I see a beautiful blue wave that crashed ashore this election. What made this happen is a mobilized army of thousands of Indivisible, Sister District, Flippable, Moms Demand Action, ACLU People Power, Fight For 15, Black Lives Matter, and countless other small and large social and political groups. These groups are unmatched in motivation, dedication, energy, skills, and fundraising ability the likes of which the democrats have not seen in a long time. They are filled with intelligent and hard-working people with an abundance of new voter lists and information from phone-banking, text-banking, canvassing, (not to mention markers, art supplies, stamps and postcards) to use as well as new and improved skills. The data and lessons learned from all our new initiatives and groups over the past two years will only serve to make us better, stronger, faster. We will regroup and improve and expand on what worked during this election and keep marching forward, brining with us all the newly registered and engaged voters. Republicans spent more than 10 years working smartly to gerrymander, suppress, and lie to voters to win state houses, Congress, and the presidency and it will not be undone in one election cycle.
We have hundreds of new progressive, of women, people of color, and diverse backgrounds and religions, in local, state, and national offices, moving the dialogue in positive directions and ready to learn and grow and become engaging new leaders like Stacey Abrams, Andrew Gillum, and Beto O’Rourke. We have more states where gerrymandering has been stopped by the courts or mandated by new ballot initiatives giving us a better chance of fair elections. Most importantly, we have a check on the corrupt, racist, homophobic, misogynistic, America First President, that our U.S. Congress controlled by the republicans was not willing to be, without which the next two years would have been worse than our nightmares could conjure up.
There was so much good news in the election this week that to cover it in just one post would do it injustice and drown out some of the smaller accomplishments. So for this post, I am focusing mostly on the election of state and federal candidates. The next post to come out shortly will focus on ballot initiatives and other local issues and important issue, along with some local elections of interest as well as more election results as they are finalized.
DEMOCRATS GAINED 8 GOVERNORS including Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinois, Kansas, New Mexico, Nevada, and let’s not forget Guam (a U.S. territory with U.S. citizens. Maine and South Dakota will have their first female Governors. FOUR off those new democratic governors are WOMEN and one is the first openly GAY Governor. Democrats also held on to governorships in Rhode Island. Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Colorado, Oregon, and California. COLORADO also elected the first openly gay man as governor.
Overall, RED TO BLUE, Democrats flipped 333 State House seats. Democrats gained the ever important STATE TRIFECTA, when one party controls both legislative bodies and the governorship of a state. Democrats picked up SIX TRIFECTAS, up from the 8 they had going into the 2018 election, in COLORADO, ILLINOIS, MAINE, NEW MEXICO, NEW YORK., NEVADA. They accomplished the now 14 state trifectas by winning control of the state senate and governorship In Colorado, taking back control of the state senate in New York, taking the state senate and governor’s office in Maine, the governor’s office in Illinois, the governorship in New Mexico, and the governorship in Nevada.
A total of Six STATE HOUSES changed from Republican to democratic control when the democrats captured the Colorado State Senate, Maine State Senate, Minnesota House of Representatives, New Hampshire House of Representatives, New Hampshire State Senate, and the New York State Senate.
There were some STATE HOUSES that the democrats did not win, but were able to BREAK UP REPUBLICAN SUPER-MAJORITIES In North Carolina and Pennsylvania, states with Democratic governors. Democrat Christy Clark in NC, a first-time candidate for a state house seat and gun reform advocate, beat the incumbent Republican, helping the democrats end the Republican super-majority in the state with a Democratic Gov. DEMOCRATS also BROKE UP REPUBLICAN TRIFECTAS in Kansas, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Mexico and Wisconsin.
DIVERSITY at the STATE HOUSES where An Afghani woman, and former refugee, who escaped persecution from the Taliban won a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Overall 42 LGBTQ Victory Fund candidates who were challengers or running for open State legislative seats won their seats in 27 States in, Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Vermont, Wisconsin and West Virginia.
Democrats gained three STATE ATTORNEY GENERAL offices that were formerly held by republicans, including Colorado, Michigan, and Nevada and may have won Wisconsin since Josh Kaul is in the lead but is still too close to be called.
In two state democrats flipped the STATE SECRETARY OF STATE from Republican to Democrat in Michigan Colorado (the first time Democrats have won the office in six decades there).
U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVE
Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives with a total seat win of 227 which was a gain of 32 seats (with 10 races still being counted).
WOMEN did really well in races for the U.S. House, with 34 women elected, the biggest jump in the number of new women voted into the House, since the 24 elected in 1992’s so-called Year of the Woman and 26 of those women replaced men. 33 of the were democrats. They will join the 66 Women who were re-elected to the House. That makes the 100 women the highest number ever in the House. (some elections are still not called so these could increase). PA will now have 4 women in their U.S. House Delegation, up from ZERO.
DIVERSITY IN THE HOUSE The first two Native Americans, the first two female Muslims, and the first two Hispanic women from Texas, the first African-Americans from Massachusetts and Connecticut. Sharice Davids (D) defeated the republican incumbent to be the first openly LGBTQ person to represent KANSAS and Chris Pappas (D) became the first LGBTQ person to represent NEW HAMPSHIRE in Congress. Overall, EIGHT LGBTQ Victory Fund supported candidates won election to the U.S. House and ONE to the U.S. Senate,
BLUE WAVE There was a blue shift where 317 districts swung to the left with larger wins and 30 of those districts actually flipped from Republican to Democratic with far fewer districts that shifted to the right. Now we await election decisions from Florida and, Georgia.
IN OTHER NON-ELECTION NEWS OF INTEREST
HEALTHCARE A jury awarded $25.5 million to the family of a cancer patient denied coverage by Aetna, with jurors saying that the insurer acted “recklessly” and that the verdict was meant as a message for Aetna to change its ways.
VOTING An election supervisor and judge in Texas stepped down after she was captured on video screaming at a black voter who was reportedly confused about where to vote.
CONFEDERATE MONUMENT The Lakeland City Commission (FL) voted to fund the move of a confederate monument from a downtown park to a local park dedicated to veterans.
GUN REFORM New Jersey Governor signed a bill banning untraceable firearms, including those manufactured on three-dimensional printers.
PRISON REFORM A new report shows that the number of people sent to Arkansas’ prisons for violating probation or parole fell more than 41 percent in 2017 after a new law went into effect that was aimed at reducing the prison population.
Standing up for Immigrants Motel 6 will pay up to $7.6 million for regularly providing guest lists to I.C.E. A federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s temporary order preventing the administration from ending DACA.
Civil Rights The US Supreme Court ruled that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act applies to both state and local government.
Stayed tuned this week for more posts to cover all the good news.