May 8, 2018
Contact: Ted Bordelon
(267) 469-7048

314 Action Endorses Candidates for State Legislature Following Successful Training

Newly Endorsed STEM Candidates Attended 314 Action’s Training Session in Chicago

(Washington, D.C.) -- Today, 314 Action, the nation's largest resource for STEM candidates running for public office, endorsed candidates running for state and local office in 5 states. These endorsements follow 314 Action’s candidate training held at DePaul University in Chicago, IL on April 20-21. The intensive training covered all aspects of running for public office, from fundraising to field to communication.
Candidates who attend 314 Action’s training events receive training exercises and advice from political veterans that they can take back and apply to their campaigns. 314 Action is taking a grassroots approach to recruiting candidates for office to create a pipeline of STEM candidates who can build on state and local successes to run for higher offices in the future.
The newly endorsed candidates are:
Laura Ellman (IL, SD-21), assessor at Argonne National Labs with more than 20 years experience in manufacturing and a master’s degree in applied physics
Phyllis Johnson (ND, SD-17), former VP for Research and Economic Development, University of North Dakota, USDA Agricultural Research Director, research chemist
Jason Kilmer (KY, HD-68),  mechanical drafter of machined drawings
Frank Szczepanski (IN, HD-4), cofounder of biotech company IVDiagnostics focusing on pain-free diagnostic tests for cancer patients
Maren Bell Jones (MO, HD-44), veterinarian with a master’s degree in biology, former co-lead organizer of March for Science Mid-Missouri
Additionally, two already endorsed candidates attended the training:
Penny Githens (IN, HD-60)
Gary Wester (MO, HD-102)
President of 314 Action, Shaughnessy Naughton, released the following statement:
"We are thrilled to endorse these candidates because they are the future of the pro-science resistance. As candidates committed to evidence-based policy once elected, they are a crucial part of the pipeline of STEM professionals who will help to lead our movement in the future. This is an impressive group of candidates,from a senior researcher at the USDA to the leading housecall veterinarian in a local community, the diverse profiles of these candidates will strengthen their ability to legislate effectively.”
314 Action is the largest and only resource specifically created for scientists and STEM professionals seeking assistance running for office. 314 Action was founded by members of the STEM community, grassroots supporters and political activists. Formed in July 2016, 314 Action has over 400,000 active members and donors across the United States. 314 Action is concerned that STEM education in the United States is falling further and further behind the rest of the world, that our political leaders continue to deny scientific facts and that Congress fails to fully fund scientific research so we can solve pressing issues. For more information, visit 314action.org