Congratulations to our New Leaders to Watch!
All of our New Leaders to Watch are committed to strengthening democracy, and we look forward to working toward this goal with each of them. America elected 13 of the 19 New Leaders to Watch candidates who advanced from the primaries, a groundbreaking achievement for new political entrants and proof that high-quality, principled candidates backed by a strong network is a powerful path to achieving reform.
about new leaders to watch
Our members collected hundreds of candidate recommendations, analyzed dozens of House races, crunched the data and interviewed finalists to select these new entrants. They embrace the principles of the Leadership Now Project and exemplify the kind of talent we need to bring those principles to fruition. Our New Leaders:
Bring real experience and education in business, policy, science, law, medicine and engineering.
Have built businesses, run large non-profits, served in the armed forces and all have served their communities in substantive ways.
Have expertise essential to preparing our country for the economy of the future.
Bring diversity of race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, and more than half are women. (Few of the 435 current representative for Congress hold comparable qualifications or life experience ... and only 19% are women.)
NEW LEADERS IN CONGRESS
LORI TRAHAN | MA-03
Business Leader | US House of Representatives
Lori comes from a working class, union family in her district. Thanks to her academic success and athletic talent, she secured a college scholarship to Georgetown. Lori is a successful marketing executive and advisor to business leaders. Earlier on in her career served as the Chief of Staff for the former representative of her home district.
Lori knows just how to maneuver in Congress to get things done. She’ll continue her fight for an economy that works for everyone and for campaign finance reform.
KATIE HILL | CA-25
MPA | Nonprofit Executive
Katie has spent her life committed to improving the district she seeks to represent. As the executive director of a nonprofit focused on housing the homeless she successfully fought for ballot measures to help the homeless population. We were also particularly impressed by Katie’s strong stand on protecting our democracy, including her support of campaign finance reform and refusal to accept PAC money for her campaign.
LAUREN UNDERWOOD | IL-14
MSN | MPH | Dept of Health and Human Services Advisor | Public Health Research
Lauren is an accomplished nurse and former Senior Advisor at HHS who has the kind of direct experience with the healthcare system to really make a difference in Congress. Leadership Now Member Steve Weiss interviewed her and was particularly impressed by her commitment to objective redistricting and using academic studies to formulate policy positions.
Sean Casten | IL-06
MS Engineering | Clean energy entrepreneur
Sean Casten is a renewable energy investor with two engineering degrees from Dartmouth who is committed to protecting climate research. Leadership Now Member Mariam Alsikafi interviewed Sean and was particularly impressed by his commitment to our values of science and fact-based policy.
COLIN ALLRED | TX-32
JD | Attorney | Department of Housing and Urban Development | NFL
From linebacker to law student and election lawyer, Colin has an unusual background for a Congressman, but he knows the ins and outs of elections better than most. After defending voting rights in Texas and working with the Council’s Office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, he’s uniquely qualified to fight for good government and reform of the electoral system.
DEAN PHILLIPS | MN-03
MBA | Business Owner
A graduate of Brown and the University of Minnesota, Dean has led and grown several businesses in Minnesota from small coffee shop chains to the internationally known brand, Talenti Gelato. Dean recognizes that he has been given many opportunities not afforded to others and views service in Congress as a continuation of his responsibility to give back to his Minnesota community.
ANGIE CRAIG | MN-02
Business Leader | Med Tech Executive
From newspaper reporter to a manager of a 16,000+ person workforce, Angie knows how to roll up her sleeves and get the job done. She comes from humble beginnings and is ready to bring both her life experience and her management experience to Congress.
She and her wife have raised their four sons in the district, where they are integral parts of the community.
MIKIE SHERRILL | NJ-11
JD | Navy Veteran | Assistant US Attorney
After graduating from the Naval Academy, flying helicopters for more than a decade and serving New Jersey as a federal prosecutor, running for Congress is the least daunting career move Mikie has made in a while. She’ll be calm under pressure in Washington and will seek solutions involving members from both sides of the aisle.
ANDY KIM | NJ-03
PhD, International Relations | Rhodes Scholar | National Security Council
In recent years, Congress has lacked the kind of foreign policy expertise that Andy Kim could provide. An Oxford PhD with leadership roles at the State Department, Defense Department and the White House, he would bring significant experience to a branch of government that all too often shirks its responsibilities to the world.
ANTONIO DELGADO | NY-19
JD | Rhodes Scholar | Lawyer | Media Executive
Antonio is a Rhodes Scholar, Harvard Law grad and accomplished attorney. He’s focused on getting elected to Congress because he’s committed to the Leadership Now principle of an economy that works for all. He wants to help develop sustainable economic opportunities for families in his district.
CHRISSY HOULAHAN | PA-06
MS Technology and Policy | US Air Force Veteran | Nonprofit Executive
With science degrees from Stanford and MIT, service in the US Air Force and with Teach for America in addition to leadership positions in several major corporations and nonprofits, there isn’t much that Chrissy hasn’t done. She will represent Pennsylvania well in Congress.
BRIAN FITZPATRICK | PA-08 | INCUMBENT
JD | MBA | House of Representatives | FBI | CPA
Brian started fighting political corruption nearly two decades ago as an FBI Special Agent. In his first term in Congress, he has earned a reputation for following his conscience. We need more independent, fair-minded Congressmen like him.
JOSH HARDER | CA-10
MBA | MPP | Educator | Businessman
A dual graduate of the Harvard Business School and Kennedy School of Government, this former BCG consultant and VC investor also has experience working with nonprofits to organize small farmers in Kenya and Uganda. Josh has pledged not to take money from corporate PACs and is determined to institute electoral reform and limit the influence of money in politics.
ABIGAIL SPANBERGER | va-07
MBA | National Security | Businesswoman
A graduate of the Perdue University Krannert School of Management, Abigail previously worked worked for the Postal Service and the CIA. After leaving government service, Abigail joined EAB where she helped institutions of higher education diversify their student bodies.
JOHN KATKO | NY-24
JD | Federal Prosecutor
After beginning his legal career in private practice, John quickly embarked on a career in public service, serving twenty years as an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Department of Justice. From the U.S.-Mexico Border to his hometown in New York, John prosecuted narcotics, dangerous drugs, and organized crimes. In Congress, John works heavily with Issue One on campaign finance reform and sponsored a bill for Puerto Rican statehood.
Mike Gallagher | WI-8
PhD, International Relations | Counterintelligence | US Marine Corps Veteran
Mike graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton University before rising to the rank of Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and serving as a commanding intelligence officer in the Middle East. Since his election in 2016, Mike has vigorously supported democracy reforms to make Congress more effective including term limits, No Budget No Pay, and federal lobbying moratoriums.