Joe Kennedy III's 2018 Health Care Heroes

"It's a universal truth of human existence: Every single one of us will one day be brought to our knees. By a diagnosis we didn’t expect. A phone call we couldn’t imagine. A loss we cannot endure. So we take care of each other. Because but for the grace of God we will one day need that mercy too. It is the ultimate test of a country’s character. Not the power we give the strong. But the strength we give the weak." - Joe Kennedy III

This November there is an incredible group of Democratic candidates taking on GOP incumbents who voted to take away peoples' health care last year. These men and women have shown an unshakable commitment to a health care system that is decent, merciful and fair.

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Health Care Heroes

Colin Allred, TX-32

Born in North Dallas and raised by a single mom who was a Dallas public school teacher, Colin Allred was an All-Star athlete at Hillcrest High School and earned a full-ride football scholarship to Baylor University. Diploma in hand and prepared to attend law school, Colin deferred his acceptance to play in the NFL. He was a linebacker for five seasons before sustaining a career-ending injury. After the NFL, he fulfilled his dream of becoming a civil rights attorney. After serving in President Obama's administration, Colin moved home to Dallas and is now running to represent the community where he grew up and a district that swung more than 17 points toward Democrats in 2016.

Anthony Brindisi, NY-22

Anthony Brindisi, NY-22

Anthony Brindisi was born and raised in this district and currently serves the community as a State Assemblyman. He is known as a bipartisan consensus-builder in Albany. His deep ties to the area, well-respected independent reputation, and strong support across the political spectrum make this district highly competitive for Democrats. Public polling already has Brindisi ahead of Rep. Claudia Tenney.

Angie Craig, MN-02

Angie Craig, MN-02

Raised by a single mother in a mobile home park, Angie Craig worked two jobs to pay her way through college. She went on to lead a workforce of over 16,000 at a major Minnesota manufacturer. Angie Craig nearly won in 2016 in the third closest race in the country. She is primed to win in 2018.

Andy Kim, NJ-03

Andy Kim, NJ-03

Andy Kim is a national security expert and a Rhodes Scholar who served two years as President Obama’s Director for Iraq in the White House National Security Council. He previously served at the Pentagon, where he helped our nation build a strong military and provide for the men and women in our armed forces, and also served in Afghanistan as strategic adviser to Generals David Petraeus and John Allen during their tenures as Commanding Generals. Andy grew up in South Jersey and is raising his two baby boys there.

Lauren Underwood, IL-14

Lauren Underwood brings a critical perspective to this race as a registered nurse, with hands-on health care experience. She is the first woman to receive the Democratic nomination in her district. Lauren began her career helping to implement the ACA, and President Obama appointed Lauren to serve as a Senior Advisor at the Department of Health and Human Services. There, she helped communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to disasters, bioterror threats, and public health emergencies. Recently, Lauren worked with a Medicaid plan in Chicago to ensure it provided high-quality, cost-efficient care. Lauren is training future nurse practitioners through Georgetown University’s online master’s program.

Jason Crow, CO-06

Jason Crow served three combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan with both conventional and special operations units, receiving a Bronze Star for his actions in battle. Since leaving the military, he has launched a successful legal career helping businesses comply with the law and has advised state and federal officials on national security, military, and veterans issues. In 2012, Jason spoke at the Democratic National Convention in support of President Obama’s repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

Crow chaired one of the veterans committee that helped bring the VA Hospital to Aurora. He has dedicated hundreds of hours mentoring individual veterans transitioning from military to civilian life, and helping expand programs in Colorado addressing veterans substance abuse.

Antonio Delgado, NY-19

Born and raised in Schenectady to a working class family, Democratic nominee Antonio Delgado is a native of upstate New York. His parents worked for General Electric and worked hard to make the American Dream a reality. Antonio attended Colgate University, where he earned a Rhodes scholarship to Oxford. Afterwards, he went to law school at Harvard where he met his wife Lacey. He started his own company designed to empower young people to learn through music, and later became a successful attorney. Antonio and Lacey now live in Rhinebeck, where they are raising their young twin boys.

Katie Hill, CA-25

The daughter of a police officer and a registered nurse, Katie Hill is a lifelong resident of the 25th Congressional District. Before running for Congress, Katie served as Executive Director of PATH (People Assisting the Homeless), the largest homeless services organization in California. Under Katie’s leadership, in just four years PATH helped more than 7,000 individuals, veterans, and families move off the streets and into permanent housing. Katie attended public schools in the 25th District and holds a BA and Master’s from Cal State University Northridge. Katie lives with her husband on a small farm in Agua Dulce.

Abby Finkenauer, IA-01

Abby, a first-generation college graduate and Iowa State Representative, launched her campaign in April and is a proven advocate for working families. This is a historically Democratic district -- President Obama won twice -- that represents a top takeover opportunity for Democrats. An NBC News profile designated Abby as the candidate with what it takes to win.

Brendan Kelly, IL-12

As the top prosecutor of the largest county in IL-12 and veteran of the US Navy, Brendan Kelly has carved out an impressive independent profile in this community. Since his launch, he’s raised notable funds -- already outpacing the incumbent Rep. Mike Bost. President Obama won this district twice and Sen. Tammy Duckworth won by 9 points, making this a prime pick-up opportunity for Democrats.

Elissa Slotkin, MI-08

Elissa Slotkin is a third-generation Michigander and has spent her career in national service. She served with the Central Intelligence Agency -- including three tours in Iraq -- and worked directly for President Bush and President Obama on the White House National Security Council. Her entry into this race is a game-changer, and there’s a clear path to victory: Democratic Sens. Gary Peters and Debbie Stabenow routinely win Michigan’s 8th.

Cindy Axne, IA-03

Democratic candidate Cindy Axne is a 5th-generation Iowan, small business owner, mother, and first-time candidate running in this district. She grew up in Des Moines and worked for nearly a decade in state government to hold it accountable and successfully advocated for all-day kindergarten for every child in West Des Moines. In Congress, she will work to get results for Iowa families and advocate for better jobs, higher wages and access to affordable health care.

Jared Golden, ME-02

Jared grew up in Lewiston, Maine, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps after September 11th, serving combat tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. After earning his college education through veterans education benefits, Jared served in the Maine legislature. As a State Representative, Jared has fought to improve mental health care for veterans, spoken up for working families, and led the charge to expand Medicaid for Mainers.

Elaine Luria, VA-02

Elaine Luria is a small business owner and retired Navy commander running for Congress in Virginia’s 2nd District. Elaine was deployed six times to the Middle East and Western Pacific as a nuclear-trained Surface Warfare Officer and culminated her 20-year Navy career by commanding a combat-ready unit of 400 sailors. Elaine was one of the first women in the Navy’s nuclear power program and among the first women to serve the entirety of her career on combatant ships. Elaine then transformed an idea into reality when creating her thriving retail and art business, Mermaid Factory, which now has two locations. Elaine graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and received a Master’s in Engineering Management from ODU, and lives in Norfolk with her husband and daughter.

Abigail Spanberger, VA-07

Raised in Henrico County, Abigail has always served her country and community. A former CIA operations officer, Abigail worked overseas collecting intelligence and overseeing high-profile programs. Abigail is the mother to three daughters and made the final decision to run for Congress when she saw her Congressman vote to repeal health care without considering the negative impact the bill would have on Virginia families like hers. Her compelling profile and competitive campaign are essential to putting this rapidly-changing district in play.

Clarke Tucker, AR-02

Clarke is a native Arkansan and a State Representative respected on both sides of the aisle. As young cancer survivor, Clarke's bipartisan work to protect access to health care is personal. His decision to run for Congress was spurred by his opponent's vote to drive up the cost of coverage and strip away protections for people who, like Clarke, live with pre-existing conditions. Clarke's deep roots in his community, ability to build consensus across party lines, and proven fundraising ability make him the right candidate to win back this seat with Democratic roots.

Xochitl Torres Small, NM-02

Xochitl Torres Small is a water attorney and former staffer for Sen. Tom Udall. After attending college, she returned home to work on then Rep. Tom Udall’s successful run for the Senate. Following his victory, she helped to set up his southern New Mexico district office, which was responsible for serving much of the current 2nd Congressional District. As a Field Representative for Sen. Udall, Xochitl worked on issues ranging from water conservation and infrastructure development to education and health care accessibility. Inspired by her work on water for Sen. Udall, Xochitl left his office to attend law school at the University of New Mexico (UNM), where she specialized in water and natural resources. Immediately after completing her degree, she clerked for a New Mexico federal judge with one of the heaviest criminal dockets in the country. Most recently, Xochitl practiced law at Kemp Smith focusing focusing mostly on water.

Carolyn Long, WA-03

Carolyn Long grew up in a rural community on the Pacific Northwest coastline. Carolyn’s mother worked as a waitress while her father managed their small family business, John’s Fresh Produce, where Carolyn and her siblings worked to help out the family. Carolyn worked at Safeway and, as a proud journeyman with UFCW Local 555, she earned enough to pay her way through college at the University of Oregon. Carolyn later attended graduate school at Rutgers University and for the last 23 years has taught at Washington State University-Vancouver, where she is a tenured professor.

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Health Care Heroes