by Jason Frerichs
The results in Virginia continue to roll in and it appears to be a big night for Democrats and members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Many pundits have been calling Virginia a litmus test to see what the mood of the country is regarding resistance to Donald Trump. Democrats did not disappoint. They won big in Virginia. Ralph Northam defeated Trump-backed candidate Ed Gillespie by nine points. Gillespie tried to run on Trumpism. He attempted to appeal to his racist base by railing against “illegal immigrants” and standing up for Confederate monuments. He tried to be Mitt Romney in Northern Virginia and Donald Trump in Southern Virginia. His appeal to racism backfired and he lost to an establishment Democrat.
One the most interesting races of the night was the state house race between Republican incumbent Robert Marshall and transgender woman Danica Roem. Mr. Marshall was the author the “Physical Privacy Act” which mirrored similar bathroom legislation passed in North Carolina. Marshall issued disgusting attack ads in which he deliberately used the wrong gender to refer to Roem by mentioning statements “in his own words.” Roem handily won the seat by nine points over Virginia’s self-proclaimed “chief homophobe.” Mr. Marshall also refused to debate Ms. Roem and his staff spent its time making slurs against her. Mr. Marshall refused to congratulate his opponent after he lost. He has shown the extremely low moral character of conservatives.
Andrea Jenkins became the first transgender African-American woman to be elected to the city council of a major city when she won the race in Ward 8 for a seat on the Minneapolis City Council. In her acceptance speech she said, “As an African American trans-identified woman, I know firsthand the feeling of being marginalized, left out, thrown under the bus. Those days are over. We don’t just want a seat at the table, we want to set the table.”
It was an excellent night for candidates who are members of the Democratic Socialists of America. Former Marine and self-described socialist Lee Carter upset House Majority Whip Jackson Miller to win a seat a Virginia’s House of Delegates. Virginia House Democratic Caucus Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring tonight issued the following statement, “Lee Carter has been a strong progressive in his fight to support working families in Northern Virginia. As a Marine Corps veteran and an activist, Lee has built his career on helping others. We are proud to work with Lee as he fights for his constituents in the General Assembly.”
Dylan Parker got the ball rolling on April 4th when he won a spot on the Rock Island City Council. Dylan was a national Sanders delegate and works as a diesel mechanic. He ran a platform of community engagement, open government, and economic justice. He talked about universal high-speed internet and other policies that would benefit the community as a whole. He won his seat by earning 68% of the vote.Two weeks after Parker’s win, Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) member khalid kamu took 67% of the vote in South Fulton, Georgia. His name uses all lower-case letters based on a Yoruba African tradition that places the community over the individual. He is an active member of Black Lives Matter and Fight for $15.
Central Iowa DSA member Ross Grooters won a seat on the Pleasant Hill City Council. He received the most votes for an at-large seat. Many DSA members around the country won local elections. From the Unofficial DNC Facebook page, PVI found the following:
Lee Carter in Virginia’s 50th District, House of Delegates
Nikuyah Walker in Charlottesville, City Council
Mik Pappas in Pittsburgh, District Justice
Seema Singh Perez in Knoxville, City Council
JT Scott, Ward 2 Alderman
Ben Ewen-Campen in Somerville, Ward 2 Alderman
Lydia Edwards in Boston, City Council
Charles Decker in New Haven, Ward 9 Alderman
Larry Krasner in Philadelphia, District Attorney
Anita Prizio in Pittsburgh, City Council
Kara Gloe in Moorhead, School Board
Tristan Rader in Lakewood, City Council
Joel Sipress in Duluth, City Council
Justin Farmer in Hamden, District Legislative Council
Brian Nowak in Cheektowag, City Council
PVI will continue to update as more results become available.
Here is a link to results from around the state. The biggest winners in Iowa were Boone County and Muscatine County, where voters flipped control of their respective city councils to progressive Democrats. Laura Belin of Bleeding Heartland wrote a good summary of the controversy surrounding the illegal removal of the Muscatine mayor by the former City Council. Every single one of those members lost their bid for reelection.
November 7th was a great night for Democrats and those on the left. Several types of candidates won. Establishment Democrats, progressive Democrats, and Democratic Socialists were successful. This was a strong pushback against the racism and bigotry of the Trump administration. This was a pushback against Trump policies intended to harm the poor and the middle class. Different factions of leftists may not always agree but tonight showed that when people organize and work together we can turn things around. The DNC really does not matter. People Powered Movements are what will win the day.
Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party Progressive Caucus