Marianne Williamson is first 2020 presidential candidate to respond to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Friday, Oct. 18, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Marianne Williamson is first 2020 presidential candidate to respond to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
  2. Voters in two states to elect state supreme court justices in November
  3. What’s the Tea?

Marianne Williamson is first 2020 presidential candidate to respond to Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

Author Marianne Williamson is the first 2020 presidential candidate to complete Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, answering questions about her personal beliefs, professional background, and political priorities.

Williamson describes the effect that the book, A Course in Miracles, had on her life and why she thinks the United States needs “a season of moral repair.” She also discusses reparations, money in politics, and the quality Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and Donald Trump have in common. 

Here are some of Williamson’s responses:

What legacy would you like to leave?

“A legacy of love that transforms politics and government to benefit We the People.”

What should a 28th Amendment to the Constitution say?

“Overturn Citizens United. Limit money in politics.”

What do you support that the majority of your party opposes?

“I am the first presidential candidate to advocate for reparations, and the only one with a plan for how to do it. 

In many ways, America has continued the process of racial reconciliation begun in the 1960’s. Yet in other ways, we have actually slipped backward. Yes, there are no more colored bathrooms and separate drinking fountains. But we now have mass incarceration; racial disparity in criminal sentencing; lost voting rights; outright voter suppression; and police brutality often focused on black populations.

Tepid solutions are not enough for the times in which we live; we need huge, strategized acts of righteousness, now. Just as Germany has paid $89 Billion in reparations to Jewish organizations since WW2, the United States should pay reparations for slavery. A debt unpaid is still a debt unpaid, even if it’s 150 years later. The legacy of that injustice lives on, with racist policies infused into our systems even to this day. From employment and housing discrimination, to equal access to quality education in underserved communities, to police brutality/prejudice, to lack of fair lending practices, to lack of access to quality healthcare, to insecure voting rights, America has not yet completed the task of healing our racial divide.

For that reason, I propose a $200 billion – $500 billion plan of reparations for slavery, the money to be disbursed over a period of twenty years. An esteemed council of African-American leaders would determine the educational and economic projects to which the money would be given.”

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We will continue to highlight noteworthy responses to the Candidate Connection survey in the Brew. Up next in Monday’s edition, Beto O’Rourke shares his vision for a 28th, 29th, and 30th Amendment. Williamson and O’Rourke are the first two noteworthy presidential candidates to complete the Ballotpedia Candidate Survey this cycle.

Our survey looks to find out what motivates candidates on both a political and personal level. It doesn’t simply contain issue questions. It’s designed to elicit responses from candidates on what they care about, what they stand for, and what they hope to achieve. With it, we aim to enlighten voters on the candidates’ political philosophy and provide candidates with the chance to show who they really are.

We’re looking forward to hearing from more 2020 presidential candidates. You can encourage them to participate! Send the candidate(s) you want to know more about a link to our Candidate Connection survey today.

The 5 vulnerable trifectas

Voters in two states to elect state supreme court justices in November 

In November, voters in two states—Kentucky and Louisiana—will fill vacancies on their state supreme courts, choosing new justices in special elections. In a third—Wisconsin—voters elected appeals court justice Brian Hagedorn to a seat on that state’s Supreme Court in April. All told, there are 344 state supreme court justices nationwide. Here’s a quick rundown of the elections in Kentucky and Louisiana.


Voters in Kentucky will select a state supreme court justice Nov. 5 to replace Bill Cunningham, who retired Jan. 31. The winner will serve the remainder of Cunningham’s term, which expires in January 2023. A full term on the court is eight years. 

Under Kentucky law, if there is a midterm vacancy on the state supreme court, the governor appoints a successor from a list of three names provided by the Kentucky Judicial Nominating Commission. The justice Gov. Matt Bevin (R) appointed to the court in March to serve until the election—David Buckingham—is not running for the seat. 

Of the seven current members of the Kentucky Supreme Court, three judges were appointed by a Republican governor, one judge was appointed by a Democratic governor, and three judges were initially selected in nonpartisan elections. 


Voters in Louisiana will select a state supreme court justice to replace Greg Guidry, who was confirmed to a federal judgeship in June. Guidry won a second, 10-year term on the Louisiana court in 2018. The winner of this election will serve the remainder of his term, which expires in 2029.

The Louisiana Supreme Court is made up of seven justices who are elected in partisan elections from seven districts. In the event of a vacancy, the remaining justices appoint a temporary replacement until the special election. The supreme court justices appointed state appeals court judge Susan Chehardy to replace Guidry in July.

Four Republicans ran for this seat in the Oct. 12 primary election. Since no candidate received a majority of the vote, the top two finishers—appeals court judges William Crain and Hans Liljeberg—will meet in the Nov. 16 general election. The Louisiana Supreme Court currently has five Republican and two Democratic judges.

Most states do not hold elections in odd-numbered years. Pennsylvania has judicial elections exclusively in odd-numbered years and Wisconsin elects judges every year. Louisiana and Washington may have judicial elections in both even- and odd-numbered years. None of the state supreme court justices in Pennsylvania or Washington are up for election in 2019.

What's the tea?

We’re continuing to survey Brew readers on whether they’ve ever participated or done certain things related to politics and policy—such as attending or speaking at governmental meetings or signing candidate or initiative petitions. We appreciate all your responses!

I don’t want to forget about the judicial branch, so here’s this week’s question: Have you ever served on a jury? I’ve never been picked for a jury. I was called for jury duty as recently as two months ago, but there weren’t any trials starting that week so I wasn’t chosen.

If you were like me and selected for jury duty, but didn’t actually serve on one, I would consider that a ‘no.’ If you were selected to a jury—even if the case was settled before you were asked to reach a verdict— let’s call that a ‘yes.’

Have you ever served on a jury?