It’s pretty common knowledge that Olivia Wilde is one of the coolest celebrities: She’s an outspoken feminist activist, she takes on exciting roles as an actress, she’s now a badass director, thanks to her upcoming movie, Booksmart. And it turns out she gets it from her mama, Leslie Cockburn, an award-winning journalist running for Congress in Virginia’s 5th district.
Before running for the U.S. House of Representatives, Cockburn was in the second class of women ever allowed at Yale. As a journalist for nearly 35 years, she created documentaries (alongside her husband, Andrew Cockburn, Olivia Wilde’s dad) for PBS’ Frontline, ABC News, and 60 Minutes, on some pretty intense subjects: How the CIA encouraged drug-trafficking, the U.S.’s covert support of the Khmer Rouge, and the Taliban. And it paid off: She won a slew of journalism awards for it.
Now, she’s running as a Democrat in Virginia’s 5th district, one of the largest voting districts in the country, according to the New Yorker, and the home of Charlottesville, where hundreds of neo-Nazis marched last year at a white supremacist rally. At that event, one suspected nationalist sympathizer drove his car through a crowd of protesters, leaving one woman, Heather Heyer, dead. As a progressive Democrat running against Trump-endorsed Republican Denver Riggleman—who you may recall from his Bigfoot porn appreciation and for which we’re not going to judge him— in a state that typically swings to the right, Charlottesville looms large.
So being Olivia Wilde’s mother is really just icing on an already impressive cake for Leslie Cockburn, but Wilde has talked about how excited she is for her mom. “It’s extraordinary to watch your own mother pivot from being a journalist for 35 years to running for Congress,” Wilde told (opens in new tab)Access (opens in new tab) a few months ago. “I was already in awe of my mom and now it has been taken to another level.”
Wilde and her husband, Jason Sudeikis, hosted a rally at University of Virginia in October in order to support Cockburn’s candidacy, and Wilde has since done some Get Out the Vote events, too.
It’ll be a tough race in the Virginia 5th, but since Cockburn has focused her campaign on access to the Affordable Care Act, the environment, and reproductive freedom, she’s the modern candidate so many people (especially women-identifying voters) are clamoring for right now.
Don’t forget to vote today! If you need help finding your polling place or checking your registration, you can do so at Vote.org.
From explainers to essays, cheat sheets to candidate analysis, we're breaking down exactly what you need to know about this year's midterms. Visit Marie Claire's Midterms Guide (opens in new tab)for more.
Cady Drell is a writer, editor, researcher and pet enthusiast from Brooklyn.
Whether You’re a New Entrepreneur or an Established Business Owner, Ask Yourself These Three Questions
Simple tips for setting your small business up for success in 2023.
Paris Hilton Shared a Throwback Photo With Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan, "The Holy Trinity"
By Iris Goldsztajn
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Netflix Docuseries Trailer Just Dropped, And I Am Absolutely Not OK
I honestly still don't believe it's happening.
By Iris Goldsztajn
35 Ways Women Still Aren't Equal to Men
If anyone tries to tell you otherwise, show them these statistics.
By Brooke Knappenberger
How New York's First Female Governor Plans to Fight for Women If Reelected
Kathy Hochul twice came to power because men resigned amid sexual harassment scandals. Here, how she's leading differently.
By Emily Tisch Sussman
Why the 2022 Midterm Elections Are So Critical
As we blaze through a highly charged midterm election season, Swing Left Executive Director Yasmin Radjy highlights rising stars who are fighting for women’s rights.
By Tanya Benedicto Klich
Tammy Duckworth: 'I’m Mad as Hell' About the Lack of Federal Action on Gun Safety
The Illinois Senator won't let the memory of the Highland Park shooting just fade away.
By Sen. Tammy Duckworth
Roe Is Gone. We Have to Keep Fighting.
Democracy always offers a path forward even when we feel thrust into the past.
By Beth Silvers and Sarah Stewart Holland, hosts of Pantsuit Politics Podcast
The Supreme Court's Mississippi Abortion Rights Case: What to Know
The case could threaten Roe v. Wade.
By Megan DiTrolio
Sex Trafficking Victims Are Being Punished. A New Law Could Change That.
Victims of sexual abuse are quietly criminalized. Sara's Law protects kids that fight back.
By Dr. Devin J. Buckley and Erin Regan
My Family and I Live in Navajo Nation. We Don't Have Access to Clean Running Water
"They say that the United States is one of the wealthiest countries in the world. Why are citizens still living with no access to clean water?"
By Amanda L. As Told To Rachel Epstein