Current Affairs

The Current Affairs Guide To Left Candidates 2020

An incomplete list of races to watch and people to consider supporting.

Around the country, insurgent progressive candidates are running extraordinary campaigns. Current Affairs wants to make sure our readers are informed about these candidates, especially after the Bernie campaign, with many on the left wondering who to throw their support, time, and money behind. The following list is only preliminary based on some races that have been drawn to our attention; we know we have missed many great people, and we rely on readers to tell us about campaigns we should cover. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] with information on local, state, and federal candidates you think deserve more attention. This list will be updated with additional races. 

Current Affairs has not officially endorsed any of these candidates, and we encourage readers to do their own research before supporting them. Remember, all of these candidates benefit from whatever donations and time you can give them. Many are facing long odds, and all of them urgently need every ounce of support they can get. Last year, Tiffany Cabán lost by 60 votes. This means that you matter. (Also, subscriptions and donations to Current Affairs allow us to do more coverage of these candidates. We cannot commission nearly as much journalism on these races as we would like.) 

If you are one of the listed candidates and would like to provide Current Affairs with one or two sentences describing yourself, please email [email protected] and we will add to this article. If you are aware of any inaccuracies in the following information, we would also appreciate corrections.

Candidates marked [DSA] have been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America. Candidates marked [BNC] have been endorsed by Brand New Congress

Arizona

  • Gabriella Cázares-Kelly — Pima County Recorder — “I am a dues-paying union sister and #RedForEd public school educator, a grassroots organizer, and lifelong Pima County resident… I am a co-founder of Indivisible Tohono, a grassroots community organization that is focused on providing opportunities for education and civic engagement for members of the Tohono Oʼodham Nation.  I am extremely active in local politics, serving as the President of the Progressive Democrats of Southern Arizona and the Vice-President of the Arizona Democratic Party’s Native American Caucus, among many other roles.”
  • Billy Peard — State House, District 2 

Arkansas 

  • Dan Whitfield — U.S. Senate — Democrats, shockingly and inexcusably, ended up not running a candidate against hard-right senator Tom Cotton this cycle. (This is actually worse than the time they ran someone who may or may not have existed for Congress in Georgia.) Fortunately, there is Dan Whitfield, a Bernie supporter and progressive Independent. Without the support of any party, Whitfield is a long shot, but he deserves more coverage since Cotton is a fascist. 

California

Delaware 

Florida 

  • Elijah Manley — State House, District 94
  • Jen Perelman — Congress, District 23 — Running against Debbie Wasserman Schulz. [BNC] 

Georgia

Kansas

  • Brian Matlock — U.S. Senate — Okay, this is fascinating: Matlock is running in the Republican primary as a Socialist. Or, rather, as a “Republican Socialist,” with a platform that includes a Green New Deal, Medicare For All, and a Jobs Guarantee. Since most Republicans despise socialism, Matlock is a long shot, and I am not sure how effective this can possibly be tactically, but there is something about running a socialist in the primary against Kris Kobach that I find immensely satisfying. More about Brian here

Kentucky 

Maine 

Massachusetts

  • Ihssane Leckey — Congress, District 4 — Ihssane is a Muslim immigrant and a survivor who is a Bernie delegate running on a pro Medicare for All and Green New Deal platform. [BNC]
  • Alex Morse — Congress, District 1 [BNC] 
  • Erika Uyterhoeven — State House, 27th Middlesex District

Missouri 

  • Cori Bush — Congress, District 1 — [BNC] 

Michigan 

  • Abraham Aiyash State House, District 4 — From Abraham’s campaign: “Abraham Aiyash is a 26 year-old, first generation, Yemeni-American running for State Representative in Michigan’s 4th District. Abe has been an activist in his community since he was 13, when he first started knocking doors for President Obama’s first campaign. He has since stood up to corporate polluters in Michigan; he was the youngest person to ever sit on Hamtramck’s city commission; he co-founded a non-profit to increase literacy for poor and working class children in Detroit and Hamtramck; and so much more.”
  • Jon Hoadley — Congress, District 6 — [BNC] 

Nebraska 

New Jersey

New York

Oklahoma 

Oregon

Tennessee

Texas

Washington

  • Chris Armitage — Congress, District 5 [BNC]
  • Jason Call Congress, District 2 — Jason writes to Current Affairs: “I’m running against the most conservative corporate incumbent Democrat in Washington State, Rick Larsen. I have a great base of grassroots support and am running a progressive campaign, taking NO corporate PAC money, and supporting Medicare For All and the Green New Deal among other progressive hallmark policies.  The incumbent takes 75% of his funding from corporate sources and does not support M4A/GND. I have been endorsed by Our Revolution (National), my local DSA and Sunrise groups, and a number of local Democrat Party organizations.  I am an elected member to the Washington State Democrats Central Committee for the last 4 years, and have done a lot of work to build up the progressive base in this state.”
  • Rebecca Parson — Congress, District 6 — Read a Current Affairs profile of Rebecca. [BNC] 

West Virginia 

Wyoming

More In: 2020 Election

Cover of latest issue of print magazine

Announcing Our Newest Issue

Featuring

Spreading Sweetness and Light! Current Affairs takes on hellfire, why teens love socialism, the magic of Motown, and the legacy of Huey Long. Cover art by Aleksandra Waliszewska.

The Latest From Current Affairs