LPAC Announces 7 New 2020 Endorsements

Washington, DC (January 9, 2020) — LPAC, the only organization dedicated to building LGBTQ women’s political voice, today announces a slate of exciting 2020 endorsements, for both the US House of Representatives and for various State House and Senate seats. See our full list of 2020 endorsements here.

In the US House, we are endorsing Pat Hackett for Indiana’s 2nd Congressional District. At the state level, we’re endorsing Maria Cadenas and Joy Silver (CA Senate), Kim Jackson (GA Senate), Rebecca Stair (NM Senate), Chelsey Branham (OK House), and Jody LaMacchia (MI House).

“LPAC’s first round of 2020 endorsements demonstrate our commitment this cycle to building the bench at the state level,” said LPAC Executive Director Stephanie Sandberg. “It’s an exciting time to support such a diverse class of LGBTQ women leaders running to represent the changing electorates of their states.”

For the US House:

  • Pat Hackett (IN-2): 

Pat Hackett is a Democrat challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Jackie Walorski in Indiana’s second congressional district. Hackett previously ran in the Democratic primary in 2018, coming in second. She would be the first openly LGBTQ congressperson from the state. Her campaign is focused on campaign finance reform, healthcare, and climate change. Her primary is May 5.

For State House and Senate seats:

  • Maria Cadenas (CA-17)

Maria Cadenas is a Democrat running for election to the California State Senate’s 17th District. This is an open seat with a competitive five-way primary. Cadenas leads the organization Santa Cruz Community Ventures, which works to create college savings accounts for children in Santa Cruz County, assists Dreamers in applying for DACA status, and provides support to immigrant families around deportation issues. She has not previously held elected office. Her campaign is centered on the climate crisis and making housing, childcare, and healthcare more affordable. The race primary is March 3.

  • Joy Silver (CA-28)

Joy Silver is a Democrat running in a special election for the California State Senate District 28. The seat was vacated by incumbent Republican Jeff Stone, who has joined the Trump administration. Silver previously ran for the district in 2018, coming within three points of victory. She is a businesswoman, previously the CEO of an LGBTQ senior community and then the chief strategy officer of Choices Women’s Medical Center. She has been a prolific volunteer around political and social causes in her community. Her campaign is focused on healthcare, affordable housing, and the renewable energy economy. The special election date is March 3.

  • Kim Jackson (GA-41)

Kim Jackson is a Democrat running for election to the Georgia State Senate. This is an open seat with a Democratic primary. Retiring Democratic incumbent Steve Henson has represented portions of the area for almost 30 years. Jackson is an Episcopal priest and social justice advocate. Currently she is the interim Vicar of the Church of the Common Ground, which ministers and provides services to underserved communities in the street of Atlanta. She has not previously held elected office and would be the first openly LGBTQ person to serve in the Georgia State Senate. Her platform prioritizes the environment, expanding access to healthcare (including reproductive freedom), and passing comprehensive statewide non-discrimination legislation. The primary is May 19.

  • Rebecca Stair (NM-20)

Rebecca Stair is a Democrat running for election to the New Mexico Senate. This is an open seat with a competitive Democratic primary. Stair is a location scout for the film industry. She has not previously held elected office and would be just the 10th woman ever elected the New Mexico Senate – and second LGBTQ woman. Her campaign focuses on solving the climate crisis, healthcare, improving education funding, and reproductive rights. Her primary is June 2.

  • Chelsey Branham (OK-83)

Chelsey Branham is an incumbent Democrat running for a second term in the Oklahoma House. Branham won the seat by about 700 votes in 2018. Branham is an economist, previously the Director of the Social and Economic Justice Department at the YWCA of Oklahoma City. She also delivers training related to job readiness and financial literacy. She is the only LGBTQ person in the Oklahoma Legislature, and is a member of the Chickasaw nation. Her platform focuses on economic opportunity and workforce development, healthcare, and criminal justice reform.

  • Jody LaMacchia (MI-46)

Jody LaMacchia is running for election as a Democrat to the Michigan House, challenging Republican incumbent John Reilly. LaMacchia is a family counselor at Oakland County Friend of the Court, where she mediates high-conflict custody disputes. She has been involved in Democratic politics for many years, including serving as chair of the North Oakland Democratic Club. Her campaign focuses on education, infrastructure, and opportunity. Her primary is August 4.


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NCR: Notre Dame adjunct rebuts Barr's contentious talk on religious freedom

NOTRE DAME, INDIANA — Scarcely a month after U.S. Attorney General William Barr gave a controversial address on religious freedom at the University of Notre Dame Law School, an adjunct professor at the school and Democratic congressional candidate argued that Barr's remarks were "theologically ill-informed" and also "dangerous to the rule of law within our constitutional republic."

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Patricia Hackett made her case in McCartan Courtroom, the same cavernous law school auditorium that an invitation-only audience had filled for Barr's Oct. 11 address, which instantly and nationally sparked intense reactions, both positive and negative.

"I was dismayed when I read his remarks," Hackett told NCR in her South Bend law office a few days after her Nov. 12 address. A practicing attorney and a graduate of Notre Dame Law School, she is also now, for the second time, seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Congress in Indiana's 2nd District against a three-term Republican incumbent, Rep. Jackie Walorski.

But it was deeply held values drawn from her education in Catholic theology and the law — not political motivations — that drew her to respond, she said.

"Mr. Barr's analysis of religious freedom, in my judgment, is inconsistent with his duties as the sitting Attorney General of the United States," Hackett explained. "And what he said about the Judeo-Christian tradition was theologically and historically inaccurate. I would go so far to say that I have never read or heard remarks from a government official in the United States that were so inaccurate and disturbing."

Related: Notre Dame had a right to host Barr — but his talk was ridiculously stupid
Hackett, who also holds a master's degree in theology from Notre Dame, also did graduate theology work at the Catholic University of America. The daughter of two attorneys and raised in suburban Detroit, she confessed that after she read Barr's talk, she felt a persistent nudge, a personal responsibility to "correct the record." She titled her talk, "Contempt of Grace: The Theological and Legal Error of William Barr's Understanding of Religious Freedom."

"I believe in Catholic higher education and we are preparing practitioners of the law here," she said. "I felt that Attorney General Barr was so incorrect in his presentation regarding the obligations of the law."

In her own talk, Hackett began by reminding her audience that the duty of any attorney general of the United States is "to defend the religious liberty of all people, Christians and non-Christians, believers and non-believers alike." But Barr, she said, appeared to justify "empowering certain religious institutions over the religious freedom and conscience of all Americans, whether religious or non-religious."


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WNDU: Hundreds in South Bend participate in Global Climate Strike

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Thousands of people walked out of their high schools, colleges, and workplaces urging city leaders to take action on climate change.

In South Bend, hundreds were involved in the strike led by the South Bend chapter of the Sunrise Movement.

Protesters want Mayor Pete Buttigieg and members of The South Bend Common Council to pass a local Green New Deal.

Friday's event was one of more than 2,500 strikes planned in 120 countries around the world and is the largest day of protest to stop climate change.

"These are well-informed, committed citizens, and they will lead us into a future," said Pat Hackett, who is running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. "And without their leadership, we are facing an absolute climate catastrophe. What's happening here is happening throughout the nation. We are part of a bigger movement."

The climate strike movement began with 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg, of Sweden, who started striking outside of the Swedish Parliament last year.


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South Bend Tribune: Hackett Announces

Hackett announces bid for Democratic nomination to challenge Walorski for congressional seat

South Bend attorney Pat Hackett announced Wednesday she plans to seek the Democratic nomination to run against U.S. Rep. Jackie Walorski in 2020 for Indiana’s 2nd District congressional seat.

Hackett ran for the Democratic nomination for the seat in 2018, losing to Mel Hall. Hall lost to Walorski in the general election.

“I will always fight for dignity and justice for all, and I believe we deserve a representative who listens and represents our interests. Jackie Walorski is a career politician who refuses to hold town halls, caters to the special interests who give millions of dollars to her campaigns, and is out of touch with the people in this district,” Hackett said in a news release.

Hackett earned bachelor’s, master’s and law degrees at the University of Notre Dame. She’s an adjunct professor at Notre Dame Law School.

Since 2006, she has owned and operated her own firm, Hackett & Associates in South Bend.

The campaign will have a formal kickoff event open to the public later this summer.


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