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Victoria Steele on The Sam Kelley Show about her prospects for winning Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.

Making Little Dollars Count; Native Dem Congressional Candidates

Mark Trahant

TRAHANT REPORTS—This week a small contribution to a political campaign is worth a lot more.

Arizona’s Victoria Steele has two donors who are matching small contributions made until midnight tonight. “One donor will match all $25.00 donations and the other will match all $10.00 donations,” a Steele campaign news release said. “Of course, you can always donate more if you like!”

Steele is one of at least eight Native Americans who are running for Congress. She is Seneca.

I think little dollars — donations under $25 — ought to be one of the most important metrics for a political campaign. To me it shows support from ordinary people who are giving up a dinner out to support a candidate. (Previous: Little Dollars could turn the world of politics upside down.)

Steele opened her campaign office in Tucson this week.


In Montana, Denise Juneau’s campaign said it has been officially added to the “Red  to Blue” program “signaling Montana’s House seat is truly up for grabs in November.”

“Denise Juneau has a powerful personal story, impressive record serving the people and students of Montana, and experience winning statewide,” Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Ben Ray Luján (D–NM) said. “Denise is building an impressive grassroots organization and has proven that she will have the resources needed to execute a winning campaign. Denise is ready to fight on behalf of all the people of Montana in Washington, keep them safe, and ensure the economy works for everyone.”

Mark Trahant

Juneau is Mandan and Hidatsa as well as Blackfeet. Hashtag: #TeamJuneau

“The excitement and momentum for our campaign can be found in every corner of Montana,” Campaign Manager Lauren Caldwell said. “For far too long Montana’s only seat in the U.S. House has been occupied by someone working on behalf of giant corporations and special interests instead of Montana families. That will change this November when Montanans send Denise to Washington.


”In Washington, Joe Pakootas filed his candidate paperwork. He posted on Facebook this week: “It’s official. I am now a registered candidate for the 5th Congressional District in Washington State. Look for my name on your primary ballot in August!” Look for the hashtag #GoJoe

Pakootas is Colville and a former chairman of the confederated tribes. He recently wrote: “I’m running for Congress to unify our party, district, and cities. I’m humbly asking for your support this year, but it’s not just about me. It’s about you. Speak up, make your opinions known, and get involved. There’s simply too much at stake in this election to sit on the sidelines. Turnout will make the difference.”


Chase Iron Eyes is out and about in North Dakota introducing himself to voters. On May 24 in Fargo he will host a meet and greet at the Dem-NPL Headquarters. Iron Eyes is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

“We’re building this campaign from the ground up. It’s going to be a tough race. But like the buffalo that stands facing an oncoming storm, North Dakota Democrats are strong and ready for a tough fight,” according to a campaign Facebook post.

Follow the hashtag, #TeamIronEyes

That’s what the Democratic candidates are doing right now. My next report will look at the Republicans.

Mark Trahant is the Charles R. Johnson Endowed Professor of Journalism at the University of North Dakota. He is an independent journalist and a member of The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. On @TrahantReports" target="_blank">Twitter @TrahantReports.

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