The primary elections take place Tuesday August 21st in Arizona and Florida and there will be a runoff election in Oklahoma that day as well. Here are BKAS-recommended progressive candidates in those states. In general, these candidates are Berniecrats, with positions similar to Bernie. But not every candidate supports every position Bernie has, so check their linked webpage to be sure about supporting them. You may need to scroll down to find your state. Finally, scroll down all the way to the comments on this post, because sometimes people leave comments about other good progressives running in downballot races.
Note that Arizona has primaries that are open to unaffiliated voters, which means that if you are registered with a party, you have to vote in their primary, but if you are not registered with any party, you can choose which primary to vote in.
Kelly Fryer or David Garcia
Deedra Abboud (Justice Democrat Candidate). There is also a write-in Green Party candidate, Angela Green, though she describes herself as “a Democrat with a Republican background running as a Green Candidate” and also says “I want to be known as the Queen of Capitalism and make these Red and Blue states GREEN with money, organic farming and medicinal marijuana.” She doesn’t sound like a typical Green Party candidate and I question how committed she is to the Green Party agenda.
AZ-01: Incumbent “Democrat” Tom O’Halleran is extremely conservative for a Democrat. Unfortunately, he does not have a Democratic challenger. The Republican candidates are also very conservative. There is a Libertarian running as a write-in candidate, Zhani Doko. There’s not a ton of information available about him, but he seems to have fairly typical Libertarian positions (free market, fewer regulations) and opposes US involvement in foreign wars.
AZ-02: There are lots of candidates that support Medicare-for-All and other progressive positions. I recommend one of these – Mary Matiella (Justice Democrat Candidate), Billy Kovacs, Barbara Sherry or Bruce Wheeler
AZ-03: Raul Grijalva (Justice Democrat Candidate)
AZ-04: Delina Disanto is the most progressive and supports Medicare-for-All. David Brill supports allowing people to buy into Medicare as a public option.
AZ-05: Joan Greene
AZ-06: Garrick McFadden
AZ-07: The incumbent Ruben Gallego is fairly progressive and signed on to support John Conyers Medicare-for-All bill (HR 676). However, note that he has not yet joined the Medicare-for-All Caucus in Congress, making me question his support… There is a Democratic primary challenger, Catherine Miranda, but she does not call for Medicare-for-All on her website. In addition, there is a write-in Green Party candidate, Gary Swing, though I’m not sure he’s a very serious candidate. I guess voters will have to decide who they prefer in this race.
AZ-08: The only Democrat running is Hiral Tipirneni, who supports allowing people to buy into Medicare as a public option, but does not support Medicare-for-All.
AZ-09: Current Mayor of Phoenix Greg Stanton is the only Democrat running. His website has no information on the policies he supports.
Secretary of State:
There is only one Democratic candidate, Katie Hobbs. She says that “she will act to end the outrageously long lines and crippling incompetence that are preventing Arizonans from participating in our elections”.
There is one Democratic candidate January Contreras. She previously worked at the Department of Homeland Security under Janet Napolitano.
Other State Executive Offices:
State Superintendent for Public Instruction – David Schapira (endorsed by Our Revolution)
Also, here are Ballotpedia links for other State-level races. I haven’t had time to research these candidates, so you’ll have to do your own research on them.
Races endorsed by Our Revolution
District 22 – Brianna Westbrook
District 29 – Martin Quezada
Races endorsed by Our Revolution
District 18 – LaDawn Stuben
District 24 – Marcus Ferrell
Local Ballot Measures:
The following elections are not on the Arizona August 28 primary ballot. They will be on the November 6 general election ballot. I’m just including them here, so voters can look them over now, because with all the races on November 6th, I doubt I will be able to make a specific post about these races. Save this information for November.
State Ballot Measures:
Note that one of the four ballot measures would prohibit state and local governments from increasing taxes on services. This includes any kind of tax or fee. Services that are often taxed include things like hair salons, barbers, lawn care, cleaning services, etc. Now, no one wants to pay taxes, but by limiting the ability of locales to increase taxes when needed, you force cuts in government services. I’d argue that allowing state and local governments flexibility in taxing services is a good idea and I would vote “no” on this measure.
Note that Florida has closed primaries, which means you need to registered in the party to vote for their candidates in the primary. There are a couple of exceptions though. All voters can vote in a particular election if (1) if all the candidates for an office have the same party affiliation and the winner of the primary election will not face any opposition in the general election or (2) if the race is non-partisan (as some downballot races are).
Andrew Gillum (endorsed by Our Revolution and by Bernie Sanders). There is also a Green Party candidate Bruce Stanley
Incumbent Bill Nelson is the only Democratic candidate. If you don’t want to support Nelson, there is a write-in candidate who says he supports universal healthcare Michael Levinson, though he comes across as a little wacky. There is also a candidate of the Socialist Workers Party running as a write-in Steven Warshell, though virtually no information is available about him online.
FL-01: There are two Democratic candidates, Jennifer Zimmerman and Phil Ehr, but neither comes across as very progressive.
FL-02: There are two Democratic candidates, Brandon Peters and Bob Rackleff. Neither really mentions Medicare-for-All on his website. But Peters says he supports Medicare-for-All here.
FL-03: Tom Wells or Yvonne Hinson
FL-04: There is only one Democratic candidate, Ges Selmont, though he does not come across as particularly progressive. There are also a couple of independent candidates, Joceline Berrios and Jason Bulger, that seem to lean Democratic, though neither mentions Medicare-for-All on their websites.
FL-05: There are two Democratic candidates, incumbent Al Lawson and Alvin Brown. Neither comes across as particularly progressive on their websites. This page comparing the two suggests Brown supports free college tuition and increasing the minimum wage to $ 15/hr, but neither of those positions is on his website, so…I’m not sure what he really supports.
FL-06: There are three Democratic candidates, Stephen Sevigny, Nancy Soderberg and John Upchurch. Upchurch says he wants to “expand Medicare to cover all Americans”. He also supports raising the cap on contributions to Social Security.
FL-07: Chardo Richardson (Justice Democrat and Brand New Congress Candidate)
FL-08: Sanjay Patel (Justice Democrat candidate and endorsed by Our Revolution)
FL-09: The incumbent Democrat Darren Soto is part of the Medicare-for-All caucus, although overall he’s fairly conservative for a Democrat. Soto has voted in the past to criminalize abortion. He has also "said that he is "open-minded" about phasing out Social Security benefits or eliminating them altogether. Here is a link to an article discussing these points. I personally would not vote for Soto. His primary challenger is Alan Grayson, who supports allowing people to buy into Medicare. Grayson also has a strong platform on getting money out of politics. Vote Grayson!**
FL-10: There are two Democratic candidates, incumbent Val Demings, who is rather conservative for a Democrat, and Wade Darius. Darius supports Medicare-for-All, $ 15/hr minimum wage and free college tuition and other progressive stances.
FL-11: There is one Democratic candidate, Dana Cottrell, who seems to be a conservative Democrat overall, but does support tuition-free college education. However, note she also talks about the “Galveston model” of Social Security, which is a privatized type of retirement plan. There is a write-in candidate who seems much more progressive Luis Saldana. He has quotes from Bernie on his website, including mentions of Medicare-for-All and free college tuition.
FL-12: Robert Tager supports Medicare-for-All or a public option to the ACA. Stephen Perenich supports regulating healthcare like a public utility to bring down costs. A third Democratic candidate, Chris Hunter, seems more conservative and only supports the ACA, but not anything further. There is also an independent, Angela Purkis, but her platform doesn’t really mention healthcare, but she does talk some about income inequality.
FL-13: No recommendation. The only Democrat is Charlie Crist, whose voting record is quite conservative for a Democrat.
FL-14: Kathy Castor. She is a somewhat moderate Democrat, but she is a member of the Medicare-for-All caucus.
FL-15: Raymond Pena Jr or write-in Green Party candidate Dave Johnson
FL-16: Jan Schneider.
FL-17: April Freeman has some good stances such as fighting income inequality, supporting unions and collective bargaining, reforming Wall Street, etc. But she does not seem to support Medicare-for-All.
FL-18: Pam Keith (Justice Democrat candidate). She doesn’t mention Medicare-for-All on her website, but does on her Facebook page.
FL-19: Todd James Truax
FL-20: The incumbent Alcee Hastings supports Medicare-for-All and is a member of the Medicare-for-All caucus. His primary opponent, Sheila Cherfilus also supports Medicare-for-All and seems more progressive overall than Hastings.
FL-21: Lois Frankel is part of the Medicare-for-All caucus. She is unopposed.
FL-22: Jeff Fandl has his own plan to transition slowly to a Medicare-for-All type system. His other positions are progressive too, including free college tuition.
FL-23: Tim Canova is the best candidates. However, note that Tim Canova is running as an independent, which means he will not be on the Democratic primary ballot, where only Debbie Wasserman-Schultz will be listed. You will be able to vote for Canova in the November general election.
FL-24: The incumbent Frederica Wilson supports Medicare-for-All and is part of the Medicare-for-All caucus. She is being challenged by Ricardo De La Fuente, who does not support Medicare-for-All, but does address homelessness and affordable housing on his website. Note also that Ricardo De La Fuente is the son of Roque De La Fuente, a perennial candidate who is running as a Republican in multiple different states.
FL-25: Mary Barzee Flores is the only Democratic candidate. She says “I believe in medicare for all, but I think the road to get there has to be traveled in a way that insures more people along the way, not fewer”. Not sure exactly what she means by that, because if Medicare-for-All is implemented the way it has been proposed so far, there will not be a time with fewer people covered. Flores supports free community college and waiving tuition at 4 year colleges for “students who face economic barriers”.
FL-26: There are two Democrats running, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell and Demetries Grimes, but neither comes across as particularly progressive.
FL-27: Lots of candidates here support Medicare-for-All and other progressive positions, including Michael Hepburn (Justice Democrat and Brand New Congress Candidate), Matt Haggman, Kristen Gonzalez and David Richardson. Another candidate Donna Shalala says she would “create a “Medicare Option for All” by enhancing Medicare to better cover routine dental and vision, and long-term care, and make it available to anyone regardless of income, immigration status, or age. At the same time, preserve employer coverage as an option for those Americans satisfied with their current coverage.” This is not as good as the traditional Medicare-for-All plan supported by Bernie and other progressives. Therefore, I’d recommend that voters don’t choose Shalala.
Here are some state-level races. I mostly haven’t had time to research them (except for a few comments on them below), so people will need to research the candidates in their district. These links to candidates and issues for each race.
Note that both Democratic candidates seem decent, but Ryan Torrens specifically states that he would not defend the “Stand-your-ground” laws in Florida.
Chief Financial Officer:
Endorsed by Our Revolution:
District 66 – Alex Heeren
District 71 – Tracy Pratt
Local ballot measures:
Note: I recommend Elijah Manley, a Green Party candidate for the Broward County School Board
Hillsborough County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Hillsborough_County,_Florida_(2018)
Jacksonville – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Jacksonville,_Florida_(2018)
Miami-Dade County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Miami-Dade_County,_Florida_(2018)
Orange County- https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Orange_County,_Florida_(2018)
Pinellas County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Pinellas_County,_Florida_(2018)
The following elections are not on the Florida August 28 primary ballot. They will be on the November 6 general election ballot. I’m just including them here, so voters can look them over now, because with all the races on November 6th, I doubt I will be able to make a specific post about these races. Save this information for November.
State ballot measures:
Note ballot measure 5 requires that 2/3rds of the legislature is needed to impose new taxes or fees. This means that it will become very difficult to raise taxes in the future if the state needs more income and will force cuts in services during recessions. I would vote no on that one.
Ballot measure 12 prohibits public officials from lobbying for compensation while in office and for six years after leaving office. I think that is a good measure.
Oklahoma Runoff Election
The primary election in Oklahoma took place on June 26. But in Oklahoma, candidates have to get 50% of the vote to win. Otherwise the top two vote getters advance to a runoff election. There are multiple races with runoff elections, which will take place on August 28th.
Oklahoma has partially closed primaries, which means each party gets to decide whether or not they want to let independents vote in their primary. The Democratic party has decided to allow independents to vote in their primary, but the Republican and Libertarian parties are restricting their primaries to registered members of their parties.
Below are descriptions of the runoff elections and who is running.
There is no runoff on the Democratic side. For the Republicans, Mick Cornett is facing Kevin Stitt. Cornett does not have an issues page, but Stitt does. For the Libertarians, Rex Lawhorn is facing Chris Powell.
There is no US Senate election in Oklahoma this year.
OK-01: There is a runoff between Amanda Douglas and Tim Gilpin. Amanda Douglas supports Medicare-for-All. She also supports medical marijuana and strengthening public education. Here is an AMA she did on Reddit. Tim Gilpin wants to expand the ACA and also says he wants to cover everyone. There is also a runoff on the Republican side between Tim Harris and Kevin Hern. I recommend Amanda Douglas.
OK-02: There is a runoff between Democrats Jason Nichols and Clay Padgett. Nichols supports net neutrality, but doesn’t mention any other progressive positions. Padgett mentions protecting Social Security and Medicare, but does not talk about healthcare in general or mention Medicare-for-All. There is also a runoff on the Republican side between incumbent Markwayne Mullin and Richard Castaldo.
OK-03: There is no runoff for US Representative in this district.
OK-04: There is a runoff between Democrats Mary Brannon and Fred Gipson. Brannon is a teacher, one of the many teachers running for office in Oklahoma in response to cuts in education spending. She would protect Medicare and Medicaid and fight to strengthen education. Gipson says on his website “In my campaign I will not accept campaign contributions from PACs, and lobbyists in DC. I will limit the campaign contributions I receive to $ 500 per individual and contributions outside the 4th, while appreciated, will not be accepted.” He is also a strong proponent of education funding. I think both candidates here are pretty good, so I won’t recommend one over the other. The voters can decide which one they want. There is no runoff on the Republican side for this race.
OK-05: There is a Democratic runoff between Tom Guild and Kendra Horn. Guild supports Medicare-for-All, raising the minimum wage, transparency in campaign finances, reform of Wall Street and strengthening public education and supporting teachers. He seems like a really good candidate. Horn supports expanding access to healthcare and reducing drug prices (but does not mention Medicare-for-All). She also supports strengthening public education and raising the minimum wage. I recommend Guild. There is no runoff on the Republican side.
There is a Republican runoff between Gentner Drummond and Mike Hunter. There is no runoff on the Democratic side.
Auditor and Inspector:
There is a Republican runoff between Cindy Byrd and Charlie Prater. There is no Democratic candidate in this race, though there is a Libertarian candidate (no runoff on the Libertarian side).
There is a runoff between Republicans Cathy Costello and Leslie Osborn. There is no runoff on the Democratic side.
Superintendent of Public Instruction:
There is a Republican runoff between the incumbent Joy Hofmeister and Linda Murphy. There is no runoff on the Democratic side.
Corporation Commissioner 2: (The Corporation Commission is a regulatory agency for the State of Oklahoma with emphasis on the Fuel, Oil and Gas, Public Utilities, and Transportation Industries)
There is a runoff for both the Democratic and Republican candidates. On the Democratic side, Blake Cummings is facing Ashley McCray. On the Republican side, it will be Bob Anthony facing Brian Bingman.
Here are links to the State Senate and State House races, but I had trouble figuring out who might still be in a runoff election. You can see a sample ballot for your district here and figure out if you have a State Rep or State Senator in a runoff election. I think that the sample ballot will also tell you if you have any runoffs in other state, local or municipal elections.
The following elections are not on the Oklahoma August 28 primary runoff ballot. They will be on the November 6 general election ballot. I’m just including them here, so voters can look them over now, because with all the races on November 6th, I doubt I will be able to make a specific post about these races. Save this information for November.
State ballot measures:
Canadian County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Canadian_County,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Cleveland County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Cleveland_County,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Oklahoma City – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Oklahoma_City,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Oklahoma County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Oklahoma_County,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Osage County – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Osage_County,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Tulsa (city) – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Tulsa,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Tulsa (county) – https://ballotpedia.org/Municipal_elections_in_Tulsa_County,_Oklahoma_(2018)
Finally, I may have missed some candidates, so if anyone else knows of a good progressive I’ve left off this list, let me know.