Meet America's New Generation of Leaders

 

In the Marines, I served with great Americans from all over the country. We came together with different backgrounds and different beliefs, but we put aside those differences to do what’s best for America.

That ethic of service is lacking in our nation’s capital and in state capitals across the country.

The status quo isn't working. We're not going to fix the problems facing Americans today without a fresh perspective and a new approach. The American people need more service-driven leaders who put people over politics—who have the courage to do what is right, not just what is politically expedient. And the Democratic Party needs a new generation of leadership—one focused on the future. I proudly endorse these candidates, and I hope you'll join me in supporting their campaigns.

-Seth Moulton
Congressman, Sixth District, Massachusetts

 
Jump to leaders running in:
2018
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Service Leaders - Congressional

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MJ Hegar | 31st District, Texas

Mary Jennings “MJ” Hegar served on the frontlines as a helicopter pilot in the Air Force and Air National Guard. In 2009, her helicopter was shot down by enemy fire and, despite being wounded, she helped save the lives of her crew. For her actions, MJ earned a Purple Heart and the Distinguished Flying Cross with Valor Device, making her the second woman in history to receive the honor. After serving three tours in Afghanistan, she worked with the Pentagon and advocacy groups to end the ban on women serving in combat roles - making our military and country stronger.

Now as the mother of two young boys, MJ is running for Congress in the district she was raised in to bring change to Washington and continue fighting to protect Texas families.

 
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Abigail Spanberger | 7th District, Virginia

Abigail began her career in public service as a federal law enforcement officer working narcotics and money laundering cases with the US Postal Inspection Service. Following her love of country, public service, and languages, Abigail joined the CIA as an Operations Officer where she traveled and lived abroad collecting intelligence, managing assets, and overseeing high-profile programs in service to the United States. In 2014, Abigail left the CIA and moved back to her hometown in Virginia to work in the private sector. At that time, she started a Girl Scout troop and began advocacy work with Moms Demand Action.

Abigail is running to represent Virginia’s 7th District because she believes we need leaders in Washington who are working every day to make the lives of their constituents better. As a member of Congress, Abigail will bridge divides by listening to all sides and work for solutions that serve the people of the district, rather than escalating everything to a partisan fight. Her commitment to Virginia’s working families include the following priorities: safeguarding Social Security and Medicare into the future, fighting to ensure that every person has access to affordable and quality healthcare, addressing gun violence in our communities and protecting our children in schools, strengthening our public education system and providing more opportunities for job training and apprenticeships, promoting economic growth that leads to higher wages and better jobs, protecting women’s healthcare, pursuing infrastructure programs such as broadband internet, and legislating in support of renewable energy efforts.

 
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Josh Welle | 4th District, New Jersey

Josh Welle believes a life of service is a life of purpose, and that it is a “New Day for Democracy.” Elected officials should focus on kitchen-table issues, reinforcing to voters that a proactive and honest government will help everyday people, no matter their race, religion, or where they come from. 

Josh is an Afghanistan veteran and entrepreneur. Born and raised in Jersey, he graduated the U.S. Naval Academy after 9/11. On active duty, he led missions in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. In 2015, after earning the rank of Commander, Josh transitioned to the U.S. Navy Reserve, now serving at Earle Naval Weapons Station. Using the Post-9/11 GI Bill, he attended graduate school and founded a software company with other veterans developing workflow efficiency solutions. 

Welle is a problem-solver and is ready to lead in Washington having earned master’s degrees in Public Administration from Harvard University and Business Administration and International Relations from University of Maryland, College Park. As a Congressman, Josh will advance common sense gun reform for schools and public spaces, increased access to universal health care, and ensure economic justice for all.
 

 

Elaine Luria | 2nd District, Virginia

Elaine Luria is a retired Navy commander running for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District. Elaine served at sea on six ships as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer and culminated her 20-year Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Elaine was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program and among the first women to serve the entirety of her career in combatant ships. Elaine graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a Master’s in Engineering Management from Old Dominion University.

 
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Maura Sullivan | 1st District, New Hampshire

 

Maura Sullivan has dedicated her life to serving our country and fighting for the causes she believes in. As an Iraq veteran and Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs appointed by President Obama, Maura has spent her career fighting to address opioid abuse among veterans and standing up for a better family leave policy and expanded fertility options for women and families in the military. At this critical time in our country’s history, Maura will use her experience in military and government to take on Donald Trump when he irresponsibly threatens our national security and ensure that our elected officials have all the facts before they make decisions that affect our troops.

 
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Gil Cisneros | 39th District, California

Gil Cisneros is a former U.S. Naval Officer and president and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, an organization committed to improving the level of Hispanic education in the country. Gilbert’s dedication to philanthropy began when he purchased a winning California Mega Millions lottery ticket in 2010. Gil’s commitment to education led him to be appointed to Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative’s Advisory Board and President Obama’s Advisory Committee on the Arts.

 
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Jared Golden | 2nd District, Maine

Jared Golden is the Democratic Assistant Majority Leader, or Whip, in the Maine House of Representatives. Born in Maine, Jared enlisted in the Marine Corps infantry after the 9/11 attacks and served combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He returned home in 2006 and attended Bates College. Jared is in his second term in the state legislature representing the blue-collar city of Lewiston. He lives there today with his wife, Isobel.

 
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Chrissy Houlahan | 6th District, Pennsylvania

Chrissy Houlahan has been a resident of Pennsylvania’s 6th District for over 20 years. She is the mother of Molly and Carly, and lives with her husband, Bart, in Devon. A manufacturing engineer with degrees from Stanford University and MIT, Chrissy began her career as an officer in the Air Force. After serving her country, Chrissy joined AND 1 Basketball in Paoli, PA, and helped build the startup to over $250 million in sales. She later joined Teach for America. Most recently, she served as President and COO/CFO for a Philadelphia-based nonprofit focused on improving early childhood literacy in inner city schools country-wide.

 
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Gina Ortiz Jones | 23rd District, Texas

Gina Ortiz Jones is an Iraq War veteran, and she served as a U.S. Air Force intelligence officer under "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell". Gina advised on intelligence operations in Latin America and Africa, and would later advise on economic and national security issues in the Executive Office of the President. Having served in countries where the middle class was hollowed out, Gina is running for Congress, because she knows a strong middle class is key to our national security.

 
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Brendan Kelly | 12th District, Illinois

Brendan came to Southern Illinois over thirty years ago when his parents were stationed as DoD employees at Scott Air Force Base.  After graduating from Notre Dame with a ROTC scholarship, Brendan was commissioned in the United States Navy. After his service, Brendan attended law school, and in 2010 he was elected State’s Attorney in the largest county in IL-12. As the top prosecutor, Brendan has spent his career standing up for victims, protecting public safety and treating people fairly.

 
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Conor Lamb | 18th District, Pennsylvania

Conor Lamb grew up in Mt. Lebanon, the suburb of Pittsburgh where he now resides. After graduating from Central Catholic High School in 2002, he attended the University of Pennsylvania, where he later earned his law degree. Lamb served as a Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps completing active duty service in 2013. As an Assistant U.S. Attorney from 2014-2017, Lamb helped establish the Justice Department’s Pittsburgh office as a national leader in the fight against the opioid epidemic, working to build partnerships between law enforcement and community members while also leading prosecutions against drug dealers, violent criminals and gun traffickers.

 
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Max Rose | 11th District, New York

Max Rose is a Staten Islander and the first post-9/11 combat veteran to run for office in NYC history. He was awarded a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan. Most recently, Max was the Chief of Staff at Brightpoint Health, a nonprofit healthcare provider in NYC. Prior to Brightpoint, Max was a Special Assistant to former Brooklyn DA Ken Thompson. Max is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the London School of Economics. He remains an Infantry Captain in the NY National Guard.

 
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Elissa Slotkin | 8th District, Michigan

Elissa Slotkin is a life-long public servant. Elissa was recruited into CIA directly out of graduate school, where she was trained as a Middle East analyst and served three tours in Iraq. Elissa served in the White House under both President Bush and President Obama and as a senior leader in the Pentagon, where she negotiated some of the department’s most sensitive national security matters. Elissa met her husband Dave on her third tour in Iraq, a career Army officer and Apache helicopter pilot.

 
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Jason Crow | 6th District, Colorado

During college Jason decided to join the ROTC and serve in the active duty Army, eventually finishing at the top of his class as the Distinguished Military Graduate. After the horrific 9/11 attacks, he served in the Army’s storied 82nd Airborne Division. Shortly after returning from Iraq he joined the U.S. Army’s elite 75th Ranger Regiment, serving two additional tours – this time in Afghanistan, as part of the Joint Special Operations Task Force, where Jason served along the Pakistan border and achieved the rank of Captain. Since leaving the Army in 2006, Jason has been an outspoken and results-oriented advocate for his fellow veterans in Colorado and across the country.

 
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Dan Feehan | 1st District, Minnesota

Dan signed up for Army ROTC after witnessing the September 11th attacks firsthand as a college student in Washington, D.C. From 2005 through 2009, he completed two combat tours of duty as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. After leaving active duty, he spent two years teaching math to high needs students in Gary, Indiana, before serving in the Obama Administration, becoming an Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense in the Pentagon. In that role, he worked to ensure our millions of service members are ready to fight, and that our veterans have the tools needed to lead quality lives when their service is over. In Congress, Dan will focus on bringing new economic growth opportunities to southern Minnesota, expanding quality, affordable healthcare for all, and defending our national security at a time of global challenges.

 
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Ken Harbaugh | 7th District, Ohio

A former Navy pilot, Ken comes from a family of veterans and has continued to straddle the military / civilian divide throughout his career, with a particular focus on re-integration of veterans. As president and Chief Operating Officer of Team Rubicon Global, Ken helped to recruit and deploy tens of thousands of military veterans into international disaster relief zones.

 
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Joseph Kopser | 21st District, Texas

Joseph Kopser spent 20 years serving the country, including two trips to Iraq before he entered the private sector where he built and sold a high tech company focused on transportation. His new company focuses on clean energy and innovation.  

 
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Dan McCready | 9th District, North Carolina

Dan first felt called to serve our country in the years after 9/11, which happened while he was a college freshman. Dan didn't come from a military family, but he joined the Marines after graduation and led 65 Marines during combat operations in the 2007 Iraq surge. After returning home, he established a company that has helped build dozens of solar farms in North Carolina. He now feels called to serve again.

 
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Amy McGrath | 6th District, Kentucky

Amy McGrath is a recently retired Marine Corps Lt. Colonel with 20 years of service. Amy was the first female Marine to fly in an F/A-18 in combat. Amy served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, including 89 combat missions. She was an instructor at the U.S. Naval Academy prior to her June 2017 retirement.

 
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Mikie Sherrill | 11th District, New Jersey

Naval Academy graduate, Navy Pilot and former federal prosecutor – Mikie Sherrill is running for Congress to fight back against Donald Trump and to fight for our future. After graduating from the United States Naval Academy in 1994, Mikie Sherrill spent almost 10 years on active duty in the United States Navy. As a Sea King Helicopter pilot, Mikie flew missions throughout Europe and the Middle East. After leaving the Navy in 2003, Mikie attended law school, earning a degree from Georgetown University. She worked in private practice and eventually joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey.

 

Next Generation Leaders - Congressional

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Andy Kim | 3rd District, New Jersey

Andy Kim is a former national security official from New Jersey. Throughout his career, Andy has been guided by the belief that service isn't just a job, it's a way of life. A product of South Jersey public schools, Andy worked in counterterrorism in both Democratic and Republican administrations. As a career public servant, Andy served two years at the White House as the Director for Iraq at the National Security Council where he was a point person for coordinating the counter-ISIS war.  He previously served in Kabul, Afghanistan as a diplomat and strategic adviser to General David Petraeus and General John Allen when they led coalition forces in Afghanistan, and also worked at the Pentagon, State Department, USAID, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Andy has always been focused on serving the American people instead of partisan politics. In Congress, Andy will stand up for regular New Jerseyans and against the corporate special interests because that’s what he’s been doing all his life. Andy will work with both parties to lower the costs of healthcare and create economic opportunity in South Jersey. He will work hard to support veterans and Joint Military Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst down the road from his home. 

 

Lauren Underwood | 14th District of Illinois

Lauren Underwood grew up in Naperville, IL. As a Girl Scout, she took a pledge to “Help People at All Times,” a motto that still guides her life and career. When Lauren was eight, she learned that she had a pre-existing heart condition. Her experience with the doctors and nurses who treated her inspired Lauren to pursue a career in health care.

While pursuing a graduate degree in nursing at Johns Hopkins, Lauren cared for patients and helped families navigate the complex health care system. Because of her health policy expertise, Lauren was appointed by President Obama as a Senior Advisor in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Lauren also worked as a professor at Georgetown University where she prepared future nurse practitioners through the university’s online master’s program.

Lauren’s personal and professional experience gives her a deep understanding that anyone’s life and financial situation can change in an instant due to an illness or accident. The Illinois 14th Congressional District needs Lauren’s leadership in Washington as an advocate for working families.
 

 
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Aftab Pureval | 1st District of Ohio

Aftab Pureval is the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, and the Democrat running for Congress in Ohio’s 1st Congressional district.  

As the first Democrat to be elected Clerk of Courts in over 100 years, Aftab has revolutionized the courthouse.  He is paying all of his employees a living wage of $15 an hour, and he is the first countywide officeholder in Ohio to offer paid family leave.  He also cut waste, and helped save taxpayers nearly a million dollars last year.
 
Aftab was born and raised in Southwest Ohio.  He attended The Ohio State University and the University of Cincinnati College of Law where he represented battered women who could not afford an attorney.  He’s also served as a special assistant U.S. attorney, fighting crimes against children, and as an attorney at Procter & Gamble.  Aftab serves on the boards of the Women’s Fund and the Ohio Innocence Project.  He’s been awarded the Cincinnati Business Courier’s 40 under 40 and the NAACP Leadership and Service Award. 
 
He and his wife Whitney live in Cincinnati.

 
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Abby Finkenauer | 1st District of Iowa

Abby Finkenauer has a proven track record of standing up for hardworking Iowans and progressive causes. As a State Representative Abby has fought for middle-class values, living wages and equal rights. She hasn’t shied away from speaking up for ideals she believes in and the people she represents. Abby grew up a daughter of a Union Pipefitter Welder and a Dubuque Community Schools employee. She was raised in a working-class household, and was taught that when there was work to be done, you do it. If elected to Congress, Abby will take the values she learned from her family and her experiences growing up in a blue-collar community to Washington, DC where she will be the fighter Iowa’s working families deserve. At age 29, Abby would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She is running to unseat an extreme GOP Freedom Caucus Member who is the most vulnerable incumbent in the House. IA-01 is one of the top targets for Democrats to pick up this cycle. Abby has been named to the DCCC’s Red to Blue list and she was one of EMILY’s List’s first challenger endorsements of the cycle.

 
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Tom Malinowski | 7th District of New Jersey

Tom immigrated to the United States from Communist Poland at the age of 6 and grew up in Princeton.  He began his career serving President Clinton on his National Security Council working to end some of the 20th Century’s bloodiest humanitarian crises.  Later, Tom became the chief advocate for Human Rights Watch, leading the bipartisan effort with Senator John McCain to end the Bush Administration’s use of torture.  

Most recently, Tom served as Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor under President Obama, where he fought to defend the human rights of women and LGBTQ people, to protect workers in our trade agreements, to root out corruption in autocratic regimes, and to stand up to dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un. Tom is currently running for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th Congressional District to unseat Rep. Leonard Lance. 

Service Leaders - State and Local

Kim Olson | Texas Commissioner of Agriculture

Kim Olson, Colonel, United States Air Force, retired,is the Democratic nominee for Texas Commissioner of Agriculture. As a 25-year veteran of the Air Force, Kim was a part of the first generation of female military pilots, and commanded troops in several combat zones, including Iraq. After the Air Force, Kim volunteered with the Texas State Guard for three years as Director of IT and personnel systems; worked as HR director with Dallas ISD; and was President of Grace After Fire. Kim was a 2014 inductee into the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame.  She is a fourth-generation farmer, and on her farm in Palo Pinto County, Kim raises vegetables, keeps bees, and cultivates native grasses. Kim is dedicated to a sustainable future for agriculture, improving domestic and export markets for our state’s farmers and ranchers, promoting rural development, and ensuring access to healthy food for all Texans.

 
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Casey Weinstein | Ohio House of Representatives

Casey grew up in a military family and has lived all over the country, but is proud to call Ohio home. He is a 2004 graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and served as Officer in Charge of Maintenance Support at Wright-Patterson. 

Casey received an MBA from The Ohio State University's Fisher College of Business and now works for Gartner, Inc., an information technology firm. Casey manages a team responsible for business development, sales, and account management activities for the U.S. Air Force.
Casey proudly serves as Hudson, Ohio’s Ward 2 City Councilman. He was first elected in 2015, and has championed young family, economic and renewable energy initiatives during his time in office. He is a graduate of Leadership Hudson’s Class of 2014, and led the classes' successful project to fund and implement the Solar Training and Education Center at Barlow Community Center. 

Casey is a member of Senator Sherrod Brown's Service Academy Nomination Committee and served on Republican Congressman Steve Austria's Blue Ribbon Task Force for Economic Development. Casey is married to his Air Force Academy classmate, Amanda, who is a Professor at The University of Akron. They have two daughters, Nora and Emilia. 
 

 

Joe Tate | Michigan House of Representatives

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Joe Tate currently serves as program manager at the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, focused on promoting local procurement within the city of Detroit.

Joe is a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business (M.B.A.) School of Natural Resources (M.S.). From 2015 - 2016 Joe served as president of the Student Government Association at the Ross School of Business, promoting the needs and interests of the student body to Ross’ administration. 

Prior to graduate school, Joe served as an infantry officer in the United States Marine Corps from 2009 to 2013. While in the Marine Corps he conducted two deployments to Helmand Province, Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom, holding roles as both a platoon commander and company executive officer. Joe received his undergraduate degree in public policy studies from Michigan State University (MSU). At MSU, he was a three-year starter on their varsity football team and served as team captain his senior year. That opportunity allowed him play two seasons in the National Football League from 2004 to 2006.

Joe’s father, Coleman Sr., was a firefighter for the City of Detroit at Engine 52, Ladder 31, while his mother, Debra, was a Detroit public school teacher.
 

 
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Adrian Perkins | Shreveport, LA Mayor

Adrian Perkins  was born in the Cedar Grove neighborhood of Shreveport. The grandson of a sharecropper and the youngest of three boys raised by a single mother, he understands both the struggles that Shreveport's families face as well as their ability to succeed against all odds.

After 9/11, Adrian felt compelled to join the Army. He accepted a nomination to West Point, where he was the first African-American cadet elected class president in school history, and subsequently fought multiple tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. He achieved the rank of Captain and Company Commander. One of his proudest moments—a feat he attributes to the grace of God—was ensuring that all members of his platoon returned home safe.

After serving, Adrian attended Harvard Law School and was elected its student body president. While a law student, he focused his scholarship on criminal justice reform and the importance of innovation in small and mid-sized cities. 

In all steps of his life, Adrian has kept Shreveport close to his heart. He returned to Shreveport to fight for working families and the community that raised him.

Previously supported candidates