Stephani Wudarski (30), a Democrat from Pittsburgh, PA, does not belong to a synagogue but attends High Holy Day services with her family and went to Israel on Birthright. She works for a managed Medicaid company and has a background treating substance use disorders. She was a passionate supporter of Kamala Harris and volunteered for her campaign until Harris dropped out of the race in December.
We are providing the unfiltered opinions of voters interviewed for this project. Those views are based on their understanding and perception of facts and information from a range of sources. In some cases, that information may be misleading or incorrect.
Why are you drawn to Kamala Harris?
I started paying attention to her initially in the various confirmation hearings, and I just thought she gets how people work and think. The Kavanaugh hearings were more traumatic for me than I would have thought, just gut-wrenching. I was so impressed with Kamala’s questioning of him and how she didn’t let him get away without answering specific questions. She is also empathetic and super intelligent and comes up with solutions that take into account people’s real lives. So, when she announced on Martin Luther King Day, I felt like someone genuinely understood this moment in history. I felt a bit of hope for the future, which I hadn’t felt in a long time.
What issues do you care about most?
Number one is beating Donald Trump. That’s the most important thing. Number two, is just basic decency and humanity. Number three for me is health care/criminal justice, which I think are difficult to separate. Especially in the behavioral health world, which I work in, they are so intertwined that you can’t really look at one without the other.
Do you have any make or break issues?
None for me. The Democrats are light years ahead of Trump on the issues. I don’t think there is anyone worse in the world than Donald Trump. Coming from a behavioral health perspective, it’s clear he’s just not a good person. I don’t say that about many people, but he’s incapable of feeling empathy for anyone except himself. And he commits crimes left and right. He just needs to go.
Do a candidate’s views on Israel matter to you?
Yes and no. Certain politicians think they need to take the most pro-Israel stance, but it’s not clear what that means since most people in Israel probably still support a two-state solution. I think BDS is pretty far out there, but I understand their frustrations about how Palestinians are not being treated with dignity and respect. I feel they make reasonable arguments but go overboard.
What traits matter to you most in a candidate?
Being unapologetic about social justice issues. I’m drawn to Kamala, Cory Booker and Beto because I think they’re unapologetic in the way they speak about social justice. Whereas the other candidates are continuously chasing after white working-class voters that they aren’t going to win back.
Are there conflicts in your family about politics?
My family of origin are all Democrats. One aunt is a hardcore Republican, so that’s always fun. My husband is absolutely even further left than I am. He actually refuses to register for any political party. He’s against the two-party system. We have argued about it a little bit. I’m like, come on dude, just register as a Democrat this time and vote in the primary. In 2012 and 2016 he voted in the general elections, and he will for sure vote this time around. Yeah, he will definitely vote.
How do you feel about the impeachment inquiry?
I 100 percent support impeachment now and I 100 percent supported impeachment prior to the Ukraine revelations. I read the full Mueller report and believe there is more than enough evidence that Donald Trump obstructed justice. I struggled with the idea of Democrats not holding him accountable, despite recognizing the possible political implications. For a while, it felt as if Democrats were also not living up to their own oath of office. But now that I have seen the process play through, I am glad they held off.