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We’re committed to getting Democrats elected in rural America. We provide candidates with a national platform, connecting them with voters and activists across the country eager to donate and volunteer with candidates who need support. We choose our candidates based upon voter input and on the candidate’s ability to win against their Republican opponent, not on how much money they can raise. We work closely with our candidates, providing guidance, coaching, and resources. We’re right there with them throughout their campaign while fundraising, knocking doors, and holding town halls.

 Our support is not a one-time thing! It is ongoing and helps our candidates build camaraderie with other Democrats across the country. By sharing what is or is not working for them, they become valuable resources to one another. This is one of the many things only No Dem Left Behind can do for Democrats in rural America!  


Democrats in rural America have lacked representation at the local and national level long enough. No Dem Left Behind has learned from experience that the most conservative districts in the country have Democratic candidates popular enough to beat a Republican opponent. They have the support of the voters in rural America but without sufficient resources or a national platform they are easily drowned out by Republican messaging.   

At No Dem Left Behind, our candidates participate in virtual Town Halls that showcase Democratic candidates from rural America nationwide. The candidates make the case for why they are running so voters across the country can see what Democrats in rural America have to offer. Donors can choose to support specific candidates and can allocate their donation directly to those campaigns. 


We do this so that voters can . . .

  • Be interactive and see candidates in action
  • Engage with candidates across the country, not just locally
  • Gauge candidate popularity to assure they can beat a Republican opponent
  • Choose which candidates they would like to support


Hassan Martini

Hassan Martini

Executive Director

Hassan Martini founded No Dem Left Behind in the Winter of 2019, with one goal: to support candidates running for Congress in rural America.  Hassan saw an opportunity to help Democratic candidates in rural America become more competitive by helping them gain access to the resources they needed to win. As a campaign operative, Hassan has worked on dozens of campaigns from state legislature to Presidential, and one thing is the same — they all involve knocking on doors and talking directly to voters. When he is not organizing Hassan enjoys spending time with his family, watching sports, and hiking the great outdoors.

Contact Hassan at or on Twitter

James Bartosh

James Bartosh

Digital Director

James Bartosh is a lifelong resident of rural Wisconsin and owned a local machine shop for 13 years. Dismayed by the state of politics, he began volunteering with the Democratic Party in 2020, utilizing his passion for content creation and video production. The events and aftermath of January 6th, 2021 motivated him to shift careers and focus entirely on the mission of rescuing American Democracy.  James joined the No Dem Left Behind team in January of 2022 as a digital coordinator.  In his spare time he enjoys reading philosophy and can be found weekends out riding the trails on his custom UTV.

Contact James at

Anna Scudder

Anna Scudder

Community Organizer

Anna is a southern progressive democrat living in rural Georgia. She graduated from the University of West Georgia in 2018 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and a minor in Film. Since graduating, she has become a member of multiple communities and groups advocating for healthcare reform and reproductive justice. She is a mom to a few furry children and when not delving into politics, she enjoys her Xbox games, heavy metal music, and anything of the spooky variety.

Contact Anna at

William Wotawa

William Wotawa

Content Coordinator

William was born and raised in southern Alabama where he spent the first 28 years of his life. During that time, he experienced his own ideological shift from Republican to Libertarian and then Democratic, so he knows firsthand the persuasive power of truth, earnest discussion and a powerful message. At Troy University he earned a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with a focus on American Government. Since graduation, he has moved to Massachusetts where he has been involved in several campaigns concerning ballot initiatives. Events since the 2016 election have made him committed to doing what he can to try to fix what has been broken.

Contact William at

John Debona

John Debona

Digital Media Coordinator

John is a father of 4 living in Colorado District 4 who became involved in politics during the 2020 elections. He began volunteering on numerous campaigns and noticed that grassroots candidates lacked quality representation on social media and began volunteering his skills as a video producer. John says: “I’m doing what I love doing and wouldn’t change anything about getting here. Hard work pays off and dreams come true.”

Contact John at

National Spokesperson

Richard Ojeda II

Richard Ojeda II

National Spokesperson

Richard Ojeda served a long and decorated career in the United States military, and is an emerging political figure in Democratic politics. Ojeda enlisted as a soldier in the military in 1989, and was selected to serve as a Lieutenant Colonel prior to retiring from the military in 2013. Over the course of his 24 year military career, Ojeda served at Fort Bragg intermittently with several deployments to South Korea, Iraq, and Afghanistan.

Following his military career, Richard ran for the West Virginia State Senate in 2016. Richard won his State Senate seat, despite being brutally attacked on the campaign trail. Richard went on to lead a campaign to legalize medical cannabis in West Virginia, maintained two pay raises for correctional officers, and was an outspoken advocate for the 2018 teachers strike. In 2018, Ojeda ran for Congress in West Virginia’s 3rd congressional district. Although he did not win the seat, he received 44% of the vote, 32% more than the Democrat in the previous race. Richard has three children and has been married to his wife, Kelly, for 24 years.

In 2019, Richard launched a daily webcast, Ojeda Live, which is broadcast via Facebook from the Richard Ojeda page.


While we are working hard to have an impact in rural communities, we know that change at the national level is also necessary. We can help move the needle by supporting rural Democrats across the country, not just the ones who show up on our own ballot. By supporting and electing Democrats at every level across the country, we are putting people in power to facilitate the change we want to see in our country.


Rather than viewing access to the internet as a luxury, broadband access must be understood as an essential need to adequately participate in the 21st century society. Without connectivity, families are left without access to information, healthcare, school, work, and many more foundational parts of our lives. We need substantial investment in rural broadband infrastructure, funding to expand rural broadband grant programs, and to pass the Digital Equity Act. No Dem Left Behind supports candidates who will make rural broadband a priority in their first term of serving in office.

Climate Change

Climate change poses an existential threat to the American way of life. We support candidates who believe in climate change and lead with science constantly informing policy. Effective climate policy must address and mitigate the risks climate change poses to rural communities, as well as investing in innovation in rural communities. Clean energy infrastructure presents a unique opportunity to bring an abundance of new jobs to rural America. We are committed to candidates who believe in climate change, will fight to protect future generations from its negative impacts, and stand up for the interests of rural communities in climate policy. 


Education levels in rural America lag substantially behind the national average. Higher education levels are positively correlated with increased income and economic prosperity. To restore and cultivate community prosperity in rural America, it is necessary to invest in rural education. We need policies to support students, teachers, and faculty. In addition, we need to ensure quality access to education from a young age, access to education beyond high school, and to support local, rural colleges and universities. We support candidates who are committed to implementing and supporting such policies in their first term. 

Equality and Unity

In American society, inequality is an unfortunate part of daily life. The policies supported and enforced by the Trump administration opened the eyes of many Americans who simply wanted everyone to be treated fairly. From the restoration of the Voting Rights Act to the restructuring of immigration policies, our candidates stand up for equality and support all Americans. Taking equality for granted is the easiest way to lose it. To discuss these issues, we must have inclusive conversations that can bridge the wide divisive gaps in our country.

Fighting Extremisim

Extremist groups have been recognized and watched by federal law enforcement agencies for decades. Social situations in rural America are deeply impacted by the infiltration of these groups into the mainstream. No Dem Left Behind will strive to stay ahead of the divisive hatred by informing the public about groups, social situations, systemic racism, and current social issues. No Dem Left Behind must address extremism through encouraging open, inclusive dialogue that is informed by facts, not lies. Fighting extremism begins by electing officials who publicly denounce such groups and ideologies.

Dismantling White Supremacy

Extremist groups have been recognized and watched by federal law enforcement agencies for decades. Social situations in rural America are deeply impacted by the infiltration of these groups into the mainstream. No Dem Left Behind will strive to stay ahead of the divisive hatred by informing the public about groups, social situations, systemic racism, and current social issues. No Dem Left Behind must address extremism through encouraging open, inclusive dialogue that is informed by facts, not lies. Fighting extremism begins by electing officials who publicly denounce such groups and ideologies.

Fighting the Opioid Crisis

According to the Center for Disease Control website, nearly 450,000 people have died from an opioid overdose between 1999 and 2019. Entire communities in rural America have been left devastated by addiction and despair. Pharmaceutical companies laughed all the way to the bank while funding the very politicians meant to protect those suffering from addiction. No Dem Left Behind supports more funding for opioid treatment and recovery in communities that have been devastated by addiction for far too long.

Healthcare for All

Healthcare is a human right. That means it must be affordable AND accessible. Having health insurance doesn’t make much of a difference if all the hospitals in rural American are shutting down and people have to drive an hour or more for care. Our candidates believe that every American deserves quality healthcare.


Infrastructure is the backbone of any advanced economy. American infrastructure has been weakening for decades and has not been modernized in the 21st century. Infrastructure reform is necessary to revitalize and restore the American economy while addressing 21st century issues, like climate change. Additionally, infrastructure is inherently tied to several other facets of American society, especially in rural America. All policies that in effect revitalize and restore rural economies, education, broadband, and more must start with investments in infrastructure that will create a positive feedback loop. No Dem Left Behind is encouraged by the Biden administration’s mission to Build Back Better and seeks candidates who will work with the administration to address infrastructure needs in rural America.

Women’s Rights

We live in a country where women still don’t have the same rights as men. Reproductive rights is just one important example. With the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, every woman in this country was reminded that her right to make her own decisions about her body could not be taken for granted. Our candidates uphold the decision made by the Supreme Court and believe that a woman’s reproductive decision should be no one’s business but her own.  


Rural America includes 14% of the nation’s population but has accounted for only 4% of employment growth since 2013. Investment in the American economy must not leave rural America behind. As the country recovers from the economic shock of the COVID-19 crisis, we need to invest in job creation and support for existing businesses in rural America. This means supporting candidates who are committed to economic relief and job creation.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the poverty rate in rural America is roughly 4% higher than the same rate in urban areas. Poverty is an issue that permeates rural America, often leading to lower levels of educational attainment and increased levels of adverse health effects. It often fosters inequality by race and pits urban interests against rural interests. No Dem Left Behind is committing to the ideal that we are all created equal and share the same right to economic prosperity. Rural areas must be treated fairly and allocated the adequate resources to support impoverished communities while also fostering growth.  

Protecting Working People

No Dem Left Behind supports policies that support working people. We are committed to raising the minimum wage, fighting for workplace safety, and strengthening unions. We believe that no individual should work 40 hours a week and live under the poverty level. That is why we are committed to supporting candidates that fight for collective bargaining, strong workplace safety regulations, as well as retiree healthcare and Social Security benefits. We also believe in and support reforms to create a more fair and equitable tax system that requires everyone to pair their fair share.