Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Progressive Women Continue To Win State Legislative Seats-- Virginia And Wisconsin


If anyone ever tells you their vote doesn't matter...

Republicans won control of the Virginia House of Delegates in 2000 and have held it since-- until this week. Before the Nov. 7 election, the GOP held 66 seats and the Democrats occupied just 34. Then along came Trump and his kakistocracy enabled by the entire Republican Party and after Tuesday's recount for the Newport News district, Democratic school board member Shelly Simonds flipped the district by one vote. The final vote count was 11,608 for the Democrat and 11,607 for incumbent Republican David Yancey. But that Red to Blue flip was about way more than just one state legislative district. It was about the whole state legislature, now tied at 50-50 and forced to share power.

Before the recount, Yancey had been ahead by 10 votes. At that point the Republicans looked like they would maintain control of the House 51-49 (50 Republicans plus one independent who caucuses with the GOP). Now it is 50-50-- dead even. There are still 2 recounts scheduled, one in the Fredericksburg area (District 28) where Republican Bob Thomas leads Democrat Joshua Cole by 82 votes, probably too big a margin for a flip but where the Democrats have sued for a special election due to errors that led some voters to cast ballots in the wrong district. A judge will decide after a hearing on January 5th if a special election is needed. Meanwhile in District 68 (Richmond), Democrat Dawn Adams is leading Republican incumbent G. Manoli Loupassi by 336 votes. Again, that's probably way too big an obstacle for a recount to matter.

The only realistic ways that a 50-50 tie will be broken would be either the special election on the 28th or if a delegate switches party.

Now let's travel halfway across the country to... Wisconsin's 66th assembly district in Racine, part of Paul Ryan's congressional district. AD-66 is blue enough so that the Republicans aren't even running a candidate, which meant that whomever won the primary yesterday would be the next member of the Assembly. After Cory Mason was elected mayor of Racine he decided to step down as an assemblyman and the primary Tuesday was to replace him. There were two excellent candidates, Racine Alderman John Tate II and former Mason staffer and director of the nonprofit Fossil Fuel Divestment Student Network Greta Neubauer. Neubauer, age 26, won 1,518 to 1,301 after outraising Tate 5 to 1. She ran on an unabashedly progressive platform but, because of family connections-- her father was a former assemblyman-- she was also a favorite of much of the establishment. Today, the environmentalist community is in ecstasy.

Randy Bryce, the Racine-area iron worker running to replace Paul Ryan, liked both candidates and told us that "it’s great to see young women step up into elected positions and help be part of the solution." And speaking of Randy Bryce, Jonathan Tasini just posted an interview he did with him for his podcast. Give it a listen:

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At 11:41 AM, Anonymous Hone said...

Nice to have some good news. Maybe the Democrats taking over local and state legislatures will have big impact down the road. It will be so important for progressives rather than Blue Dog types to win these positions.

At 12:57 PM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Unfortunately the race in Virginia is now tied.

At 5:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a progressive, I wish all non-GOPers would save the celebrating for the post-concession speech by the Republican.

As ap215 says, VA is no longer a lock. The GOP is pulling every possible thread to pull out a victory no matter how low and underhanded. They can't afford to lose there again, especially by such a ridiculously small margin. They have to turn the tide before the flood washes away everything they have done for almost 40 years to become dominant and undefeatable. Especially lie, cheat, and steal.


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