Run with Pride announces three new congressional endorsements for LGBTQ+ candidates


Today we are excited to officially announce three new endorsements for three amazing LGBTQ+ Democratic candidates for Congress. These candidates represent some of the best and most qualified candidates in the country to take back Congress in 2018 and to lead the way for LGBTQ+ equality in our nation’s capital.

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Chris Pappas (NH-01)

New Hampshire Executive Councilor, Chris Pappas, is running for New Hampshire's open 1st congressional district. A proud product of Manchester public schools, Chris has dedicated his involvement in public service to putting people before politics. After graduating Harvard College, Chris returned to New Hampshire to help run his family’s business, the Puritan Backroom Restaurant. He soon won his first election as a State Representative in 2002, serving two terms, and was subsequently elected to two terms as Treasurer of Hillsborough County. In 2012, Pappas was elected to the New Hampshire Executive Council, which serves as a board of directors for state government, and was reelected in 2014 and 2016.

Chris has been a critical progressive leader in New Hampshire. He helped lead the successful fight to expand Medicaid, he has been one of New Hampshire’s strongest advocates for modernizing transportation infrastructure, and he has fought back against extreme attacks on women’s health, casting critical votes to keep Planned Parenthood centers funded to provide basic, vital health services for women and families. Chris now wants to bring that progressive energy to Washington and help pass legislation that benefits all, not just special interest and those at the top.

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Pat Hackett (IN-02)

A teacher, health care attorney, & civic leader, Pat Hackett has been fighting for everyday people her entire life. In fact she’s even made it her campaign slogan, “Dignity and justice for all.” As early as law school, Pat distinguished herself as an advocate and was even awarded the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award. She has spent the last 26 years as an attorney, specializing in health care law and now runs her own law firm.

Education has also been a major part of Pat’s life, starting off as a highschool teacher, she is now an assistant adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School. As a civic leader in her community, Pat has served on several boards including as the past president of the Alzheimer’s Services of Northern Indiana and was appointment to the Indiana Supreme Court Committee on Character and Fitness.

Pat is facing two CEO’s in her Democratic primary and then will run against Republican Jackie Walorski to take back Indiana’s 2nd district.

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Jim Gray (KY-06)

Lexington Mayor Jim Gray is running for Kentucky’s 6th congressional district. Jim started out in politics early. At the age of 19, Gray became the second youngest person ever elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. After graduating from Vanderbilt University, Jim joined his family’s construction business full-time. Jim's next foray into politics came two decades later as chair of the Kentucky Committee on Quality and Efficiency. Soon after Jim ran for Lexington City Council and won, going on to be elected the city’s Vice Mayor, and Mayor.

Jim focused his administration on three areas: creating jobs, making government more efficient and transparent, and building Lexington into a great American city. Even before his first day as mayor, Gray had the entire mayor's office moved from the 12th floor of Lexington's government center to a first-floor ballroom, creating an open atmosphere. And by 2016, Lexington was ranked by WalletHub as the 6th-best-run city in the country. Also that year, Jim ran for U.S. Senate against Rand Paul, making history as the nation's first openly gay man to win a major party's nomination for U.S. Senate. Jim lost the race against Paul but vowed to continued fighting - and this month he announced he will run for Congress to take back Kentucky’s 6th district.

Jim states his experience in the public sector as mayor and his experience in the private sector running his family’s company, Gray Construction, will help him address the issues of everyday Americans, including health care, the rising cost of education and stagnant wages. “We need to rebuild the Democratic Party and make sure it stands for people from every walk of life, no matter where you live. I know we need someone who will fight for people in every city, town and county in this district. That’s the kind of campaign I’m running and that’s the kind of representative I’ll be.”

We now have less than a year until one of the most consequential elections in our nation’s history. One thing is certain though, some amazing candidates are stepping up to the challenge. The energy and momentum is on our side, let’s support these amazing candidates and make history next year.

Jessica Sanders