Olivia Wilde with her mother, Leslie Cockburn. 
Mike Coppola/FilmMagic
October 04, 2018 02:23 PM

Olivia Wilde has been known for being outspoken about her political views—and it turns out, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Wilde’s mother, Leslie Cockburn, an award-winning investigative journalist, is currently running for Congress in the 5th district of Virginia as a Democrat.

“It’s a deep red district,” Wilde told PEOPLE at a recent event celebrating her collaboration with Dunkin’. “But she has already worked so hard on it that it’s now a neck-and-neck race between her and the Republican nominee.”

Olivia Wilde with Dunkin' Donuts for "The Home That Runs On Dunkin'".
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Dunkin' Donuts

Wilde continues, “It’s a very conservative district, but there are a lot of people [there] who are more progressive in terms of thinking. But they’ve never had a representative who really stood up for those values.” The actress and mom-of-two adds, “And now my mom gets to be that for the people of the 5th district as a nominee and hopefully as their Congressperson!”

Cockburn, who has also co-authored several books with her journalist husband Andrew Cockburn, is campaigning for the seat vacated by Republican representative Thomas Garrett, who vacated the seat in May after announcing he was an alcoholic.

“She has a totally grassroots campaign,” Wilde says of her mother, “with 4,500 volunteers. They’ve knocked on 50,000 doors and she’s revisited counties 10 times. She’s so dedicated so it’s a really exciting time for the whole family.”

In August 2017, during the Charlottesville protests in Virginia, Wilde shared a statement from her mother on Instagram: “Message to the people of Charlottesville, from my mother, Leslie Cockburn, who is running for Congress in VA.”

Wilde has previously spoken out about her progressive views, often wearing apparel that supports her political causes. A few days before speaking with PEOPLE, she posted an Instagram in support of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, who testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee about an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

“She did this for us,” wrote Wilde on Instagram. “Despite death threats. With her family in hiding. For us. For women. For men. For a different future for our kids. Thank you, Dr. Ford. I believe you.”

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