As director of student support services at Bryn Mawr College’s Child Study Institute, Jennifer Mirak Leach specializes in behavioral issues and executive-functioning weakness—in kids, not politicians. But now, Jennifer is on the front lines of America’s political war. Her husband, state Sen. Daylin Leach, is an unabashed lefty and the new president of Americans for Democratic Action, a national liberal organization.
Jennifer was well aware of Daylin’s political aspirations when they married in 1998. “When we were deciding where to buy a house, Daylin got a huge map and a yellow marker and outlined the areas in which there was a possibility of a Democrat being elected,” she says.
His technique paid off—Daylin was elected to the state House of Representatives in 2002 and the state Senate in 2008, where he’s been ever since.
The Leaches thought they were political veterans, but nothing could’ve prepared them for what happened during the 2016 presidential campaign. At a local town hall, the Leaches’ 15-year-old daughter asked Hillary Clinton about Donald Trump’s controversial comments. “The social-media backlash devolved into vile things being directed at our daughter,” Jennifer says.
Trump supporters published the Leaches’ address and encouraged people to picket outside their home. While initially alarmed, Jennifer and Daylin decided not to back down and turned the episode into a teachable moment. Daylin and his daughter appeared on CNN and other national media outlets. In the end, the good outweighed the bad, Daylin says. “It was a toughening of skin, which my daughter will need later,” he says. “She wanted to be an actress. Now, she may want to be an activist.”