A guest piece from I-35 School Board Member Josh Hughes.
When Elizabeth Warren announced her candidacy, I was initially dismissive. I was open minded about the field but not actively considering her.
I met with a Warren organizer named Morgan mid-spring out of courtesy and came away impressed by the scale of the campaign’s efforts in Iowa. I still wasn’t actively considering Warren, but I took notice of her passion and grit, as well as the early enthusiasm I was seeing from her campaign staffers and growing crew of volunteers.
She moved into my top five.
Around this time, Elizabeth caught my attention in a big way by releasing her plan to cancel student debt. Two things struck me: the plan’s sheer boldness and its depth of detail. Plenty of 2020 candidates were proposing big ideas, but none had put out anything as detailed as this. It showed me she was thinking bigger than superficial fixes. I agreed that big, structural change was necessary, and her plan provided a clear roadmap for getting it done.
As her plans kept piling up — tuition-free college, affordable child-care, immigration reform, addressing gun violence, and more — it became clear that Warren was the intellectual and policy powerhouse of the field.
She moved into my top three.
When I watched the debates, it was easy to see which candidate was a scholarship-winning debate champion. Watching Warren on stage was like seeing my favorite elementary school teachers and law professors all in one. She was sharp, she told a story through her answers and she commanded the room. She refrained from pointless attacks and flexed her substantial policy muscles.
When other candidates took the low road with messy potshots and wild attacks, Elizabeth stayed above the fray. She was, after all, in total control of her classroom, exactly the kind of presence Democrats will need on the debate stage next to Trump.
She moved into my top two.
After months of reflection, internal debate, and plenty of soul-searching, I’m now proud to endorse Elizabeth Warren. She is my Number One choice for President of the United States.
I trust Elizabeth to fight hard to tackle the issues at the root of the problems we face. Not only do I think she’s the candidate most likely to win, she’s the one I want behind that desk in January 2021.
One of the many things I learned from 2016 is that politics is incredibly volatile, especially in our current era. The environment we live in makes choosing a candidate based on some vague and undefinable notion of “electability” not only a fool’s errand, but fundamentally detrimental to our party and shared goals.
Instead, Democrats should focus on finding a candidate they truly support — a strong communicator, who’s smart and nimble enough to roll with the punches as the campaign goes on, the one with the right ideas for an increasingly broad and diverse party.
That’s Elizabeth. That’s what makes her the strongest candidate next fall.
No one is “electable” until they actually get elected. I understand why there’s a tendency to stick with what we’ve done in the past, but the truth is, we’re not going back. If we continue our same “tried and true” trajectory, we won’t defeat Trump — let alone craft an agenda and build a coalition to win for the long term. Some say the stakes in 2020 are too high to risk a new kind of campaign. Actually the opposite is true: with stakes as high as these, a new campaign is exactly what we need.
Over the course of eight months, I went from a skeptic to a whole-hearted Warren Democrat. And Elizabeth’s striking rise in primary polls shows that I’m not the only one who’s been won over by the smart lady with the plans. I’m confident that Elizabeth’s vision for big structural change has the durability and flexibility to be successful through 2020 and beyond.
I’m proud to be on Team Warren, and I really hope that you’ll join us.
by Josh Hughes