Growing up as the son of a single mother and unable to afford college, Brandon Taitt spent the last decade using the only currency he had to help elect Democrats in Minnesota — his time.

He volunteered on local and presidential campaigns, but when other activists urged him to run for office, Taitt always had a reason not to do it: He had a new job, or he was a new husband, and then he became a father. “I’d come up with a million reasons about why I couldn’t or wouldn’t or anything else I could think of,” he said. “And then November 8 happened.”   MORE