Why a suburban Midwest dad started a Draft Oprah 2020 PAC

In October 2017, A.J. Stevens, a 47 year old father from Baldwin City, Kansas, had an idea he wanted to run by his wife, Carrie.

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“You’re going to tell me I’m crazy. I’m thinking about starting a PAC for Oprah,” Stevens said he told his wife as they sat on the couch in their living room.

“I thought she was going to say I’m crazy,” Stevens told ABC News. “But she was like, ‘do it,’”

Next the two talked through how to file a Draft Oprah 2020 PAC through the FEC and build grassroots momentum — starting in their suburban, Midwest home 30 minutes outside Lawrence, Kansas — to get one of the biggest television personalities and celebrities, Oprah Winfrey, elected to the White House.

In recent months, Winfrey’s name circulated as a potential contender in the 2020 election. While she does not have political experience, the self-made billionaire has been a key player in Democratic fundraising and politics. On Sunday night, her acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Award at the Golden Globes in Beverly Hills, California brought Hollywood to their feet and stirred speculation on social media that she could be publicly positioning herself for a political career.

Winfrey has not announced any formal run for office, although her longtime partner, Stedman Graham, told the Los Angeles Times “She would absolutely do it.”

“She’s just the right person at the right time,” Stevens told ABC News. “I was never a big fan of her but what she does is refreshing and it’s needed.”

Stevens recognizes that he’s not who you’d expect to run a Draft Oprah 2020 PAC.

He is not an Oprah superfan, and he never watched her eponymous show. A registered Republican who grew up in rural Indiana, Stevens coached lacrosse at at Dartmouth College and is now the current executive director for the Midland Railway Historical Association. He serves on his local Baldwin City Council and says he’s only been involved with politics at the grassroots level. He and his wife, an attorney who works in higher ed, have a 9-year-old son.

Paul Drinkwater/NBC via AP
At the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards, Oprah Winfrey accepts the Cecil B. DeMille Award, Jan. 7, 2018, in Beverly Hills, Calif.

“I’ve talked to a few friends about it and they thought it was really silly,” Stevens said. But he thinks it’s the…

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