Promises Made; Promises Kept

SU4W PAC was organized to support candidates who can flip the Senate and support workers’ rights. We put our money where our mouths are.

SU4W PAC was chartered in December 2019. Well before our first birthday, we have raised and distributed tens of thousands of dollars in support of candidates for the US Senate, who each have a credible chance of winning, thereby flipping a seat from red to blue. That is the raison d’etre of our PAC – to raise money and donate it to people running for the Senate, who support workers’ rights and have committed to supporting national legislation that will protect and extend the rights of American working people.

Below are the candidates whose campaigns our PAC has supported. In many cases, we made the maximum contribution allowed by the Federal Elections Commission.

Alabama – current Senator Doug Jones running for re-election

Sen. Jones is running for re-election to the Senate seat he won in the 2017 special election after the resignation of Republican incumbent Jeff Sessions, who became the U.S. Attorney General. He is the only statewide elected Democrat in Alabama, and the first Alabama Democrat in the U.S. Senate since 1997.  

Sen. Jones is committed to standing up for the rights of all Americans. He is working to bring people together and combat hate and discrimination of any kind – from protecting the right to vote to advancing civil rights. He states that every American should be able to live without fear of discrimination. He is committed to working against all forms of discrimination, including in housing and employment. His commitment includes securing a guarantee of equal pay for equal work. As a former U.S. Attorney, Sen. Jones supports common-sense reforms to our criminal justice system.

Arizona - Captain Mark Kelly

Kelly is a retired U.S. Navy captain, author, aerospace executive and consultant. He is running in the special election for the US Senate, hoping to unseat the appointed Martha McSally, for the seat vacated upon the death of Sen. John McCain. Kelly flew numerous combat missions during the Gulf War, and became a NASA Space Shuttle pilot in 1996, flying several missions in space. Kelly’s wife, former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, was shot and nearly killed in an assassination attempt in 2011. The couple founded a nonprofit that campaigns for universal background checks for gun buyers and red flag laws.

Kelly believes a strong economy is built from the ground up, giving people the opportunity to succeed and achieve their American dream. But today, job opportunities and wages are not keeping up with the rising cost of health care, prescription drugs, education, housing and retirement. He supports economic drivers like trade, tourism and the military, as well as investment in research and development that benefit the emerging tech and renewable energy sectors. In order to prepare people for the jobs of the future, workforce development must become more accessible and affordable. Kelly stands up for the middle class, and has criticized tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.

Colorado – Gov. John Hickenlooper

Gov. Hickenlooper is a businessman and geologist who served as Denver mayor 2003 - 2011 and as Colorado governor 2011 - 2019. He briefly sought the presidential nomination in 2019 but dropped out before the primaries. He then won the Democratic nomination to challenge the incumbent, Republican Senator Cory Gardner. As governor, he introduced universal background checks for gun buyers and banned high-capacity magazines after the 2012 Aurora, Colorado mass shooting. He expanded Medicaid under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

The campaign website contains many position statements that would benefit working people. However of most import in support of workers’ rights is Gov. Hickenlooper’s stand on strengthening labor unions: “Unions are critical to an inclusive economy. Collective bargaining lowers income inequality, raises wages, and improves working conditions for all—both members and nonmembers alike. Benefits such as the 40-hour workweek, health insurance, and pensions are all the result of worker advocacy. Yet Washington Republicans have been promoting the insidious spread of right-to-work legislation for over a decade—a national effort that has significantly weakened labor unions in our country and put the profits of big corporations above the middle class. Unions are key advocates for worker health and safety—an essential priority during the pandemic. I believe workers should have the right to organize and collectively bargain if they choose to do so, and legislation such as the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act are important steps in this direction.”

Georgia - Jon Ossoff

Mr. Ossof is a media executive and investigative journalist. He serves as managing director and CEO of Insight TWI, a media/television production company that investigates corruption, organized crime and war crimes for international news organizations. Mr. Ossoff ran for Congress in the 2017 special election, narrowly losing to the Republican with 48.2 percent of the vote. He is now running against incumbent Sen. David Perdue.

Mr. Ossoff plans to expose and attack unfair and unethical trade, labor and environmental practices by overseas competitors, that disadvantage American workers and businesses. His plans include reduced dependence on Chinese supply chains and strengthening domestic producers. He supports strong anti-trust enforcement. He will attack special interest subsidies secured by big firms with powerful lobbyists, that stifle competition at the expense of smaller companies and startups. Mr. Ossoff’s policies support long-term prosperity, competitiveness and strength.

Georgia – Rev. Rafael Warnock

Rev. Warnock is running in a special election for the Senate seat held by the appointed Kelly Loeffler. Since 2005, Rev. Warnock has served as the senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church pastored by Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. Rev. Warnock earned a Master of Divinity, Master of Philosophy, and Doctor of Philosophy from Union Theological Seminary, a school affiliated with Columbia University**. **

Rev. Warnock grew up in a large working class family who lived in public housing. That upbringing shaped his understanding of work, the need for good paying jobs, and the importance of fair wages for all Americans. Historic unemployment and a global pandemic mean the American dream has never felt more out of reach. Benefits are not being shared equally. Gender pay gaps and unfair labor practices show that our economy is designed for the wealthiest one percent, not the working class. Reverend Warnock believes that we need to rebuild an economy that works for everyone. The Reverend believes that we need to protect the dignity of work, fight for fair wages and equitable employment practices, invest in our children’s education and offer multiple paths for people to attain the American dream.

Iowa - Theresa Greenfield

Ms. Greenfield is a political newcomer running against Republican incumbent Joni Ernst, who was seen as a rising star in her party. Ms. Greenfield is a self-described “farm kid” who grew up on a family farm, where she and her siblings learned the value of hard work and self-reliance. Her father encouraged his daughters to do everything the boys did on the farm. With the help of financial aid and multiple part-time jobs, Ms. Greenfield put herself through college. She graduated from Minnesota State University, with a BA degree in design and human environment.

She married, and at age 24, while she was expecting their second child, her husband was killed in an accident at his job as a union electrical lineman. As a young widow, Ms. Greenfield set out to provide for her two sons. Social Security survivors’ benefits, workers compensation and union widows’ benefits helped her family stay out of poverty and get on their feet. Ms. Greenfield is committed to protecting Social Security against partisan attacks in Washington. Ms. Greenfield worked as an urban planner until she began taking leadership roles in real estate development companies.

Ms. Greenfield believes we must send leaders to the U.S. Senate who will stand up for those they were elected to represent. Her website says “Unions built the middle class, and we should be working to strengthen their standing in our communities. Theresa is standing up for union rights and has been endorsed by local labor unions across Iowa representing thousands of workers. Theresa supports a living wage, investing in our workforce, fighting for women to have equal opportunities and equal pay for equal work, and making sure people have the skills and tools they need to succeed in the 21st century workplace.”

Kansas – Dr. Barbara Bollier

The daughter of a doctor and nurse, Dr. Bollier earned a medical degree and joined her father in his outpatient surgery center and anesthesia practice in Kansas City. She retired from medicine in 1999. After 43 years as a Republican, Dr. Bollier left the Republican party in 2018, and changed her party affiliation to the Democratic Party, saying: “Morally, the (Republican) party is not going where my compass resides.” She is running against another physician for an open Senate seat. If Dr. Bollier wins in her bid against two-term Republican US Representative, Dr. Roger Marshall, she will be the first female physician elected to the U.S. Senate, and the first Democrat elected from Kansas in 90 years.

Dr. Bollier is an advocate for public schools, affordable health care for all, and balanced budgets. Elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, she worked with a bi-partisan coalition to put the state back on a sound fiscal footing after the disastrous radical tax experiment by Gov. Brownback that almost bankrupted the state. In 2016, Dr. Bollier was elected to the state Senate where she has continued her fight to reverse the Brownback tax experiment, adequately fund schools, and make healthcare more affordable for all. She partnered with commonsense leaders to build the bipartisan coalition that ultimately ended the failed Brownback tax plan that had devastated Kansas for years. Dr. Bollier is a leading voice of support for expanding Medicaid. In 2019, she called out the Senate Republican leadership for blocking Medicaid expansion while rural hospitals continued to struggle and close. She currently serves on the Governor’s Council on Medicaid Expansion which is tasked with building a bipartisan plan to expand healthcare for all Kansans.

Maine - Sara Gideon

Sara Gideon was first elected to her local Town Council in 2009, where she served as vice chair from 2011 - 2012. She was elected to the Maine House of Representatives in 2012 and subsequently re-elected in 2014, when she was chosen Assistant Majority Leader. In 2016, she was elected Speaker of the Maine House, a position she still holds.

Sara has worked to expand job training and education programs in Maine to help citizens obtain well-paying jobs and to address the shortage of skilled workers in the state. She passed a universal paid time off policy, worked to protect and grow essential industries and fought for workers by defending and strengthening collective bargaining rights.

Michigan - Sen. Gary Peters

A U.S. senator since 2015, Sen. Peters is running for re-election against a Republican challenger. Before his election to Congress, Sen. Peters served in the US Navy Reserve, spent 22 years as an investment advisor, and worked briefly in academia. He was elected to his City Council in 1991 and to the Michigan Senate from 1995 – 2002, when he was term limited. Sen. Peters was appointed Commissioner of the Michigan Lottery, serving from 2003 -2008, when he resigned to successfully run for Congress, where he served as a US Representative, from two different districts, from 2009 – 2015. In 2014, Sen. Peters was elected to the open United States Senate seat. He was the only non-incumbent Democrat to win a Senate election in 2014.

Sen. Peters understands the unique challenges that small businesses face. As a senator, he has cut red tape and fought to ensure that small businesses have the resources to thrive, and helped secure a bipartisan law that helps entrepreneurs understand patent laws to protect their intellectual property. He is working to create jobs by fighting to ensure that Michigan is a manufacturing hub, and is expanding access to workforce training and skilled trades programs that have literally built the state’s economy. He knows that for many workers, a certificate that leads to a good job can mean as much as a four-year college degree, and he has passed bipartisan legislation to expand career and technical education, apprenticeship programs and trade school opportunities for high school students and veterans.

Mississippi - Mike Espy

Mike Espy is running for the US Senate against incumbent Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith, who defeated him in 2018 in the closest US Senate race in Mississippi since 1988, when he garnered 46 percent of the vote. Three days after losing the Senate special election runoff, Mr. Espy filed with the Federal Election Commission to run for the seat again in 2020. Mr. Espy attended Howard University in Washington, D.C., and earned his JD from Santa Clara University School of Law in California. Mr. Espy served as US Secretary of Agriculture from 1993 - 1994 under President Bill Clinton. He was both the first African American and first person from the Deep South to hold the position. Mr. Espy also served as a US Representative from 1987 - 1993.

As a young man, Mr. Espy worked in his family’s small business, a funeral home, where he performed duties from collecting funds to handling funeral services. Mr. Espy was a Legal Services attorney from 1978 - 1980, and served as Assistant Secretary of State to Mississippi Legal Services, and Assistant Secretary of State to the Public Lands Division. He also served as Assistant State Attorney General from 1984 - 1985. In 2008, Mr. Espy joined Morgan & Morgan, a nationwide law firm.

Mr. Espy recognizes that many employers face a shortage of trained workers. He will work to tailor apprenticeships and job training programs to match the needs of employers, creating programs and expanding successful ones, such as the workforce training pilot program at Mississippi’s community colleges. He believes that by working with employers to expand training and retraining for jobs they need most, we can match education with our most in-demand jobs. He will work to encourage the federal government to increase the availability of capital to small businesses and start-ups by building new partnerships with community finance institutions and minority development institutions. As Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Espy helped to design the Empowerment Zone program and as a member of Congress, he authored the Lower Mississippi Delta Development Act, measures that advanced business, education and development. Mr. Espy supports promoting and expanding the federal Opportunity Zones program, which has the potential to spur needed growth by attracting investment and creating jobs, especially by putting capital where it matters most — in our underserved rural and urban communities.

Montana - Steve Bullock

Gov. Bullock has served as Montana governor since 2013.  He is challenging Republican incumbent Sen. Steve Daines   A graduate of Columbia Law School, he began his career as legal counsel to the Montana Secretary of State, before becoming Executive Assistant Attorney General and acting Chief Deputy Attorney General of Montana. Gov. Bullock later entered private law practice. He served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School before opening his own law firm upon returning to Montana. In 2008, Gov. Bullock was elected Montana Attorney General, serving one term from 2009 - 2013. In 2012 Gov. Bullock won the open governor’s seat, and was re-elected in 2016. Gov. Bullock chaired the National Governors Association from 2018 - 2019. He was briefly a candidate for the Democratic nomination for president; after suspending his presidential campaign, he announced his candidacy for the US Senate in the 2020 election.

Gov. Bullock believes there are many paths to well-paying middle-class jobs. He believes that among the best ways to open the doors is by expanding access to apprenticeships and job training programs that create opportunities for workers to gain hands-on experience while learning a trade, which helps business connect with the skilled workers they need. As governor, he expanded apprenticeships in Montana by 67 percent, and created tax incentives for businesses to hire apprentices, double for hiring veterans. In the Senate, Gov. Bullock will push to expand such apprenticeship programs. As governor, he signed into law Montana’s first-ever Earned Income Tax Credit, helping middle-class Montanans’ money stay with them and support their local economies. In the Senate, Gov. Bullock will fight to make sure the benefits of tax reform go to working families rather than to big corporations and millionaires.

North Carolina - Cal Cunningham

 Mr. Cunningham is challenging incumbent Republican Thom Tillis. He is a lawyer and retired lieutenant colonel in the US Army Reserve, Judge Advocate Corps.  He attended Vanderbilt University, transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and earned a BA in political science and philosophy. Mr. Cunningham received a MS in public policy and public administration from the London School of Economics and a JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law. He served as a North Carolina state senator from 2001 - 2003.

Mr. Cunningham will fight for a more equitable economy and living wage in every community by standing with workers to support efforts to promote good-paying full-time jobs with benefits, rein in the costs of higher education and health care, defend workplace protections, and raise the minimum wage. At a time when women across the country still don’t earn equal pay for equal work, he will support efforts to close the wage gap and ensure paycheck fairness for all women.

New Mexico - Rep. Ben Ray Luján

US Rep. Ben Ray Luján is running for New Mexico’s open Senate seat. He has served in Congress since 2009, and as Assistant House Democratic Leader (what the party leadership calls “Assistant Speaker”) since 2019. He received a BBA degree from New Mexico Highlands University. Rep. Luján has held several public service positions: Deputy State Treasurer, Director of Administrative Services and Chief Financial Officer for the New Mexico Cultural Affairs Department, and he was elected to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission, serving from 2005 - 2008, where he also served as chairman.

His website states “From supporting the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored protections against pay discrimination, to being an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens the Equal Pay Act, Congressman Luján is proud to join the fight for equal pay. Equal pay for equal work is not just a slogan; it’s necessary for the health, growth, and prosperity of our families and our economy. It’s also simply the right thing to do—a women should never earn less for the same work a man does.”

South Carolina - Jaime Harrison

Jaime Harrison is challenging longtime Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham for this hotly contested Senate seat. Mr. Harrison served as the chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party (the first African American to hold that position) from 2013 - 2017 and as associate chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He has called for expansion of Medicaid and expanded COVID-19 relief and has criticized Lindsey Graham for attempting to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Mr. Harrison received a scholarship to Yale University, where he majored in political science. After graduation he worked as a teacher for a year at his former high school before being appointed chief operating officer of College Summit, a non-profit organization that helps low-income youth find a path to college and career. He then earned his JD from Georgetown University Law Center.

As senator, Mr., Harrison will work to enact paid family and sick leave, as well as tax credits for child care, because he understands that these benefits for families are also good for our economy. He grew up in a household where a missed day of work meant bills were not paid. Mr. Harrison and his wife are both working parents of two children, so he understands the importance of paid family leave. He believes parents should not have to choose between their job and caring for their child, and that no one should miss important times with loved ones because of work. He believes that with the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, policies such as paid sick leave are critical, both for individual workers as well as for public health and the economy. From his website: “As the COVID-19 pandemic bears down on the nation, we have an opportunity—and a responsibility—to re-imagine our economy so that it rewards hard work and gives every family a fighting chance. Jaime’s agenda will spur growth, raise wages, and create jobs by investing in the American middle class. He supports expanding skill-training and apprenticeship opportunities, incentivizing innovation and small business creation across the state, and offering tax breaks to middle and working class families. He plans to raise the necessary revenues by repealing the 2017 tax cuts to big corporations and the ultra-wealthy.”