Candidates: Obama Alumni Running for Office or Holding Office

It is thrilling to see so many from this community seek to contribute by running for office, just as Barack Obama did more than 20 years ago.

Recognizing that we share a set of values and experiences but not necessarily the exact same views, the Alumni Association sees our role as spreading awareness of candidates, not endorsing them. We commit to not presuming to speak for the entire alumni community by making endorsements of candidates. We present the candidates here below so that you can learn more about their platforms, alumni connection, and the communities they represent.

The Obama Alumni Association is excited to  share information about those of us who are running for office! Visit our resources page to submit your information or learn more.

Click one of the headers below to jump to a category of candidates. Within each category, candidates are listed by state and then alphabetically by surname.

 
 

Candidates for U.S. Congress

CA | FL | IL | KS | MA | MIMN | MO | NH | NJ | NM | OH | TX | WV

California

ammar campa najjar.png

Ammar Campa-Najjar

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, CA-50

Support and Learn More: campacampaign.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Field Director, California, Organizing for America (2012) 
  • White House Intern (2013)
  • Public Affairs Officer, U.S. Department of Labor (2016)
 

Florida

lauren baer congress transparent.png

Lauren bAER

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, fl-18

Support and learn more: laurenbaerforcongress.com

Election Date: August 28, 2018 (primary), November 8, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Member of the U.S. Secretary of State's Policy Planning Staff (2011-2016)
  • Senior Policy Advisor to the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations (2016)
 

Illinois

Lauren Underwood Logo.png

Lauren UnderWOOD

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, il-14

Support and learn more: underwoodforcongress.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Senior Advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2016-2017)
  • Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2014-2016)
 

Massachusetts

rufus for congress 2018.png

Rufus Gifford

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, MA-03

Learn more: rufusgifford.com

Election Date:  September 18, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Finance Director, Obama for America (2012) 
  • U.S. Ambassador to Denmark (2013-2017) 
 

Michigan

Elissa Slotkin

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, MI-8

Support and learn more: elissaforcongress.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs & various other roles, U.S. Department of Defense (2012-2017)
 
HaleyStevens Logo.jpg

Haley Stevens

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, MI-11

Support and learn more: haleystevensforcongress.com

Election Date: Nov. 6, 2018 (general)

Alumni Experience:

  • Briefing Director to Vice Presidential Nominee Biden, Chicago, IL, Obama for America (2008)
  • Senate Confirmations and Cabinet Designees, Obama Transition Team (2008-2009)
  • Chief of Staff, U.S. Auto Rescue Taskforce, U.S. Department of the Treasury (2009-2011)
  • Advisor, U.S. Economic Development Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce (2011-2012)   
 

Rashida Tlaib

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, MI-13

Support and learn more: rashidaforcongress.com
Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Alumni Experience:

  • Muslim and Arab Community Outreach Coordinator, Michigan, Obama for America Campaign (2008)
 

Minnesota

DanFeehan Logo.png

Dan Feehan

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, mn-01

Support and learn more: danfeehan.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • White House Fellow, U.S. Department of Defense (2013-2014)
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), U.S. Department of Defense (2014-2015)
  • Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense (Readiness), U.S. Department of Defense (2015-2017)
 

New Hampshire

maura sullivan.png

Maura Sullivan

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, NH-01

Support and learn more: MauraForNH.com 

Election Date: September 11, 2018 (primary)

Her Alumni Experience: 

  • Commissioner for New England, American Battle Monuments Commission (2010-2014)
  • Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs, Department of Veterans Affairs (2014-2015)
  • Senior Advisor to the Secretary of the Navy and Assistant to the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, Department of Defense (2015-2016)
 

New Jersey

AndyKim Logo.png

Andy kim

Running for U.S. House of representatives, nj-03

Support and learn more: andykimforcongress.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience

  • Director for Iraq, White House National Security Council (2013-2015)
  • Iraq Country Director, Office of the Secretary of Defense - Policy (2013)
  • Strategic Adviser to Commanding Generals David Petraeus and John Allen, Afghanistan, Department of Defense (2011)
  • Iraq Foreign Affairs Officer, Department of State (2009-2011)
 
malinowski for congress nj.png

Tom Malinowski

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, NJ-07

Learn moremalinowskifornj.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience: 

  • Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (2014-2017)
 

New Mexico

deb haaland congress.png

Debra Haaland

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, NM-01

Support and learn moredebforcongress.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Native American Vote Director, New Mexico, Obama for America (2012) 
 

Ohio

jill schiller new logo.png

Jill Schiller

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, OH-02

Learn more: voteschiller.com

General Election Date: November 6, 2018 

Her Alumni Experience: 

  • Special Assistant, Office of Management and Budget (2009)
  • Special Projects Manager, President's Management Advisory Board (2010)
 

Texas

photo.jpg

Colin Allred

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, TX-32

Support and learn more: colinallred.com

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

His Alumni Experience:

  • Special Assistant to the General Counsel, Department of Housing and Urban Development (2016-2017)
 
Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 12.22.32 PM.png

ADRIENNE BELL

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, TX-14

Support and learn more: Bell2018.com

General Election Date: November 6, 2018 

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Obama Campaign, Field Organizer, Houston, Texas (2012)
 

West Virginia

TalleySergent.png

Talley Sergent

Running for U.S. House of Representatives, Wv-02

Support and learn more: talleysergent.com

General Election Date: November 6, 2018

Her Alumni Experience: 

  • Director of Strategic Initiatives, U.S. Department of State (2009-2013)
  • Advance Associate, Executive Office of the President (2009-2013)
 

Candidates for State Government

Arizona

January Contreras

Running for Attorney General of Arizona

Support and learn more: https://www.januaryforaz.com    

Election Date: August 28, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Senior Advisor to Secretary Napolitano, U.S. Department of Homeland Security (2009)
 
download.png

California  

Eleni Kounalakis

Running for California Lieutenant Governor

Support and learn more: eleni@eleniforca.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)      

Her Alumni Experience:

  • U.S. Ambassador to Hungary (2010-2013)
  • Member, National Finance Council (2008)
 
Buffy-Wicks-Logo_tr_2000.png

Buffy Wicks

Running for CALIFORNIA STATE ASSEMBLY, DISTRICT 15 (eAST bAY)

Support and learn more: buffywicks.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • State Director, Obama for America (2007-2008)
  • Deputy Director, White House Office of Public Engagement (2009-2010)
  • National Director of Operation Vote, Obama for America (2011-2012)
 
Rochelle-Galindo-Logo-2017.png

Colorado

Rochelle Galindo

Running for colorado STATE House, district 50

Support and learn more: www.galindoforcolorado.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • 2012 Obama Campaign, Field Organizer, Weld County, Colorado

 

 
Jena Griswold Logo.jpg

Jena Griswold

Running for Colorado Secretary of State

Support and learn more: www.jenaforcolorado.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Deputy Voter Protection Director in Colorado, Obama for America Campaign (2012)       
 

Dylan Roberts

Running for Colorado State House, District 26

Support and learn more: www.dylanroberts.org

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Field Organizer, Colorado, OFA (2008)
  • Deputy Field Director, Colorado, OFA (2012)
 

Phil Weiser

Running for Attorney General of Colorado

Support and learn more: www.philforcolorado.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Deputy Assistant Attorney General, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice (2009-2010)
  • Senior Advisor, Technology & Innovation, White House (2010-2011)
 

Florida

Cedric McMinn

Running for Florida State Representative, District 109    

Support and learn more: www.ElectCedricMcMinn.com

Election Date: August 28, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Political and African American Outreach Deputy Director, Tampa Bay, FL area (2008)
 

Guam

Joshua Tenorio

Running for Lieutenant Governor of Guam

Learn more: louandjosh2018.com

Election Date:  August 25, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience:

  • Guam Campaign Director, Guam, Obama for America (2008)
 

iOWA

Deidre dejear

Running for iowa secretary of state

Deidre (Iowa Secretary of State).jpg

Support and learn more: secure.actblue.com/donate/dejear

Election Date: November 6, 2018.

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Volunteer, Drake University, Iowa (2008)
  • Director, African American Outreach, Iowa (2012)
 
tim gannon iowa ag sec.png

Tim Gannon

Running for Iowa Secretary of Agriculture

Learn more: gannonforiowa.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

His Alumni Experience: 

  • Deputy Political Director, Des Moines, Iowa Campaign for Change (2008)
  • Special Assistant to the Administrator, Rural Business & Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2009-2010)
  • Director of Advance, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2010-2015)
  • Associate Administrator, Risk Management Agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2015-2017)
 
QuentinPalfrey logo.png

Massachusetts

Quentin Palfrey

Running for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts

Support and learn more: www.quentinpalfrey.com

Election Date: Setpember 4, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

Alumni Experience:

  • Voter Protection Director, Ohio, Obama Campaign (2008)
  • Deputy General Counsel for Strategic Initiatives, U.S. Department of Commerce (2009-2011)
  • Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness, The White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (2011-2013)                                          
 

Massachusetts

kate albright-hanna

Running for Massachusetts House of Representatives, 1st franklin District

Learn morekate4rep.org

Election Date: September 4, 2018 (primary); November 6, 2018 (general)

Her Alumni Experience:

  • Director of Video for New Media, Chicago, Obama for America (2008)
  • Director of Content for New Media, Washington, DC, Obama-Biden Presidential Transition (2009)
  • Digital Director, Washington, DC, Health and Human Services (2009)
 
julian cyr logo.png

Julian Cyr

Running for Re-Election to Massachusetts State Senate Cape and Island District

Learn more: juliancyr.com

Election Date: November 6, 2018

His Alumni Experience:

  • Intern, White House Council on Environmental Quality, Office of the President (2009)
  • Regional Field Organizer, Obama for America Massachusetts (2012)

 

    Michigan

    Samuel Bagenstos

    Running for supreme court of michigan

    Support and learn more: bagenstosforjustice.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights and Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Justice (2009-2011
     
    Wiley Nickel Logo.jpg

    North Carolina

    Wiley Nickel

    Running for North Carolina State Senate, District 16


    Support and learn more: wileynickelfornc.com

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018

    His Alumni Experience: 

    • National Advance Staff, Obama for America (2008)

    • Event Manager (Southern Ball & Staff Party), Presidential Inaugural Committee (2008-2009)

    • National Advance Staff, The White House (2009-2010)

    • Advance/Events Consultant, Democratic National Committee (2010-2011)

    • National Advance Staff, The White House (2011-2012)

     

    Ohio

    Rich Cordray & Betty Sutton

    Running for Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Ohio (Joint Ticket)

    Learn morecordrayforohio.com

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018 

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (2012-2017)

    Her Alumni Experience:

    • Administrator, Saint Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation (2013-2017)
     
    steve dettelbach logo long.png

    STEVE DETTELBACH

    RUNNING FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL OF OHIO

    Support and learn more: steveforohio.com

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018

    His Alumni Experience: 

    • US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio (2009-2016)
     
    taylor sappington.jpg

    Taylor Sappington

    Running for Ohio State House, 94th District

    Support and learn more: sappingtonforohio.com

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018 

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Field Organizer, Stark County, OH (2012)
     

    Candidates for Local and Municipal Office

    TonyWashington.png

    arkansas

    Tony Washington

    Running for Tax Collector of Jefferson County, Arkansas     

    Learn more: tonywashington.net

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018
     
    His Alumni Experience: 

    • 2008 Political Director Arkansas, Obama for America Campaign    

     

    california

    Giselle hale

    Running for city council in redwood city

    Learn moregisellehale.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018

    Her Alumni Experience:

    • Regional Field Director, California (2008)
     
    haney for sfd6 supervisor.png

    Matt Haney

    Running for San Francisco Board of Supervisors, District 6

    Learn more: matthaney.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Director, Stanford Students for Obama (2008)
    • Field Organizer, Obama for America Texas (2008)
    • Youth Vote Director, Obama for America New Mexico (2008)
     

    illinois

    michael negron

    Running for 47th ward alderman, chicago

    Learn Morenegronfor47.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018 

    His Alumni Experience: 

    • New Media Blogger in New Hampshire, Obama for America Campaign (2008)
    • Southwest New Media Desk in Chicago, Obama for America Campaign (2008)
     

    Iowa

    yeshimebet abebe.png

    Yeshimebet Abebe

    Running for Supervisor of Black Hawk County, Iowa

    Learn More: voteabebe.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018

    Her Alumni Experience: 

    • Volunteer & Precinct Captain, Obama for America, Waterloo, Iowa (2007-2008)
    • Field Organizer, Obama for America, Gary, Indiana (2008)
    • Appointee, U.S. Department of Agriculture (2009-2017)
    • African-American Outreach and Voter Protection, Organizing for America, Iowa (2012)
     
    christian motley.jpg

    KENTUCKY

    Christian Motley

    Running for Lexington Urban County Council, District 8

    Learn morechristianmotley.com

    General Election Date: November 6, 2018 

    His Alumni Experience: 

    • Pennsylvania Regional Field Director, Obama for America (2012)
    • Assistant to Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton, U.S. Department of Education (2013)
     

    Maryland

    andrew friedson logo.png

    Andrew Friedson

    RUNNING FOR COUNTY COUNCIL OF MONTGOMERY COUNTY, MD, District 1

    Support and learn more: andrewfriedson.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Field Organizer, Obama for America, Pennsylvania Region 9 (2008)
    • Member, Jewish Community Leadership Council (2012)
     
    will jawando county council.jpg

    Will Jawando

    Running for County Council of Montgomery County, MD, At-Large

    Learn morewilljawando.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Legislative Aide to Senator Barack Obama (2005-2007)
    • Associate Director, White House Office of Public Engagement (2009-2011)
    • Special Assistant to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education (2011-2012)
     

    Hans Riemer

    Running for re-election to County Council of Montgomery County, MD, At-Large

    Support and learn more: hansriemer.com

    Election Date: November 6, 2018 (general)

    His Alumni Experience:

    • National Youth Vote Director, Chicago (2007)
     

    michigan

    jordan acker 

    Running for university of michigan board of regents

    Support and learn more: mgoacker.com

    Election Date: November. 6, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Presidential Personnel Office, the White House (2010-11)
    • Department of Homeland Security (2011-2013)
     
    ryan holt ward 2 council.jpg

    Rhode Island

    Ryan Holt

    Running for City Council of Providence, Rhode Island, Ward 2

    Learn moreholtforcouncil.com

    Election Date: September 12, 2018 (primary);November 6, 2018 (general)

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Vetting and Compliance, Obama for America Headquarters (2012)
    • Voter Protection, Obama for American Pennsylvania (2012)
     

    Recently Elected or In Office

    Elected officials in this section are listed alphabetically by surname.

    Assemblyman Michael Blake: NY

    New York State Assembly, District 79

    Learn more: NY State Assembly Member Page

    In office since: 2015

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Deputy Political Director, Iowa, Obama for America (2008)
    • Director of National Labor Outreach, Presidential Inaugural Committee (2009)
    • Associate Director of Public Engagement & Deputy Associate Director, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (2009-2012)
    • National Deputy Director of Operation Vote, Obama for America (2012)
    • Senior Advisor for the Office of Public Engagement, Presidential Inaugural Committee (2013)
     
    ryan covert new baltimore michigan.jpg

    Ryan Covert: MI

    City CouncilMembeR, New Baltimore, Michigan

    Learn more

    In office since: November 7, 2017

    His Alumni Experience:

    • 2012 Campaign Field Organizer in MI
     
    jenny durkan portrait.jpg

    Jenny Durkan: WA

    Mayor of Seattle, Washington

    Support and learn more: 

    In office since: November 28, 2017

    Her Alumni Experience:

    • U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington (2009-2014)
     
    kelly fitzpatrick gonez.png

    Kelly Gonez: CA

    Los Angeles Unified School District Board, District 6

    Learn morehttp://www.kellygonez.com/

    In office since: 2017

    Her Alumni Experience:

    • Policy Advisor, U.S. Department of Education (2014-2016)
    • Communications and Field Organizer, Nevada, Obama for America (2012)
    • White House Intern, Speechwriting (2011)
     
    chris flanagan headshot.jpg

    Christopher Flanagan: MA

    Selectman for the town of Dennis, Massachusetts

    Learn morewww.christopherflanagan.org

    Elected on: May 15, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Special Assistant to Secretary John Kerry, U.S. Department of State (2013-2017)
     

    Ro Khanna: CA

    ro khanna portrait.jpg

    U.S. House of Representatives, CA-17

    Learn morehttps://khanna.house.gov/

    In office since: 2017

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce (2009-2011)
     
    zach klein columbus attorney.jpg

    Zach Klein: OH

    City Attorney of Columbus, OH

    Support and learn morehttp://zachklein.us/

    In office since: January 1, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Deputy Director of Management and Administration, Office of the Vice President (2009)
     
    carianna suiter kuruvilla headshot.jpg

    Carrianna Suiter Kuruvilla: MD

    Hyattsville, MD City council, Ward 3

    Learn morewww.votecarrianna.com

    In office since: 2017

    Her Alumni Experience:

    • 2007 Iowa caucus staff, 2008 primary/caucus staff (MN, OH, WY, NC), 2008 general election staff (OH & PA)
    • White House Associate - Intergovernmental Affairs (2009)
    • Obama Appointee at the U.S. Department of Labor, most recently as the Director of Intergovernmental Affairs (2009-2017)
     

    Eric P. Lesser: MA

    Massachusetts State Senate, First Hampden & Hampshire

    Learn more: senatorlesser.com

    In office since: 2015

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Ground Logistics Advisor, Obama for America (2008)
    • Special Assistant to Senior Adviser David Axelrod, The White House
    • Director of Strategic Planning, Council of Economic Advisers, The White House
     
    alfonso lopez virginia.jpg

    Alfonso Lopez: VA

    Re-Elected to Virginia House of Delegates, District 49

    Learn more: alfonsolopez.org

    Re-Election Date: November 7, 2017; will remain in office in 2018 session

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Assistant Administrator, Office of Congressional & Legislative Affairs, U.S. Small Business Administration (2010-2011)
    • White House Liaison, U.S. General Services Administration (2011)
     
    nick melvoin la school board.jpg

    Nick Melvoin: CA

    Los Angeles SChool Board, District 4

    Learn more

    In office since: 2017

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Legal Protection Team Member, Columbus, OH (2012)
    • White House Intern, Domestic Policy Council (2013)
     
    melanie muenzer lcc.jpg

    Melanie Muenzer: OR

    Lane Community College Board Member, Zone 1 

    Learn more: muenzerforlccboard.com

    In office since: May 2017

    Her  Alumni Experience:

    • Deputy States Director, Obama for America (2008)
    • Personnel Liaison, Obama-Biden Transition Team (2008-2009)
    • White House Liaison, U.S. Department of Education (2009-2010)
    • Chief of Staff for Policy, U.S. Department of Education (2010-2013)
    • Deputy Assistant Secretary for Higher Education Policy, U.S. Department of Education (2013-2015)
     

    Mike Pipe: PA 

    County Commissioner, Centre County, PA

    MichaelPipeHeadshot.jpg

    Learn more: https://www.mikepipe.com/

    In office since: 2012 (Elected Chair of Board of Commissioners in 2015) 

    His Alumni Experience:

    • Co-Director of New Media in NV, Obama for America (2007)
    • New Media in SC, IL and OH, Obama for America (2008)
    • Field Organizer, PA and NC,  Obama for America (2008)
    • Regional GOTV Director in SD, Obama for America (2008)
    • Deputy Regional Field Director in MI, Michigan Campaign for Change (2008)
     
    beau wright lynchburg.png

    Beau Wright: VA

    City Council of Lynchburg, AT-Large

    Learn more: www.wrightforlynchburg.com

    Elected on: May 1, 2018

    His Alumni Experience:

    • White House Intern, Office of Intergovernmental Affairs (2011)
    • White House Advance Associate, Office of the Vice President (2012)
    • Staff Assistant, White House Operations (2012)
    • Staff Assistant, Office of the White House Counsel (2013)
    • Associate Director for Finance, White House Operations (2014)
    • Senior Deputy Director of White House Operations and Director for Finance, White House Operations (2015)