Meet the Candidates
With the filing deadline closed, Yinka Faleti is the Democratic nominee for Missouri Secretary of State. The Missouri primary election is scheduled for August 4.
Yinka, an immigrant from Nigeria, is a graduate of the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served in the U.S. Army for over six years, attaining the rank of Captain after two deployments to Kuwait – the second in response to the September 11 attacks.
After his Army career, Yinka moved to St. Louis. He graduated from Washington University School of Law and has served in both the private sector, as an attorney at the law firm of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, and in the public sector as a state prosecutor, where he worked for justice for victims of abuse, assault and burglary.
Yinka left his successful law practice to serve as Senior Vice President with the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Most recently, Yinka served as Executive Director of Forward Through Ferguson, the successor nonprofit to the Ferguson Commission after the Michael Brown Jr. shooting.
Yinka lives in St. Louis with his wife, Ronke, and their three cheeky and charming children.
State Senator Bryce Bennett is the Democratic nominee for Montana Secretary of State.
Bryce Bennett is a voting rights leader, fifth generation Montanan, and state senator. He has dedicated his career to ensuring all Montana voters have their voice heard on Election Day.
Bryce was born in Billings and spent his early years in Hysham. As a student, he registered hundreds of Montanans of all political stripes to vote at high schools, senior centers, and county fairs. As a legislator Bryce worked with Republicans and Democrats to pass keystone good government bills that made Montana more efficient and ensured all voters’ voices are heard and their votes are counted.
In the Montana State Legislature, Bryce ended an elections law that was forcing some rural voters to travel hundreds of miles to return their ballot, and he stopped politicians from being able to bring their partisan politics into polling places.
Bryce also cut down on government bureaucracy and wasteful spending by streamlining the voter registration process. Now, Montanans can register and get their ballot in the mail with only half the paperwork. He also worked with county clerks around the state to coordinate election dates and procedures to save the state money, increasing transparency in the process.
Former Secretary of State Natalie Tennant is the Democratic nominee for West Virginia Secretary of State. Her general election campaign against current Secretary of State Warner is a rematch of the 2018 contest.
Secretary Tennant previously served as Secretary of State from January 2009 to January 2017 and is best known for her work as a leader in meeting unprecedented election challenges and promoted bold initiatives. Thanks to her, West Virginia emerged as a leader on the national stage in election modernization, by implementing online voter registration and helping West Virginia become the third state in the nation to pass automatic voter registration. In 2010, Secretary Tennant led West Virginia as the first state to use online voting for deployed military members. It was a successful pilot project that was safe and secure for the military. To support Natalie or learn more about her campaign.
In 2018, Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) was reelected with 49.6% of the vote. Voter registration in West Virginia currently stands at 39.62% Democratic vs. 33.76% Republican showing that this race is winnable, especially with a motivated Democratic base in this presidential election year.
State Senator Shemia Fagan is the Democratic nominee for Oregon Secretary of State. She’s running for “the job that puts progress within reach because of our faith in democracy” and “to make sure that every Oregonian knows that their voice, their actions, their ballot, CAN make a difference because, when democracy works, progress is always within reach.”
Fagan is an native Oregonian who overcame a challenging childhood to put herself through college and law school. She earned her JD from Lewis and Clark Law School and now works as an employment attorney.
Fagan’s public service career began in 2011 when she was elected to the David Douglas School Board. In 2012 she defeated a Republican when she was elected to the State House of Representatives. In 2018 she defeated a Republican when she was elected to the State Senate.
As Secretary of State, Fagan will work to protect Oregon’s free and fair from all threats including those from hostile foreign governments and the attacks on vote-by-mail from Donald Trump.
Gael Tarleton is the Democratic nominee for Washington Secretary of State. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and a former senior defense intelligence analyst for the Pentagon where she was responsible for creating disaster preparedness and emergency response plans for ports nationwide.
Gael was first elected to the Washington House of Representatives in 2012 to represent the 36th District. She has served as House Majority Floor Leader since 2015 after previously serving as Vice Chair of the Technology and Economic Development Committee and as Chair of the House Finance Committee.
Prior to her election to the House of Representatives, Gael served for five years as an elected Port of Seattle Commissioner and is recognized as a leader on stopping human trafficking across Washington’s borders as well as in emergency preparedness and response planning.
Gael also served previously served as the Director of Eurasian Policy Studies at the National Bureau of Asian Research in Seattle and as the first Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations for the University of Washington’s College of Arts and Sciences. During her time at the University of Washington, she helped establish the endowed Herbert J. Ellison Center for Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, as well as the Institute for National Security Education and Research. Additionally, she co-founded the Northwest chapter of Women in International Security (WIIS).
Gael currently lives in Seattle with her husband Bob.