For the Week of 2/16/2018
Democrats in statehouses across the country are fighting to move America forward. In case you missed it, here are some statehouse highlights from this week:
Week after week, state Democrats continue to rack up victories in legislative special elections. While some may attribute this building wave of Democratic momentum to the unpopularity of the Trump administration, the DLCC has been laying the groundwork for these wins behind the scenes. POLITICO’s Edward-Isaac Dovere talks with DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post about how the DLCC’s strategy to build up campaign operations in battleground states across the country is already putting state Democrats on the winning path ahead of 2018 midterm elections. Recently the DLCC has seen substantive growth – expanding internal capacity and hitting record fundraising – which has allowed the committee to support campaigns in more states than ever before. As the hub of legislative work, the DLCC is coordinating efforts and partners, directing resources to critical elections, providing caucuses with much needed resources, and rebuilding the Democratic Party from the ground up ahead of crucial 2020 redistricting. Check out our 2018 Roadmap for more information on the DLCC’s winning strategy.
A disturbing trend is catching on among state Republicans across the country: rather than respecting or simply appealing judicial rulings, Republican legislators are attacking judges and our judicial system when they don’t get the outcome they want. The latest Republicans to go rogue come from Pennsylvania. After a state court struck down their gerrymandered maps, an unhappy Republican lawmaker is now trying to impeach the justices who issued the ruling. Despite the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Republican-controlled legislature’s plea to intervene, Pennsylvania Republicans are adamant in their refusal to accept the state court’s decision. Republicans’ alarming attacks on a separate branch of government has no place in our democracy. The DLCC calls on Pennsylvania Republicans to respect the rule of law and the judges working to uphold it. We look forward to the day when Pennsylvania voters are once again empowered to choose their representatives, not the other way around.
This week, the DLCC celebrated the 36th legislative district to flip from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration. DLCC Spotlight candidate and Representative-elect Margaret Good claimed victory in the high-profile special election for Florida House District 72 on Tuesday night, winning by over seven points (52% of the vote) in a district that Trump won by nearly five points in 2016. Good’s performance marked a 12-point vote swing in this district from the 2016 presidential election, and came just a day after Sen.-elect Karla Bigham held a critical Minnesota state Senate seat and a week after Rep.-elect Mike Revis flipped Missouri HD-97 in another special election win. The DLCC was actively engaged in Good’s campaign, and used lessons learned from Sen. Annette Taddeo’s special election win in SD-40 last year to provide Florida Democrats with consistent strategic support throughout the race. The DLCC looks forward to working hand in hand with Florida Democrats as we aim to make more gains in Florida ahead of critical 2020 redistricting.
The DLCC and state Democrats are not only on a special election victory streak – we are also setting high watermarks for 2018 candidate recruitment and the momentum has hit Arizona. While the state’s official filing deadline is not until May 30, Arizona Democrats have already reported an influx in Democrats stepping up to run for the legislature this year. So far, 112 Democrats have told the Arizona Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee they intend to run in 2018 – including 55 people of color and 51 women. For the first time in at least a decade, there will be a Democrat running in every legislative election on the ballot – competing for deep-red seats that have gone uncontested in the past. The DLCC is already working with Arizona Democrats on a winning strategy: only nine seats stand in between Democrats and a blue legislature in Arizona!
Karla Bigham, the Minnesota Democrat who won a suburban state Senate district in a special election, says her victory is evidence voters are hungry for change. It was one of two special elections held in Minnesota on Monday. Both contests were triggered by the resignation of two male lawmakers late last year who were accused of sexual harassment. As Democrats nationwide aim to make gains in the coming midterm elections, Bigham said she saw Democrats' energy in the crowds of new supporters who helped her knock on thousands of doors and make phone calls during her abbreviated campaign.
- Florida Democrat Margaret Good Flips 36th Seat From Red To Blue In High-Profile Win [DLCC Press Release]
- Democrat Karla Bigham Claims Victory in Critical Minnesota Special Election [DLCC Press Release]
- DLCC and EMILY's List Announce Partnership to Elect More Democrats at State Level [Press Release]
“Part of what we’re having to do is orient [local Democratic leaders] to say, ‘Play big, create big competitive maps, we’ll help you fund the infrastructure, and we’ll come in and invest with our partner groups.'”
- DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post
Post talked with Politico about how the DLCC is working to flip legislative seats from red to blue all over the country. With record numbers of volunteers showing up to help knock on doors, make phone calls, and educate voters about what’s at stake in special elections to increasing strategic political investments in state caucuses, the DLCC is making waves all over the U.S. with special election wins as it gears up to win even more seats in the 2018 midterms.
2/17/18: ELECTION DAY - Louisiana HD-86 Special Election
2/20/18: ELECTION DAY - Kentucky HD-49 Special Election
2/20/18: ELECTION DAY - Mississippi HD-60 Special Election
2/27/18: ELECTION DAY - Kentucky HD-89 Special Election
2/27/18: ELECTION DAY - Connecticut HD-120 Special Election
2/27/18: ELECTION DAY - New Hampshire HD Belknap-03 Special Election