This will be big voting day!! The primary elections take place Tuesday June 5th in Alabama, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico and South Dakota and it’s the last day to vote in California. 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 Alabama has open primaries, which means you do not need to be registered in a certain party to vote in their primary (although you do need to be registered to vote). Alabama also has runoff elections if no candidate in a particular primary race gains at least 50% of the vote. However, most of the races have only 1 or 2 Dem candidates (ensuring that one of them must hit the 50% mark), the only race where there may be a runoff (on the Dem side) is the Governor’s race.
Only one candidate in the races described below in Alabama overtly supports for Medicare-for-All, Audri Scott Williams. However, quite a few others support expanding Medicaid. Since there are few so few Berniecrats in Alabama, I’ve tried to list the most progressive candidate (as far as I can tell) for each race, but check out their platforms to determine if you’re comfortable voting for them.
AL-01: Lizetta McConnell is the most progressive, though she does not mention healthcare or Medicare-for-All on her website.
AL-02: Audri Scott Williams
AL-03: Mallory Hagan seems the most progressive, though she does not mention Medicare-for-All on her website
AL-04: Lee Auman seems the most progressive, but he also does not mention Medicare-for-All on his website.
AL-05: There’s only one Democrat running Peter Joffrion. He supports expanding Medicaid, but doesn’t mention Medicare-for-All
AL-06: There’s only one Democrat running Danner Kline. He mentions affordable, universal healthcare, but doesn’t specifically mention Medicare-for-All
AL-07: No recommendation
Secretary of State: There are two candidates Heather Milam and Lula Albert (no website). Neither has any information available online about their political positions, so it's difficult to know whether to support them.
State-level races endorsed by Our Revolution:
State Rep District 4 – Jerome Dees
State Rep District 55 – Quang Do
Note that California has top-two primaries, which means all candidates of every party are listed on one common ballot and the top two vote getters in each race, regardless of party, advance to the general election.
Note that due to the top-two primary system in California, races with multiple progressives will probably split the vote and may result in no progressive making it into the top two. To address this problem, I am recommending a candidate for each such race. This recommendation is based solely on my personal preference amongst the progressives. You might have an alternate preference. So, don’t feel obligated to vote for the candidate I’ve suggested. However, if you don’t have a preference, perhaps you can vote for my suggestion. If enough people do this, then we can potentially get some of these progressives into the top two.
John Chiang, Delaine Eastin, Veronika Fimbres (Green Party, write-in), Josh Jones (Green Party), Amanda Renterria, Klement Tinaj or if you prefer a more Socialist outlook then Gloria La Riva of the Peace and Freedom Party
There are many good candidates here and it was difficult for me to pick one to suggest. I decided to recommend Delaine Eastin, because of her record and strong platform.
Lt. Governor: Gayle McLaughlin (endorsed by Our Revolution)
Adrienne Edwards, Eugene Pat Harris, Alison Hartson (Justice Democrat Candidate) or David Hildebrand or if you prefer a more Socialist outlook then John Parker of the Peace and Freedom Party
Again, there are many good candidates here and it was another difficult decision for me. I decided to recommend David Hildebrand, because of his strong policy background and excellent platform.
CA-01: Audrey Denney (Justice Democrat Candidate and endorsed by Our Revolution), Jessica Holcombe or Lewis Elbinger (Green Party Candidate)
Audrey Denney is endorsed by Justice Democrats and Our Revolution, but I find her education platform to be less progressive than some (no mention of free college tuition) and she talks about raising minimum wage incrementally (which doesn’t sound like she’s very committed to a substantial raise). Also, her page on infrastructure seems to suggest she may support public-private partnerships for infrastructure spending. Therefore, I am recommending Jessica Holcombe, who appeals to me because of her positions on fighting corruption and dark money in politics (plus she has other good progressive positions)
CA-02: Jared Huffman or Andy Caffrey
I’ve chosen to recommend Jared Huffman, because of his strong progressive voting record and for being an original cosponsor of the Medicare-for-all legislation (HR676) in Congress. Although Andy Caffrey has good positions too, he does not have the seniority in Congress that Huffman has and that seniority comes with assignments to influential committees.
CA-03: The incumbent John Garamendi is one of the original co-sponsors of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), though he is overall not as progressive as some of the candidates listed here.
CA-04: Roza Calderon (Justice Democrat and BrandNew Congress Candidate) or Robert Lawton
I recommend Roza Calderon, because I slightly prefer her positions (Lawton seems a bit hawkish in thinking that we should go into other countries to stop human rights abuses).
CA-05: The incumbent Mike Thompson is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise very conservative for a Democrat. Jason Kishineff or Nils Palsson are much more progressive options
I recommend Nils Palsson, because he has a better laid out and more detailed policy positions page than Kishineff.
CA-06: The incumbent Doris Matsui is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although she is otherwise not very progressive; Jrmar Jefferson is a more progressive option
I recommend Jrmar Jefferson.
CA-07: Chris Richardson (Green Party Candidate)
CA-08: Marjorie ‘Marge’ Doyle
CA-09: Jerry McNerney
CA-10: Mike Barkley, Josh Harder or Virginia Madueño
I recommend Virginia Madueño, because she seems a bit more committed to Medicare-for-All.
CA-11: Mark DeSaulnier
CA-12: Stephen Jaffe, Barry Hermanson (Green Party Candidate) or Ryan Khojasteh (Brand New Congress Candidate)
Another race with many strong candidates. I decided to recommend Stephen Jaffe, because he had a more detailed policy page than Hermanson or Khostajeh (who are both also excellent candidates).
CA-13: Barbara Lee
CA-14: The incumbent Jackie Speier is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), though overall she is not very progressive
CA-15: The incumbent Eric Swalwell is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise quite conservative for a Democrat
CA-16: No recommendation
CA-17: Ro Khanna (Justice Democrat Candidate)
CA-18: The incumbent Anna Eshoo supports HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill). Another progressive alternative is John Fredrich
I’m recommending Anna Eshoo, because she is an incumbent and has seniority in the party and because Fredrich’s webpage is so skimpy and lacks details on his background or stance on a number of issues
CA-19: The incumbent Zoe Lofgren is one of the original cosponsors of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-20: The incumbent Jimmy Panetta is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise very conservative for a Democrat. There are two other candidates running, but information about them is skimpy and it’s hard to know what positions they support
CA-21: No recommendation
CA-22: Ricardo ‘Rico’ Franco is probably the most progressive option, though he is not as progressive as candidates in some other districts
CA-23: No recommendation (note that Wendy Davis was previously a Justice Democrat candidate and the Justice Democrats withdrew their support from her – link). No strong progressive is running in this race
CA-24: No recommendation
CA-25: Bryan Caforio (Justice Democrat Candidate) or Katie Hill or Mary Pallant or Jess Phoenix (endorsed by Our Revolution)
I am recommending Bryan Caforio, because he has more detailed policy positions (and progressive stances)
CA-26: John Robert Nelson (endorsed by Our Revolution)
CA-27: The incumbent Judy Chu is quite progressive and is one of the original cosponsors of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill); her challenger Bryan Witt is also very progressive and supports Medicare-for-All
I recommend Judy Chu, because she is a strong progressive, but also an incumbent who has seniority and important committee assignments (though Witt is also very good)
CA-28: The incumbent Adam Schiff is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise quite conservative for a Democrat. There is no more progressive candidate running
CA-29: Angelica Dueñas (endorsed by Our Revolution), Juan Rey or Joe Shammas
I recommend Angelica Dueñas, because of her detailed and progressive stances on many issues not covered by Rey or Shammas (though they are both good candidates too)
CA-30: The incumbent Brad Sherman is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise quite conservative for a Democrat; a much better progressive in this race is Jon Pelzer
I recommend Jon Pelzer.
CA-31: Kaisar Ahmed
CA-32: The incumbent Grace Napolitano is an original cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill) and quite progressive.
CA-33: The incumbent Ted Lieu supports HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-34: The incumbent Jimmy Gomez is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill) or Kenneth Mejia (Green Party Candidate)
This was another difficult recommendation. I chose to recommend Jimmy Gomez, since he’s an incumbent with a strong progressive voting record and assignments to important committees. Mejia is also quite good.
CA-35: No recommendation
CA-36: No recommendation
CA-37: The incumbent Karen Bass is pretty progressive and is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-38: The incumbent Linda Sanchez is progressive and is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-39: Andy Thorburn (Our Revolution Candidate), Stephan ‘Steve’ Cox or Sam Jammal
I recommend Andy Thorburn, because he’s endorsed by Our Revolution and has a very progressive platform.
CA-40: The incumbent Lucille Roybal-Allard is quite progressive and supports HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill); The Green Party candidate Rodolfo Barragan is another progressive option
This is another difficult decision. Lucille Roybal-Allard has a pretty progressive voting record and is one of the original cosponsors of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill). Barragan is also quite good. I decided to recommend Roybal-Allard, since she’s an incumbent with seniority in the House and committee memberships.
CA-41: The incumbent Mark Takano is quite progressive and supports HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-42: Julia Peacock
CA-43: The incumbent Maxine Waters is fairly progressive and is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill); another option is Green Party Candidate (and former Bernie delegate) Miguel Zuniga
I decided to recommend Miguel Zuniga, because he seems more committed to Bernie’s agenda. Though Maxine Waters did support Medicare-for-All, she only did so in late April of 2017 (when the bill was first introduced in January 2017.
CA-44: The incumbent Nannette Barragan is quite progressive and a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-45: Brian Forde
CA-46: The incumbent Luis Correa is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill), although he is otherwise exceptionally conservative for a Democrat. A much more progressive option is William Johnson
I recommend William Johnson, who is much more progressive than Lou Correa (one of the conservative Blue Dog Democrats in Congress)
CA-47: The incumbent Alan Lowenthal is quite progressive and is a cosponsor of HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill)
CA-48: Note that several candidates (Michael Kotick, Laura Oatman, Stelian Onufrei and Rachel Payne) have dropped out, but are still on the ballot. Voting for one of them will not be counted. Among the remaining candidates, only Tony Zarkades is a progressive who supports Medicare-for-All
CA-49: Doug Applegate (Justice Democrat Candidate) or Paul Kerr or Mike Levin or Jordan Mills (Peace and Freedom Party); also Danielle St. John is a Green Party Candidate, who is pretty progressive. But she doesn’t think Medicare-for-All can work long-term due to government corruption (though she doesn’t really have an alternative plan for healthcare)
This was another race with quite a few good candidates. I recommend Doug Applegate, because of his detailed and progressive policy stances and the fact that he is endorsed by Justice Democrats.
CA-50: Ammar Campa-Najjar (Justice Democrat Candidate and endorsed by Our Revolution) or Patrick Malloy
I recommend Patrick Malloy. I think he has a stronger progressive platform, despite the fact that Campa-Najjar is endorsed by Justice Democrats.
CA-51: Juan Carlos Mercado or for a more socialist outlook Kevin Mitchell (Socialist Equality Party)
I recommend Juan Mercado, since I’m not sure most Americans are ready yet to vote for a Socialist candidate (some voters may be ready for that; others maybe not).
CA-52: No recommendation
CA-53: Brian Kim
Secretary of State Ruben Major
State-level races endorsed by Our Revolution:
Assembly District 15 – Jovanka Beckles
Assembly District 45 – Ankur Patel
State Representative District 71 – James Elia
Check out this link for some additional recommendations by the LA chapter of Our Revolution
AND if you live in Assembly District 63 and want to get rid of Anthony Rendon (who is the Speaker of the California Assembly who was responsible for tabling SB562 (the bill to bring universal healthcare to California)), vote for Maria Estrada
Iowa has semi-open primaries. You must be a registered party member to vote in their associated primary, but you may switch your party affiliation at the polling place when you arrive to vote.
Iowa does not have runoff elections. If no candidate gets at least 35% of the vote, the nominee will be chosen by their party’s State Convention. Should this happen in a race in your precinct, communicate with your delegate(s) to the Convention to ensure your voice is heard regarding your choice of candidate.
There is no US Senator race in Iowa in 2018.
IA-01: Courtney Rowe (Justice Democrat Candidate)
IA-02: No recommendation
IA-03: Pete D’Alessandro. Endorsed by Bernie and Our Revolution and a Justice Democrat candidate!
IA-04: JD Scholten (endorsed by Our Revolution)
Governor: Cathy Glasson She’s Bernie-certified and endorsed by Our Revolution!
Secretary of State: Deirdre DeJear – endorsed by Our Revolution
Note that Mississippi has open primaries, which you can vote for any party on election day and don’t have to be registered with a particular party (though you do need to be registered to vote).
There are not a lot of Berniecrats running in Mississippi, so I’ve tried to list the most progressive choice for these races. There are runoff elections in Mississippi if no candidate receives at least 50% of the vote, although for the races discussed below, this will only apply to the US Senate race on the Dem side.
MS-01: Randy Wadkins
MS-02: Bennie Thompson is the only Democrat running. He does not mention Medicare-for-All, free college tuition or raising the minimum wage, but he would protect the current funding of Medicare and Medicaid and the ACA.
MS-03: Kevin Aycox supports free college tuition and government paid healthcare.
MS-04: Jeramey Anderson is the only Democrat running. He does not mention Medicare-for-All, free college tuition or raising the minimum wage, but he would protect the current funding of Medicare and Medicaid and the ACA.
Secretary of State: There is only one candidate on the Dem side, Jim Hood, who is currently the Attorney General.
Note that Montana has open primaries, which means that you do not need to be a registered party member to vote for that party. However, you do have to choose a particular party’s ballot.
Steve Kelly (Green Party candidate)
MT-AL: John Heenan (Justice Democrat and BrandNew Congress candidate and endorsed by Our Revolution)
State-level races endorsed by Our Revolution:
State Senate District 22 – Jennifer Merecki
Note that New Jersey has primaries that are open for unaffiliated voters, which means that if you are not registered with a party, you can vote in either primary. However, if you are registered with a party, you must vote in their primary.
There is no governor’s election in New Jersey this year.
Lisa McCormick is a candidate whose focus is on universal child care, expanding social security, and getting big money out of politics. She doesn’t really have a formal campaign website and it is unclear what her positions are on other issues such as Medicare-for-All or raising the minimum wage. However, at least she doesn’t have the baggage that Bob Menendez has from his corruption trial.
NJ-01: No recommendation
NJ-02: Nathan Kleinman – Note that Tanzie Youngblood is endorsed by Justice Democrats, but I didn’t find her platform to be outspokenly progressive like Kleinman’s is. She does not mention free college tuition and on healthcare says only that she will “develop a path to universal, affordable, comprehensive healthcare”
NJ-03: No recommendation
NJ-04: Jim Keady (Our Revolution candidate). Note that Josh Welle also supports progressive positions, like Medicare-for-All, but he has what seem like rather worrisome ties to the military and security establishment that could make many progressives uncomfortable (military – he is a current Navy Commander; foreign policy organizations – he is a member of the Truman National Security Project and former member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for New American Security)
NJ-05: No recommendation
NJ-06: Javahn Walker
NJ-07: Peter Jacob (Justice Democrat, Brand New Congress and Our Revolution candidate) or Diane Moxley (Green Party candidate)
NJ-08: The incumbent Albio Sires is a fairly conservative Democrat, but he has co-sponsored HR 676 (the Medicare-for-All bill).
NJ-09: No recommendation
NJ-10: The incumbent Donald Payne is fairly progressive and is co-sponsoring HR 676 (Medicare-for-All)
NJ-11: There are many Dem candidates in this race, but only one of them Mark Washburne mentions Medicare-for-All on his website. Washburne says “I would be in favor of gradually – not tomorrow but over time – moving our country towards a Medicare for all type system”.
NJ-12: The incumbent Bonnie Coleman is quite progressive and supports Medicare-for-All.
Secretary of State: This position is not elected, but appointed by the Governor of New Jersey
Note that New Mexico has closed primaries, which means you have to be registered in the party whose primary you want to vote in.
The incumbent Martin Heinrich is fairly progressive, although he did vote against Bernie’s amendment to import cheaper drugs from Canada.
NM-01: There are many progressive candidates in this race, so you’ll have to choose: Antoinette Sedillo Lopez (Justice Democrat Candidate) or Pat Davis or Deb Haaland or Damian Lara
NM-02: Madeline Hildebrandt
NM-03: No recommendation
There are technically runoff elections in South Dakota if no candidate receives at least 35% of the vote, but there is only 1 Democratic candidate in each of the races covered here, so there will be no runoffs on the Dem side.
Note that South Dakota has partially closed primaries, which means that the party can decide whether or not to let non-party members vote in the primary. The Democratic party is allowing voters who are either registered Democrats or unaffiliated with any party to vote in their primary. But registered Republicans can’t vote in the Democratic primary. Only registered Republicans can vote in the Republican primary. If you’re still not sure about how this partially closed primary works, check out this link.
Billie Sutton is the only Democrat running for governor. His website doesn’t have a lot of information about himself, but as a State Senator he supported affordable housing, government ethics and transparency, and increased spending on education (student scholarships and teacher pay). He opposed “top down” corporate welfare that only benefits those who need it the least.
SD-AL: Timothy Bjorkman
Secretary of State: Candidates for this office are nominated at the state conventions of each political party. The Dem convention in South Dakota will be held on June 15 to June 16 in Sioux Falls. Delegates to the convention can vote for candidates (delegates have already been chosen for this year’s convention, so if you want to influence their choices, you'll need to directly contact them and let them know your preferences).