Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover

Introducing Krystal Ball

Filed By Juan and Ken Ahonen-Jover | June 29, 2009 2:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: endorsed candidates, eQualityGiving, Krystal Ball, LGBT, LGBT civil rights

A wife and mother supports equality...

...and she is running for Congress!

Straight allies of the LGBTQ community are critical to the success of achieving equality. And there can be no stronger ally than this 27 year old wife and mother running for Congress in Virginia's first district: Krystal Ball.

Here is what she had to say:

If I'm elected to Congress, it will send the country an important message: that standing up for civil rights for the LGBT community is an asset to getting elected.

Krystal supports all the Equality Goals and is making waves in the LGBTQ community because she has put equality front and center in her campaign, and she has put repealing the Defense of Marriage Act on her campaign website homepage.

Ball is a CPA, a software designer and a triathlete. She will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress and bring the values that young Americans have to Washington. When asked why she supports equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, she gives the most compelling reason: her daughter, the toddler Ella pictured here, as expressed in this powerful homemade video:

Krystal has done something extraordinary by firmly supporting the LGBTQ community. Now it is vital that we make sure she gets elected. In order to do this, she must be one of the top fundraisers early in the 2010 cycle. So, consider giving to her candidacy before the June 30 deadline. Her success so far has discouraged other candidates from opposing her in the primary, so now she is the Democratic nominee. She has already been endorsed by Emily's List and eQualityGiving.

We hope you will take a moment to explore all of the eQualityGiving's Endorsed Candidates and give as much as you can to each of their campaigns. As always, we provide a safe space for donors, and we do not track your individual donations. Their campaigns are in great need of donations since their races are neck and neck.

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I'm sure she's a wonderful candidate, but someone should really slap her parents for naming her that.

Ok, so it wasn't just me who thought that then? Thank god. I mean, I love a good name but that couldn't have been fun to grow up with. Here's hoping it doesn't bite her in the butt now because she seems like she has her head and heart in the right place

There's no way a candidate with that name, especially in combination with youth, inexperience, and without a long track track of a distinguished career, will ever be elected to Congress. And I know the dangers of proclaiming absolutes, and I'm still doing it.

Perhaps if she tried for a local or state position, and gained a positive reputation associated with that name, that might mitigate some of the problems with it.

When I saw it, I was sure it was either a joke, or a porn star using the campaign as a publicity stunt, as has been done in other elections. Either way, the public cannot take seriously, a congressional candidate with the name Krystal Ball.

I live in Virginia's 1st district and I am excited about Krystal Ball's candidacy. I have been following politics here for nearly two decades, and I am not a political novice. The first district has undergone a lot of demographic changes since the early 1990s, growing ever more diverse and increasingly more progressive.

All those retired military people have actually helped the district become more racially diverse. For example in 2008 it was commonplace to see vehicles sporting bumper stickers of the USMC's globe and anchor as well as Obama for President stickers. Our local Democratic committee has grown my leaps and bounds while the GOP committee has not added new members. In the 2008 elections my county had several precincts that went for Obama by percentages in the high-70s.

I live in one of the most conservative areas of the first district. The farther south you go, the more liberal it becomes with higher numbers of union members (Newport News Shipbuilding and Anheiser Busch) and the university crowd (University of Mary Washington, Christopher Newport, William and Mary) Fredericksburg City, Prince William, King George, Westmoreland, Caroline Counties are all predominately DEM. York, Newport News and Williamsburg have strong DEM performance as well.

Krystal's name is unique and hard to forget. She is smart as all get-out, with refreshing new ideas and practical approaches and she's been charming folks from Prince William to Pocoquoson. Krystal is also the only candidate in the race who's ever had to meet a payroll, and the only one who knows what it's like to own and run a small business. She's no slouch at raising money either, having out-raised both her DEM primary opponent and the GOP incumbent in the last reporting period.

Any challenger taking on an incumbent is a long shot -- but this is a year when it's not so great to be an incumbent and the 411 about Rob Whittman is that he's one of the least effective members of Congress and an do-nothing. That the GOP is less-than-thrilled with his lackluster performance and Krystal's growing populist-appeal makes this race one of the more competitive long shots I've seen in a lifetime of observing politics.

Take a look at Krystal Ball's position now, 9 months later. In the face of the money donated to Krystal's campaign by people all over America, her Democratic competition, incumbent "blue dog" Democrat Scott Robinson, just conceded the Democratic Primary, Mar. 30, 2010, to Krystal Ball.

FYI, Jane Mitakides (D) ran against Congressman Mike Turner (R-Ohio 3rd district) in 2004 and 2008, and she is a supporter of LGBTQ Equality. (Mike Turner is not.) Her husband, kids, and staffers have come to several LGBT events in the area and held a fundraiser at a local gay nightclub (that was a lot of fun!). Unfortunately she lost both times. I hope she runs again.

I must confessed that I was surprised by the comments about Krystal Ball's name. Should Barack Hussein Obama change his name too if he wanted to be elected?

We are much better than that.

Juan Ahonen-Jover

If you think the electorate is better than trying to tell a book by its cover, you might be in the wrong line of work.

But your example of President Obama's name is not apt. While his name might be unusual, or of a different ethnic strain, it is clearly a real name and without sexual inuendo. Neither can be said of Krystal Ball.

If she wants to be taken seriously as a candidate, but doesn't want to do the long, hard work of paying political dues and working her way up the system of running for local office first to prove her bona fides, then yes, she needs to change her name.

No Juan, we definitely are not better than that. Apparently you've forgotten what the right-wing did with Obama's middle name during the campaign?

I'm just saying that having a funny name especially one as obviously contrived as hers, can't be a help in either politics or life.

I'm surprised that you're surprised. This is a very heavily Republican district since 1977 and her incumbent opponent won 61-37 in the 2007 special election and 57-42 in 2008. She's under 30 and I'm not looking forward to how nasty Rush and the other Rethuglicans are going to be. I find her very engaging and bright, and I'm pleased that she is out front about her support of gay rights, but that isn't much in the sometimes-brutal game of realpolitik. I don't wonder that she is courageous as a political novice, but I do wonder at those who are pushing her out front for the big fall.

Bob Roehr | June 30, 2009 7:46 PM

It is a VERY Republican district, with a heavy military and retired military population (with the black precincts carved out for a majority black Tidewater district), and the incumbent is about as moderate a Republican as can win the primary. Ms. Ball has an uncontested road to the primary because no mor experienced (any experience) Democrat wants the nomination; she is the voluntary sacrificial lamb.

All I can think is that the authors are making the endorsement based on personal ties and not upon a realistic political analysis.

I'll confess, I googled her name when I was scheduling this post because I thought it was some sort of satire I wasn't privy to....

Good luck to Ms. Ball!

I Googled her too when I saw the post in queue. I thought Juan and Ken were doing a joke post before I read it and realized the name wasn't meant for a giggle. I still did though...

I think the other readers have raised a valid point though, Juan & Ken. People will make fun of her name since it's so unusual for people to be named after fortune telling devices... It's up to her to turn it from a disadvantage to an advantage. I hope she's able to do it; we need more LGBT-friendly progressives in Congress!

I personally love her name! Welcome to the [political] stage, Krystal Ball!

Rick Sours | June 30, 2009 2:31 PM

Virginia is a a very unique state politically and

There is Northern Virginia and the Tidewater areas
which tend to be progessive, regardless of a Republican or Democrat holding office.

Then there is the rest of the state which is
quite conservative to say the very least.

Several years ago when an amendment was on the ballot to constitutional state that
marriage is defined as between a man and a woman:
the Northern Virginia and the Tidewater were against this amendment by large percentages. It passed by large percentages in the rest of the state.

This will be a good race to follow.

I actually know Krystal, and she is a wonderful person. Even I have succumbed to the temptation to tease her about her name, but she was unaffected. I think she actually likes how unique the name makes her, and that kind of name recognition might be what it takes to get her elected.
Hopefully, voters will take the time to get to know Krystal and not judge her on her name alone, because she is actually very progressive in her politics and could be a strong ally for the gay community.

Topher, these comments aren't about her as a person, or her ability to take ribbing. It's about breaking through the static to get your message heard. People decide in a split second whether or not to even tune in to pay attention, much less hear, or process, or ruminate over a message.

They subconciously look for clues of seriousness and worthiness because there are so many competing messages. The name Krystal Ball does not convey that. As I said before, if she had a reputation of accomplishment associated with that name which might mitigate some of the negatives, it might be different. But as a complete unknown, with no political trackrecord, she won't even get the chance to prove her sincerity.

I find it interesting that even though she's married, she chose to use her maiden name in the campaign. Obviously a way for her to get attention and get her name out there.