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PFAW’s Next Up Victory Fund Endorses State and Local Candidates in Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, Kansas

Press Release
Drew Courtney
People For the American Way
Phone number:

WASHINGTON—Today, People For the American Way’s Next Up Victory Fund announced endorsements of state and local candidates in Michigan, Ohio, Minnesota, and Kansas. Next Up supports young progressive candidates forty and under running for state and local office across the country. The program helps candidates win races in the short term while creating a pipeline of leaders to run for higher office in years to come.

Our endorsed candidates in Michigan are:

  • Coleman Young II – Mayor of Detroit
  • Garlin Gilchrist – Detroit City Clerk
  • Erin Byrnes – Dearborn City Council
  • Aaron Stephens – East Lansing City Council
  • Maria Taylor – Farmington City Council
  • Brian Jackson – Lansing City Council
  • Peter Spadafore – Lansing City Council

Our endorsed candidates in Ohio are:

  • Megan Kilgore – Columbus City Auditor
  • Daniel Gordon – Bowling Green City Council
  • Tamaya Dennard - Cincinnati City Council
  • Chris Seelbach – Cincinnati City Council
  • Aryeh Alex – Franklin Township Trustee

Our endorsed candidates in Minnesota are:

  • Patrick Martin – Bloomington City Council
  • Jillia Pessenda – Minneapolis City Council

Our endorsed candidate in Kansas is:

  • Logan Helley – Overland Park City Council

In addition, the Next Up Victory Fund previously endorsed Melvin Carter to be mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota.

Michael Keegan, People For the American Way president:

“The Next Up Victory Fund was designed to help extraordinary young candidates win at the state and local level in races across the country. Today we’re thrilled to support candidates who have demonstrated not just a powerful progressive vision, but also a deep commitment to the communities they want to serve. Lots of people talk about the importance of working at the grassroots—these candidates are actually doing it.”

Lizet Ocampo, People For the American Way political director:

“We created the Next Up Victory Fund to help support the next generation of progressive leaders. At a time when we face so many challenges, it’s doubly important that we think about how we’re planning for the future. The state and local candidates of today are the national leaders of tomorrow, and we’re proud to support a group of candidates who have made clear that they’re eager for the challenge. Each of these candidates has shown their committed to fairness and equality for all people. We’re proud to lend them our support.”

More information about the Next Up Victory Fund and the candidates can be found here.

People For the American Way is a progressive advocacy organization founded to fight right-wing extremism and defend constitutional values including free expression, religious liberty, equal justice under the law, and the right to meaningfully participate in our democracy.