Check out the website:   Len’s Letter #29 Women candidates for whom donations would make a difference

Len’s Letters #30 Male Candidates for Whom Donations Could Make A Difference

 General Election 2020

 In response to a reader’s request, I sent Letter #29 about female candidates for whom donations could make a difference.  I invited other requests. No requests were submitted.  Nevertheless, I thought.  How about male candidates whose races are close enough that donations could make a difference between winning and losing? Candidates who we could really help win seats?

Below is a piece about them even though I seem to be the only one asking the question.  Choose a few of them.  Make donations. It is easy.  Just go to the links for their websites.


Toss up incumbents

  1. CA 21 TJ Cox is the son of a Chinese academic immigrant father and politically active American Filipina mother. He was elected in 2018 to a district that is more than 70% Hispanic.  After an international career as an engineer, he returned to California to create federally funded community employment centers and to start his own almond processing business.  He’s been criticized for not disclosing more about his own businesses and is facing ex Rep David Valadao who he ousted in this Valley district southeast of San Jose in between Fresno and Bakersfield.
  2. ME 02 Jared Golden suffered from PTSD after his service in Iraq. He was discovered working in a pizza joint by a Dean from Bates College. Completing a degree at Bates and getting experience in Washington and non-military experience in Iraq transformed his life.  He was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, held leadership posts, and was elected to Congress in 2018, the first person to be elected to Congress via ranked voting.  He is being challenged by former State Rep Dale Crafts, who, unusually, was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and lived in Maine.
  3. MN 07 Colin Peterson may be the most conservative Democrat in the House of Representatives. He has survived election after election for 20 years in a very conservative rural district that runs along Minnesota’s western border for almost the entire length of the state.  He is being challenged by the former Lt. Governor Michelle Fischbach
  4. NJ 02 Andy Kim, a child of Korean immigrants to the US, had an extraordinary academic career. He went from the agriculture and individual-responsibility based Deep Spring College, to Princeton, to Oxford, winning both a Truman and a Rhodes. He served as an advisor to generals including David Petraeus, to the State Department and the White House.  He defeated a multimillionaire to become a Member of Congress in 2018 and is facing a former corporate  CEO David Richter in 2020.
  5. NY 11 Max Rose is a former platoon leader in Iraq who returned to serve as an executive for non-profit health clinics. Like many American Jews, his great grandparents immigrated from Russia and Ukraine.  His medical interests are derived from his father, a medical laboratory executive.  His strength, from high school wrestling.  His public interest from his mother’s experience studying welfare issues, his grandmother’s experience teaching in Harlem, and his great grandmother’s experience as one of New York’s first female school principals. He was elected to Congress in 2018.   His district is primarily in Staten Island, the most conservative part of New York City. His opponent is a member of New York’s State Assembly, Nicole Malliotakis.
  6. NY 22 Anthony Brindisi was a State Assemblyman from Utica, particularly effective in bringing back resources to his district. His father was an attorney who, as a. young man, quit representing members of the mafia when he found one of the attorneys in his firm murdered.  Nevertheless, in 2018 the incumbent, Claudia Tenney, insisted to the public that Brindisi’s family was connected.  She is attempting to regain her seat from this district that runs from Lake Ontario to the Pennsylvania border.  And she is, almost certainly, still making the same claim.
  7. SC 01 Joe Cunningham was an environmental lawyer in Charlestown who won a surprise victory campaigning against off shore oil rigs and by establishing himself as a regular guy.  His Republican opponents are now claiming he isn’t opposed enough to off shore drilling.  His challenger in this primarily coastal district is State Rep Nancy Mace.
  8. PA 10 Eugene DePasquale was Pennsylvania’s State Auditor.  He grew up with a brother whose muscular dystrophy was considered a preexisting condition precluding health insurance.  He played football at a small, private college then went to the local, politically connected law school.  His father was a Vietnam veteran with a drug problem that sent him to jail and a man with sufficient character to reform himself and remain sober after his jail term was over.  The incumbent is a right-wing ideologue who may be too extreme for this ungerrymandered central Pennsylvania district.

Toss up challenger

  1. TX 22 Sri Preston Kulkari is a former Foreign Service national security expert running again in this district outside of Houston that was once solidly white and Republican, but is now majority minority. Kulkari lost by 5 points in 2018 after which the incumbent announced he would not run again. Sri Preston Kulkari is a descendent of Sam Houston on his mother’s side. He is running against County Sheriff Troy Nehls.

Lean Republican challengers

  1. FL 15 Alan Cohn is an award-winning television journalist, an anchor, and managing editor. He has won a Peabody for discovering quality control issues at Sikorsky helicopter. He discovered Florida DMV workers selling driving licenses.  He ran and lost to the incumbent in 2014 by a 20-point margin.  His opponent this time is City Commissioner Scott Franklin who defeated the one-term, inept and corrupt incumbent in the Republican primary.
  2. MI 06 Jon Hoadley is a political consultant turned politician. He is taking on Fred Upton, one of a diminishing group of Republicans incumbents who can claim to be a moderate.  Hoadley bills himself as a pragmatic progressive, someone who will support health insurance programs that allow an individual to start a new small business without worrying about where his or her health insurance comes from.
  3. MN 01 Dan Feehan came tantalizingly close to carrying this rural/suburban district. A veteran who taught school after returning from Iraq.  After teaching for three years he did a White House internship that led to a Defense Department position.  He is again running against deeply conservative Jim Hagedorn who is completing his first term.
  4. TX 10 Mike Siegel moved to Texas with his veterinarian wife. Siegel is from Oakland, California. He sandwiched a teaching career in Oakland between an east coast undergraduate school and an east coast law school.  He returned briefly to join his left-wing father’s law firm before continuing on to Texas where he is an Austin Assistant City Attorney. He is running against incumbent Mike McCaul, a national security oriented Republican, who won a close race in 2018.
  5. VA 05 Cameron Webb would be another African American Congressman from a majority white district. He has a medical degree and a law degree and is the founder and director of a Washington DC based non-profit that has as its goal the treatment of  the structural conditions which create disparities in medical services.  The best way to treat those disparities, he has decided, is to run for office and change the laws. He is running against Bob Good, a former fund raiser for athletics at Liberty University who would change laws in an entirely different way.


Toss up Senate Races

  1. Alaska’s Al Gross is an independent who the Alaskan Democrats endorsed. There is no Democrat in the race.  Nevertheless, Al Gross is a real contrast to the knee-jerk conservative and national security oriented incumbent, Dan Sullivan.  Al Gross has appeal for Alaskans.  He is a commercial fisherman and an orthopedist. His father was once Alaska’s Attorney General.  His wife is also a doctor.  Al Gross is known for having killed a grizzly bear.
  2. Montana’s Steve Bullock is the state’s very popular governor. He is running against the corporate-oriented incumbent Steve Daines.  Bullock is from a very Republican part of the country.  Nevertheless, Montana did elect Steve Bullock governor, his Lt. Governor could well be elected to replace him, and he would be joining a Democratic colleague from Montana if he were elected to the Senate.  There is a possibility that Steve Bullock could help make Montana just a little bit bluish, a pretty conservative blue.
  3. South Carolina could elect Jaime Harrison The incumbent, Lindsey Graham, has fluttered between being a John McCain acolyte to being a Donald Trump acolyte.  That kind of inconsistency can sometimes not play well.  Harrison is a bright Yale graduate who has been a party leader in South Carolina and nationally.  If he were to be elected, South Carolina would have two African American Senators – one Republican and one Democrat.
  4. Others to think about. Incumbent Doug Jones of Alabama defied the odds in 2018 to get elected and, with help, could do so again.  Mississippi’s first African American Congressman and former Agriculture Secretary under Bill Clinton, Mike Espy is back for a second try at the incumbent Republican Senator.   In Oklahoma, Abby Broyles, a 30 year old television journalist and attorney is taking on an incumbent who is well into his eighties and has views that reflect his age.  There are those who worry that Minnesota’s appointed Senator Tina Smith could have a difficult run.
  5. Here is one candidate who is not going to win, but a good showing against Tom Cotton would hurt Cotton’s presidential candidacy in 2024.Dan Whitfield is an independent candidate in Arkansas where the Democratic candidate was somehow persuaded to drop out when it was too late to replace him according to state law.

 Donations to these candidates would make a difference.