WOMEN OF COLOR BREAKING BARRIERS
Representation Matters is honored to support progressive Democratic women of color running for elected office across the country. The candidates Representation Matters features are passionate, courageous, determined and inspiring leaders who have compelling stories of overcoming challenges and breaking barriers. Their unique experiences and perspectives need to be heard at every level of government to shape effective policy. They are all committed to fighting for reproductive justice, racial justice, voting rights, environmental protection, and all that we value. They are the hope for a representative democracy and our future. #2021-candidates
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2024 SENATE CANDIDATES
Representative Barbara Lee (CA-12)
Congresswoman Barbara Lee is a progressive icon who has been a trailblazer in life and her career. She has fought against racism and discrimination and for underserved communities her entire life.
When her majority-white school district told her she couldn’t join the high school cheer squad because she was Black, she joined the San Fernando NAACP, sued them in court and won the right to be the district’s first Black cheerleader — and opened the door for thousands of other Black girls. As a single mother on public assistance, Barbara attended Mills College, bringing her two young sons with her to campus and was elected president of the Black Student Union.
Barbara earned a master’s degree in social work from UC Berkeley and started a community organization to bring mental health services to the underserved in the East Bay. She worked her way from intern to chief of staff for legendary Congressman Ron Dellums and was one of the first Black women to hold a senior position on Capitol Hill.
She has been leading the progressive charge before others began calling themselves progressives. She is the author of every major piece of HIV/AIDS legislation in Congress, fought to lift people out of poverty by expanding SNAP benefits, investing in child care, and expanding Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, and she was the lone courageous vote against the Authorization for Use of Military Force that authorized the war in Afghanistan.
For Barbara, the issues she fights for are personal. She’s lived them, which makes her the most authentic candidate for any office in any state. That’s why people throughout the Bay Area, California, and the nation say: Barbara Lee Speaks for Me
OUR 2022 CANDIDATES
2022 SENATE CANDIDATES
The Honorable Cheri Beasley (NC)
Cheri Beasley was raised by her mother, who taught her that no door should be closed to her and that with hard work and faith, she could accomplish whatever she dreamed. After earning her law degree, Cheri chose to work as a public defender in Cumberland County before running for District Judge. Cheri won her first campaign by nearly 30 points. She went on to be a judge for 22 years, winning two statewide elections in North Carolina. She even managed to win her second campaign in 2014, a notoriously difficult year for Democrats. In 2019, Cheri was appointed Chief Justice of the North Carolina Supreme Court, making her the first African American woman to ever hold that position. She has seen how the deck is stacked against people, from students left behind in the classroom, to parents working more than one job and still struggling to afford health care, to seniors who deserve a chance to retire with dignity.
Cheri is running for an open seat in North Carolina, a swing state, and is considered to be one of the most likely candidates to flip a Senate seat in 2022. Republicans are doing everything they can to keep a Democrat from winning this seat. There are currently no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate, and North Carolina has never elected an African American to the Senate. With our support, Cheri is well poised to change that.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (NV) WON!
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto is the Senior Senator from Nevada. She was born and raised in Las Vegas, NV. Elected in 2016, Catherine became Nevada’s first female Senator and the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate in the nation. In the Senate, Catherine sits on 4 committees including the Committee on Finance; the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; Energy & Natural Resources; and Indian Affairs. In addition to serving Nevadans as their Senator, Catherine also took the helm at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as their Chair in the 2020 election cycle, to lead us into a Senate majority. Before entering the Senate, Catherine served two terms as the Nevada Attorney General, Chief of Staff to former Governor Bob Miller, Assistant County Manager in Clark County and as a federal criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington, D.C.
Catherine won a hard-fought race by a narrow margin in 2016. She is now running for reelection and is one of the top Republican targets in 2022. Her Republican opponent is former State Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who embraced the lies about the 2020 election. He is backed by Trump, Mitch McConnell and Ron DeSantis, and they have already invested $18 million in super PAC funds to defeat Catherine. This is a critical seat in a swing state, and we need to do everything we can to hold this seat.
Congresswoman Val Demings (FL-10)
Rep. Val Butler Demings learned from her parents about the American Dream. They didn’t have much: two parents and seven children in a small wood-framed house in Jacksonville. Her mother worked as a maid; her father as a janitor, landscaper, and orange picker — as many jobs as it took to get by. Chief Demings became the first in her family to go to college, working at a fast food restaurant to pay her way. She became a social worker, working to protect children in broken homes. Then, dismayed at a system that was leaving too many families behind, she signed up to become a police officer in Orlando, FL — an officer with a social worker’s heart. She quickly earned a reputation as a bold, creative cop willing to take on conventional thinking and the toughest parts of the city. Chief Demings served 27 years and at every rank level in the department. In 2007, she made history when she was appointed to serve as Orlando’s first female Chief of Police. In 2016, Chief Demings was elected by the voters of Florida’s 10th District to serve in Congress. She swiftly gained a reputation as a tireless champion for public safety, civil rights, and the American Dream that had given her a chance to succeed. She serves as a member of the House Homeland Security and Judiciary Committees, and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. She also gained widespread acclaim for her conduct as a deliberative and justice-focused impeachment manager during the impeachment trial of former President Trump. When she’s not serving her constituents and spending time with her family, she rides her Harley-Davidson Road King Classic.
There are currently no Black women serving in the U.S. Senate. Congresswoman Demings is running for Senate to unseat anti-choice, extreme conservative Republican Senator Marco Rubio. Republicans will do everything they can to keep this swing state seat. This is an opportunity to flip a Senate seat and expand the Senate majority, AND elevate the voices of Black women across the country.
Senator Tammy Duckworth (IL) WON!
Sen. Tammy Duckworth was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2016. She serves on the Special Committee on the Climate Crisis; the Armed Services Committee; the Committee on Environment and Public Works; Commerce Science and Transportation; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining the Senate, she served two terms in the House of Representatives, representing Illinois’s Eighth Congressional District. She is an Iraq War Veteran and Purple Heart recipient, and was among the first women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She served under President Obama as the Assistant Secretary of Veteran’s Affairs. She is many firsts: she was born in Thailand and was the first Thai American elected to Congress, the first woman with a disability elected to Congress, and the first Senator to give birth while in office. She used her position to secure an historic rule change to allow Senators to bring their infant children to the Senate Floor.
Tammy flipped her seat from red to blue in 2016 and Republicans will be fighting to win it back in 2022.
2022 HOUSE CANDIDATES
Hold the House
Congresswoman Sharice Davids (KS-03) WON!
Rep. Sharice Davids represents Kansas’ 3rd Congressional District after successfully unseating a four-term Republican incumbent in November 2018, flipping KS-03 blue. Sharice is a member of the Ho Chunk Nation, and one of the first two Native American women elected to Congress. She is also the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Kansas. Sharice is the first woman to serve as Vice Chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure and is Chair of the Small Business Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access. She also serves on the Committee on Agriculture, the Joint Economic Committee, and House Steering and Policy Committee, and is the Regional Whip. Sharice is a proud Kansan who was raised by a single mother, who is an U.S. Army veteran and recently retired U.S. Postal Service employee. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, she was the first person in her family to attend college, working her way from Johnson County Community College to Cornell Law School. She wants others to have the same opportunities to achieve their goals. That is why she has focused her career, including serving as an Obama White House Fellow, on bringing more opportunities to working families. Sharice has centered her work in office on tackling the issues most important to Kansas families, including strengthening public schools, lowering the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs, and making sure the government is working for the people – not special interests.
Sharice spent $5.3 million to hold this seat in 2020, and now faces another tough reelection, with the NRCC pouring millions into the midterms to win this seat back. She is on the DCCC Frontline, and we must do everything we can to ensure she has the resources necessary to keep KS-03 blue.
Congresswoman Jahana Hayes (CT-05) WON!
Rep. Jahana Hayes was elected in November 2018 to represent Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District. She is the first African-American woman and the first African-American Democrat to represent the state of Connecticut in Congress. Jahana’s story is one of achievement despite the odds and overcoming the obstacles that so many people face. She grew up in a housing project in Waterbury, in the cycle of poverty and addiction, and became pregnant at 17. While supporting her young family, she enrolled in Community College, and then went on to earn a four-year degree and two advanced degrees. She became a high school teacher in the same town where she grew up. Jahana first garnered widespread recognition when she was selected as the Connecticut Teacher of the Year, and then was named by President Obama as National Teacher of the Year in 2016. She currently sits on the House Committees on Education and Labor, and Agriculture, where she is Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Nutrition, Oversight and Department Operations. She played a pivotal role in drafting the American Rescue Plan. Her areas of legislative focus are equitable access to quality education, affordable health care for everyone, labor, agriculture, and the environment. Additional priority areas include: immigration reform, gun violence prevention, veteran issues, social justice, transportation, and working in a bipartisan way to bring positive change to the lives of every person in the community. Jahana faced a barrage of racist hate speech in a virtual town hall in October 2020, and has been outspoken about the experience and the need to address racism and hate in order to heal our nation.
CT-05 was historically red and the NRCC has made this seat a top target for 2022. Jahana spent $1.6 million to hold her seat in 2020 and will need considerable more to fend off their attacks. She is on the DCCC Frontline and it is critical that we ensure she has the resources necessary to keep CT-05 blue.
Teresa Leger Fernandez (NM-03) WON!
Rep. Teresa Leger Fernandez was elected to Congress in 2020 to represent New Mexico’s 3rd District. She is a 17th generation New Mexican, and the first woman and first Latina to represent her district. Prior to her election she was an attorney and advocate, winning significant legal battles to advance voting rights, promote tribal sovereignty, and protect our environment and our acequia waters. She helped secure nearly a billion dollars for, and then helped build, schools, rural health clinics, broadband, businesses, affordable housing and critical infrastructure. Teresa serves on the House Committees on Natural Resources, Education and Labor, and the Committee on House Administration, and Chairs the Subcommittee for Indigenous Peoples of the United States. She serves in the leadership of the Congressional Hispanic and Progressive Caucuses.
As a result of redistricting, Teresa’s district incorporated more conservatives, and Republicans see it as a top pick-up opportunity. Teresa was recently added to the DCCC Frontline, and this is a must-hold seat to protect our Democratic Senate majority.
Congresswoman Lucy McBath (GA-06) WON!
Rep. Lucy McBath was elected to Congress in 2018 to represent Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. In 2012, Lucy’s son Jordan Davis was senselessly shot and killed at a gas station in Jacksonville, Florida by a man objecting to the music Jordan was playing in his car. Lucy left her 30-year long career working for Delta Airlines for her second career focused on reform to make our communities safer for every single American. She traveled throughout the country, demanding that the clergy, our politicians, and other elected leaders do more to stop the senseless gun violence in America. After the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida Lucy watched as politicians of all parties promised to take action, yet nothing came. Lucy decided that if our leaders would not change our laws to save lives, she would stand up and run for office herself. She ran against an NRA-backed incumbent, won by 1.5 points, and now holds the seat once held by Newt Gingrich. Lucy’s work in Congress has been focused on working across the aisle and passing laws to help our children and families. As a two-time breast cancer survivor, she is personally invested in quality health care for all. She introduced and helped pass the Pandemic Health Care Improvement Act that expands the Affordable Care Act coverage. She has worked on numerous pieces of house-passed legislation, including universal background checks for all gun sales and Red Flag Laws to limit access to firearms for those who are potentially dangerous, and sponsored legislation protecting our veterans which was signed into law. She serves on the House Committee on the Judiciary and the House Committee on Education and Labor. She is also the Vice Chair of the Gun Violence Prevention Task Force.
Lucy was targeted by Republicans during redistricting, and as a result she is now running in Georgia’s newly drawn 7th district, where she won the Democratic nomination in a competitive race. Republicans are doing everything they can to take this seat and the House majority. Lucy is a champion with a unique voice in Congress and we need to ensure she wins her reelection.
Congresswoman Mary Peltola (AK-AL) WON!
Mary Sattler Peltola is a Yup’ik Eskimo, salmon advocate, and Democrat who represented the Bethel region in the Alaska House of Representatives for 10 years. As a lawmaker, Mary helped rebuild the Bush Caucus that improved lives in rural Alaska under her tenure as Chair. As Executive Director of the Kuskokwim River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, she helped mobilize 118 Tribes and rural Alaskans to advocate for the protection of salmon runs in Western Alaska. Mary served on the Orutsararmiut Native Council Tribal Court and the Bethel City Council. Mary was raised on the Kuskokwim River in Kwethluk, Tuntutuliak, Platinum, and Bethel. She began fishing commercially with her father when she was six years old.
Mary recently stunned Alaska and the whole country when she defeated Sarah Palin and a host of others in the special election to serve the remaining term of Alaska’s sole congressional seat. Rep. Peltola is the first Alaska Native and the first woman from Alaska to ever serve in Congress, and she is the first Democrat to hold this seat in half a century. She is now running for a full term in Congress, again against Sarah Palin and others, and it is critical that Democrats hold this seat.
Congresswoman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) WON!
Rep. Lauren Underwood represents Illinois’ 14th Congressional District, a suburban, exurban, and rural district west of Chicago. She flipped this seat from red to blue in 2018, defeating a 4-term Republican incumbent, and in 2020 became the first Democrat to ever be reelected in IL-14. Lauren is the first woman, the first person of color, and the first millennial to serve this district, and the youngest Black woman to serve in Congress. As a registered nurse and healthcare expert, she brings a critical perspective to Congress. Prior to her election, Lauren spent her career implementing the ACA and was appointed by President Obama to serve as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services, where she helped communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterrorism threats, and public health emergencies. Lauren has proven herself to be a hard worker and an effective leader for her community. She has had 8 pieces of legislation enacted into law by both Democratic and Republican administrations. Lauren serves on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and the House Committee on Appropriations. She co-founded and co-chairs the Black Maternal Health Caucus, which elevates the Black maternal health crisis within Congress and advances policy solutions to improve maternal health outcomes and end disparities.
When Lauren flipped this seat in 2018, she was considered a longshot. She spent $7.4 million to hold her seat in 2020, and won by just over 5,000 votes – one of the closest races in the country. Lauren is on the DCCC Frontline and is a top Republican target in 2022. Her seat is a must-win to hold our House majority.
Build the House
Yadira Caraveo (CO-08) WON!
Dr. Yadira Caraveo has been a member of the Colorado State House of Representatives since 2019. She is a pediatrician and a staunch advocate for children. As a result of her tireless work, Yadira has become the go-to expert for public health and health care legislation in local Colorado politics. She was named a Champion of Change by President Obama for her work with the Union of Concerned Scientists enlisting doctors across the country in the fight against climate change. In Congress, Yadira will continue her commitment to fight for lower health care costs, address the high cost of housing, combat climate change, and fight for reproductive justice and voting rights.
Yadira is running in a newly created Congressional district in Colorado, which is split evenly 50-50 between Democrats and Republicans – a true toss-up. It has the highest percentage of Hispanics of any district in Colorado. Outreach and persuasion are critical for her campaign, as 45% of the registered voters are unaffiliated or independent. Yadira’s Republican opponent is a self-described “Conservative Fighter,” who is anti-choice, pro-guns, and against government efforts to combat Global warming. Yadira is on the DCCC Red to Blue list, and this will be a competitive race, with Republicans pouring significant funds into winning this seat. This is a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats, and with our support, Yadira will ensure that CO-08 goes blues. If elected, Yadira will be the first Latina and the first physician to represent Colorado in the House.
Jackie Gordon (NY-02)
Jackie Gordon is an Army veteran, an educator, a public servant, and a community leader. After a contested redistricting process, she is running to flip New York’s newly drawn 2nd district Red to Blue. Jackie was born in Jamaica, West Indies, and grew up in Queens, NY. While in college and teaching in local schools, she enlisted in the United States Army Reserve. Over her 29-year career in the Armed Forces, Jackie served our country overseas as a platoon leader in Germany during Operation Desert Storm, as an operations officer at Guantanamo Bay during the Global War on Terror, as a battle captain in Baghdad during the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, and as Commander of the 310th Military Police Battalion in Afghanistan in 2012. She retired from the Army Reserve with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in 2014. Jackie has spent nearly three decades working in New York public schools, and has earned degrees in education from Hunter College and Queens College. As a guidance counselor, Jackie mentored and advised Long Island high schoolers, guiding them into productive lives, into college, and into the workforce. From 2007 to 2020, she served on the Babylon Town Council, where she worked to direct resources to veterans and military families as Chair of the Veterans Advisory Council, pushed for the revitalization of Wyandanch Village, which has breathed new life into the community, and helped raise nearly $1 million for the Wounded Warriors Project through the annual Soldier Ride in Babylon.
Jackie is on the DCCC Red to Blue list. This race is likely a toss-up and is expected to be highly competitive and expensive. With sufficient resources Jackie will flip NY-02 from Red to Blue, and will become the first Black woman elected to Congress from a New York district outside of New York City.
Andrea Salinas (OR-06) WON!
Andrea Salinas is a working mom, longtime community advocate and state representative. She is the daughter of a Mexican immigrant and saw the strength and sacrifices her own parents made to pave a stronger path for her and her sister. She felt that same determination when her daughter, Amelia, was born 17 years ago, and she has been fighting for a strong Oregon ever since. Since joining the Oregon House in 2017 and quickly ascending into House leadership, Andrea has been a champion for women and working families, fighting for – and winning – protection for women janitors who were being abused by their employers, and passing some of the nation’s most transparent drug pricing laws so families aren’t choosing between food and prescription drugs, along with laws curbing carbon pollution and phasing out dirty coal, and the strongest reproductive rights law in the country.
Andrea is on the DCCC Red to Blue list and is running for a newly drawn Congressional District with a slight edge in terms of Democratic voter registration. This is a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats. She is running against a wealthy Republican businessman and anti-choice, anti-environment opponent, and the GOP is investing strongly in this race. With our support, Andrea will help expand our Democratic House majority. If elected, Andrea will be the first Latina member of Congress from Oregon.
Annette Taddeo (FL-27)
Annette Taddeo is the daughter of an American WWII fighter pilot who gave her that true fighting spirit. As a child, Annette underwent nineteen major surgeries to correct a cleft lip. When she was seventeen, she was forced to flee her home in Colombia where a Marxist terrorist group, funded by the Cuban regime, kidnapped her father. After living and working her way through college waiting tables in Alabama, Taddeo moved to Miami in the wake of Hurricane Andrew to help her parents rebuild. It was during those difficult months living in a motor home that she started her own business at the age of twenty-two. In 2017, against all odds and against the advice of party bosses, Annette successfully flipped Senate District 40 from Red to Blue, and she made history as the first Latina Democrat elected to Florida’s Senate. Annette was subsequently re-elected and currently represents a district Trump won by 6 points. As a working mom, Annette lives in Miami with her husband Dr. Eric Goldstein, and daughter Sofia, a student in public school — Living her American dream as a small business owner and State Senator for the Miami-Dade area.
Annette is fighting for Democrats to win back Donna Shalala’s Congressional seat in Florida which went to a Republican in the last election in 2020. This district was redrawn to be more favorable to Republicans. Annette is running against a one-term incumbent who made her name as a journalist, believes that Democrats are turning the United States into a socialist country, and voted against impeaching Donald Trump. Annette is featured on the DCCC Red-to-Blue list. Florida is a critical battleground state and this is a must win seat to ensure a Democratic House majority, and her seat is a prime pick up opportunity.
Emilia Sykes (OH-13) WON!
Emilia Sykes was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and grew up on the city’s west side. She graduated with high honors from Kent State University with a B.A. in Psychology and later went on to the University of Florida, where she earned a Juris Doctor with a Certificate in Family Law and a Master of Public Health. Emilia currently serves as a State Representative in Ohio’s 34th legislative district, otherwise known as the “birthplace of champions,” where she’s served since 2014. She recently finished four years in Democratic leadership, including two years as the House Minority Leader, and is now running for the United States Congress in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District to fight for economic opportunity and affordable healthcare for Northeast Ohio, and for bipartisan cooperation to actually get things done. During her first year as the Leader of the House Democratic caucus, despite serving in the minority, the percentage of bipartisan bills passed was nearly double each of the previous four years combined. Emilia has received numerous awards for her advocacy, including the EMILY’s List national Rising Star award, Legislator of the Year from the Ohio Minority Business Enterprise, the Champion for Children award from Summit Children’s Services, and 30 for the Future award from the Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce.
Emilia is on the DCCC Red to Blue list, and is running in a newly drawn Congressional District. Her Republican opponent is a frequent Fox News commentator and a spokesperson, surrogate, and advisor to Trump. The GOP will be investing heavily in this race and will fight hard to win this seat. This is a prime pick-up opportunity and a must-win seat to maintain Democratic control of the House. Emilia is working tirelessly to bring new leadership to this district, and has the courage and experience to do what it takes to win and be a strong voice in Congress.
Michelle Vallejo (TX-15)
Michelle Vallejo is a small business owner, community leader, and the people-powered candidate South Texans need to bring their voices to Washington. Michelle was born and raised in the Rio Grande Valley and comes from a family of farm workers, immigrants, and entrepreneurs. Her family has run Pulga Los Portales, a local flea market and community hub, for nearly 25 years, and she now runs the business with her dad. When Michelle was a student at Columbia University, tragedy struck when her mother passed away following a 15-year-long battle with multiple sclerosis. Now, Michelle Vallejo is honoring her mother’s legacy by fighting for a better future for all Texas families as a candidate for Congress in TX-15.
Michelle was enlisted to run for this seat by LUPE, a prominent non-profit community organization. She came in second against multiple Democrats running in the primary, and then went on to win the runoff by just 30 votes. Michelle is a long time community activist, and is now taking on a Trump endorsed Republican. TX-15 has sent a Democrat to Congress every single election since it was created in 1902. Republicans targeted this district specifically when redrawing the new congressional maps. Michelle is featured on the DCCC Red-to-Blue list, and this is a must win seat in a newly redrawn district.
2022 CANDIDATES FOR GOVERNOR
Stacey Abrams (GA)
Stacey Abrams is a political leader, voting rights activist and New York Times bestselling author. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and were raised in Georgia. The daughter of two ministers, Stacey attended DeKalb County public schools and went on receive degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas and Yale Law School. Stacey was first elected to the Georgia House of Representatives in 2006, where she served for eleven years, including seven as Democratic Leader. She made history in 2010 as the first woman to lead either party in the Georgia General Assembly, and as the first Black leader in the House of Representatives. In 2018, Stacey became the Democratic nominee for Governor of Georgia, winning at the time more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. Stacey was the first Black woman to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party in the United States, and she was the first Black woman and first Georgian to deliver a Response to the State of the Union. After witnessing the gross mismanagement of the 2018 election by the Secretary of State’s office, Stacey launched Fair Fight to ensure every American has a voice in our election system through programs such as Fair Fight 2020, an initiative to fund and train voter protection teams in 20 battleground states. Over the course of her career, Stacey has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels. In 2019, she launched Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and greater participation in civic engagement, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. Stacey played a prominent role in mobilizing millions of Democrats to turn Georgia blue, with President Biden’s narrow victory in 2020 and Georgia’s 2021 historic Democratic Senate runoff victories. She is a tireless champion for the people of Georgia and for democracy.
Now Stacey is stepping up to once again to face Republican Gov. Brian Kemp, the former Georgia Secretary of State who administered the 2018 election in which he was a candidate. Georgia has never elected a woman or a person of color to serve as governor, and no state in this country has ever elected a Black woman governor. Stacey is poised to be the first. Stacey has spent years working to ensure every Georgian has a voice in our democracy, and no one is more prepared to run and win in 2022. This race is expected to be the most expensive gubernatorial race in history. We have the opportunity to help Stacey turn Georgia blue and lead the state forward.
Deidre DeJear (IA)
Deidre DeJear was born in Jackson, Mississippi and as a child moved with her family to Oklahoma. When DeJear was eight years old, her mother passed away shortly after giving birth to her younger sister. Experiencing loss and seeing her father be present for her and her siblings shaped who DeJear is today. Deidre moved from Oklahoma to Iowa to attend college at Drake University, fell in love with the state, and chose to make Iowa her home. While still a student in college, Deidre co-founded the nonprofit Back to School Iowa to support young people in their educational endeavors. She created financial education programs for community colleges, municipalities and nonprofits. She is a small business owner and social impact entrepreneur who has helped empower more than 640 businesses across the state. She is a voting rights champion and community leader. She is the Vice President of the League of Women Voters in Des Moines, is a member of Links, Inc., and currently serves on the Boards of Count the Kicks, Des Moines Housing Services Board, and the Iowa Interfaith Alliance. She has experience running for statewide office, winning a competitive primary in 2018 for Secretary of State through extensive outreach and expanding the electorate. She is an experienced organizer, and was selected by Kamala Harris to serve as Iowa State Chair of her presidential campaign in 2019.
DeJear has taken the bold step to challenge pro-life incumbent Republican Governor Kim Reynolds, an extremist who called for an amendment to the Iowa Constitution, stating that the constitution does not grant the right to an abortion. Deidre is running for Governor to fight for all Iowans and help bring opportunity back to their communities. She will fiercely defend fundamental rights, and is ready to lead Iowa forward. This country has never elected a Black woman governor, and Deidre could make history as one of the first. Deidre has been endorsed by EMILY’s List and Higher Heights. While a Democrat winning the governorship in Iowa is a long shot, Deidre is one of those candidates who can surprise us all, and undoubtedly has a long political future ahead. She is a rising star.
2022 CANDIDATES FOR STATE EXECUTIVE OFFICE
Malia Cohen (CA State Controller) WON!
Malia Cohen was born and raised in San Francisco and attended public schools in the city. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Fisk University and a master’s degree in public policy and management from Carnegie Mellon University. Malia currently serves as Chair of the California State Board of Equalization, the state agency responsible for managing California’s $75 billion property tax system that funds our public schools. As Chair of the Board of Equalization, Malia is a member of the Franchise Tax Board, which is responsible for collecting personal and corporate taxes. As State Controller, she will continue to be a member of the FTB. She is one of only two women, the only African American, and the first African-American woman to serve on the BOE. Prior to serving on the BOE, Malia was elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, where she served as Chair of the Budget Committee, overseeing a $10 billion city budget. She was also President of the San Francisco Employee Retirement System, a $20 billion retirement fund, and she successfully divested the fund from fossil fuels. All of these experiences have prepared Malia for the next step – to be California’s State Controller. There is no one better prepared to perform the important duties of the State Controller in an equitable and transformative way.
Malia won a competitive primary in June and is now facing opponent Lanhee Chen, who is being funded by a Republican super PAC. This has become a more expensive and highly competitive race. Malia knows how to run an effective campaign, and with our support will be the first African American to serve as California’s State Controller.
Archive: see candidates we supported in 2020
Representation Matters is committed to changing the face of power by standing with and supporting progressive Black women and women of color candidates running for elected office.