16 in ‘16 Races to Watch



16 in16: Races to Watch



Marilyn Stewart

Alaska House District 21

The GOP has a 23-16 majority (one Independent) in the Alaska House.



A veteran of the U.S. Army, Marilyn Stewart first moved to Alaska in 1981 when she was stationed at Fort

Richardson, AK. In the 36 years since, Stewart has made Alaska her home, worked on several campaigns,

served in the administration of Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and become a well-known community

leader. In 2012, she was awarded the Freedom’s Sister Award by Ford Motor Company for her commitment

to strengthening the Alaska community and inspiring and empowering others. She joined notables such

as Myrlie Evers-Williams, Barbara Jordan and Rosa Parks in receiving this award. As state representative,

Stewart will work tirelessly to foster a strong economic future for families, a friendlier business climate for

entrepreneurs and business owners, and a top-of-the-line education system for all Alaskan students.

Republicans came within 100 votes of winning this district in 2014.


Ling Ling Chang

California Senate District 29

Republicans ended the Democrat Senate supermajority in 2014.



Ling Ling Chang has represented the 55th Assembly District since 2014 –

serving as Vice Chair of the Rules Committee, and as a member of the Appropriations Committee and Privacy

& Consumer Protection Committee. Chang previously served on the Diamond Bar City Council, including as

Mayor from 2011-2012, and as a board member and president of the Walnut Valley Water District. Chang was

most recently President & CEO of the Youth Science Center, a non-profit science (STEM) education organization.

Her legislative work includes proposing the State Seal of STEM for high schoolers and designating Women

and Girls in STEM Week every April. In 2014, Chang was named California’s inaugural STEMx Policy Fellow.

She has also been recognized as one of two “Tech Champions” in the legislature by the Computing Technology

Industry Association. Promoting technology in the economy has been a priority for her as demonstrated by

her legislative efforts to grow the sharing economy. She proudly serves as one of the founding members of the

bipartisan California Technology and Innovation Caucus as well as Co-Chairing the California Future Caucus,

aimed at generating bi-partisan policies and solutions impacting younger generations.

In her 2014 Assembly run, Chang got 67 percent of the vote in a district Romney and Obama ran competitively

in and was named to the RSLC’s “14 in ’14: Races to Watch” list.




Katy Brown

Colorado House District 3

The GOP needs a net gain of two seats to flip the chamber, last under

Republican control in 2012.




A graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Katy Brown has led a long, rewarding career

in web development. Within four years of graduating from her Masters program, Brown moved to Colorado

and started her own software company. It was through her first client – the Colorado Tourism Office – that

she developed a deep appreciation for her adopted home. Brown was exposed to every corner of the state

and developed a rich understanding of its people and economy. In addition to running her business, Brown

is also a dedicated public servant who has served in a variety of roles in municipal government. In 2012,

she joined the Cherry Hills Village City Council and continues to represent her community on a variety of

committees with the aim of making her hometown a better, safer place to live for all. In those roles, Brown

has learned the important distinction between personal beliefs and public policy, and the power of people

in representative government. Brown brings to the state legislature a unique perspective on the intersection

between STEM and Colorado politics, as well as a deep commitment to the betterment of her state and a

proven passion for service.

Democrat incumbent Daniel Kagan, who is not seeking reelection, won by less than one point in 2014.


Rosy Palomino

Florida House District 112

Republicans are defending a supermajority in the Florida House.



Born and raised in District 112, Rosy Palomino is a local leader, business

owner and public servant seeking to give a voice to her community. In addition to operating a New Yorkbased

medical-retail franchise, she serves as president of Tropical Nostalgia Inc., Palomino is also a veteran

educator of 18 years in Little Havana and a contributing producer for the radio program “Miami Dark” which

serves as a platform to discuss current events, politics, and urban living. As a community leader, she currently

serves as president of the Douglas Park Neighborhood Association and leads efforts to expand park access.

The daughter of Cuban exiles, Palomino is an avid supporter of limited government and individual liberty

and will fight to uphold these principles in the Florida legislature.

District 112 is an open seat that the incumbent Democrat won by only two points in 2014.




Jaci Agustin

Hawaii House District 34

All 7 members of the Hawaii House Republicans Caucus were

elected in Obama-blue districts.



Jaci Agustin comes from humble beginnings. Raised by a single mother who

struggled to make ends meet, Agustin and her family spent several months in her formative years facing

homelessness living out of a van on the beach. The hurdles she faced at a young age inspired her to lead a

life of service. Agustin spent seven years working at the YMCA of Honolulu where she was able to serve over

6,000 underprivileged children weekly. During that time, Agustin became incredibly familiar with the issues

plaguing her community. After winning the Mrs. Hawaii pageant in 2013, Agustin used her platform and her

year of service to promote nutritional education and healthy eating, particularly for low-income populations.

Agustin is also a regular volunteer with several local organizations and goes out into her community twice a

month to provide assistance and relief to the local homeless population. Jaci is a first generation descendant

of the Salish Native American tribe. At the State Capitol, Agustin will continue to fight poverty and raise

Hawaii’s standard of living, using her diverse experiences and insight into the needs of her community to

guide her along the way.

This is Agustin’s second run for House District 34. She is challenging Democrat incumbent Gregg Takayama.


Bonnie Sadler

Iowa Senate District 30

Republicans need a net gain of three seats to flip the Senate, which

would give the GOP control of both chambers and the governorship.



A healthcare professional of over 25 years, Bonnie Sadler is running for state

Senate because Iowans deserve to have well-informed professionals crafting the policies that affect their

lives on a daily basis. As both a shareholder and the Vice President of Business Development of a chain

of pharmacies and home medical supply company, Sadler brings valuable perspective on the hurdles and

regulations faced by small businesses, inadvertently driving up costs and driving down quality. A lifelong

resident of Black Hawk County, she is committed to bettering her community in every way – whether in

terms of healthcare accessibility, education standards, or overall tax burdens. Sadler is also a well-known

leader in her community through her service with the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance & Chamber and the Big

Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Iowa. As state Senator, Bonnie Sadler will work to make sure that future

generations have a stronger, brighter, more vibrant Iowa to look forward to.

Sadler is challenging incumbent Jeff Danielson, who won reelection with a slim two points in 2014.




Wendy Fletcher

Kentucky House District 99

The Kentucky state House is the last Democrat controlled chamber in

the South.



As a small business owner running a local healthcare facility, Wendy Fletcher understands the hard work

that goes into creating jobs and navigating the tricky channels of state healthcare laws. She is an Advanced

Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) and has run in numerous statewide elections in the Kentucky Coalition of

Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives, where she has served over 2,000 APRNs as a member at large,

secretary, and is currently in her second term as president. As a healthcare provider, she has seen firsthand

how politics impacts patients, their families, employers and communities. As such, she has advocated for

numerous healthcare bills and regulation reforms in Frankfort over the last 17 years and aims to continue

her work in the state House. In the legislature, Fletcher will fight to increase transparency in all governmentrelated

matters, particularly pertaining to state legislative pensions. She will also focus on protecting

personal freedom, recruiting new business, assuring access to affordable healthcare and building a stronger

education system.

Fletcher is challenging incumbent Democrat Rocky Adkins, who was first elected to the legislature in 1986.


Sue Allor

Michigan House District 106

Republicans retained their Michigan House majority in 2012 despite

the state voting to re-elect President Obama at the same time.



A small business owner, registered nurse and county commissioner Sue Allor comes prepared with an

impressive resume and unique perspective on matters ranging from the economy to healthcare. Now in her

third term on the Cheboygan County Board of Commissioners, she serves as the commission’s vice-chair

and works tirelessly to make life better for Michigan’s seniors and hardworking families. Despite her busy

schedule, Allor’s service to her community extends well beyond her duties on the commission. She has been

an active volunteer at her children’s schools in numerous capacities, whether as a coach, mentor or active

member of booster groups and steering committees. As a small business owner, Allor and her family have

also been able to create jobs and contribute to Michigan’s growing economy. As a parent, homeowner,

taxpayer and community leader, Allor understands the many challenges Michigan’s families face today,

and she will put that knowledge to use in the state legislature.

Allor is running in one of 26 open seats Republicans are defending in Michigan this year.




Tracy Nelson

Minnesota House 42B

Republicans control the state House with a 73-61 majority.



A Minnesota native, Tracy Nelson has lived in Little Canada for over

a decade. Over the past 30 years, Nelson has built a successful career in the real estate and hospitality

industries. In 2008, she started her own real estate brokerage, Real Estate Parkway. Her experiences as a

small business owner have helped her craft her legislative priorities. If elected, Nelson will stand up for free

enterprise while fighting cumbersome regulations, which she sees as an instrumental part of fostering growth

and progress in any community. Nelson is also an active community builder and volunteer with a passion for

giving back. She previously served as president of the St. Paul East Side Lions Club and sits on the board

of the East Side Neighborhood Development Company. Nelson chose to run because the district had been

under DFL control for far too long. As a pro-business conservative who believes in individual liberty and the

U.S. Constitution, Nelson will fight to reduce the size of government in our everyday lives.

This is an open seat following the decision by incumbent Democrat Jason Isaacson to not run for re-election.


Jill Tolles

Nevada Assembly District 25

Nevada is one of the 23 Republican trifectas in the country where the

GOP holds the governor’s office and both legislative chambers.



Jill Tolles has lived, learned and worked in Nevada for over 20 years. She earned both her Bachelor’s and

Master’s degrees at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she currently teaches Communications Studies.

In 2013, she joined the faculty of the National Judicial College, which inspired her to open a small business

training and consulting with companies and individuals on effective communication strategies. As an educator,

Tolles knows firsthand that a high quality education system is vital in ensuring a sound economic future in

Nevada. Her advocacy is evidenced by her work with the Nevada Task Force for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention,

the St. Albert’s School Board, and various organizations aimed at improving public education. Tolles has

taken her activism to the capitol before, advocating as a citizen for high quality education at the legislature

since 2011. In the 2015 legislative session, she developed and advocated successfully for the passage of a law

establishing statewide curriculum standards to teach personal safety to children. As a legislator, Tolles

will have a hand in crafting policies that will set Nevada’s students up for a better, brighter future.

This is an open Republican seat, as incumbent Dominic Brunetti opted against running for re-election.



new mexico

Sharon Stover

New Mexico House District 43

The GOP flipped the state House in 2014 for the first time since 1952.



A native of the Pojoaque Valley, Sharon Stover’s career of public service dates

back to 1979 when she began working at the County of Los Alamos. Stover earned distinguished record of

service in her 15 years as a county employee, including an “Employee of the Year” award. After taking time

off to raise a family, she returned to public service as an appointed member of the Los Alamos County Council

in 1996. She was elected to a full four-year term in 1998 and again in 2008. Stover was elected to her current

position as Los Alamos County Clerk in 2012. Throughout her public service, Stover has been a vocal advocate

for youth and served on numerous volunteer boards and committees. She also was a strong, reliable leader,

guiding her community through the crisis management and recovery from two catastrophic forest fire disasters

in 2000 and 2011. In 2009, Stover joined the board of the New Mexico Association of Counties (NMAC) and

recently completed a term as the NMAC President. Sharon is the first NMAC President to have formally met

with all 33 County Commissions in New Mexico, learning firsthand about the issues shared across the state.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, an honorary co-chair of the RSLC’s Future Majority Project, is

supporting Stover’s candidacy and recently campaigned with her in the district.


Ryan Martinez

Oklahoma House District 39

The GOP has held a supermajority in the Oklahoma House since 2012.



Ryan Martinez has spent most of his years in Oklahoma fighting for better,

more efficient government. A first-generation college graduate, Martinez worked two jobs to put himself

through college debt free, and embodies the principles of personal responsibility that make our country

thrive. A student of political science and economics, Martinez served as an aide to U.S. Senator Jim Inhofe,

working to cut red tape and deliver results for Oklahomans. He also worked in Oklahoma state government,

where he served as executive director of the Oklahoma Republican House Committee under then-Speaker

T.W. Shannon, who currently serves as chair of the RSLC’s Future Majority Project. In that role, Martinez helped

elect conservatives and advocate for conservative policies. He also served as the director of leadership for

Shannon and as a field representative for the Oklahoma Republican Party. Martinez is a vocal advocate for

education reform, and will continue to fight for school choice, meritorious pay increases for teachers and

overall higher standards for Oklahoma schools.

Martinez faces no major party opposition in the general election campaign.




Patti Milne

Oregon House District 22

Republicans need to flip five seats to have split control of the House.



Patti Milne has a long, proven record of public service in her home state of

Oregon. From 1993-1998, Milne served in the Oregon State Legislature before

taking office as Marion County Commissioner in 1999 – a role she served in until 2014. Milne also worked to

better Oregon’s public school system, serving on the Woodburn School District Board of Directors – an elected

position – from 1988-1992. She continues that work today as a member of the Blanchet Catholic School

President’s Advisory board, which she joined following 14 years of service with the Blanchet School Board

of Directors and its executive committee. Milne is also known for giving back to her community through her

membership in the Woodburn Rotary Club, where she is a past president, and the Oregon Garden Foundation

Board, where she has served as both chair and vice-chair. As an advocate for free enterprise, Milne is also a

member of the Woodburn and Salem Chambers of Commerce. Milne has been recognized for her leadership

on numerous occasions, including as Woodburn Senior First Citizen 2013 and Distinguished Rotarian of the

Year in 2015.

This became an open seat after incumbent Democrat Betty Komp opted against running for re-election.


John Lujan

Texas House District 118

With a 99-50 majority in the Texas House, Republicans only need a net

gain of one seat to establish a supermajority.



State Representative John Lujan has always had a heart for community and

service. A Sunday school teacher, retired firefighter, and well-respected local leader, his passion for giving

back is evident in the activities he devotes his time to. Professionally, Lujan is a small businessman who has

grown his IT consulting firm to an impressive 400 employees, while also running a second IT technology

company on the side. He is often featured as a speaker at local schools, where he happily shares his passion

for computer science with students interested in pursuing careers in STEM fields. Lujan became the first

Republican ever elected to this seat when he won a special election in January, and since then has been an

advocate for education and school board issues. Lujan and his wife Freda are the proud parents of five sons,

three of whom came to them through adoption. He is a strong advocate for reform in the state foster care

system, offering common-sense solutions and policy recommendations.

In his first general election for this seat, he will face the same opponent from his special election.




Ramiro Valderrama

Washington House District 45A

After making gains in the state House the past five consecutive election

years, Republicans only need a net gain of one seat to tie the chamber.



A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a Masters Degree from George Washington

University, Ramiro Valderrama today serves as Deputy Mayor in the city of Sammamish. Valderrama was first

elected to the City Council in 2011 and has since been a vocal advocate for fiscal responsibility, promoting

sustainable approaches to development, environmental protection, and increasing citizen participation

in city matters. He is also active in his community as chair of the International Services Committee for the

Sammamish Rotary, and founder of Citizens for Sammamish. He has over 25 years of international and

domestic experience working with government and Fortune 100 technology and management consulting

firms. Valderrama’s candidacy has been endorsed by nearly 40 current and former local officials as well as

several non-partisan organization endorsements, such as the Fire Commissioners, the National Federation of

Independent Business, the Mental Health PAC, and more. Valderrama was given a rating of “outstanding” by

the non-partisan Municipal League and is the highest rated legislative candidate.

Valderrama was reelected to the city council in November with 83 percent of the vote. He has also received

the endorsement of New Mexico Governor and FMP Honorary Co-Chair Susana Martinez.


Julian Bradley

Wisconsin Assembly District 94

Republicans enjoy a 63-36 majority in the Wisconsin Assembly, their

largest in the chamber since the Eisenhower administration.



Julian Bradley is a young rising star in the Wisconsin GOP. Growing up in a liberal household, Bradley

realized he was a Republican while actively debating politics with his mother. A former Democrat and

aspiring wrestler, his widespread success as a conservative grassroots leader comes as a surprise to many.

This inspired Bradley to launch his “Shattering Stereotypes” campaign, touring the state to share his story

as a black Republican. Since then, Bradley has become a well-known figure in state politics as chair of the

La Crosse County GOP, vice-chair of the 3rd District GOP, and a member of the Wisconsin GOP executive

committee. He was also awarded the Charlie Sykes’ Right Wisconsin Grassroots Activist of the Year Award in

2013. As Assemblyman, Bradley will reach across the aisle to make attracting jobs, fixing roads and increasing

funding for K-12 education a priority in the legislature.


In 2014, Bradley ran as the Republican nominee for secretary of state, challenging a seven-term

incumbent and falling short by less than four points.



The Republican State Leadership Committee’s (RSLC) The Future Majority Project (FMP) seeks

to identify, recruit, train and support candidates who better reflect the full diversity of our

nation. Launched in 2011, FMP supports men and women from diverse communities as they

run to grow the economy, support job creators and focus on ways to keep more money in

the pockets of working families. The efforts are helping to build a strong bench of current

and future Republican leaders. In the 2013-2014 cycle, FMP recruited 244 new candidates

of all diverse backgrounds and successfully helped elect 43 to office in states nationwide,

with an investment totaling more than $6 million – in partnership with Right Women, Right

Now. In 2015-2016, FMP aims to spend at least $7 million – in partnership with Right Women,

Right Now – to recruit 250 new diverse candidates and see 50 of those appointed or elected

to state-level office. FMP plans to see 10 diverse elected officials enter leadership and

expand the initiative’s “Diversity in Business” roundtable program. FMP is chaired by former

Oklahoma Speaker of the House T.W. Shannon, with Governors Susana Martinez (R-NM) and

Brian Sandoval (R-NV) serving as Honorary Co-Chairs.

About RWRN

The Republican State Leadership Committee’s (RSLC) Right Women, Right Now (RWRN)

initiative serves to identify, recruit and support women candidates nationwide in order to

help elect more Republican leaders who better embody the electorate of our country, where

women are 53 percent of the voters. RWRN offers candidate trainings, mentorship matchings

and digital organizing tools for our candidates’ campaigns for state-level office. Since its

founding in 2012, RWRN has recruited hundreds of women candidates, elected 229 new

women to office and continues working to grow the largest caucus of Republican elected

women in the country. RWRN is co-chaired by Tennessee Speaker of the House Beth Harwell,

Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan and Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds. In

the 2015-2016 election cycle, RWRN aims to recruit 500 new women candidates to run for

state-level office, see 150 of the candidates appointed or elected, and see 15 women elected

officials enter state-level leadership - spending at least $7 million, in partnership with FMP. So

far in the 2015-2016 cycle, RWRN has helped elect new women candidates in eight states.



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