Our Team

 
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HOST

Kendall Scudder

Born and raised in rural east Texas, Kendall Scudder is the first millennial to be nominated by a major party for the Texas State Senate. SPOILER: he lost. But ran a race showing up in every county of his district, which helped a bunch of other candidates down-ballot. Kendall ran for office in deep red districts every year since he could walk--most of the time he loses these elections but since he started so young we are pretty sure he will be elected the first senator from the newly inhabited planet we will have to live on if the climate change deniers and anti-vaxxers don't get out of the way. Kendall knows more about public education policy than most of the crowd in Austin and is a Democratic party guy who currently serves on the State Democratic Executive Committee. Kendall can also be found touring the karaoke circuit in North Texas and shoving gobs of ice cream in his gullet.

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HOST

Lillian Salerno

Lillian Salerno hails from a big Irish/Italian Catholic family from East Dallas but considers herself a small town girl from rural Texas. Lillian is a serial entrepreneur, activist, mom, and attorney, and has worked for many years behind the scenes both in Texas and Washington DC. Friends call her Lil: twenty years ago, Kinky Friedman tried to rename her “Diamond Lil,” but it didn’t stick. She now wishes she had listened to him as it may have made the difference in her loss in a highly contested Congressional race in North Texas. Thankfully, we were still able to flip the seat and the long-sought-for retirement of a key Trump enabler is now at hand. Lillian was a high-ranking official in the Obama Administration and a subject of an article (now a book, The Fifth Risk) by Michael Lewis (author of the The Big Short, The Blind Side, Liar’s Poker) which will soon be a Netflix series. Lil is secretly terrified about who will be cast as her and mostly tells people she regrets cursing so much in the article but that is just how she talks and she blames her 5 brothers. Lil believes there is always a middle ground in politics and her motto is “stop talking and get s*** done”. Lil is not under 30, but also enjoys ice cream.


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TECH WIZARD

Kolby Matthews

Kolby holds the record for youngest candidate on the Pod Bless Texas team—running for his local school board while still a student at his high school in Orange, TX. After he went off to college, he managed to get wrangled into every political project that Kendall could get his hands in—making Kolby a 4-time alumni of failed Scudder campaigns. Kolby is a tech wizard in his own right, who currently works for a large tech company in New York City. He recently graduated from the City University of New York in 2018 and plans to return home to Texas. He swears he’ll move to Austin one of these days—we’ll believe it when we see it. 

 

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CONTRIBUTOR

Laura Barry

Laura is a former Texas Young Democrats National Committeewoman and current private citizen/travel expert. She provides the kind of political knowledge that can only be gained by working incredibly impressive, but always unpaid positions in democratic politics.

Laura is a native Texas who grew up all over the U.S. She studied political science and psychology at Stephen F. Austin State University. She enjoys sports, vodka, and people who aren’t assholes in airports.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Will Cummings

Dallas-born Will Cummings has been called a Jack of All Trades. He has worked as campaign manager for a Judicial campaign and Volunteer Coordinator for a Congressional campaign. While working on these campaigns, he was able to parlay his charm and wit into a gig as a contributor on Pod Bless Texas.  

When he's not podcasting, Will moonlights as a Criminal Defense Paralegal at Peter & Lanzillo Attorneys at Law in Plano. He attended the University of North Texas where he studied English Literature and Political Science and played baseball. He enjoys long walks on the beach and a nice glass of scotch.

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CONTRIBUTOR

Brian Black

Brian comes from a family that was 100% Republican... until he got involved in politics. Thanks to him, his entire family now won’t shut up on Facebook about being Democrats. Brian was raised in North Texas, living in Greenville and Terrell, until moving to Arlington to attend the University of Texas at Arlington. Majoring in Political Science, Brian has never been able to answer the question “so what are you doing with your life after college”. He’s an iced coffee connoisseur and spends his life’s savings at coffee shops and the Apple store. Contrary to popular belief, his name is Brian NOT Brain. 

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CONTRIBUTOR

Marcos Gonzalez

Everything that led up to the 2016 election and its outcome has inspired Marcos to actively engage with and learn about the ever-so-fun, weird, and sometimes depressing world of politics. He prepared for this participation early, having grown up in the red state of Texas and volunteering for Democratic candidates and county parties along the way. Still a youngster, Marcos has taken everything he’s learned about politics in high school to college at the University of Texas at Arlington - and beyond. 

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CONTRIBUTOR

Nancy Breitfeller

Nancy is relatively new to politics.  She was motivated to get involved in 2017 when she realized that yelling at the TV set doesn’t change anything.  Historically a right-leaning independent, she feels that the Republican Party today has abdicated any claim to be working for the people and is hoping that the Democratic Party can mobilize the political center and reunite the country.

A suburban mom of 3 young adults, Nancy is a retired financial executive with a Fortune 500 financial services firm.  She reluctantly admits that she earned a BS and an MBA from the President’s alma mater (the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania), but asks that you not judge all Quakers harshly.