Contact: Johanna Kichton, 202.660.0605, [email protected]
WASHINGTON, D.C.–People’s Action today endorsed a slate of 16 New Hampshire state and county-level candidates for election. The candidates are running movement politics, people-powered campaigns and will fight for the People’s Action People’s Platform once elected. Each of these candidates is also endorsed by People’s Action’s New Hampshire member organization, Rights and Democracy.
Today’s endorsees include:
- Andru Volinsky for Governor
- Carlos Cardona for State Representative (Belknap 03)
- Nikki Fordey for State Representative (Hillsborough 20)
- Nicole Klein Knight for State Representative (Hillsborough 11)
- Tony Labranche for State Representative (Hillsborough 22)
- Laura Lynch for State Representative (Hillsborough 25)
- Allison Nutting-Wong for State Representative (Hillsborough 32)
- Marcus Ponce de Leon for State Representative (Hillsborough 12)
- Natalie Quevedo for State Representative (Cheshire 13)
- Michelle Sawyer Mogé for State Representative (Rockingham 06)
- Tim Smith for State Representative (Hillsborough 17)
- Kris Schultz for State Representative (Merrimack 18)
- Marcella Termini for State Representative (Hillsborough 43)
- Robin Vogt for State Representative (Rockingham 25)
- Bonnie Wright for State Representative (Rockingham 08)
- Julie Radhakrishnan for County Commissioner District 3
“We are living through a time of unprecedented economic, racial, and health crises. We need champions who will fight for us and our movement,” People’s Action Director of Movement Governing Brooke Adams said. “People’s Action is proud to endorse these candidates alongside Rights and Democracy. They’ll put people over profit and protect our planet for the future.”
Andru Volinsky for Governor
Andru Volinsky is a New Hampshire Executive Councilor, and has served his state for decades as a public advocate and social justice activist. Volinsky is renowned as the lead attorney in the 1997 Claremont school funding case, by which Andru successfully sued to defend the right of New Hampshire children to a quality state-funded public education.
“I’m honored that our campaign for governor has received the endorsement of People’s Action,” Volinsky said. “This is a big boost to the expanding movement for justice in New Hampshire that our campaign is working to advance. I’m running for governor to make sure every kid in New Hampshire has a quality state-funded public education, to reduce New Hampshire’s overreliance on the property tax, and to stand up against the disaster of climate change. I look forward to working with People’s Action in these pursuits.”
Carlos Cardona for State Representative (Belknap 03)
Carlos Cardona was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico, then moved to the mainland U.S. at age 12 and has never stopped advocating for the Island of Puerto Rico and for the most vulnerable citizens. He was New Hampshire’s youngest elected official in 2007 winning his election by 46 votes as a write-in candidate. He and his partner, John, raise two children, Jack and Sofia. They are the main reason why he does this. He is honored to be the Chairman of the Laconia Democrats and Delegate at large for the Belknap County Democrats. He is a member of the Affirmative action committee for the NH Democratic Party. He is proud to be a member of Stonewall Democrats and the NH Democratic Latino Caucus. He was also elected by unanimous vote to be the Chairman of the newly formed New Hampshire Progressive Coalition. He is an advocate of environmental justice, LGBTQ+ rights, end colonialism of Puerto Rico, animal rights, public education, women’s rights, and environmental justice.
“Carlos Cardona for State Rep campaign is excited to accept this endorsement,” Cardona said. “Together we will lead our communities in a direction where we put people first. Thank you Peoples Action.”
Nikki Fordey for State Representative (Hillsborough 20)
Nikki Fordey holds a Masters in Social Work, Master of Arts in Public Policy, Bachelor of Arts in English and Psychology, and is licensed to provide mental health and substance use disorder treatment in New Hampshire. Nikki is Vice Chair of the Litchfield, NH official Budget Committee, Chair of the Litchfield Democrats, and Secretary on the Executive Committee of the New Hampshire Progressive Coalition.
“I am running for office because I want to use my personal and professional experiences as a social worker, substance use disorder clinician, harm reduction activist and researcher, chronic pain patient, and disabled person to influence policy in the Granite State so that the system works for all people, not just the wealthy or the connected,” Fordey said. “ I am humbled by the endorsement from People’s Action because it recognizes my devotion to public service, using my privilege and power to drive the structural systemic change needed to bring our society forward.”
Nicole Klein Knight for State Representative (Hillsborough 11)
Nicole Klein Knight is a community organizer with experience in communication and the prime sponsor of many legislative initiatives to improve equality. She has spent the last 2 years working across the aisle on voting rights, mental health access, and criminal justice reform.
“I am running for the people in my district that feel left out,” Knight said. “The people that have not been heard, and the people that are ignored. I am fighting my way to make sure the most vulnerable among us have a seat at the table. I am proud to have the backing of grassroots organizations like People’s Action. Having the support of your organization to help get other progressives to the table for these conversations will only help us to win this fight for equality. Can’t wait to work with you all.
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Tony Labranche for State Representative (Hillsborough 22)
Tony Labranche is a young local activist who has fought for increased education funding, LGBTQ+ rights, and a cleaner environment. If elected Tony would be the first LGBTQ+ elected official in Amherst.
“I am running for state representative because I envision a better New Hampshire. One with green good-paying union jobs, one where we invest in our education and extend public education until college, one where we can take the train to Boston, and a Granite State that is more inclusive and equitable for all. This is the New Hampshire that we should all fight for,” Labranche said.
Laura Lynch for State Representative (Hillsborough 25)
Laura Lynch is a wife, mother and grandmother. She started her activism in NH working with neighbors and friends to stop the Kinder Morgan/NED Pipeline and continues her grassroots activism supporting several progressive organizations. Laura is on the leadership committee of Rights & Democracy as well as on the board of the Rights & Democracy Institute. Beyond RAD she is a member of the New Hampshire Chapter of the Sierra Club, WeAreMarchOn.org, Open Democracy NH, the League of Women Voters, Temple Renewable Energy Committee, and is the Chair of Temple NH Democrats.
“Thank you People’s Action for this Fantastic honor. As a proud member of this great organization through Rights and Democracy, NH I will always be a progressive voice fightIng for justice equality for all people,” Lynch said.
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Allison Nutting Wong for State Representative (Hillsborough 32)
Allison Nutting-Wong is a lifetime Nashua resident, dedicated to making her home a great place. She cares about education, health care, and the rights of others. Allison supports our public schools and rail to Boston. Her bachelor’s degree in Political Science comes from Russell Sage College, and she runs a small machine shop in downtown Nashua. Allison has a strong voting record of supporting women’s and LGBT rights and hopes to make Nashua and the State of New Hampshire a welcoming community.
“I’m running for office because I want to make New Hampshire home for my family,” Nutting-Wong said. “In my previous terms, I’ve stood up for those underrepresented in our community and State House, and I hope I have the opportunity to continue, and I am thrilled to be endorsed People’s Action.”
Marcus Ponce de Leon for State Representative (Hillsborough 12)
Marcus Ponce de Leon is running for a State Representative seat in Hillsborough County’s District 12, which represents Manchester’s Ward 5. His top legislative focuses for the upcoming session are housing justice, cannabis legalization, healthcare for all, and legislation to combat our climate justice and our impending climate crisis.
“I’m running to bring a new voice and diversity of perspectives to our state legislature when discussing the impact of issues like climate justice, housing and healthcare inequities that BIPOC face everyday in New Hampshire, and the considerable impact that the legalization of cannabis would have on improving the lives and overall health of communities throughout our state,” Ponce de Leon said. “This endorsement from People’s Action is incredible for me, as the organization aligns with so many realities that both myself and my community need to find relief from, and the endorsement will help in allowing our message to gain even further reach, while adding to a broader story playing out across America today.”
Natalie Quevedo for State Representative (Cheshire 13)
Natalie Quevedo is a powerhouse community organizer. She holds firm on the fact that through community, compassion, commitment and compromise, New Hampshire can be led toward a better future for all of its residents.
“I am excited for my endorsement from the People’s Action Institute because I also believe that rural and small-town organizing can change the face of our current political and social climate,” Quevedo said.
Michelle Sawyer Mogé for State Representative (Rockingham 06)
Michelle Sawyer is running for State Representative in Derry, NH because she believes people need more working class women represented in the government. She is a progressive feminist who will fight for policies that lift everyone up and level playing fields that have been off balance for far.
“I’m proud and excited to be endorsed by People’s Action because I know that nothing is more powerful than grassroots organizations working together with local politicians for change,” Mogé said.
Tim Smith for State Representative (Hillsborough 17)
Tim Smith grew up in abject poverty, including multiple periods of homelessness before he was ten years old, and only in his adult years escaped the poverty trap. His career is in the field of Information Technology. During his professional career he has worked for a variety of high-tech companies here in New Hampshire as well as in the non-profit sector. Tim holds several certifications from the NH Office of Emergency Management, and is a decorated officer in the Civil Air Patrol (current grade of Major, and former commander of the local Manchester unit) with over twenty years of unpaid volunteer service in various leadership roles. He is a founding member of Progressives United.
“I work hard to try and make sure people in difficult economic situations get the programs and opportunities they need to become self sufficient, and I also work hard on institutional reform within the legislature,” Smith said.
Kris Schultz for State Representative (Merrimack 18)
Kris Schultz has been a dedicated community organizer and activist for over 20 years, with a life-long commitment to social justice and democratic values. In her short time in the State House she has sponsored NH’s only $15/Hr minimum wage bill, as well as bills on workplace safety, election rights, the public pension system and student loan forgiveness. She worked as a consultant in political campaigns in New Hampshire and throughout the U.S., for candidates running for positions from mayor to president. She also advised AARP, Americans for Healthcare, and Reform Immigration for America. She recently served as the President of the Greater Concord Interfaith Council. She has served as a Supervisor of the Checklist in Concord’s Ward 9 for the last six years, registering new voters every election day. Kris has lived in Alton Woods in Concord’s Ward 9 with her husband Gene Taylor, her dog named Louis Brandeis and her cat named Tenzin Catso since 2008.
“I am grateful to People’s Action for their endorsement because we want the same things for Americans: the simple notion that for a hard day’s work earning a living wage, you can own a home, feed your family, afford healthcare, and live a decent life in your retirement,” Schultz said. “Before COVID, too many people were struggling & now it is even worse. We MUST stand up & fight for the health, safety & financial well-being for those who most need it. We need a People’s Bailout NOW!
Marcella Termini for State Representative (Hillsborough 43)
Marcella Termini is a punk rocker turned disability rights advocate as well as a wife and mother of three neurodiverse children. She has lived in New Hampshire almost all of her life and is hopeful for progressive change in the Granite State.
“I am running for State Representative because I want to be part of the movement to change the way our state funds and works to provide accessible, equitable and sustainable healthcare, child care, renewable energy, housing and our public schools. Receiving the People’s Action endorsement is so very exciting to me because the vision they have set forth aligns perfectly with not only my self interests, but my desire to create the best possible future for New Hampshire,” Termini said.
Robin Vogt for State Representative (Rockingham 25)
Robin Vogt is a special education ESP and public education funding advocate with experience as an activist for disability rights, legalization of cannabis and medicare for all in New Hampshire. He is running to represent District 25, Ward 1 in Portsmouth where climate change and affordable housing are crucial to the success of his community.
I am running for office because this new generation, led by progressive voices in Portsmouth has got to start asking the hard questions. We need to not just fight everyday for their solution at the New Hampshire State House, but represent our collective future by not being afraid to challenge the status-quo practices of our past,” Vogt said. “Having the endorsement of People’s Action, a group who signifies a progressive future, is a great honor. It will help to propel this message of unity, diversity and community every single day. Let’s go get the job done!
Bonnie Wright for State Representative (Rockingham 08)
Bonnie Wright is a long-time New Hampshire resident, dedicated to her family and the greater Salem community. She has been an educator, small business owner and manager, and paralegal secretary. Committed to fair and sustainable development for Salem, Bonnie has been involved with the Salem Zoning Board of Adjustment since 2014 and in 2018, she was elected as Vice Chair of the ZBA. Bonnie has worked passionately at the state and national level to promote food safety for her town, state, and community. She is the founder of NH Right to Know GMO, and co-founder of Non-Toxic New Hampshire, where she has helped introduce several bills. She’s been a member of the Board of Directors of the Salem Farmers Market since 2014 and in May 2018, she was elected as President.
“It is a challenge. I like challenges! I knew in the fall of 2018 that I would be running, and even before the 2018 election was done, I was working on building relationships. I truly do believe we can elect at least one Democrat, and that one will be me. I’m trying” Wright said.
Julie Radhakrishnan for County Commissioner District 3
Julie Radhakrishnan has served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives representing Hillsborough 22 and worked for Fidelity Investments and Fleet Bank.
“I love People’s Action because they are committed to transparency. I feel this is important at all levels of government. As a county commissioner I will act to establish trust by fostering legislative solutions for our seniors to acquire purposeful housing
and develop meaningful reentry/support programs for our parolees. This will strengthen our most vulnerable populations and ultimately our country,” Radhakrishnan said.
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People’s Action’s Movement Politics program recruits, runs, and elects progressives into local and statewide offices across the country. Since 2016, People’s Action has helped elect over 350 movement politics candidates. The program focuses on electing women, people of color, and low-income people who are grounded in progressive movement building with our member organizations.
About People’s Action
People’s Action is a national network of 40 state and local grassroots, power-building organizations united in fighting for justice. Our organization recently released a vision for a national Homes Guarantee that has already prompted major legislation from champions including U.S. Reps. Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Rashida Tlaib. We operate the largest progressive rural organizing project in the country. The Nation called our Iowa presidential forum the “most in-depth, people-powered forum” of the 2020 cycle.