Political Note #220  Mary Cotter Smasal  VA SD  08 Make Virginia’s Senate Democratic

Marry Cotter Smasal has become an icon of public safety in this military town well before the recent mass shooting.  Through the public pressure she brought, the school district has taken the kind of safety measures most schools in the country have taken.  Doors are locked and fitted with cameras.  Once school is in session, someone enters the school only if buzzed in.

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Political Note #188 Jennifer Boysko VA SD 33

Jennifer Boysko grew up in Alabama. She went to college in Virginia -- Hollins University. Still a women's school. With a reputation for gentility. And for literacy, for writing. For personal attention. Fewer than eight hundred undergraduates.Her first political job was for an Alabaman. She was an aide to Senator Richard Shelby - when he was a Democrat. She became a policy maven. Federal policy and local policy. She worked for a township supervisor in Virginia. She did particular work with homeowners groups. Governor McAuliffe appointed her as a Citizen Member of the state Real Estate Board. After training from Emerge, she ran for HD 86 for a second time in 2015. The incumbent retired. Maybe he knew she was coming back. Other Democrats knew. No one opposed her in the primary. She won the general election 54 -- 42 despite being outspent. She is now running for the State Senate from a position of strength.

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Political Note #151 Jessica Ramos NY SD 13

Jessica Ramos is an organizer and activist in Queens, NY. She has created a campaign for the state Senate that focuses on what would have passed with a Democratic majority in the Senate. She asserts that the parental leave and minimum wage increases would have just been a beginning had Democrats controlled the Senate.

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Political Note #134 Julie Goldberg NY SD 38

Teacher and librarian, Julie Goldberg is neither apolitical nor focused on New Jersey. Her local cultural interests are in New York. She is a board member and editor for River River -- a New York community arts organization. She is a founding member of the Hungry Hollow Coalition. This New York community improvement group sponsors fund raising musicals and helps the homeless. It contests zoning issues and supports candidates. The Coalition does the candidate supporting bit in New York and does quite a lot of it. Goldberg is a beneficiary of that support in her run for the State Senate.

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Political Note #124 Alessandra Biaggi NY SD 34

Alessandra Biaggi is taking on the Democratic establishment, running in a primary against the head of the IDC. This role is unexpected. She interned for the King's County District Attorney's office, for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. and for Congressman Joseph Crowley of Queens, the Chair of the US House Democratic Caucus and of the Queens County Democratic Party. Look at Alessandra Biaggi’s jobs. She worked for Hillary Clinton, for Andrew Cuomo on women's policy issues. She worked for the Governor on the Executive Clemency team and on health and human service initiatives. She was a young member of the establishment before deciding to challenge it.

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Political Note #111 Shelley Mayer NY SD 37

Republicans complain that Shelley Mayer is an insider. Shelley Mayer is an insider. She worked in Robert Abram's Attorney General office, was senior counsel for the National State Attorney General Program at Columbia, was vice president of government and community affairs for Continuum Health Partners, and served as chief counsel to the senate Democrats -- all before being elected to the Assembly. She is a state representative. She promises, in the Senate, a cleaner political atmosphere in Albany, stronger ethics requirements, more effective ways to address sexual harassment.

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Political Note #99 Robert Jackson NY SD 31

Robert Jackson ran for and was elected to City Council, but later lost campaigns for Borough President and twice for the State Senate. The 2016 State Senate loss was close. Three top candidates in the Democratic primary were within 1,000 votes of each other. Jackson is running again for Senate District 31 which covers the west side of Manhattan. He is running in the primary against an incumbent Democrat who is a member of the Independent Democratic Caucus, a group of eight state Senators who organized with the Republicans, allowing the Republicans to control the Senate.

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Political Note #74 Michele Rylands WA SD 31

She is endorsed by the local sheriff. She is a 911 Operator and was an MP in the military. Her husband is a federal law enforcement official. She shut down her small oil and vinegar business to run for office. As close as she is to law enforcement, her focus has been education since her children entered school. President of the City of Auburn Council of PTAs, Michelle Ryland says. “Our schools should not be funded by raffles or carnivals or box tops...."

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