DFER Hot List 2012 (the Funky Bunch)

by Democrats for Education Reform

Distributed among the recipients below

DFER's mission is to encourage a more productive dialogue within the Democratic Party on the need to fundamentally reform American public education. The Hot List candidates below are DFER's top electoral priorities for 2012. Please give as generously as you can.

The Funky Bunch

A few of our other Hot List candidates are unable to accept direct contributions via this page. Please click here for links to their campaign websites.

Image of Heather Beaven

Heather Beaven


“Heather has an uncommon understanding of the finer points of education and workforce development policy, and she has a track record of making a difference on the ground. Heather will be a great representative for the people of Florida.” –Doug Tuthill, Florida State Director

Image of Andre Carson

Andre Carson


“I can’t think of a more deserving federal elected official than André Carson – he is a great guy!” –Larry Grau, Indiana State Director

Image of Dianne Feinstein

Dianne Feinstein


“You can’t twist Senator Feinstein’s arm and, lucky for us, you never have to. It’s rare to have someone in such a position of power be such a consistent supporter.” –Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy

Image of Ruben Hinojosa

Ruben Hinojosa


“Rubén Hinojosa is a conspicuous and indispensible voice for high quality public schools on the House Committee on Education and Labor.” –Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy

Image of Hakeem Jeffries

Hakeem Jeffries


“Hakeem has helped to build consensus within the New York Assembly on a range of education issues. I am sure he’ll be even more effective at developing relationships with his peers in D.C.” –Joe Williams, Executive Director

Image of Al Lawson

Al Lawson


“Senator Lawson has been fighting for years to empower parents. We’re thrilled he will bring the same determination to Washington, DC.” –Doug Tuthill, Florida State Director

Image of George Miller

George Miller


“Maybe I’m biased because I worked for him, but George Miller is the standard-bearer. No one has done more to positively impact federal education policy – literally no one.” –Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy

Image of Chris Murphy

Chris Murphy


“Having one additional ed reform vote can be absolutely paramount in the senate – and Chris’ leadership can get you more than one vote.” –Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy

Image of Bill Nelson

Bill Nelson


“Senator Nelson is a strong supporter of parental empowerment in K-12 education, and has been a great advocate for Floridians in Washington, DC. We need to keep him there.” –Doug Tuthill, Florida State Director

Image of Jared Polis

Jared Polis


“Jared’s first run for office – for Colorado Board of Education – says a lot about Jared’s priorities. It was not a glamour position. You only get into this if you care deeply about student success.” –Joe Williams, Executive Director

Image of Brad Schneider OLD

Brad Schneider OLD


“Brad’s approach to talking about education reform is incredibly valuable. It’s not about dividing people – it’s always about serving students. This puts him in good stead to win this race and drive change in Washington.” –Joe Williams, Executive Director

Image of Bobby Scott

Bobby Scott


“Having Representative Scott’s support for a bill really means something.” –Charles Barone, Director of Federal Policy

Image of Joe Coto

Joe Coto


“Joe Coto was my ‘go to’ person in enacting tough education reform bills when he served in the California State Assembly. He is fearless in standing up on behalf of the needs of students.”—Sen. Gloria Romero (Ret.), California State Director

Image of Millie Hamner

Millie Hamner


“Millie shines as Colorado’s new education reform rock star. Last session, she successfully negotiated with reluctant school districts the state’s literacy bill, fought hard for Colorado to join a national consortium, and supported key charter school legislation. We expect even more from her next year.” –Moira Cullen, Colorado State Director

Image of Mary Hodge

Mary Hodge


“Senator Hodge has been a steady, common sense leader on education reform who cuts right to the chase. When asked on her recent DFER-CO questionnaire about how to improve Colorado’s low-performing schools, Mary plainly states, ‘make sure that there is a high quality principal hiring highly effective teachers who understand the mission of that school.’” –Moira Cullen, Colorado State Director

Image of Crestina Martinez

Crestina Martinez


“We think Crestina has tremendous potential as a future education reform leader. As a young Hispanic leader from a rural area, she will bring to the Legislature a unique perspective on the imperative need to improve student achievement and opportunities.” –Moira Cullen, Colorado State Director

Linda Newell


“Senator Newell was a vocal advocate on SB 191, bringing her human resources background to the debate. She is in the re-election fight of her life – Colorado will lose a key education reform champion if she is not victorious.” –Moira Cullen, Colorado State Director

Image of Christian Mitchell

Christian Mitchell


“Christian has been an advocate for better schools and quality educational options for years as a community organizer on the Southside of Chicago – walking in the footsteps of another famous education reformer in chief!” –Rebeca Nieves Huffman, Illinois State Director

Image of Patricia Van Pelt Watkins

Patricia Van Pelt Watkins


“Patricia has led and developed parent advocates in the Illinois education reform community for years. Her transition to the political world as a State Senator will be a culmination of her life’s work to empower community advocates for change.” –Rebeca Nieves Huffman, Illinois State Director

Image of Tim DeLaney

Tim DeLaney


"Tim is certainly a rising star in the Democratic Party in Indiana, and is not only solid on ed reform, he is quickly showing an ability to be a reform leader even before we make him a State Senator." –Larry Grau, Indiana State Director

Image of Mary Ann Sullivan

Mary Ann Sullivan


"Mary Ann has been a ed reform warrior in the Indiana General Assembly from the minute she stepped in the State House, and continues to be the standard-bearer. There is not enough time in the day for me to tell you all the reasons why the education reform community should be supporting Mary Ann." –Larry Grau, Indiana State Director

Barry Finegold

MA-SD-Essex & Middlesex 2

“Significant city-level change is not possible without leadership at the state level. The reelection of Senator Finegold is vital to rejuvenating Lawrence Public Schools." –Liam Kerr, Massachusetts State Director

Image of Sylvester Cann

Sylvester Cann


"Sylvester is a rare candidate. With experience both working on the ground to improve schools and horse-trading at the Capitol, he has all the right tools to move the needle." –Lisa Macfarlane, Washington State Director

Cyrus Habib


"Cyrus may well end up being a national education reform leader for decades to come." – Lisa Macfarlane, Washington State Director

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