DLCC Essential Races 2016: Round 2

Press Releases

Colorado House District 3: Jeff Bridges

Jeff Bridges is a first-time candidate dedicated to making state government productive and accountable. Bridges’ experience enacting bipartisan legislation to protect military lives while working for U.S. Senator Ken Salazar, expanding the renewable energy industry as part of the Colorado Conservation Voters board of directors, and protecting LGBT rights while Associate Vice President at Union Theological Seminary speaks to his values and his ability to achieve progress. In November, Bridges will face Republican Katy Brown for this key seat, an essential win for Democrats to maintain their majority in the state House.    


Georgia House District 81: Representative Scott Holcomb

Representative Scott Holcomb was first elected to the Georgia House in 2010. Rep. Holcomb has practiced law since 1998, and prior to his election to the legislature, he served as a prosecutor and advisor on international law and the laws of war in the U.S. Army. Rep. Holcomb is the Minority Caucus Chief Deputy Whip and worked to enact Georgia’s landmark rape kit bill, despite GOP push-back, which established a system to finally test rape kit backlogs. Rep. Holcomb will continue to fight for high-quality education, strengthen Georgia’s ethics laws, defend Georgia’s veterans and their families, and protect the state’s environment.    


Georgia House District 96: Representative Pedro “Pete” Marin

This January will mark the first time Representative Pedro “Pete” Marin is not the sole Latino voice in the Georgia legislature. Rep. Marin was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and for the past 14 years has represented one of Georgia’s most diverse counties. He is a voice for the state’s Latino community while serving this competitive district. He has been at the forefront in stopping gang violence, supporting economic development initiatives, and building relationships among government leaders, the community, and emerging diverse communities in metro Atlanta. Rep. Marin is an active member of his community, serving in multiple organizations, including the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators, and has been recognized for his dedication to public service. 


Iowa Senate District 46: Senator Chris Brase

Senator Chris Brase was elected to represent this crucial Iowa Senate district in 2012. SD-46 is a critical seat in the fight for control of the state’s upper legislative chamber. A firefighter from Muscatine, Sen. Brase has protected his community for the past 26 years. He served as Trustee, Vice President, and President of the Muscatine Association of Firefighters, as well as Trustee and current Vice President of Iowa Professional Firefighters, and as a board member of the Quad Cities Federation of Labor. This November, Sen. Brase will face former Republican House member Mark Lofgren as Democrats fight to keep Republican extremism in check in Iowa state government.    


Kentucky House District 46: Alan “Al” Gentry

Al Gentry is a first-time candidate running to represent this Democratic-leaning district in the fight to maintain Democrats’ majority in the Kentucky House. Gentry is a self-employed businessman and entrepreneur with deep community roots and an extensive public service resume. While pursuing a master’s degree at the University of Kentucky, Gentry lost his arm in a workplace accident at the age of 28. Gentry was determined to not let his disability alter his life and has since served as an advocate for disabled persons across the country. He is the founder of numerous organizations and annual sporting events that bring together and inspire disabled veterans and civilians. In November, Gentry will face Republican Eric Crump for this crucial seat.    


New York Senate District 6: Ryan Cronin

A practicing attorney and Long Island native, Ryan Cronin showed himself to be a dynamic candidate in 2012, when he nearly unseated incumbent Kemp Hannon. GOP Senator Hannon is a poster child for Albany’s culture of corruption, acting as right-hand man for disgraced former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos. Hannon used his position as Chair of the Senate Health Committee to send millions of dollars to healthcare industry clients of his law firm. As a member of the New York Senate, Cronin will dedicate himself to reforming Albany, boosting Long Island’s economy, providing real education reform, and supporting sensible gun safety legislation.


New York Senate District 7: Adam Haber

After nearly picking up this Senate seat for Democrats in 2014, Adam Haber is again running to represent this diverse district. President Obama won SD-07 in 2012; it is now an open seat, and with Haber on the ballot, SD-07 is a prime pickup opportunity for Democrats. Haber is a businessman, school board member, and a champion of progressive issues such as paid family leave, raising the minimum wage, and strengthening gun safety laws. In November, Haber will face GOP mayor of Village of Flower Hill Elaine Phillips and will use his campaign to highlight his dedication to improving government efficiency and transparency, developing New York’s public school system, and enacting policies to protect the environment.    


Ohio House District 95: Ginny Favede

Democratic House candidate Ginny Favede is breaking through in conservative HD-95 with her record of working across the aisle to get things done and putting people ahead of politics. Favede currently serves as Belmont County Commissioner. Raised by a single mother and the only one of ten siblings to graduate from college, Favede understands the challenges families face. Favede is a nationally-recognized leader for her efforts to bring energy companies and good-paying jobs to the region and will work to bring more industries to the area. When the county government was facing massive cuts in the midst of the recession, Favede’s efforts to find inefficiencies, not cut services, helped local families and workers get the most out of their local government. In November, Favede will face Republican incumbent Andy Thompson.


Ohio Senate District 24 Emily Hagan

Emily Hagan has a long history of public service; she worked as an advocate for juvenile justice policy and legal reform as a policy associate at Voices for Ohio’s Children after graduating from law school, and she later served as Vice President of the Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Hagan is running not only because she is concerned about cuts by the state to local budgets — specifically education — but also to fight for small business owners against new taxes. Hagan will promote a progressive vision for Ohio, not only for her two young boys, but for all Ohioans. This November, Hagan will face Republican Matt Dolan for this open seat in the Cuyahoga County suburbs, a key pickup opportunity for Ohio Senate Democrats.    


South Dakota House District 27: Red Dawn Foster

Red Dawn Foster is Oglala Lakota born for Kinyaa’áanii (Towering House People Clan). Her family committed their lives to empowering and advocating for Native Peoples’ rights and instilled in Foster the desire to fight for human rights, access to education and health care, and conservation. With over 15 years of experience in community and economic development, Foster currently serves as an Economic Development Consultant for the Oglala Sioux Tribe and as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Lakota Funds CDFI. Foster was a Business Instructor for the Red Cloud Economic Development Initiative and taught Entrepreneurship and Economics at Red Cloud High School. In November, Foster will face Republican incumbent Elizabeth May.  


Washington House District 30a: Mike Pellicciotti

Mike Pellicciotti grew up in a family of educators and is the product of public schools. As an Assistant Attorney General, he managed state efforts to combat healthcare fraud, convicting health care providers who intentionally stole from the Medicaid program and returning over $30 million to taxpayers. Pellicciotti brings experience to the state House and will work to make Washington a destination for a new generation. This November, Pellicciotti faces GOP incumbent Linda Kochmar, who has been a rubber stamp for Republican leadership in Olympia, voting against efforts to make it easier for young people to register to vote and against school funding in favor of tax breaks for corporations.  


Washington Senate District 28: Marisa Peloquin

Marisa Peloquin was born in Taiwan and moved to Washington with her family after her father retired from the U.S. Air Force. After graduating from Seattle University, Peloquin joined the U.S. Army where she served nearly ten years on active duty. She deployed with the 10th Special Forces Group during Operation Desert Storm and served as the only female company commander in the 82nd Airborne Division. Peloquin transitioned into the U.S. Army Reserve and has spent the last 16 years serving in various assignments at the rank of colonel and volunteering in her community. In November, Peloquin will help Democrats retake the Senate when she faces GOP incumbent and Alliance Defending Freedom lawyer Steve O’Ban, who, since being appointed to the seat in 2012, has promoted a dangerous agenda against women, students, LGBTQ peoples, and Washington workers.    


Wisconsin Assembly District 51: Jeff Wright

Jeff Wright comes from a certified “Wisconsin Pioneer” family and will be a strong voice for Wisconsin families and communities in the Wisconsin Assembly. As a nationally-honored educator, Wright believes in the importance of investing in our future by strengthening public schools and protecting the environment. Wright is committed to finding ways to attract the next generation to Wisconsin’s dynamic rural communities by building meaningful partnerships between public and private groups and investing in local infrastructure. In November, Wright will face Republican incumbent Todd Novak as Democrats look to win back a district they lost by just 65 votes in 2014.    


Wisconsin Assembly District 85: Mandy Wright

Mandy Wright is an up-and-coming political voice dedicated to expanding opportunities for Wisconsin students and working families. Born and raised on the Wisconsin River and a graduate of Wausau East, she and her husband are both teachers and active community volunteers. As an experienced educator, Wright understands the importance of investing in Washington’s future by funding public schools and protecting the environment. Wright served one term in the Assembly but was unseated in 2014 by just 84 votes. This November, Wright will face GOP candidate Pat Snyder as she fights to reclaim this now-open seat.    


Wyoming Senate District 10: Narina Nunez

Narina Nunez has worked as a professor in the University of Wyoming Psychology Department for the past 29 years and has been voted a Top Ten Teacher by graduating classes 12 times. Nunez and her husband are small business owners and understand the connection between a healthy state economy and a successful family-owned business. Nunez is passionate about education and expanding opportunities for Wyoming youth and is a member of the Albany County Juvenile Services Board. She faces Republican Glenn Moniz for this open seat. Nunez would be the first Latina woman elected to the Wyoming Senate and only the 20th woman to ever serve in the state’s upper chamber since 1930.