A Native-American Lawyer | An Ebola-Battling Physician | A Pioneering Economist | A Life-Saving EMT | Meet Our Newly Endorsed LGBTQ+ Congressional Candidates

 

Sharice Davids (KS-03), Matt Heinz (AZ-02), Austin Frerick (IA-03), and Peter Volosin (VA-06). Meet our newly endorsed LGBTQ+ candidates running for Congress and fighting for equality.

Sharice Davids (KS-03)

“[Republican Rep Kevin Yoder] is now a rubber stamp for the Trump administration and the big-money donors who have fueled his campaigns. Voters now have a clear choice in this race.”

Sharice Davids was raised by a veteran single-mother, her childhood was spent moving from school to school; it was an upbringing that made her smart, tough and compassionate. After studying at UMKC, Sharice earned a law degree from Cornell, and worked in community development at Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. In 2016, Sharice participated in the White House Fellowship Program during the Obama-Trump transition. This tumultuous experience reaffirmed her belief that competent, thoughtful people need to get political so that government is more representative of US citizens. When Sharice arrived back in Kansas, she became a spearhead in the fight for equality.

She faces a minimum of five Democratic candidates in her August primary. Then she’ll face controversial Rep. Kevin Yoder who has a zero-rating from the Human Rights Campaign on his LGBT voting record. If she’s victorious, she’d be the first openly lesbian Congressperson from Kansas and the first female Native American in Congress.

Sharice announced her candidacy the day after the Florida school shooting, infuriated by the lack of action in Congress. As well as sensible gun control and equality, she is running on a platform of healthcare as a human right, climate change protections, and steadfast protection of human rights. Sharice defines her race’s focus as “opportunity, equity, and action”; as she is also a professional martial artist, we wouldn’t want to stand in her way.

Primary Date: August 7th
For more information Sharice’s campaign, visit http://www.shariceforcongress.com/

Dr. Matt Heinz (AZ-02)

“It's time for a new Congress that will honor the pledge that we will keep our communities and our citizens safe and healthy. This is fundamental, non-negotiable, and long overdue.”

Dr. Matt Heinz started serving his community in 2003 as an attending physician at Tuscon Medical Center. His service turned political when he was elected to the Arizona State House in 2008. He was then re-elected, partly thanks to his dedication to veterans, seniors, and healthcare. He has a proven record of passing bills and breaking partisan gridlocks. Among his many achievements, he wrote a successful bill to make all medical complaints and patient safety information public; ensured injured veterans’ benefits could never be seized by collectors; and protected seniors from drastic cuts by ensuring they have access to hospice care.

Matt’s intelligence and dedication have been noticed by his colleagues; he was chosen to be caucus whip, and in 2013, Obama’s government chose Matt to serve as director for Provider Outreach in the Office of the Secretary at the U.S. Department of Health. That meant Matt played a key role in coordinating federal responses to the ebola crisis while working closely with those implementing ACA. Like so many of us, Matt was both heartbroken and angered by the recent Florida shooting, and is determined to give Congress the shake-up it so badly needs. Beyond healthcare and gun control, Matt’s listened to his patients and knows the issues that affect them most. He’s pro reproductive freedom, renewable energy, LGBTQ+ rights, and increased federal funding for the areas that count most, especially education, where Matt is determined to reverse GOP cuts.
 

Primary Date: August 28th
For more about Matt’s campaign, visit https://www.heinzforarizona.com

Austin Frerick (IA-03)

“I believe that corporate concentration is the fundamental issue of our time. We’re living in a 2nd Gilded Age where the middle class is disappearing while the rich get richer.”

Iowa native Austin Frerick is our type of economist. During his work at the US Department of Treasury, Office of Tax Policy, and at the Congressional Research Service in the Domestic Social Policy Division, Austin saw first-hand the damage that corporate monopolies are doing to America. Frerick has published research on executive compensation, pharmaceutical corporate charity abuses, and the growth of monopolies. He knows what needs to be done to make the economy work for all Americans.

While most economists tend to come from upper-middle class families, Austin was different. He was the first in his family to go to college; to cover his tuition he worked four jobs including work as special needs care provider. To give more lower-income Americans the chance at higher education, he wants to expand free public colleges and universities. He supports climate change protections, reproductive freedoms, automatic-voter registration, guaranteed veteran funding, equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community, single-payer healthcare, the DREAM Act, a federal $15 minimum wage, and reinstating the Glass-Stegall Act to keep Wall Street bankers in check. Frerick is clearly someone who has thought hard about his views, and a long list of his causes is available here.

Primary Date: June 5th
For more about Austin’s campaign, visit https://www.austinfrerick.com

Peter Volosin (VA-06)

“Throughout the Blue Ridge, you can feel the frustration of so many people, their potential limited by their circumstances. I’m running for Congress because we deserve the right to pursue the American Dream, to improve our economic situation and to make your children's future better than our own.”

Peter Volosin has spent his life in the service of others. He’s dedicated his years to fighting for fair wages, providing life-saving emergency care, and strengthening community bonds. He’s improved working conditions in the hospitality sector, he’s worked as an EMT (witnessing first-hand our failing ‘profit before people’ system), and more recently as a economic planner, reducing poverty and increasing economic opportunity in developing countries. Now he’s determined to change the way that Washington operates.

Like most of the candidates we endorse, Peter is in favor of universal healthcare; he’s particularly passionate about dealing with the opioid epidemic and the mental health issues that commonly underlie addiction. He also supports a Carbon Fee and wants a stronger EPA so that the US can lead the world in climate change protections and renewable energy. He wants increased border security balanced with the values of inclusion and diversity that has made America a shining example worldwide. When elected to Congress, Peter will pursue a wide-scale infrastructure update that benefits Americans in every socio-economic class.

Primary Date: June 12th
For more about Peter’s campaign, visit https://www.votevolosin.com

 

This article was written by Alex Sinclair Lack for RunWithPride.org. If you’d like to help us in the fight for equality, click here.

 
Alex Sinclair Lack