Today, DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos announced that KS-02 Democratic candidate and Mayor of Topeka Michelle De La Isla will be added to the highly competitive Red to Blue Program. This designation is a recognition of the impressive people-powered campaign she’s built in Kansas as Democrats push deeper into Republican territory ahead of the 2020 election.
“The expanding economic and health crisis gripping our country, coupled with a lack of direction from the White House, means everyday Americans are turning to our local officials for the leadership we need to navigate these uncertain times,” DCCC Chairwoman Cheri Bustos said. “As Mayor of Topeka, Michelle De La Isla has proven time and again that she knows how to work across the partisan divide to deliver, and that working families don’t need more partisanship, they need concrete results. After making it through cancer and homelessness, Michelle hasn’t just beaten the odds – she has dedicated her life to ensuring Kansans can have their shot at the American Dream. From expanding access to affordable housing to growing jobs and small businesses in Topeka, Michelle is a force to be reckoned with.”
In 2018, it cost the GOP more than $7 million to hold this seat, with the Democratic nominee coming within a razor-thin 0.8 points of beating now-Congressman Steve Watkins. With a campaign plagued by scandal and an reckless agenda that is hurting Kansas’ families, Watkins is once again vulnerable in 2020. With grassroots momentum behind her and a proven ability to deliver for her community, Michelle has what it takes to hold Watkins accountable for his disastrous record in November.
The first Latina mayor of Topeka, Michelle grew up in poverty, was homeless, and survived domestic violence, before earning her degree at Wichita State University. After moving to Topeka, Michelle worked for several non-profit organizations and has used her story to help others overcome their circumstances. Michelle has spent her career advocating for her community and empowering Kansans to participate in their government. Now, she’s running for Congress to give them a voice in Washington and work towards solutions on key priorities like lowering health care and prescription drug costs, creating good paying jobs, and expanding opportunity so that every Kansan has the chance to succeed.
Red to Blue is a highly competitive and battle-tested DCCC program that arms top-tier candidates with organizational and fundraising support to help them continue to develop strong campaigns. Additionally, through Red to Blue the DCCC provides strategic guidance, staff resources, candidate trainings and more.