Peoples House Project Backs Teachers Over DCCC-backed Self-Funders in Two Critical Swing District Primaries

Released at: January 03, 2018
Contact: Emily Hoapili

Contact John Moffett, 202.607.8813 People’s House Project
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The PAC, which focuses on supporting working-class candidates, is challenging the Democratic Party’s prioritization of financial privilege over community roots

LOUISVILLE, KY - The People’s House Project (PHP) continued its fight Thursday to reconnect the Democratic Party to middle- and working-class voters in Heartland, Republican-held Congressional districts by endorsing two high school teachers in their primaries in two 2018 top-tier House races.

In Minnesota’s 2nd Congressional district, Jeff Erdmann is an American Government teacher at a local high school and is also the school’s varsity football coach. A lifelong Minnesota resident who has called the 2nd district home for 20 years, he’s running in a tight primary against DCCC-backed Angie Craig, a former medical device executive who recently moved into the region. The winner will challenge Republican Jason Lewis for the seat.

Like Erdmann, Karen Mallard, running in Virginia’s 2nd district, is a public school educator. Karen, the daughter of a coal miner, has been a teacher in the 2nd congressional district for 30 years. In spite of Karen’s deep ties and experience in the district, the Democratic Party has sought to recruit a wealthier candidate into the race. They have found that well-heeled candidate in Elaine Luria, a businesswoman and former Naval Officer. She is expected to announce her candidacy in the next month with DCCC support. Republican Scott Taylor currently holds the seat.

‘People’s House’ backs locally-connected, middle- and working-class Americans who can deliver sound progressive, economic messaging to their communities’ voters. Their endorsed candidates include union members, teachers, and veterans. PHP believes candidates with deep roots in their communities and experience with economic struggle are the key to reconnecting the Democratic Party with its historic working-class base. By endorsing in the Primary in these two swing districts, People’s House Project is directly challenging a Democratic Party recruitment process that favors access to fundraising dollars over every other characteristic.

“The party’s decision to support candidates simply because of their personal wealth and connections is absolute insanity,” said Krystal Ball, former MSNBC host and founder of PHP. “Working class families are under attack and there is no one better suited to fight back than the type of great working-class leaders that we are supporting. National Democrats should be clamoring for these candidates to run, not pulling the rug out from under their campaigns.”

Ball, a former Congressional candidate herself in 2010, also noted the steady support People’s House Project has enjoyed, both inside and outside the beltway, since its creation earlier in the Summer. One of the most vocal backers of the movement has been Congressman Tim Ryan (OH-13), saying that having the voices of working-class people in Congress “brings a different perspective” and is “critically important” when asked about PHP.

PHP is a hybrid PAC. In addition to direct financial help, the organization helps candidates connect with media and financial resources normally out of reach for non-establishment campaigns.

Those who would like to learn more and get involved can visit the website at