Four movement candidate races we’re watching

UPDATE – ALL FOUR OF THESE CANDIDATES WON! Issues & down-ballot, movement candidates won on Nov. 9. That gives us hope.

Here in Iowa, we take politics very seriously. Whether it’s during the presidential primaries or local races, Iowans have a reputation for getting to know our candidates, weighing our options, and voting our conscience.

But all too often, that relationship is a one-way street. Too often, the candidates we elect drift further and further from their constituents – until the next election, when they come knocking for votes and donations once again.

Here at CCI Action (and our national network People’s Action), we have a vision for how to do politics differently. We want to see more and more “movement candidates” here in Iowa – candidates who run on issues, not on personality, and who govern as they campaign. We want the relationship between candidates and voters to be transformational, not transactional.

And we’re serious about making this vision a reality. Movement candidates are running for down-ballot races across the country, and we want to bring that to Iowa.

Here are four examples of movement candidates from around the People’s Action network.


Ilhan Omar, Minnesota State House


Ilhan is an immigrant from Somalia. She is Muslim and the mother of three children. She uses her voice to lift up that of other women with her background. In spite of massive opposition from the Democratic Party establishment, she successfully defeated a 44-year incumbent in the primary and is now looking to become the first Somali elected to the Minnesota state legislature.

Mari Cordes, Vermont State House

Mari Cordes

Mari is a founding leader of CCI Action sister organization Right and Democracy. She is a nurse, former union president, VT labor leader, champion of universal healthcare, sits on the board of 350 VT, and is a strong advocate of LGBT rights and racial justice. She already beat an establishment Democrat picked to beat her in primary, now has to win seat against a Republican incumbent.

Heidi Brooks, Maine State House


Heidi has been a leader with Maine People’s Alliance for 6 years.  She’s experienced hardship in her own life with struggling to afford healthcare and medications, and with carrying $250,000 in student debt. Even as a legislator, Heidi understands the importance of direct action in holding powerful people accountable, and has led actions with MPA including taking on Timothy Geithner.

Will Guzzardi, Illinois State House

will guzzardi

Will Guzzardi  is considered the most progressive member of the Illinois House Democratic Caucus, and a close ally of CCI Action sister group The People’s Lobby. Will has been led the legislative fight for free public college, and the People & Planet First Budget in Illinois. Although Will is running unopposed this year, he had to run against the Chicago Democratic machine to win his seat in 2014.

These are just a few examples of the many movement candidates who are running and winning all across the country – they’re transforming politics in their states, and with your help we can do the same here in Iowa!

Stay tuned to CCI Action Facebook and Twitter tonight to hear report-backs on how these elections and others go.

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