I have been able to meet with all of these candidates in person. I have interacted with them extensively online, through triumph and adversity. They are self-starters, yet they also illustrate how important it is for candidates to have a supportive community of advisers around them, giving them the confidence and tangible assistance to overcome obstacles such barriers to ballot access, skepticism about running a campaign on little or no money, and the reluctance of many potential supporters to get behind a third-party campaign.

Brian T. Carroll: Candidate for Congress (District 22)

A schoolteacher with missionary experience in Colombia and outreach to immigrants at home, Brian became fed up with the influence of money in politics and the actions of his Republican congressman, Devin Nunes. Unwilling to support a pro-choice Democrat, and hoping that his message could attract some support from both progressives and conservatives in his rural Central Valley district, Brian began his run for Congress last November after long prayer and consideration. While Brian respects and engages with the conservative values of his district, he affirms that we have a duty to find some way to assure that all have health care coverage.

Kevin Egger: Candidate for San Diego City Council (District 6)

Kevin Egger realizes the importance of focusing on the problems of his local community rather than getting overly bogged down in national level political struggles. His run will highlight many ideas which could guide future candidates for local office running on our message.

Ed Rushman: Candidate for Congress (District 46)

In contrast to Carroll, Ed Rushman lives in a liberal, urban district in Orange County. Rushman is the only pro-life candidate in this race, because his Republican opponent is pro-choice. Rushman is a project manager who sees numerous ways to cut through inefficiency. An advocate for the rights of immigrants, he also frequently speaks out about the importance of passing the Dream Act.

Desmond Silveira for Governor

A software engineer, who was the former campaign manager of the Maturen-Munoz 2016 presidential campaign, Desmond realized that Californians need a whole-life choice for governor: no Democrats are even slightly open to pro-life politics while all of the Republican candidates care little about protecting DACA recipients from deportation. Desmond started his campaign from a concern that the other candidates were unwilling to present nuanced solutions to the state’s economic problems that prioritized strengthening local communities. He cares deeply about building a more democratic society where families can live both prosperously and according to the beliefs they hold dear. Desmond is most comfortable when problems can be analyzed quantitatively. His tenacity in examining the rules for ballot access helped him fight the state’s and county’s complicated bureaucratic structure in which some officials did not know what was in the most recent rules changes passed by the legislature. Because California is an especially large and diverse state, lessons learned during this campaign will highlight the ways IDP volunteers can work hard on policy research and outreach to other groups even outside an electoral run.