WASHINGTON – The Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) today launched its “2020 Candidate Spotlight” series – a monthly program dedicated entirely to spotlighting strong Republican candidates from up-and-down the ballot and from every corner of the country. In conjunction with the series launch, the RSLC also announced today its May candidate spotlights. With this all-important redistricting cycle on the line, the RSLC is proud to support Republicans like these fighting to defend conservative majorities in the states and continuing to lay the groundwork for a growing and thriving Republican Party for years to come.
“We are laser-focused and fully committed to recruiting and amplifying the best Republican leaders from every corner of the country – it’s critical that each of them win this year, and we’re all in to help get the job done,” said Austin Chambers, RSLC President. “Republicans run smarter campaigns than our opponents, we have a better message than our opponents, and this year’s slate of candidates proves that we continue to be in a strong position to defend our majorities and grow our Party. With state Democrats on the brink of a total socialist meltdown, Republicans have a clear path to victory up-and-down the ballot.”
RLCC Chairman and former Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma added, “Winning state legislative races matters more than ever before, and the RSLC is stacking the deck with the most qualified candidates in critical legislative districts. The future of our country and the outcomes of redistricting hang in the balance, and we are fighting on the front lines to defend Republican majorities across the country. We are proud to stand behind each of these candidates, and we look forward to featuring more top races in the coming months.”
To fight back against Democrats’ endless spending, the RSLC helps candidates position themselves to win through avenues that can include direct contributions, data analysis, fundraising support, independent expenditures, opposition and policy research, training, message amplification, and more.
Candidates in this series will be spotlighted through earned media campaigns and on Facebook and Twitter. Please see below to learn more about each of RSLC’s May candidate spotlights.
Bob Smythe – Pennsylvania House District 165
Bob has an affinity for serving others and has spent 10 years as an educator in economically challenged communities. He is a second generation first responder as a Captain with the Springfield Fire Company, where he also began the first Cadet program for people who are 14 years of age or older.
Rep. Chris Gildon – Washington Senate District 25
Chris is the Washington State Representative for the 25th Legislative District. He served as a Veteran Army Officer for 23 years, and was deployed overseas five different times. Chris knows the importance of finding solutions to problems, and cares about those who have suffered from addiction, need better opportunities for housing, and wants to cut the cost of prescriptions.
Rep. Chuck Efstration – Georgia House District 104 – @ChuckEfstration
Chuck Efstration was a Gwinnett County Assistant District Attorney and is currently a partner in the Gwinnett County firm of McGarity & Efstration, LLC. Efstration is a graduate of the University of Georgia and Mercer Law School. Chuck and his wife, Ashley, have one son.
Sen. Dan Dawson – Iowa Senate District 8 – @dawsonforsenate
Senator Dan Dawson has an extensive family history in Council Bluffs. Dawson is an active member of the Army Reserves, and he is a Chief Warrant Officer. His experience includes four deployments and 20 years of honorable service. Senator Dawson is a special agent with the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation – Major Crimes Unit. He previously worked in the Pottawattamie County Sheriff’s Office and Council Bluffs Police Department. Dawson’s and his wife, Chrystal, have two children: Alex and Madelyn.
Jeff Zenger – North Carolina House District 74
Jeff Zenger is a small business owner that has developed commercial and residential structures in North Carolina. Jeff is a devout Christian and previously served as a missionary in the Baltimore area. Jeff is a devoted husband and father of four children.
Rep. John Szoka – North Carolina House District 45 – @JohnSzoka
Representative John Szoka is seeking reelection for his third term in the North Carolina House of Representatives. He is a retired U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel. Szoka is a Fayetteville small businessman, father, and husband to Laurie for over 30 years.
June Cutter – California State Assembly 77 – @junecutter
June Yang Cutter is an attorney and small business owner. She began her career with the local PTA and became President. She is committed to education and feels it is the best way to strengthen her community. “As the child of Korean immigrants, I understand the importance of equal opportunity, and the direct correlation between effort and reward.” June lives with her husband Ryan, a former Naval Flight Officer, and two children in Del Sur.
Sen. Kim Rosen – Maine Senate District 8
Kim Rosen is running for her fourth term in the Maine Senate. She previously served in the Maine House of Representatives. She is a small businesswoman – that includes Finally Kim’s salon and Rosen’s Department Store. She was selected to be the chair of the Board for Women in Government, the national organization for women legislators across the United States. She deeply cares about constituent service and the people of Maine Senate District 8.
Rep. Lisa Barnes – North Carolina Senate District 11 – @electlisabarnes
Rep. Lisa Stone Barnes currently serves in the North Carolina state House, but is seeking election to Senate District 11. She is a champion of fighting for lower taxes. Lisa and her husband, Johnny, have a career in agribusiness. Together, they have three children. Lisa is committed to properly managing budgets and serving her community.
Lucio Valdez – Texas House District 52
Republican Lucio Valdez began his career in the U.S. Army where he was an Army Ranger and served in Long-Range Surveillance Units. Valdez worked as a police officer and is a certified Master Peace Office. He led training and response programs as a SWAT Team Leader. After 33 years and seven overseas deployments, he retired from the U.S. Army as a Sergeant Major – the Army’s highest rank for a non-commissioned officer.
Sen. Lynda Wilson – Washington Senate District 17 – @LyndaWilson17LD
Lynda previously served in the Washington State House of Representatives, and currently represents State Senate District 17. Lynda is a proud mother, grandmother, and small business owner. Lynda fights on behalf of domestic abuse victims, veterans, small business owners, and her community. She is a champion for government transparency and accountability.
Mehek Cooke – Ohio House District 21 – @mehekcooke
Mehek Cooke is a consultant and served as the Chief of Staff to the Lieutenant Governor and worked as Governor John Kasich sought to become president in 2016. She served in the Ohio Department of Agriculture as chief counsel and the Office of Governor Kasich as Assistant Chief Legal Counsel.
Rep. Natalie Mihalek – Pennsylvania House District 40 – @RepMihalek
Natalie learned entered the United States Navy one week after graduating high school. She then gained entry into the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program – where less than 1% of all females are accepted. Natalie is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and later obtained her law degree. She then worked in the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and fought back against violent criminals. She is a successful small businesswoman and also works in finance.
Sen. Pete Flores – Texas Senate District 19 – @PeteFlores_TX
Pete Flores is running for Texas Senate District 19 which shares a border with Mexico. He previously led the Texas Parks and Wildlife’s statewide law enforcement division and wants to continue serving his community. He was the first Hispanic Director of Law Enforcement for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department where he successfully coordinated local, state, and federal law officials to protect the community.
Dr. Sara Rivard – Maine Senate District 30
Dr. Sara Rivard has her own local chiropractic practice called Back on Track Wellness. Dr. Rivard and her husband, Scott have a blended family of six children. Her professional experience and commitment to her community make her the best candidate for Maine Senate District 30.
Sen. Scott Martin – Pennsylvania Senate District 13 – @SenatorMartinPA
Scott Martin was a licensed Realtor and local landlord. Later, he led Lancaster County’s Youth Intervention Center. He became the Lancaster County County Commissioner in 2007. During that time, Scott never voted for a tax increase, fought to downsize government, reduced debt by $40 million, stayed focused on constituent service, and championed lower taxes.
Shelby Labs – Pennsylvania House District 143
Shelby has a long family history in Plumstead – where they were small business leaders, farm owners, and volunteers. As a state representative she will remain committed to lowering taxes, bringing fiscal responsibility to the capitol, preserving the environment, fighting for our healthcare system, prioritizing education, and being an honest representative for Pennsylvania.
Soo Hong – Georgia House District 102
Soo Hong was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the United States at a young age. She is a graduate of Georgia Tech and Mercer Law School. She is a successful lawyer with her own practice and offices in Gwinnett and Marietta. She has been an attorney for over a decade and she helps every day people facing tough times.
Sonja Nichols – North Carolina Senate District 37 – @SonjaforSenate
Sonja is running for North Carolina Senate District 37 as an experienced non-profit businesswoman, active community leader, and published author. She is focused on making her community more prosperous and ensuring the community reaps the rewards. Her business experience will allow her to lead and serve people from all walks of life in the district.
Will Douglas – Texas House District 113 – @WillDouglasTX
Will is a self-made pharmacy owner and graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy. He began his career in Dallas, purchasing small pharmacies and beginning the Crimson Care Pharmacy Group. Will prioritizes the protection of future generations through safe communities and economic strength.