Only If You Run Candidates

 

Welcome to Only If You Run’s candidate page; this is where the magic happens!

If you’ve checked out the candidates we supported in Virginia in 2017, or earlier this year in Ohio and North Carolina, you might notice that there are a lot more of them now!

It’s not an illusion.  Only If You Run has now donated at least $1000 to each of 28 candidates in 2018, in Ohio, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Michigan, for a grand total of about $80,000, and there are two reasons we’ve given to so many 2018 candidates.  One, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Georgia all have lower contribution limits than Ohio, North Carolina, and Virginia, so while the support we can give to any one candidate is less in those states, we can support more candidates, which his great, because there are so many great ones.

Which leads to reason number two: Over 100 candidates have applied for a contribution from Only If You Run!  We’ve gotten to know all of them who passed our screening criteria, and they’re awesome, and it’s such a privilege to be able to support them, with your help.  We wanted to tell you a bit about each of them here. Read down, get to know them a bit yourself, and most importantly, help them run, by:

  • Visiting their campaign websites, helpfully linked below;
  • Tweeting your support;
  • Donating to them directly; or
  • Donating to Only If You Run, so we can continue to support them and future candidates like them.

Finally, we’re proud to support each and every one of these candidates, and we’re especially proud that a majority of them are women.  Only If You Run’s mission is to help Democrats make the tough decision to run for office, and that decision can often be tougher for women and people of color.  We want to do even more to diversify our applicant pool and the candidates we fund. Help us get the word out!


Lauren Friedman

  District : Ohio Senate, District 29   Only If You Run Contribution : $10,000 in June 2018

District: Ohio Senate, District 29

Only If You Run Contribution: $10,000 in June 2018

Why LAUREN RAN

Lauren is running because she cares deeply about her community, which has had the same ineffective and out of touch representation for too long. Over the last year, since November 2016, Lauren has asked how she can best stand up for the people of her community. Voting, making phone calls, writing letters, and marching were not making a great enough impact with politicians who don't care or refuse to listen and she realized that she needed to run for office to make sure someone capable, qualified, and dedicated to our community is a real option for Stark County. Part of the mission of the US Naval Academy, of which Lauren is a proud graduate, is to develop graduates who are dedicated to a career in leadership in command, citizenship, and government. In running for office, Lauren is using her leadership skills from serving in the military and training from the Naval Academy for the greater good of her community and state.

Why We HELPED Lauren 

Lauren has a strong sense of civic values as well as the desire and know-how to be a leader in her community. We have no doubts that she will be a fearless advocate for the people of her district and Ohio. Only If You Run’s endorsement and contribution came at a key time for Lauren, giving her a needed campaign-strengthening boost and helping her attract more support.

About Ohio SD29

Ohio’s 29th Senate District is approximately 50/50 Democrat and Republican. This district supported President Obama, but then voted for the GOP candidate in 2016. It's truly a flippable, bellwether district. The many lower-income, working class (and formerly middle class) constituents want to see someone other than the typical "career politician" in office. They are aware of the extreme gerrymandering in Ohio, and they voted overwhelmingly for fair districts on the May 8th ballot. This is a time when people in Stark County are ready for change from the status quo.  

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Louise Valentine

  District:  Ohio Senate, District 19   Only If You Run Contribution:  $10,000 in May 2018

District: Ohio Senate, District 19

Only If You Run Contribution: $10,000 in May 2018

Why louise RAN

As a mother and working professional, Louise never thought she’d run for political office, but after the 2016 election cycle, she felt compelled to stand up for change. Ohio’s government demonstrated a complete disregard for basic decency and a lack of real representation of the people.  Legislators have degraded public education, tried time and again to take away rights to healthcare and sided with special interests at the expense of hard-working Ohioans. Louise decided to run for State Senate in Ohio because sometimes you need to be the change you want to see in the world.

She wants to ensure that her 5-year-old twin boys and their generation find Ohio to be a place where they can receive a quality public education, have access to affordable healthcare and find a fulfilling career that pays a living wage.  We have to change course in Ohio in order for this to happen and we need a new generation of leaders to bring diverse points of view and make this a reality.

Why We Helped Louise Run

Louise is running in a district that is continuing to shift in demographics; meanwhile her opponent, a hard line conservative, is out of step for this changing district. She’s a working mother with kids in public elementary school and she is able to connect with voters who simply want good representation for their children and families.

About Ohio SD19

Despite its historically Republican track-record, Ohio’s 19th Senate District is a rapidly changing cross-section of Ohio. This district includes rural Knox County, suburban Delaware County, and areas of urban Franklin County. This is a district that has seen massive demographic change over the past few years as many young families move to central Ohio for strong public schools and safe communities.

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Jessica Miranda

  District:  Ohio House, District 28   Only If You Run Contribution:  $5,000 in June 2018

District: Ohio House, District 28

Only If You Run Contribution: $5,000 in June 2018

Why Jessica RAN

Corruption and one party rule in the Ohio State House have just become too unbearable. This is why Jessica has decided to run for the Ohio House. With consistent cuts to the Local Government Fund and Public School funding in favor of charter schools, Jessica, President of the Winton Woods School Board, had to do something. She stepped up to take on a comfortable incumbent and fell short in her first try. But with shifting demographics and a Clinton victory in the district, her second run will be far more competitive.

Why WE Helped Jessica Run

As a mom, small business owner, and school board president Jessica understands the struggles everyday families face. She is a knowledgeable candidate, mounting a strong challenge to the Republican incumbent and we are excited to help her flip this seat.

 About Ohio HD28

Jessica’s district encompasses a portion of the northern suburbs of Cincinnati. Despite its current Republican representation, House District 28 has elected Democrats to this seat in the past. Clinton was able to beat Trump in this district by 4 points. 

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Taylor Sappington

  District:  Ohio House, District 94   Only If You Run Contribution:  $5,000 in June 2018

District: Ohio House, District 94

Only If You Run Contribution: $5,000 in June 2018

Why Taylor RAN

After eight years of failed leadership, Ohio has the most corrupt Statehouse in its history with elected officials who might be heading to jail because they took free trips and money from payday lenders. With families unable to go to doctors because they don’t have health insurance and  people driving over crumbling roads and bridges, Ohio really deserves representatives who are doing something about the issues that people face. When Taylor noticed the discrepancy between the problems and the lack of solutions coming from Columbus, he stepped up to run for office.  

Why WE HELPED Taylor Run

Taylor is exactly the kind of candidate we want to get behind. He is energetic, hard working, and he's committed to serving his community and implementing fair redistricting processes.

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About OHIO HD94

Hard working and stretching across 4 counties, the 94th Ohio House District represents some of the best of Ohio. With Appalachian hills and the Ohio River, the area is one of the most picturesque in the state. The 94th is a classically competitive race that had been held by Democrats for almost a decade before swinging in the 2016 election. 


Helen Probst Mills

  District:  North Carolina, Senate District 25   Only If You Run Contribution:   $5,200 in June 2018

District: North Carolina, Senate District 25

Only If You Run Contribution: 
$5,200 in June 2018

Why Helen ran

Helen has been active in numerous community organizations throughout her life and is well-recognized as a community advocate.  Her drive to give back comes from her life experiences, from growing up in a family with limited means but an emphasis on community involvement, to working her way through college and law school, to being diagnosed with breast cancer and fighting it to be here for her children. Examples of her community advocacy include fighting to increase access to early childhood education; she continues to work on programs that will provide all North Carolinians with an equal right to a quality education, affordable healthcare, and the opportunity for a well-paying job.

Helen has stood at the polls on Election Day where voters left the booth and told her they weren’t sure if their vote counted. She has been shocked and saddened at repeated attempts by the North Carolina General Assembly to restrict our right to vote.  Helen understands the true meaning behind the elections bills being proposed by the legislature as well as their gerrymandering schemes.  When Helen was approached to run for State Senate, she didn’t hesitate because she is tired of watching the GOP leadership roll back North Carolina and curtail our right to vote.  

Why we helped Helen

Helen wants to take her commitment to her community and her desire to help others to the General Assembly so she can work toward progress for all North Carolinians.

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About North Carolina SD25 

District 25 encompasses four counties: Anson, Moore, Richmond and Scotland. Because the Federal Courts required the NC General Assembly to redraw certain legislative districts earlier this year, SD25 is now truly one of the most competitive seats in North Carolina. Close to the port of Wilmington, encompassing many tourist destinations and higher education institutions, as well as rural & agricultural communities, SD25 lends itself as a microcosm of North Carolina’s economy.


D. Cole Phelps

  District:  North Carolina, Senate District 1   Only If You Run Contribution:  $5,200 in June 2018

District: North Carolina, Senate District 1

Only If You Run Contribution:
$5,200 in June 2018

Why Cole Ran

Cole grew up in rural Washington County, North Carolina and became the first in his family to attend college. After graduating from East Carolina University and the North Carolina Central School of Law, he returned to serve his hometown community. In 2013 at the age of just 23, Cole was elected County Commissioner – the youngest in North Carolina history – and opened his own law firm that same year. Today his law firm employs seven people and sponsors an annual scholarship banquet to support the next generation of students who want to follow in Cole's path of earning a higher education and returning home to serve.

Why we helped Cole Run

Cole is a hard working candidate who will be the strong voice that Eastern North Carolina needs. Having grown up in the district, he understands its unique issues and his campaign is engaging young people and voters who have never felt energized by a local campaign before.

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About North Carolina SD 1

The people of Eastern North Carolina have not had their voices heard in Raleigh for too long. Folks here deserve a leader who will stand up and fight for public education, rural healthcare, and fair elections. After the Supreme Court ruled that North Carolina Republicans had gerrymandered districts with "near surgical precision," the court redrew the First District to be one of the most competitive in the state.


Erick Allen

  District : Georgia House, District 40   Only If You Run Contribution:  $2,500 in August 2018

District: Georgia House, District 40

Only If You Run Contribution: $2,500 in August 2018

Why Erick RAN

Erick has the passion and skills needed to make Georgia state government more efficient, effective, and fair for all. When he was Director for the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities, he saw how the legislature can make progress very difficult for some in Georgia, especially the vulnerable and under represented. If elected, he thinks he’ll be the only legislator that has worked as a leader in a large state agency, giving him unique insight and experience needed to create and implement change.

Why We HELPED Erick 

As a representative, we know Erick will work to build a strong economic environment for both business and families, fight to ensure every child gets a quality education, and press for all Georgians to have access to quality healthcare.  He wants a Georgia that has fairly drawn electoral districts and policies that works for all, and not just the privileged.

About Georgia HD40

Georgia House District 40 is a suburban Atlanta district that represents neighbors in Vinings, Smyrna, Mableton, and Buckhead. Although the district has been held by a republican for 20 years, the community has been trending progressive and has been under-represented due to extreme gerrymandering. Now the incumbent has retired, leaving this an open seat and a great pick-up opportunity in the Georgia Legislature.   

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Aisha Yaqoob

  District:  Georgia House, District 97   Only If You Run Contribution:    $2,500 in August 2018

District: Georgia House, District 97

Only If You Run Contribution:

$2,500 in August 2018

Why Aisha RAN

Aisha is a professional advocate for immigrant rights, with experience working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to push for civil rights for immigrants and people of color. As policy director for a nonprofit legal and advocacy center, Aisha monitors local, state, and federal policies that affect immigrants and works to fight for their rights. This year, Aisha decided to run for office because she realized the lack of representation at the State Legislature was directly impacting the kinds of policies that were being passed. When this seat opened up, she decided it was time for her to jump in and try to represent a district in which she grew up.

Why We Helped Aisha Run

We’re so proud to support Aisha because she’s running to be an advocate for immigrants, women, people with disabilities, and other underrepresented communities. She is passionate about voting rights, access to healthcare and education, and immigration. She believes in upholding the civil rights and civil liberties for all people, especially those who have been historically underrepresented.

About Georgia HD97

The outgoing representative for Georgia's House District 97 was elected before Aisha was born. For the last 25 years, the district was a safely held Republican seat and voters had little to no contested races anywhere on the ballot. Her district sits in the northern part of Gwinnett County, one of the most diverse counties in the Southeast. Over the last fifteen years, the district has seen an incredible change in population, attracting younger and more diverse families. As it stands today, the district is nearly 25% Asian American. As her community continues to change, voters have the opportunity to elect a new champion for this seat.


Rachel Crooks

  District:  Ohio House, District 88   Only If You Run Contribution:  $2,500 in August 2018

District: Ohio House, District 88

Only If You Run Contribution: $2,500 in August 2018

Why Rachel RAN

Rachel is running because she was tired of politicians who care little about the people they serve and instead pursue their own agendas. As a woman who spoke out about her incident involving sexual assault and harassment with President Trump, she saw firsthand how politicians think themselves above the law and immune from consequences. Rachel wants to go back to the basics of being an elected official who listens to the people and addresses their needs and concerns, and she's not afraid of standing up to rich, powerful men in order to do so. She would be the first woman to serve her district, and the first Democrat since the early 90s.

Why WE Helped Rachel Run

When we talked with Rachel, her authenticity and candor were striking.  She is truly motivated to do this because she’s fed up with leadership that doesn’t understand what it’s really like to be a normal person living in Ohio in 2018.  She’s has exactly the kind of attitude that we want to support: if you don’t like what’s going on in your state government, run.

 About Ohio HD88

Ohio's 88th House District is comprised of Sandusky County and most of Seneca County. Overall, it leans conservative, however Sandusky County voted for President Obama in both 2008 and 2012 before flipping to vote for President Trump in 2016. The district is largely rural with many folks working in manufacturing. With a shrinking middle class, families are struggling to live comfortably and feel neglected. They're ready to vote for representatives like Rachel who want to make positive change for everyone, not just the wealthy few at the top.


Julia Pulver

  District:  Michigan Senate, District 15   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Michigan Senate, District 15

Only If You Run Contribution: $1,000 in August 2018

Why Julia RAN

"I run because I know that no one else has my exact skills, knowledge, or experience. If I don’t run on the things I know best, who else will? I lead because I always have; following or waiting for someone else to get it right has never been my style.” 

Why WE HELPED Julia Run

We just decided to give you that quote from Julia, in her own words, because we believe it, and it’s why we support her.  She’s Determined with a capital D.

About Michigan SD15

With rural red roots, the suburban 15th Michigan Senate District has been trending blue in recent years, and it’s now a swing district that a Democrat can win. In the 2016 Presidential race, Hillary Clinton got about 48% of the SD-15 vote. The District’s Democratic vote percentage actually increased over 2012, when President Obama easily carried Michigan.  This one’s ready to flip, and Julia can get it done.


Angelika Kausche

  District:  Georgia House, District 50   Only If You Run Contribution:   $2,500 in August 2018

District: Georgia House, District 50

Only If You Run Contribution: 
$2,500 in August 2018

Why Angelika ran

Angelika is an immigrant, mother, and wife. When she immigrated from Germany over 21 years ago, she never thought she would run for office, but the current atmosphere of the country compelled her to stand up for what is right. Now, she is running for a Georgia where every person has the opportunity to realize their own American Dream. She wants to serve her district by by protecting public education, providing affordable and accessible healthcare for all and working towards sustainable economic development.

Why we helped Angelika

The roots of Angelika’s run convince us that she will be a fierce advocate for the Democratic principles that are why we started OIYR. She believes that we need to protect the pillars of our democracy by fighting for equal rights and protecting the integrity of our election system.  She knows we need to fight for meaningful redistricting reform in Georgia that is enforceable, transparent, and independent of the party in power. She’s been knockin on doors since the start of the year.

About Georgia HD50 

Georgia HD 50 is a rapidly changing district in the Northern suburbs of Atlanta. The district covers the central part of the City of Johns Creek. 49% of the population is made up of minorities including a large number of new citizens, so Angelika spends a lot of time on the campaign trail empowering people who aren't familiar with the election process to participate. Issues important to voters include transportation and traffic, public education, and access to healthcare and quality of life.


Mary Robichaux

  District:  Georgia, House District 48   Only If You Run Contribution:  $2,500 in August 2018

District: Georgia, House District 48

Only If You Run Contribution:
$2,500 in August 2018

Why Mary Ran

After watching her house representative run unopposed for so long, Mary knew she had to take her political activism to the next level. For 35 years, she’s worked with communities across the Southeast to improve the quality and availability of healthcare in their area. The issue hit home for Mary when one of her twin sons was born with a serious heart condition. Thankfully, Mary and her family were blessed enough to have access to fantastic care during his open-heart surgery at the age of two. Mary is running to ensure that same access for Georgia, so that no one will have to be afraid of astronomical costs when a life is on the line.

Why we helped Mary Run

Mary’s message is about equal opportunity: in the form of high-quality public education, transportation, and common sense gun safety regulations. As a resident of the 48th district for over 25 years, Mary truly understands the North Atlanta area and its people, and that really came through when we met her on the phone.

About Georgia HD48

Georgia’s 48th House District is located just north of Atlanta. It’s 56,000 residents mostly live in Roswell, as well as parts of Alpharetta. In 2018, the Georgia Democratic Party has designated the 48th as one of the most flippable seats for the Democrats despite only one serious challenge in over 20 years. After having their current representative run unopposed for the entirety of her career, the 48th district is hungry for a new face in office.


Beth Moore

  District:  Georgia, House District 95   Only If You Run Contribution:  $2,500 in August 2018

District: Georgia, House District 95

Only If You Run Contribution:
$2,500 in August 2018

Why Beth Ran

Beth is running because the fate of Georgia's healthcare industry lies in the hands of the state legislature, which has continuously refused to expand Medicaid or to regulate the individual healthcare market, pricing hundreds of thousand of Georgians out of health insurance altogether. She is running because, for decades, Georgia's leaders have refused to invest in Atlanta's public transportation infrastructure, leading to insufferable gridlock and economic blockades in the South's largest metropolis. Beth is running because Georgia's public education system has been critically underfunded for over a decade, using an out-dated funding formula, which fails to prepare the next generation for the 21st century job market. Beth is running because she believes elected officials should not be in charge of picking and choosing their own voters through political and racial gerrymandering.

Why We Helped Beth Run

As you can see above, Beth is on message.  In an area that’s still represented by Republicans but changing fast, Beth knows what her plan is and is executing it.  We like that kind of candidate.

About Georgia HD95

Georgia's House District 95 is a vibrant, diverse suburb of north Atlanta, which comprises the cities of Peachtree Corners, Norcross, Berkeley Lake, Duluth and Johns Creek. It is a largely residential district, which lies along the banks of the beautiful Chattahoochee River, where residents enjoy swimming, fishing and kayaking. HD-95 is also the home of Technology Park, which is commonly referred to as the "Silicon Valley of the South."

 


JD Wooten

  District:  North Carolina, Senate District 24   Only If You Run Contribution:  $5,000 in September 2018

District: North Carolina, Senate District 24

Only If You Run Contribution:
$5,000 in September 2018

Why JD Ran

JD is running for office because the North Carolina he came home to after a decade of military service is not the North Carolina he left when he stepped up to serve his country.  JD is a product of the North Carolina public school system and has a keen appreciation for the opportunities that a quality education can provide. As a former military officer, he also knows all too well the price of freedom and refuses to stand by while the NC GOP attempts to disenfranchise North Carolinians of their most fundamental and cherished rights, including the right to free and fair elections. JD will fight for high-quality education, access to affordable healthcare, responsible economic development, and independent redistricting.

Why We Helped JD Run

We love JD, and would be proud to support him no matter where he was running.  But we reeeeeeeallly don’t like the North Carolina GOP, so after supporting two NC senate candidates in our first round of giving this year - Cole and Helen - we’re happy to take one more parting shot with our final endorsement and contribution of 2018.

About North Carolina SD24

North Carolina Senate District 24 is a toss-up district in Alamance and Eastern Guilford counties with a growing base of Democratic voters. In 2016 under different boundaries the district favored the GOP, but now thanks to redistricting the district is almost an even split. This is a crucial district to the State of North Carolina due to the rapid population expansion and demographic changes.


Matt Koleszar

  District:  Michigan, House District 20   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Michigan, House District 20

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Matt Ran

As a public school teacher, Matt is on the front lines of the attacks against our students and schools every single day. Despite growing class sizes, budget cuts, attacks on our profession and pay freezes, teachers are as dedicated as ever to serving their students. When the MI State Legislature began considering allowing guns into our schools, Matt knew it was time for teachers to take the fight to Lansing and ensure educators have a seat at the table where policy is written.

Why We Helped Matt Run

Becca - one of our founders - is a teacher too, and we love supporting teachers.  We think we can all agree that this moment calls for more teachers in state legislators.  Go get ‘em, Matt.

About Michigan HD20:

In Matt’s words: “Northville, Plymouth, and Canton are home to some of the best public schools in the state.  It's a growing community of families who move here because of the life and education the area can offer their children.  Our voters are committed to their community and care about resolving the issues our State has long neglected; our schools, roads and environment.  I look forward to bringing our values to Lansing by putting people over profits and community before special interests.”


Mallory McMorrow

  District:  Michigan, Senate District 13   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Michigan, Senate District 13

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Mallory Ran

Mallory decided to run for office when Donald Trump was elected, having seen the deterioration of public dialogue in the community around her. When she tried reaching out to her own elected officials, they were unapproachable. Mallory wants to bring transparency and accountability back to government. She believes in a collaborative approach to politics -- that the best solutions only come from meeting and listening to as many people as possible, from seeing the issues in action, in talking to both experts and everyday people.

Why We Helped Mallory Run

There are all sorts of reasons to get in Mallory’s corner after she made the tough decision to run for office.  One thing we love about her is that it’s a really team effort from her family, with her husband, mother, father (usually a GOP voter), and her younger brother (who quit his job and moved in with Mallory to help!) all heavily involved.  This is the kind of movitation we like to see in 2018!

About Michigan SD13

Michigan's 13th state senate district is made up of eight northern suburbs of Detroit: Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clawson, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak and Troy. Republican Marty Knollenberg, the incumbent, has held the seat since 2014 (he previously served three terms as a state representative in the Michigan legislature). He is the son of former U.S. Congressman Joe Knollenberg (R), who represented Michigan's 9th congressional district from 1993 until 2009. The state senate seat was previously held by Republican John Pappageorge for two terms. The district is among the wealthiest in the state, with a majority of adults being college educated. Common occupations are in management, legal services, business administration and engineering.  Though this seat a The leading industries are manufacturing and healthcare services. Hillary Clinton won the district by +6 percentage points in 2016. It’s a trending-Democratic district.


Dan O’Neil

  District:  Michigan, House District 104   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Michigan, House District 104

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Dan Ran

Dan was born and raised in Michigan's 104th District and with his wife, attorney Maura Brennan, raised three children in the district. He is an attorney who has spent over 30 years challenging unequal pay for women and the wrongful termination of employees. He's committed to northern Michigan's community values and believes that it's time to take back our great State of Michigan - for the people. Together, there is no problem we can't solve. He believes that we need to concentrate on our shared values rather than our political differences. Together we can do better!

Why We Helped Dan Run

We love the opportunity to support a candidate who is so committed to opportunity, fairness, and equality in the workplace.  We know Dan can pick up this key seat!

About Michigan HD104


Northern Michigan's 104th District is a mix of progressive Traverse City and more conservative rural Grand Traverse County. The 104th has never had a Democrat for a State Representative, but has been trending more blue and purple in the last ten years. Key issues for the 104th include sustainable jobs, protecting the Great Lakes, and affordable childcare, healthcare and housing. Dan O'Neil is running against incumbent Republican Larry Inman.

 


Padma Kuppa

  District:  Michigan, House District 41   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Michigan, House District 41

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Padma Ran

Padma has been volunteering for years - in the schools, in nonprofit organizations, and with the city - to create an inclusive community, while working and raising her two children. An engineer and interfaith advocate, she built relationships, bridged gaps and brought people together - and thought politics wasn’t for her. In 2017, she decided to run for the State Legislature to stop the Davos agenda in MI, especially the current policies of funding for-profit charter schools at the expense of public education. Padma feels that a good public education is critical to creating a strong workforce and a sustainable economy.  She also wants to protect our environment, in particular our Great Lakes. With corporations like Nestle depleting and profiting off of our natural resources, we are breaking the public trust, and putting the state’s multibillion dollar tourism industry at risk. Whether it’s our schools, roads or water supply, she wants to enact policy that helps everyday families, and ensures a bright future for all Michiganders.

Why We Helped Padma Run

Padma is the perfect example of someone who really didn’t think of herself as a politician, but for whom today’s political climate is just too much, compelling personal political action.  That’s why we’re here!

About Michigan HD41

House District 41 lies in suburban Oakland County outside of Detroit, and includes the cities of Troy and Clawson. While the district has traditionally gone to a Republican, Hillary won in 2016 by 1%. The seat was last open in 2012, a Presidential year; the Republican won by less than 500 votes. Demographic shifts since then make it an even more competitive race in 2018. Flipping this seat is a key part of the Democrats gaining back control of the Michigan State House.


Kyle Whelton

  District:  Wisconsin, Senate District 9   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, Senate District 9

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Kyle Ran

Kyle decided to run this year because Wisconsin is in trouble. Wisconsin's public schools are woefully underfunded, its roads are the second worst in the nation, young people are leaving the state in droves, and last Fall the legislature approved a $4.5 billion tax give away to a foreign company while homegrown companies are leaving Wisconsin. The 9th Senate District deserves a Senator that will champion family-supporting wages for all workers, affordable health care for every Wisconsinite, strong public schools, and who will fight to fix Wisconsin's gerrymandering problem once and for all.

Why We Helped Kyle Run

Kyle told us his mom worked three jobs for a few years while he was growing up just to make ends meet, and that he’s committed to building a Wisconsin where no parent ever has to work three jobs just to support their kids.  We think parents should be able to support their kids by working one job, so it seems like there’s some room to negotiate.

About Wisconsin SD9

The 9th Senate District was held by Democrats for decades until a Republican won it by 46 votes in 2002. Then, in 2011, it was gerrymandered has been considered a safely Republican. However, in April, the liberal Supreme Court candidate only lost this 17-point Trump district by a single percentage point and flipped several rural communities that have not voted for a Democratic candidate in at least a decade. The district is a mix of mid-size population centers, like Sheboygan and Manitowoc, and rural farming communities, like Cleveland and Reedsville. The 9th has better Democratic performance than both the 10th and 1st, which Democrats won in special elections by 10 and 3 points respectively. The energy in this district is palpable and the voters of the 9th are hungry for change and real leadership in the State Senate.


Tom Sieber

  District:  Wisconsin, House District 88   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, House District 88

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Tom Ran

Tom is second generation small business owner. He was born and raised in Green Bay, the city he’s proud to call home. He’s thought about running before, but felt this was the year he could make a difference.  His daughters, his community, and Wisconsin need leaders who will work for them, and that will be role models and treat everyone with compassion, respect, and equality.

Why We Helped Tom Run

We usually support folks who have never run for office before, but Tom is an exception because he’s County Board members and an active Democratic Party leader who decided that his House district was flippable, and wanted to get the job done himself.

About Wisconsin HD88

The 88th Assembly District of Wisconsin is normally a +6/7 point Republican district.  Our state senator has won this district twice - and so did President Obama. In the Green Bay suburbs, it’s a close district that’s ready to flip.


Alison Leahy

  District:  Wisconsin, House District 85   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, House District 85

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Alyson Ran

After the 2016 election, Alyson decided she needed to play a bigger role in helping her community. She enrolled in Emerge WI, an organization dedicated to training Democratic women on how to run for public office, and she threw her hat in the ring for the WI State Assembly. Since 2011, the Republican party has had majority control in Madison. Wisconsin has seen unprecedented cuts to its public education system, with taxpayer money siphoned into private voucher schools. Alyson is running because the people in her district deserve better than this. She wants to represent the 85th District in a way that moves all residents forward, to a place where economic opportunity, quality education, and affordable healthcare are accessible to everyone.

Why We Helped Alyson Run

The thing we admire most about our Only If You Run candidates is that they took bold action after the 2016 election, by making the very tough decision to run for office.  If we all responded to Donald Trump’s election like Alyson did, our Democracy would be strong and safe. Alyson is just the kind of candidate who we exist to support.

About Wisconsin HD85

Wisconsin’s 85th Assembly District encompasses the Cities of Wausau and Schofield; the Villages of Hatley, Elderon and Rothschild; and the Townships of Bevent, Easton, Franzen, Norrie, Reid, Ringle and Weston. The district is a mix of urban and rural communities, and historically has been represented by both Democrats and Republicans.


Allison Russo

  District:  Ohio, House District 24   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Ohio, House District 24

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Allison Ran

After nearly two decades working with government leaders and policymakers on public health issues, Dr. Allison Russo decided to run for office herself because she was tired of seeing good ideas cast aside in favor of partisan politics and special interests. Politics was never the plan for Allison, but as she watched our elected leaders fight to take away affordable and accessible healthcare for their constituents instead of fighting for them, she realized that good people needed to stand up and serve their community. Allison is running to bring a practical approach and evidence-based solutions to the critical issues facing Ohio and her district. With three young children, Allison is running because families deserve the opportunity to grow and thrive in an Ohio without the threat of harmful legislation, economic stagnation, or a healthcare-related bankruptcy looming over their heads

Why We Helped Allison Run

Allison told us that, growing up, her mother worked multiple jobs just to support her children and lift her family out of poverty. Allison learned the hard way that hard work and determination will only get you so far if you don't also have access to a quality education, affordable healthcare, and strong and sustainable middle-class jobs.  With her background, and the path she took took to running, we know Allison will be a champion for her district.

About Ohio HD24

Ohio's 24th House District encompasses the suburbs of western Franklin County, including Upper Arlington, Hilliard, and Clintonville, as well as the urban area of western Columbus and the more rural communities of Prairie and Pleasant Township. HD24 has been held by Republicans for the last three terms. However, the Republican incumbent is not running again this year, and after years of a Statehouse with a GOP super-majority marred by scandal and corruption, voters in the 24th District are excited about a new direction for the State.


Julie Henszey

  District:  Wisconsin, Senate District 5   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, Senate District 5

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Julie Ran

Julie is running because Wisconsin cannot afford to stay on the path it’s been on. Politicians are jeopardizing our people, our future, and our institutions for political gain. They have attacked public education, short-changed us on healthcare, aggressively curtailed environmental protection, handed out tax breaks to wealthy foreign corporations, limited the power of county and municipal governing bodies, and answered to donors and special interests when cutting business deals. Like her neighbors, Julie could not sit by and watch politicians take these reckless actions. She has worked to collectively elevate voices in her community, and now Julie is prepared to take on a larger role, proactively and collaboratively guiding Wisconsin down a new path towards opportunity for all.

Why We Helped Julie Run

Julie is an authentic, practical leader; she’s really thoughtful and intentional about how she brings people together to solve problems that seem unsurmountable.  We need people like her stepping up to run, and we’re here to support them when they do.

About Wisconsin SD5

Wisconsin’s 5th Senate District was only won by Donald Trump by 1 point. While the rest of the state saw a dramatic shift to the right in 2016, this district trended more to the center. With a population of well-educated, suburban voters, constituents are tired of the extreme partisanship and are ready for someone focused on working toward solutions.


Caleb Frostman

  District:  Wisconsin, Senate District 1   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, Senate District 1

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Caleb Ran

Caleb is running to improve the quality of the life of the people around him, which is what he has been striving to do throughout his adult life and professional career. As a Democrat he believes both in personal responsibility and in our responsibility to each other. His work in the district over the past few years, as the Executive Director of the Door County Economic Development Corporation, has put him in the trenches, finding creative and proactive ways of developing our workforce. But he has also seen too many people left behind, and wants to help put Wisconsin on the right track towards economic growth that benefits everyone, as well as break down systemic barriers that have held members of the community back for too long.

Why We Helped Caleb Run

Caleb is running because he thinks politics these days seems to be about dividing people, and when you hear about his work and life, you can see that he’s about bringing people together.  We’re here for people who come to this challenge in that spirit.

About Wisconsin SD1

Wisconsin’s 1st Senate District covers 6 counties, all of Door and Kewaunee, and parts of Brown, Manitowoc, Outagamie, and Calumet. It is a mix of both rural, smaller cities, and suburban areas. Its three largest cities range from 8,000 to 12,000 people. Although it is highly gerrymandered, Caleb was able to flip the district with a 20 point swing compared to 2016 in a special election in June, and is running for re-election in November. Prior to Caleb’s monumental win in June, this seat has not been held by a Democrat in over 40 years. Caleb is working hard to ensure that Democrats hold on to this seat for a full term.


Arthur Shrader

  District:  Wisconsin, House District 50   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, House District 50

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Arthur Ran

“I am a combat veteran of the USMC, many years ago I swore an oath to ‘protect and defend,’ and there was no expiration date on that oath. I chose to run for the 50th AD because I feel that I have a duty and obligation to serve; in the years and decades to come I will not be asked by my grandchildren ‘Why didn’t you do something if you knew what was happening was wrong?’  My opponent, a 5-term Republican incumbent, has abdicated his duty to represent the people of the 50th AD by continuously voting a straight party line that favored an “ALEC” drafted agenda.

Why We Helped Arthur Run

More than in any of our other states, our Wisconsin candidates talk about Republican officials who don’t really represent their districts, but instead represent a hyper-conservative, national GOP agenda that hurts their constituents, and who work to divide us rather than bring us together.  Arthur is fighting back against that, and we’re proud to help him.

About Wisconsin HD50

The 50th Assembly District is rural in nature, the largest city being Reedsburg with a population of 9,800.  There are roughly 55,000 people who call this home, and like most of Wisconsin people here would consider themselves “purple” rather than a Democrat or Republican.  I have lived in this district for over 40 years, as a community banker of 25 years I can say without fear of contradiction that a vast majority of the people here are disgusted by the overt assault  on Wisconsin values. The most significant daily issues that we face here are; deteriorating infrastructure, insufficient funding of our schools and groundwater contamination.


Mary Lightbody

  District:  Ohio, House District 19   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Ohio, House District 19

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Mary Ran

Mary is running because she thinks everyone should have the same protection against potentially overwhelming medical care costs that her late husband and she had for his kidney failure. Most of the costs incurred for his dialysis treatments, transplants, and prescriptions were covered by Medicare. Because of that coverage, they were able to work, buy a home, have three children, and save for retirement. Without that coverage Mary and her husband would have been unable to pay for Rick’s medical care. In Ohio, many families do not have affordable health care and have to make hard decisions about filling prescriptions or seeking help for medical problems. Make no mistake: health care is on the ballot in Ohio, because members of the General Assembly who are currently in control of the Ohio House and Ohio Senate have moved to erode health benefits Ohioans receive through the Medicaid expansion and other programs.

Why We Helped Mary Run

It’s easy to see that Mary is on a mission, and that it’s a principled, progressive mission to serve Ohio, and to get help for people who need help.  It’s the opposite of the Ohio GOP, and Mary is just the kind of candidate who shows voters the difference between their GOP incumbents and Democrats.

About Ohio HD19

District 19 encompasses the northeast suburbs of Columbus. Since 1967 this House seat has been held by a Democrat for one term, from 2009-11, but the district is seeing a clear shift in ideology, making this seat a top priority for democrats in Ohio. In 2016, the district went Hillary over Trump, and in this past special election between Troy Balderson and Danny O’ Connor, the numbers clearly show that the district is rapidly changing to support Democrats getting elected.


Wendy Sue Johnson

  District:  Wisconsin, House District 68   Only If You Run Contribution:  $1,000 in August 2018

District: Wisconsin, House District 68

Only If You Run Contribution:
$1,000 in August 2018

Why Wendy Sue Ran

Wendy Sue grew up in the Chippewa Valley, the sixth generation in her family to do so. As a young girl, Wendy Sue’s mother took her out to pick up garbage in the neighborhood. It was a simple lesson: if everyone pitches in to pick up a few pieces of litter, our neighborhood stays clean. When each person votes, their collective voice is heard by their representatives. This collaborative spirit influenced her to become a high school social studies teacher where she could foster civic engagement in her students to contribute to a better future. She also got involved in the Eau Claire Area School District Parent Advisory Council, served on the School Board, and later became a lawyer while running a small business and raising a family. After witnessing the divisiveness in the current state government since 2010, Wendy Sue knows people like her need to step up and run for office. She is ready to serve her community and advocate for the 68th in the State Assembly.

Why We Helped Wendy Sue Run

At Only If You Run, we like to say that “In Donald Trump’s America, everyone needs to do a little bit extra.”  That’s why we’re here, and we recognized that message in Wendy Sue’s story. That’s why we support her.

About Wisconsin HD68

Located in Western Wisconsin, Assembly District 68 has started to lean Democratic. In 2012, President Obama won the district with 51.9% of the vote. In the April 2018 Supreme Court Election, Justice-elect Rebecca Dallet narrowly carried the district. Since the beginning of 2017, Democrats have flipped 40+ seats in various state governments. That didn’t happen by accident. Voters are fired up, and the energy continues in the 68th Assembly District.