Who am I?

I was born on July 18, 1960 in Detroit, Michigan to Fred and Marilyn Kundrata, hard-working and loving parents, who instilled in their five children the important values of helping others, being honest, and serving one’s country.

I attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio where I was a varsity track letterman, an Air Force ROTC cadet, and earned a Bachelor of Science in Procurement and Materials Management. After graduating, I was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force to pursue my goal to serve my country.

The highlight of my Air Force career came during the 1991 Gulf War, following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. During the Gulf War, I flew the first night of the war over hostile territory followed by several more combat reconnaissance missions over enemy territory. I was awarded the Air Medal and the Aerial Achievement Medal for my courageous flying and was recognized and honored by General Norman Schwarzkopf for actions taken during a mission to save an American pilot shot down behind enemy lines.

In 2000, I transitioned from USAF pilot duties to leadership assignments as a staff officer at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio and then to the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

In 2007, I served in support of Operation Enduring Freedom in the war zone of Bosnia and Herzegovina, where he I the Director of Operations of a Joint Task Force. I provided vital leadership in the organization’s capture of a Person Indicted For War Crimes and transport to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia at The Hague. I retired from the military in 2011 and was honored with the Meritorious Service Medal for his dedicated service to the United States of America.

In 1997, I established my roots in the Cincinnati community when I became a pilot for Delta Air Lines. As a proud member of the Air Line Pilots Association AFL-CIO, I'm a sixteen-year veteran commercial pilot now flying international aircraft. I'm also a licensed attorney and small business owner of residential apartment buildings throughout Cincinnati.

Why am I running?

I believe in America. I believe in America’s institutions and our Constitution. I am proud to have served my country as a pilot in the United States Air Force. But, I worry because America’s system of institutions only succeed when it is guided by leaders who act responsibly – leaders who put the common good before any individual claims. We need our leaders to bring people together to solve today’s difficult challenges in our changing world.

I am running for the United States Congress because I want to serve the people of Ohio’s 1st District and bring real change to the U.S. Congress.

I offer a solid program of effective leadership for Ohio’s future:

Creating Jobs and a Strong Economy
Strongly Supporting Public Education
Supporting our Veterans
Supporting our Senior Citizens
Supporting the Social Safety Net for our Most Vulnerable Citizens
Protecting our Environment
Promoting Peace and Keeping America Safe
Strengthening Labor Unions
Expanding the Middle Class

There are too many U.S. Representatives, today, who have turned their backs on America's middle-class. These same Representatives appear to favor the idea of the wealthy becoming wealthier and supporting large corporate profits at the expense of expanding the middle class.

This nation has a declining manufacturing base and crumbling infrastructure, which is increasingly hurting America’s competitiveness. However, the Republican Leadership pushes for further tax cuts to the wealthy, instead of investing in new manufacturing opportunities and repairing America’s infrastructure.

I will create a Jobs Leadership Team that will bring together Labor, Business, Elected Officials and Community Leaders to focus on job creation and reinvesting in America’s infrastructure.

Labor Unions were the backbone of the worker's rights revolution that created the middle class. I believe we must strengthen Labor Unions that will in turn help restore the middle class – a win win for our communities, businesses, Labor, working families and America!

I am looking forward to hearing the stories and thoughts of voters in the next months as I listen to their concerns and offer my plans to advocate for federal funds and legislation to rebuild Cincinnati's vital infrastructure of the sewers, roads, bridges, rail, and waterways; revitalize our transportation and commerce hub; continue the growth of the OTR Gateway; promote fairness and justice in the work place for each of us to enjoy the fruits of our labor with a fair, livable wage, including equal pay for women who earn less than their male counterparts; allow common-sense, family care benefits and protections for men and women to care for a child or elderly parent if necessary; improving our public schools; saving Medicare and social security; and for creating jobs coupled with much needed education and training, especially for the long-term unemployed leading to business growth, and so much more. I believe working together for opportunities is best for all as we lift each other up for a better tomorrow. Let’s work together for change.

My Goals

When I get elected to Congress, I will be proud to bring my core values of honesty, integrity, and bold progressive action to Congress.
I have three main policy goals to accomplish when I get into office:
-Transportation and infrastructure
I will fight for federal funding to repair roads and bridges long-neglected in Cincinnati. I will sponsor legislation to cut through the red tape for approving public works projects, and work with local, state, and national elected officials to bring a state of the art, clean-energy powered mass transit system to Cincinnati, built with Union labor. I will work to expand our streetcar program and to build bus terminals with dedicated lanes on our highways to create public transportation arteries in and out of the city. This will create short -term and long-term employment opportunities, increase highway safety, and cut down on pollution.

-I will be a Strong Advocate for Ohio Working Families
I will work hard within Congress to raise and index the minimum. wage and close the pay gap between men and women. I will defend the Affordable Care Act and protect programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security benefits from privatization.

-Strengthening Labor Unions
Labor organization is a crucial part of the fight against corporate greed. I want to protect collective bargaining rights and fight against so-called "right-to-work" laws and trade agreements that don't prioritize American workers or the rights of workers around the globe. Furthermore, I want to work with labor unions to end discrimination based on race, creed, gender and sexual orientation in the workplace and in the voting booth, and to make sure maternity and family leave is a protected right for workers.

My DFA Values

I believe that one of the main jobs of our government is to do everything in it's power to make this country a more fair and equal place. There are many specific policy items and legislative agendas that can help achieve that goal, but it also starts in the mindsets of the representatives and the values they set for their campaign and their personal lives.
On my campaign, I wake up everyday looking forward to meeting with my voters and hearing what it is they care most about in Ohio's 1st district. It's their voices I want to amplify when I get to Washington, and their voices I want to keep hearing when I return to work in district. I will fight for for the communities of district 1, and I want my campaign to be focused on reaching out to include those communities at every step.
As a veteran, security is a personal value that is deeply important to me. Security is not just about having strong national defense, however. Security is knowing that when you return home from combat, you have services awaiting you to help you transition into civilian life. That if you have worked hard, as a public servant or private sector employee, you have the security of benefits you've earned awaiting you. It's the security of knowing our children can go to school safely thanks to common-sense gun laws, and the security of knowing health care is being recognized as a right, not a privilege, in this county.
I've fought in defense of freedom, and there are many ways to keep working to protect our fundamental rights as American citizens. My campaign is dedicated to protecting those rights by building relationships with our community to represent people, not Corporations or PACs, when I get to Washington.

My Campaign is People Powered!

My commitment to the labor community means that I am on the phone every morning reaching out to the Local and state labor unions, taking with their members and participating int heir meetings and events.I honored Worker's Memorial Day with the AFL-CIO and celebrated international Workers Day with the Cincinnati Interfaith Workers center. These outreach efforts have resulted in a large part of our volunteer force being made of up of local labor union volunteers.
Our Primary GOTV effort was built on a data-driven, people-centered model. We had an army of volunteer phonebankers calling supporters and getting them to the polls, and volunteers in the community turning our voters as well. Not only did this result in a solid victory, but it resulted in a large force of new volunteers as well!
We will continue to develop our grassroots field team based on solid data and oriented around our superstar volunteers. We will work in concert with the Democratic parties and statewide campaigns to build a field team that brings in votes with 1:1 conversations over the phone and in person. I believe that persuasive conversations between volunteers and the community will be the most powerful tool we have to win this election

Voice support

Supporters:

  • Kate Kight
  • Michael Ozaki, CA
  • Camille Threats


About the Endorsement Process

The driving force behind all DFA endorsements is our members. We recognize that all politics is local and that what is considered progressive in Los Angeles may be very different from what's considered progressive in Louisville. For this reason, DFA does not have a litmus test of specific progressive positions for which a candidate must stand. Our endorsement is heavily weighted based on these questions:

• Will the candidate move the progressive movement forward in their community?
• Does the candidate have substantial support from our local members?
• Do the candidate's positions and policies fit into the broader progressive movement?
• Is the campaign people-powered and the candidate working to win?

If you have questions, or want to let us know about a candidate in your neighborhood, please call us at (802) 651-3200 or email us at [email protected] .

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