Around the country, insurgent progressive candidates are running extraordinary campaigns. Current Affairs wants to make sure our readers are informed about these candidates, especially after the Bernie campaign, with many on the left wondering who to throw their support, time, and money behind. The following list is only preliminary based on some races that have been drawn to our attention; we know we have missed many great people, and we rely on readers to tell us about campaigns we should cover. Please feel free to email us at [email protected]org with information on local, state, and federal candidates you think deserve more attention. This list will be updated with additional races.
Current Affairs has not officially endorsed any of these candidates, and we encourage readers to do their own research before supporting them. Remember, all of these candidates benefit from whatever donations and time you can give them. Many are facing long odds, and all of them urgently need every ounce of support they can get. Last year, Tiffany Cabán lost by 60 votes. This means that you matter. (Also, subscriptions and donations to Current Affairs allow us to do more coverage of these candidates. We cannot commission nearly as much journalism on these races as we would like.)
If you are one of the listed candidates and would like to provide Current Affairs with one or two sentences describing yourself, please email [email protected] and we will add to this article. If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the following information, we would also appreciate corrections.
Candidates marked [DSA] have been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America. Candidates marked [BNC] have been endorsed by Brand New Congress.
- Gabriella Cázares-Kelly — Pima County Recorder — “I am a dues-paying union sister and #RedForEd public school educator, a grassroots organizer, and lifelong Pima County resident… I am a co-founder of Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots community organization that is focused on providing opportunities for education and civic engagement for members of the Tohono Oʼodham Nation. I am extremely active in local politics, serving as the President of the Progressive Democrats of Southern Arizona and the Vice-President of the Arizona Democratic Party’s Native American Caucus, among many other roles.”
- Billy Peard — State House, District 2
- Dan Whitfield — U.S. Senate — Democrats, shockingly and inexcusably, ended up not running a candidate against hard-right senator Tom Cotton this cycle. (This is actually worse than the time they ran someone who may or may not have existed for Congress in Georgia.) Fortunately, there is Dan Whitfield, a Bernie supporter and progressive Independent. Without the support of any party, Whitfield is a long shot, but he deserves more coverage since Cotton is a fascist.
- Shahid Buttar — Congress, District 11 — running against Nancy Pelosi. Read a Current Affairs profile of Shahid and an article encouraging readers to believe in him. (NOTE: This article was published before public allegations that Shahid Buttar engaged in sexual harassment and sexism toward female staffers. We have left the article up for the record but are linking to the allegations as they are important and must be taken seriously.)
- Sarah Davis — State Assembly, District 78
- Jackie Fielder — State Senate, District 11 — From Jackie’s campaign: “Jackie has been a leader here in California in the movement to launch public banks and divest public funds from Wall Street, prisons, weapons manufacturers, fossil fuels, and more to instead invest locally into equitable development such as deeply affordable housing, renewable energy, small business, and infrastructure. Now, in her State Senate race, she’s squaring up against the most real estate-backed politician in California to fight for truly affordable housing for all, a Green New Deal for California, and single payer healthcare.”
- Alex Lee — State Assembly
- Nithya Raman — Los Angeles City Council, District 4 — Listen to an interview with Nithya on Chapo Trap House.
- Jake Tonkel — San Jose City Council — Green Party candidate. Read coverage of Jake in the San Jose Spotlight.
- Jessica Scarane — U.S. Senate
- Elijah Manley — State House, District 94
- Jen Perelman — Congress, District 23 — Running against Debbie Wasserman Schulz. [BNC]
- Nabilah Islam — Congress, District 7 [BNC]
- Brian Matlock — U.S. Senate — Okay, this is fascinating: Matlock is running in the Republican primary as a Socialist. Or, rather, as a “Republican Socialist,” with a platform that includes a Green New Deal, Medicare For All, and a Jobs Guarantee. Since most Republicans despise socialism, Matlock is a long shot, and I am not sure how effective this can possibly be tactically, but there is something about running a socialist in the primary against Kris Kobach that I find immensely satisfying. More about Brian here.
- Robert LeVertis Bell — Louisville Metro Council, District 4 — [DSA]
- Charles Booker — U.S. Senate — Running against Mitch McConnell. Read a Current Affairs profile of Booker. [BNC]
- Ryan Fenwick — Louisville Metro Council, District 10 — [DSA]
- Betsy Sweet — U.S. Senate
- Ihssane Leckey — Congress, District 4 — Ihssane is a Muslim immigrant and a survivor who is a Bernie delegate running on a pro Medicare for All and Green New Deal platform. [BNC]
- Alex Morse — Congress, District 1 [BNC]
- Erika Uyterhoeven — State House, 27th Middlesex District
- Cori Bush — Congress, District 1 — [BNC]
- Abraham Aiyash — State House, District 4 — From Abraham’s campaign: “Abraham Aiyash is a 26 year-old, first generation, Yemeni-American running for State Representative in Michigan’s 4th District. Abe has been an activist in his community since he was 13, when he first started knocking doors for President Obama’s first campaign. He has since stood up to corporate polluters in Michigan; he was the youngest person to ever sit on Hamtramck’s city commission; he co-founded a non-profit to increase literacy for poor and working class children in Detroit and Hamtramck; and so much more.”
- Jon Hoadley — Congress, District 6 — [BNC]
- Kara Eastman — Congress, District 2 [BNC]
- Russ Cirincione — Congress, District 6
- Arati Kreibich — Congress, District 5
- Hector Oseguera — Congress, District 8
- Lauren Ashcraft — Congress, District 12 [BNC]
- Adam Bojak — State Assembly, District 149 [DSA]
- Jamaal Bowman — Congress, District 16 — Listen to a Current Affairs interview with Jamaal. [BNC]
- Lindsey Boylan — Congress, District 10 — [BNC]
- Jabari Brisport — State Senate, District 25 — From Jabari’s campaign: “Whether it is working with his students as a public school teacher, advocating for teachers and students with his union, or organizing his neighbors to fight for progressive legislation, he has always fought to make his community and New York more just and equitable.” If elected, he would be the first out LGBTQ person of color elected to NY State Senate. Read a profile of Jabari in the Indypendent. [DSA]
- Shaniyat Chowdhury — Congress, District 5 [BNC]
- Melanie D’Arrigo — Congress, District 3 [BNC]
- Mel Gagarin — Congress, District 6 [BNC]
- Emily Gallagher — State Assembly, District 50
- Isaiah James — Congress, District 9 [BNC]
- Mondaire Jones — Congress, District 17
- Samelys Lopez — Congress, District 15 — Read a profile of Samelys in the Intercept. [DSA]
- Zohran Mamdani — State Assembly, District 36 [DSA]
- Marcela Mitaynes — State Assembly, District 51 — Read coverage of Marcela in Kings County Politics. [DSA]
- Phara Souffrant Forrest — State Assembly, District 57 — Phara “is a union nurse, tenant activist, and life-long resident of Crown Heights.” Read a Teen Vogue profile of Phara. [DSA]
- New Reformers District Leaders
- Alex Scott — State Senate, District 15 — Current city council member for Ward 8 in Norman, Oklahoma. Listen to an interview with Alex.
- Sarah Iannarone — Portland Mayor
- Adrienne Bell — Congress, District 14 [BNC]
- Donna Imam — Congress, District 31
- Mike Siegel — Congress, District 10 [BNC] — Read about Mike in The Intercept.
- Chris Armitage — Congress, District 5 [BNC]
- Jason Call — Congress, District 2 — Jason writes to Current Affairs: “I’m running against the most conservative corporate incumbent Democrat in Washington State, Rick Larsen. I have a great base of grassroots support and am running a progressive campaign, taking NO corporate PAC money, and supporting Medicare For All and the Green New Deal among other progressive hallmark policies. The incumbent takes 75% of his funding from corporate sources and does not support M4A/GND. I have been endorsed by Our Revolution (National), my local DSA and Sunrise groups, and a number of local Democrat Party organizations. I am an elected member to the Washington State Democrats Central Committee for the last 4 years, and have done a lot of work to build up the progressive base in this state.”
- Rebecca Parson — Congress, District 6 — Read a Current Affairs profile of Rebecca. [BNC]
- Yana Ludwig — U.S. Senate