Missouri's 5th District has been a Democratic one for most of its history. Formerly represented by Congressman Alan Wheat for one, this Kansas City district is currently represented by Congresswoman Karen McCarthy. With McCarthy's retirement this year due to personal problems, Democrats have the opportunity to elect a fiery, passionate young Democrat who can make a real difference for the district.
His name is Jamie Metzl, a great guy with an amazing resume.
Jamie Metzl was born in 1969 in Kansas City, and was raised there as well. His father, Dr. Kurt Metzl, came to America with his parents after WWII from Nazi-occupied territory, where they had survived the Holocaust. Jamie, who is one of four brothers, graduated Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude from Brown University, and went to graduate from Harvard Law School and receive a P.H.D. from Oxford University. After serving as a Human Rights Officer in the UN Cambodian mission from 1991-1993, he worked for Senator Joe Biden (D-Delaware) in the US Foreign Relations Committee as Deputy Staff Director.
In 1997 President Clinton selected him for the prestigious White House Fellowship, where he was attached to the Pentagon. He became Director of the Council on Foreign Relations Independent Task Force on Homeland Security, where he helped to create the first national assessment for preventing and dealing with a terrorist attack. In addition, Jamie has run twenty marathons and completed three Ironman triathlons. With his expertise in foreign policy, Jamie Metzl would be of great help in giving Democrats a coherent, muscular foreign policy platform in the future. In addition, Jamie is a big fan of reneweable energy funding and supports converting our national energy sources into solar, electrical, hydrogen and wind power, and severely reducing our dependency on foreign oil.
Resume alone will not be enough to elect Jamie to Congress. He faces the ex-Mayor of Kansas City, Emmanuel Cleaver, in the Democratic primary. The district has a large minority population, and Cleaver, the city's first African-American Mayor will benefit from this. However, Metzl has so far out raised Cleaver 2:1 in fundraising ($600,000 to $300,000) and has the support of many national and community leaders. In addition, the GOP is likely to nominate Jeanne Paterson, a millionaire businesswoman who could spend more than $1 million of her own money. With these obstacles, Jamie Metzl will have to fight hard to win. However, I have no doubt that he has the ability to win this seat, and go on to become a great US Congressman. Please visit his website at http://www.jamiemetzl.com and see what you can do to elect him to Congress.
Jim Stork- Florida's 22nd district has been represented since 1982 by Republican Clay Shaw. Shaw, who won by 599 votes in 2000 over Democrat Elaine Bloom, had this district in Palm Beach County redrawn to help him in 2002. It did, as he rode the GOP tide in the state to a 60% victory over Democrat Carol Roberts. This year, with a vastly different political climate,Shaw is facing a stronger Democratic opponent. His name is Jim Stork, and he is an unusual candidate for Congress.
Jim Stork was born in 1967 in Gainesville, Florida. He graduated from the U of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then went into business. He has been a successful restaurant owner in Wilton Manors, Florida, running Stork's Café and Bakery. It is a popular hangout for all groups of people in the area. He currently serves on the Florida Economic Development Council, and was elected Mayor of Wilton Manors in 2002. After one term, he is off and running for Congress against Shaw. Stork is also an active member of the GLBT community.
You might beg the question, why am I profiling a candidate with little chance of winning? Well, the fact of the matter is that Stork can indeed win this seat. In the first quarter of 2004, he raised an amazing $330,000! This is amazing due to his launching his campaign in late January. Stork's fundraising ability has caught the attention of the DCCC, and they are targeting this race. Stork's strong connections to the GLBT community will also be of major help in this race. With our help, I think "the Stork" will fly in 2004. Check out his website at http://www.storkforcongress.com.
Capri Cafaro- Ohio's 14th district is not as hostile to Democrats as it may seem. In fact, this Cleveland suburbs district was represented by Democrats until 1994, when Republican Steve LaTourette ousted Eric Fingerhut (who is now running for the US Senate). LaTourette's popularity in an otherwise competitive district has made him a safe incumbent...until now. In 2004, the Democrats have an excellent opportunity to make LaTourette sweat-and possibly beat him. Their candidate is Capri Cafaro, and she is a talented and effective candidate.
Capri Cafaro, who is 26, would be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. Her achievements are amazing: a graduate of high school at 15, she graduated from Stanford University at the age of 19 and completed a Masters in International Relations from Georgetown University by her early 20's. She currently owns her own small business, a public relations consulting firm for non-profit organizations. Her political experience includes working on the staffs of Senators Alfonse D'Amato and Ted Kennedy, serving as a delegate to the 2000 Democratic National Convention, and acting as an Advisor/Speaker for the Gore presidential campaign. Cafaro also has a financial advantage- her father, John J. Cafaro, is a shopping center magnate with a family fortune estimated to be in the billions.
Cafaro has three things going for her in this race: the presidential race, which will increase voter turnout in favor of Cafaro, her ability to self-fund her campaign, and Congressman LaTourette's recent problems in his marital life. I don't consider it honorable to go into anyone's family life, so I hope LaTourette's marital difficulties are not a campaign issue. Rather, I believe that if Cafaro can use her business and political experience to good use, she can pull off the upset. Her website, http://www.capri2004.com is going to be rebuilt soon, but feel free to visit it for now.
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