5 things you may not know about Mindy Finn, Evan McMullin's running mate
Posted October 13, 2016
Independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin announced Mindy Finn as his running mate last weekend.
Finn, 35, runs Empowering Women, a nonprofit organization that looks to empower women throughout the country. Finn has previously worked with Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, while also serving time as senior digital strategist for the GOP.
She told ABC News that she joined McMullin to help stop GOP nominee Donald Trump from securing the presidency.
“I’ve been part of the group opposing Donald Trump in the Republican Party really since he announced last summer and as he continued to alienate and vilify people in this country,” she said. And while she “encouraged others to run for office, this is now an opportunity to walk the walk,” she told ABC News.
“This is how it should feel to participate in a democracy,” she said. "I’ve also been incredibly impressed by the amount of traction they have in such a short amount of time, and I am thrilled to be part of continuing to build a new movement."
Indeed, McMullin has seen a climb in notoriety as of late. Former Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell endorsed McMullin this past weekend. McMullin has also seen a slight climb in the polls, rising higher than Jill Stein in Utah. His best chance, media critic Ross Douthat said, is to win the state.
With a running mate, McMullin may seem poised to compete for the presidency.
But how much do people know about Finn? Here’s a look at five interesting facts about the new vice-presidential candidate you may not already know.
She’s a dedicated Jewish believer
Back in January, Finn wrote on the website Voice.NeverTrump.com that she sees herself as a mother and a strong Jewish follower. She said it's her faith that helps guide her decisions, according to the Jewish Daily Forward.
“I’m a lifelong Republican,” she wrote on the website. “But more importantly, I’m an American, a mom, and though I don’t wear it on my sleeve, a committed Jew. When I see an authoritarian decide who are winners and losers as if he were picking race horses to bet on, habitually equate people to animals and mock their looks and mannerisms, I see the antithesis of leadership. When I see a man equate strength with an ability to erect tall buildings in their name while threatening to banish entire religions from our country, I don’t merely shake my head in disgust. I’m afraid.”
She worked closely with Romney
Back in 2007, Finn worked with Romney as his digital and online strategist. As she told Tech President in a 2008 interview, she actually helped the future 2012 presidential nominee develop a website and a YouTube strategy that would later be used by fellow candidates.
“You may recall that the Romney campaign was the first on either side to launch a full-fledged campaign site with extensive issue information, fundraising platform, ‘best of the web’ section, and the candidate's own web video channel stock full of videos of media appearances and campaign events,” she said.
She told Tech Insider that she liked how President Barack Obama integrated his online strategy with a grassroots movement when he ran for president.
It seems Finn will return to that grassroots movement with McMullin.
She’s looking out for families
McMullin and Finn don’t have specific policies yet on how to help parents across the country, but they want to make sure that families get paid time off and better childcare, Finn told Glamour magazine this week.
In an interview with the beauty magazine, Finn admitted she wants to make sure families are happy above all else. To do that, she said, is to make sure there is paid leave for women.
“We both believe that what’s key to our campaign — and it might sound cheesy — is the pursuit of happiness component and having that at the core of our policy ideas,” she told Glamour magazine. “So when it comes to something like pay or family leave, we want to look at the economics, certainly, but also with an understanding of what people actually want and how people live their day-to-day lives. That means plans that are flexible enough for everybody to find something that works for them.”
Finn worked at Twitter
Finn’s been heralded for her ability to form online strategies, something that eventually put her in the same room as Twitter and Google, Roll Call reported. In fact, from 2011 to 2013, Finn worked as the head of strategic partnerships for Twitter in Washington, D.C.
Her success with Twitter led her to be named one of the top 100 tech titans in Washingtonian magazine, mostly for her ability to mesh government and online strategy together, Roll Call reported.
Finn is a former journalist
Before she got involved in political campaigns, Finn actually spent time working as a journalist, according to Politico. In fact, she worked as a congressional correspondent for the Waterbury Republican-American. She actually graduated with an undergraduate journalism degree from Boston University.
“She frequently speaks about the convergence of technology and politics and has appeared on networks spanning from Fox News and C-Span to MSNBC and NPR,” Politico reported.
Herb Scribner is a writer for Deseret Digital Media.