Marching Orders: 4/12/18

To deliver real reform, we need to sustain this momentum toward the November elections and continue building a strong coalition — around the district, across the aisle and over the fence — to establish gun safety as a national priority and ensure we elect candidates who stand up to the NRA and the politicians who support corporate profits over people’s lives.
— Joseph Kopser (TX-21)

An occasional update on the candidates, lawmakers and the legislation LEAP Forward is tracking.



Yatish Joshi (LEAP Foward endorsed in IN-02) and his Democratic opponents participated in the second and final debate of the primary season. The primary is scheduled for May 8, and early voting began Tuesday. Local coverage of the debate from WNDU and the South Bend Tribune.

Another Democratic debate in Indiana will be held on the 17th featuring LEAPer Lane Siekman (IN-06) and his primary opponents. The debate will take place on at 7:30 and will be hosted by Ball State College Democrats.

Fr. Mark Kurowski (SD-01) will be holding a town hall and giving a major speech entitled "Renewing Indiana: A 21st Century Vision for the Crossroads of America" on April 18. A Q&A will follow.


Hannah Golden at Elite Daily has a column highlighting the campaigns of progressive outsiders, and highlighted Katie Muth (SD-44) in the piece as the type of candidate drawn to politics in this day and age:

This year's candidates show that the elections aren't limited to the traditional crop of political players. A record number of scientists, for example, have put their names in the ring for the midterms. Meanwhile, as NBC reports, more and more millennials have announced their candidacies. And it makes sense: they nearly doubled their voter turnout from 2008 to 2016, and they're projected to be the largest voting group in the next presidential election, per Pew Research. I spoke with one such woman, 34-year-old Katie Muth about what it's like to be one such candidate. Muth, an anatomy professor and athletic trainer, is running for state senate in Pennsylvania's 44th district currently, which is held by long-time incumbent John Rafferty.

Marty Qually (HD-91) will take part in a candidate forum hosted by Gettysburg Rising on April 12 alongside Republican candidate Kurt Holland. The incumbent, Dan Moul, declined to attend. Pennsylvania's primaries are scheduled for May 15. 



Joseph Kopser (LEAP Forward endorsed in TX-21), wrote an op-ed entitled "A Veteran's Approach to America's Gun Safety Crisis" that illustrates why he was one of the first endorsements I made during the course of this project. More and more veterans are running for office, and as they take the Democratic mantle and run on gun safety, they add an important voice - one of experience with weapons of war - to a debate that has gotten stale. The entire piece should be read in its entirety. 

Lots of people have questions about the early resignation of Blake Farenthold and what it means for the race to replace him. Frankly, I'm one of them, especially since the primary contest includes LEAPer Eric Holguin (TX-27). Fortunately, Suzanne Freeman, writing for, has a good primer on where things stand and where they go from here.