking for DUH's endorsement, which always pleasantly surprises us, but for which they gain no extra favor.
Unfortunately, because there are so many Congressional candidates, there is no time to feature these candidates except on this page. We encourage voters who will be voting in these races to see if a candidate from their state or district is listed, but always find out as much as you can about all the candidates you have to choose from. Be an educated voter who votes IN your own interest, but above all, BE A VOTER!
Daniel Biss (PD) ILLINOIS
Daniel is one of five Democrats running to challenge abysmal billionaire-with-no-experience governor Bruce Rauner. He is the only Democrat for whom universal healthcare is a plank of his platform. His two major opponents, both million-or-billionaires-with-no-governing-experience (trying the same thing repeatedly, expecting different results...HOW many times do we have to do this???), have adopted the corporate Democratic Party line promoting the mistake of adding the famous public option to whatever we end up with when Congress is done slashing chunks off the ACA. Biss doesn't want to waste more time on increments that studies have proven will achieve nothing but reinforcing a two- or three-tiered system as all the elderly, sick, and poor people flock to the public option while insurance companies sit back and rake in profits from the young and healthy. Have we learned nothing from the ACA? Daniel Biss has. And his legislative record proves it, both as a state representative and a state senator. He is also the only one of the top three who have governing experience. Perhaps he made an unfortunate choice letting go of his first running mate, but we can't fault a man for sticking to his principles and his heritage. and he defied all who assumed he'd quit. Daniel Biss is no quitter and, as DUH knows well, some things are worth the struggle to stick with them. If you can't stay in it, you can't win it, whether it's healthcare or the governor's office.
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!
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, and the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (a monetary policy, infrastructure and jobs bill), as well as bills to label and safety test genetically engineered foods and a Universal Pre-Kindergarten bill.
Dennis' life has taken him from poverty to working as a custodian’s assistant, a stock boy, a newspaper carrier, a caddy, a sports correspondent, a part-time sportswriter, a newspaper copyboy, a hospital orderly, a surgical technician, and a financial news proofreader—all before he began his political career.
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 see 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 ofhis courage in refusing to sell, by electing Kucinich to the Ohio Senate and then to eight consecutive terms in the United States Congress.
We here at DUH hope the reemergence of Kucinich as Ohio's governor will reflect 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!
State Legislature Candidates
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. Darin spent his days dabbling in a variety of martial arts, finally settling on his beloved sport of boxing. While in college studying literature, he also acted as the boxing coach at the University of Utah 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.
His passion for protection and political advocacy led Darin to sign up as an organizer for the Bernie Sanders 2016 campaign in Utah, California, and Nevada. He began to suspect that profound change could not happen without new voices and he 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 took the plunge into environmental policy. Darin helped to mobilize the people to lobby on Capitol Hill and throughout the state, making multiple wins. 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 on Capitol Hill, 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!