A fourth-generation Kansan, the son of a labor lawyer/Air Force veteran father and a public school teacher mother, I was a progressive Democratic candidate for Kansas House District 30 in 2018.
On my father’s side, my family includes Italian & German roots from the Great Bend area, while my mother’s side is English & German and from the area near Centralia and Holton in northeast Kansas.
Professional Background Highlights
- Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Southern California (USC)
- A decade of experience as a journalist for outlets including The Kansas City Star, CBS, NBC, CNBC, PBS, and various print publications
- A decade of experience as a digital producer and project manager for companies including Guthy|Renker, Peter Greenberg Worldwide, Disney (twice, including a stint as a producer for Disneyland.com), and Capital Group
- As a digital project manager for Disney’s corporate IT arm, managed millions of dollars worth of projects and not one–not a single one–went over-budget
Democratic Party Involvement
Even when living in California, I was involved in helping Kansas Democrats win office. I helped get Wichita’s Dan Manning included as part of the DLCC’s Grassroots 15.
In 2018, I was elected as the Democratic precinct committeeman in Olathe 4-14, having previously been appointed to the position in 2017.
I became involved with RunForSomething, which is now an official partner of the DLCC, soon after it was launched in January 2017. Because of meetings that I put together between RfS founders and Kansas Democratic Party officials, Kansas was one of just 13 states where RfS fundraises to help local Democratic candidates. RfS endorsees in Kansas include State Reps. Rui Xu and Brandon Woodard, Manhattan City Commissioner Jerred McKee, and Manhattan School Board member Katrina Lewison.
In 2017, I also began a campaign for the office of State Representative of the 30th District of the Kansas Legislature. After losing the primary to Brandon Woodard, I whole-heartedly endorsed him and he went on to win the seat for Democrats. Shortly after, I became a member of the national campaign board of the LGBT Victory Fund, a national organization which helps elect LGBT people to office.
I’m also the founder and chair of the KS LGBTQ+ Leadership PAC, which raises money and rallies volunteers for LGBTQ+ candidates and causes here in the Sunflower State. In 2018, our PAC provided financial assistance to the campaigns of state Rep. Susan Ruiz (D-Shawnee) and Rep. Brandon Woodard (D-Lenexa), who became the first two LGBTQ+ members of the Kansas Legislature, winning seats previously held by Republicans.
Also in 2018, after the primary, I became the campaign manager for Susan Ruiz, the Democratic candidate in the 23rd District. We were able to defeat a two-term Moderate Republican incumbent (who also happened to be the sister of the GOP Majority Leader) by a margin of 52-48%. During this time, I also knocked doors and assisted a number of other candidates, including Brian McClendon and State Rep. Rui Xu.
And finally as a member of Victory Fund and a leader in our local LGBTQ+ community, I helped Congresswoman Sharice Davids with fundraising and door-knocking as well.
Another Johnson Countian?
It’s true that there are a number of folks from Johnson County running for Democratic Party offices this year. I neither endorse nor oppose the candidacy of anyone willing to serve our state and our party as a Democratic Party officer. I would only ask that I be considered independently, on my own merits as a candidate for the position of Secretary.
As the Secretary of the Kansas Democratic Party, I know that if elected, it will be by Kansas Democrats from throughout the state. I have demonstrated again and again that I understand that as a party, we rise or fall together. I’ve forged relationships with folks from across the state in an effort to lift up and support Democrats statewide.
I created a private Facebook group for ALL of the state legislative candidates throughout the state to give them a place to get help and ask questions. I’ve worked hard to share ideas and resources across the state and I’m committed to continuing to do so.
Find out what I bring to the table by exploring my platform here.