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A Tale of Two Judges

Hamilton County, Ohio, Judges Jerry Metz and Pat Foley began their careers on a parallel track. Both trace their interest in politics to their childhoods. They even attended the same seminary (though they didn’t know each other at the time!) and then moved on to legal work for the bulk of their careers. And both thank Wellstone for propelling their judicial campaigns.

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Why not now?

“I come from a big family, so organizing big events is in my blood.” Explains Pinky Vargas, “I’ve always been a community organizer.”

And while her interest in local Bellingham (a Seattle suburb) politics grew over the years – she’d even watch the local access channel’s broadcast of city council meetings – the idea of running for office stayed in the back of her mind to do many years down the line.

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Open to Whatever Comes Next

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A year later

Like many recent college graduates with a Liberal Arts degree, Murphy Guinane ended up in retail, “Not by choice!” they explained. But the job market was tough. 

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From 3M to Campaign Management

In 2011, Gene Nichols was newly-retired from his 32 year career in the healthcare division at 3M. His path to an active political life in retirement had begun just a few years earlier. In 2008, while volunteering on the Obama campaign, he met a fellow volunteer that recruited him to get involved with TakeAction MN, a partner organization of ours and a national model for state-based progressive advocacy. From there, Gene met a Wellstone Action trainer who encouraged him to go to a Camp Wellstone.

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Road Map to Victory

Newly-elected Maryland Delegate Cory McCray will readily admit he wasn’t always a perfect voter. “I didn’t start voting until George W Bush was in office. If you looked me up in the VAN file, I’d be in trouble!” But as a small business owner in charge of several rental properties, the more his business grew, the more he began to see how politics was a part of everything.

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"We must love each other and protect each other"

Maybe Leila’s connection to Wellstone started seven years ago when she helped bring Campus Camp Wellstone (CCW) to her community college, De Anza, in California’s Bay Area. Or maybe the roots of that connection began to grow a great many years earlier.

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Kicking off Alumni Engagement in 2015!

Recently, we welcomed our newest group of alumni into the Wellstone Action family at an event after our annual Twin Cities Camp Wellstone. The newest class of campers were joined by alumni from past Camps, by a few of our Wellstone Organizing Fellows, and by many more friends and supporters. Alumni were able to network, swap stories, and share what they have been up to since their Wellstone training.

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How He Won

It’s not easy to win a deeply competitive campaign for the State Assembly at age 24. It’s especially tough when you’re a first time candidate, not originally from the area, going up against the corporate education reform movement, and an opponent funded by people like Michael Bloomberg.

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Walking the Walk

I’ll be honest, running leadership development and training programs is always a little weird: my role is to prepare and support others to do amazing things. And the members of the Wellstone Corps did amazing things, I couldn’t be more proud of them, or more excited to see what they do next.
 
Over the last 6 months, I helped lead Wellstone’s most ambitious program yet: Wellstone Corps. From start to finish, we walked the walk of what politics the Wellstone Way means. 
 
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