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Category: Governors

More Candidates Respond to Senate / Governor Disability Vote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 19 – Since the first release earlier this month, six additional politicians have submitted their responses for the #PwDsVote 2016 Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire – making a total of 21 candidates for Senate or Governor to have provided detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

The more than 56 million people with disabilities in the U.S. have a long list of policy concerns for the candidates running for governor and the U.S. Senate in 2016: Employment. Stigma. Education. Criminal Justice. Independent Living. Sexual Assault. Housing. Transportation. Adaptive Technology.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, asked candidates on both sides of the aisle to complete a 16 (for gubernatorial) or 17 (for Senate) question survey. The questionnaire asked for their positions on a range of issues important to the disability community, a group that makes up fully one-in-five Americans. Their answers are posted verbatim and in full here on The RespectAbility Report, a publication that covers the intersection of disability and politics.

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.

Montana’s Greg Gianforte Responds to #PwDsVote Governor Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Greg Gianforte wearing a white collared shirt and brown blazer, outside with a tree in the background
Greg Gianforte

Washington, Sept. 17 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Greg Gianforte, a Republican seeking the governorship of Montana, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Montana currently has the twelfth highest percentage of employed people of disabilities (40.5 percent), compared with 77.7 percent of people without disabilities. View the rankings of all 50 states and compare.

Geographically, Montana is in an employment hotspot for people with disabilities. It is bordered by Wyoming and the Dakotas, three states who have some of the highest rates of employment in the country for people with disabilities. This gives Montana the opportunity to closely communicate and collaborate with its neighbors to identify and employ best practices and improve outcomes for people with disabilities.

Vermont’s Sue Minter Completes #PwDsVote Governor Campaign Questionnaire

headshot of Sue Minter in a white shirt and blue blazer, outside with building behind her
Sue Minter

Washington, Sept. 17 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Sec. Sue Minter, a Democratic candidate seeking the governorship in Vermont, along with Republican hopeful Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Only 33.3 percent of Vermont’s more than 41,500 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition. Among those with disabilities, there is a poverty rate of 29.2 percent in Vermont.

Both Minter and Scott, as well as Democrat Sen. Patrick Leahy, incumbent running for re-election for the U.S. Senate seat in Vermont, submitted their responses to the questionnaire, ensuring that the voters of Vermont can make an informed decision.

We are presenting Minter’s answers in full below.

#PwDsVote Campaign Questionnaire: Call to Action

Washington, Sept. 7 – With just 61 days until Election Day, RespectAbility is calling on all candidates for governor or Senate to complete the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire.“PwDs” stands for “people with disabilities.” So far, Hillary Clinton and 15 candidates for Senate or Governor from both parties have done so. Now we’re calling on you to help to encourage the remainder. A number of candidates, including Donald Trump, have yet to fill out a nonpartisan candidate questionnaire on issues vital to America’s 56 million citizens with disabilities!

Call and tweet candidates and demand that they respond to the questionnaire. Tell them why it’s important to you!

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale. Why are we focusing on candidates for governor and U.S. Senate? The reason is simple. We hope that voters who care about disability issues will have the opportunity to compare how the candidates responded to the same questions in their own words.

The questionnaire itself has been written in a way that is acceptable for 501c3 nonprofits, is nonpartisan and is not electioneering. RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

First Ever Senate / Governor Disability Vote Campaign Questionnaire

Washington, Sept. 6 – Employment. Stigma. Education. Criminal Justice. Independent Living. Sexual Assault. Housing. Transportation. Adaptive Technology. Fifteen candidates for Senate or Governor have given detailed answers about their views on these issues for people with disabilities.

The more than 56 million people with disabilities in the U.S. have a long list of policy concerns for the candidates running for governor and the U.S. Senate in 2016. Only one-in-three working-age Americans with a disability has a job, despite the fact that studies show that 70 percent want to work. Moreover, according to Disability & Criminal Justice Reform: Keys to Success, more than 750,000 people with disabilities are behind bars in our nation. Disability is the only minority group that people can join at any time due to accident, illness or aging.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, asked candidates on both sides of the aisle to complete a 16 (for gubernatorial) or 17 (for Senate) question survey. The questionnaire asked for their positions on a range of issues important to the disability community, a group that makes up fully one-in-five Americans. Their answers are posted verbatim and in full here on The RespectAbility Report, a publication that covers the intersection of disability and politics.

This is the first time down-ballot candidates have been asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale.

Missouri’s Chris Koster Responds to #PwDsVote Governor Campaign Questionnaire

Official portrait of Chris Koster  in a black suit, white shirt and yellow tie
Chris Koster

Washington, Sept. 1 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat running to be Missouri’s next governor, responded to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

Only 33 percent of Missouri’s more than 450,000 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness and even can increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition.

While Koster did not answer each question individually, he sent a letter addressing several of the issues brought up in the questionnaire including ensuring websites are accessible for all, expanding access to healthcare and ensuring accessible housing for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility also has sent the questionnaire to the campaign of Republican Eric Greitens, who also is seeking the governorship in Missouri.

We are presenting Koster’s full letter below:

Vermont’s Phil Scott Completes #PwDsVote Governor Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Phil Scott smiline
Phil Scott

Washington, Aug. 30 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Lt. Gov. Phil Scott, a Republican candidate seeking the governorship in Vermont, has completed the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

RespectAbility is seeking answers from the campaign of Democrat Sue Minter, who also is seeking the governorship in Vermont.

We are presenting Scott’s answers in full below.

Calling All Disability Activists – Engage Your State’s Candidates to Complete #PwDsVote Questionnaire!

Image saying VOTE with O being an image of a person in a wheelchair
America has 56 million people with disabilities, comprising the largest minority group in America, and the only one that, due to an accident or illness, anyone can join at any time.

Washington, Aug. 29 – We’re calling all disability activists to join us in engaging candidates in open and competitive senate and gubernatorial races to complete the #PwDsVote Senate & Gubernatorial Disability Questionnaire!

New Hampshire’s Derek Dextraze on the #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

Headshot of Derek Dextraze
Derek Dextraze

Washington, August 28 – The 2016 New Hampshire gubernatorial election will take place on November 8, 2016. The primaries will be held on September 13.

RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked candidates for New Hampshire’s governorship on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Democrat Derek Dextraze is the first candidate from this race to respond to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

“This is my first time running for any office of government and I don’t know all the things wrong or even good things,” Dextraze wrote to RespectAbility. “I believe if I do win, that working with the people and the people at RespectAbility, that we together can come up with something that works for us all. I feel bad I don’t know all the issues but I am willing to learn them and help all that I can. My goal as Governor is to HELP as many people as I can.”

While he did not respond to all of the questions, he added that he is “fighting for the rights of people with disabilities” to his issues page.

RespectAbility is seeking responses from the remainder of the candidates in the race and will publish those responses when they are received.

Dextraze did not respond to all of the questions. We are presenting his answers in full below.

Delaware’s Colin Bonini First to Complete #PwDsVote Gubernatorial Campaign Questionnaire

State Sen. Colin Bonini standing, wearing a suit with a red tie, talking to a constituent
State Sen. Colin Bonini

Washington, Aug. 28 – RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, has asked gubernatorial candidates on both sides of the aisle to fill out a questionnaire on disability issues. Colin Bonini, a Republican candidate seeking the governorship in Delaware, is the first to respond to the #PwDsVote Disability Campaign Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates for people with disabilities.

RespectAbility is nonpartisan and does not endorse candidates. The questionnaire is purely for educational purposes.

The State Senator sought out input from RespectAbility in completing his responses and spent more than an hour on a conference call with members of RespectAbility’s staff. This assistance is available to all candidates who are completing the questionnaire.

RespectAbility is seeking answers from the campaign of Democrat John Carney, former Lieutenant Governor of Delaware, and Republican Lacey Lafferty, retired state trooper, who also are seeking the governorship in Delaware.

We are presenting Bonini’s answers in full below.

RespectAbility Unveils #PwDsVote Disability Questionnaire for Senate and Gubernatorial Candidates

Questions Focus on Issues Relating to Employment and Stigma

Image of two people voting - one blind and one in a wheelchair
America has 56 million people with disabilities, comprising the largest minority group in America, and the only one that, due to an accident or illness, anyone can join at any time.

Washington, Aug. 7 – Last winter, RespectAbility sent the #PwDsVote Presidential Campaign Questionnaire to all of the presidential candidates. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton responded in full. While several Republican primary candidates did, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign has yet to return any answers to the questionnaire.

Now RespectAbility has adapted the questionnaire for down-ballot races, focusing on open and competitive senate and gubernatorial races. This gives the disability community an opportunity to make a difference by contacting these candidates and urging them to complete the questionnaire. RespectAbility has provided the candidates’ email addresses and Twitter handles for people to do so. They are below.

Celebrating ADA on the Sidelines of the DNC

Gov. Jack Markell wearing a gray suit talking behind a podium with the text: #ABLE2WORK #ADA26
Gov. Jack Markell (D-DE) / Photo via AUCD

Philadelphia, July 31 – Gathered in the city of brotherly love, more than a hundred disability activists celebrated the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on Tuesday.

Current and former officials touted the importance of the ADA and focused specifically on disability employment and economic empowerment for people with disabilities.

Delaware Gov. Jack Markell talked about making employment for people with disabilities his platform while leading the National Governors’ Association – something he said other governors questioned.

“But I knew something: that when we focus on the ability rather than the disability, it’s amazing what we can accomplish together,” the governor said. “I also knew that in a world where Democrats and Republicans so often cannot find common ground, that this was an issue where we would find a way to work together.”

Gov. Malloy Opens DNC by Owning his Own Disabilities

Philadelphia, July 25 – “I am here today to tell you a story of hope,” Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy said at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, before speaking about his life and experiences as a person with multiple disabilities. “It’s a story of a young boy with physical and severe…

Gov. Hassan: Son with Cerebral Palsy is Reason She’s Involved in Public Service

Washington, May 4 – New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan (D), who is running for the Senate against Kelly Ayotte (R), is out with a new ad that may just take your breath away. Hassan’s ad, her first of the season, tells the story of her son Ben, who has cerebral…

Gov. Branstad Touts Jobs for Iowans with Disabilities

Washington, April 9 – Months following the presidential primary caucus, Iowa may be out of the political spotlight for many but the disability community is still making headway in the first caucus state. Gov. Terry Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds are bringing critical attention to Iowa’s leadership as the third…