PRESS RELEASE: Missouri House Candidate Fiala joins Rural Candidates to Launch The TEAM, a Missouri Rural Candidate Collaborative

June 24, 2020

MISSOURI - Today, 23 rural, Democratic candidates from across Missouri are launching The TEAM: To Empower All Missourians, a candidate collaborative focused on supporting campaigns and causes in rural communities across the state of Missouri. The group primarily exists to share information, resources, and opportunities among candidates running campaigns in areas that are often ignored or forgotten. The TEAM was formed initially by four candidates and their teams: Elad Gross for Missouri Attorney General, Lindsey Simmons for US Congress in MO-04, Dennis Oglesby for US Congress in MO-03, and Kathy Ellis for US Congress in MO-08.

“Too often, our rural areas are written out of the political conversation. They’re seen as too red, too rural, and too difficult to organize in, and that hurts candidates who sign up to run in these regions. We need to run strong campaigns in every corner of our state, and many of the resources shared with urban/suburban campaigns are out of reach for rural candidates. We exist to fill that gap,” said founding member and Candidate for US Congress in Missouri’s 8th District, Kathy Ellis.

The 23 candidates TEAM Member Candidates, so far, include: Adrian Plank, Candidate for MO-47; Andy Leighton, Candidate for MO-147; Bill Betteridge, Candidate for MO-48; Christine Hyman, Candidate for MO 105; Cindy Slimp, Candidate for MO-133; Dave Gragg, Candidate for MO-130; Dr. Gena Ross, Candidate for US Congress MO-6; Jacque Sample, Candidate for MO-044; Jessica DeVoto, Candidate for MO-104; John Kiehne, Candidate for MO-110; Kari Chesney, Candidate for MO-50; Laura Loyacono, Candidate for MO-36; Marvin Manring, Candidate for MO-128; Neal Barnes, Candidate for MO-56; Susan Shumway, Candidate for MO-108, Tammy Harty, Candidate for MO-33; Teresa Montseny, Candidate for US Congress MO-07; Terrence Fiala, Candidate for MO-6; Tracy Grundy, Candidate for MO-102; and the four founding member candidates, Kathy Ellis, Elad Gross, Dennis Oglesby, and Lindsey Simmons.

The group will operate a shared Facebook page, where volunteers and supporters will be able to sign up for opportunities in support of all TEAM Candidates; will host Rural Days and Weeks of Action during the campaign cycle; and will offer information and resources to other candidates who are running in these rural Districts. The TEAM Members will also collaborate on town halls, shared volunteer opportunities like phone banks and canvasses, and fundraising events.

Fiala stated, “This an exciting opportunity to give a voice to those folks in rural Missouri. I was born and raised in rural Missouri and I have experienced the feeling of our voices not being heard or our needs addressed. I’m excited for the chance to work with this talented group of candidates to improve the lives of rural Missourians. ”

For more information about The TEAM, visit:

Contact: Terrence Fiala