Hoping to capitalize on the grassroots energy inspired by Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, the Our Revolution organization is fundraising for seven progressive female candidates who seek to ignite nationwide change from the ground up.
In an email sent out Wednesday afternoon, Our Revolution board member Lucy Flores—among the first to benefit from Sanders' down-ballot endorsements, though she ultimately lost her June primary—introduced supporters to seven candidates who she said "represent the next generation of leaders in our country."
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The lesser-known names are:
- Eloise Reyes, running for California State Assembly. Reyes "worked in grape and onion fields to put herself through college," reads the email from Flores. Her backers include labor unions and environmental groups who have blasted her opponent, incumbent Cheryl Brown, "as beholden to the oil industry and big business," the local Press Enterprise reported this month.
- Nanette Barragán, running to represent California's 44th District in the U.S. House. An advocate for foster children and herself a daughter of Mexican immigrants, Barragán is running for Congress "on a platform of social justice and taking on greedy oil companies," Flores said. She's recently received three major newspaper endorsements, including from the Compton Herald, which praised Barragán as "unbought, uncompromised, and unbeholden to special interest groups."
- Nicole Cannizzaro, seeking state senate office in Nevada. "A strong fighter for public education," as Flores put it, Cannizzaro has the backing of the Nevada State Education Association, among others. Republicans currently have a one-seat majority in the Nevada Senate, and "both parties consider the district to be one of a handful of races that will determine control" of that house, according to local station KNTV. Cannizzaro recently released an ad accusing her GOP opponent of being one of controversial Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy's "biggest cheerleaders."
- Sabrina Shrader, running for West Virginia's House of Delegates. Shrader, who has spoken openly about her difficult childhood, "is using her personal experience to give a voice to women and families living in poverty," according to Flores. In 2013, she testified before Sanders and other lawmakers on Capitol Hill about growing up in impoverished conditions. In supporting Sanders, she was inspired to run for office herself.
- Sara Niccoli, New York State Assembly hopeful. "Albany's culture of corruption has forced our communities to struggle needlessly," Niccoli told a crowd when announcing her run in March. "Politicians who are more interested in serving their wallets than their constituents are killing local economies and devastating schools." With a platform that embraces clean energy, Niccoli earlier this month testified against the Dominion pipeline expansion in New York.
As Sanders declared in April: "Throughout this campaign, I've told you that no candidate for president—not Bernie Sanders, not the greatest president you could possibly imagine—can take on the billionaire class alone."