For the Week of 3/2/2018
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:
1. Democrats flip two more statehouse seats since Trump took office, signaling more midterm trouble for GOP
This past Tuesday, the DLCC scored special election victories in New Hampshire and Connecticut, bringing the total number of legislative seats flipped from red to blue since the 2016 election to a whopping 39. New Hampshire Representative-elect Phil Spagnuolo claimed victory in the special election for House District Belknap-03, defeating his Republican opponent in a district Trump won by over 12 points in 2016. So far, the DLCC has invested almost $150,000 in New Hampshire, helping to fund key staff positions, build out campaign operations, provide resources for paid media, and procure data critical to Democrats' multiple special election wins, including the five seats flipped from red to blue. Meanwhile, in the second win of the evening, Connecticut Representative-elect Phil Young carried the special election for HD-120 and ended Republicans’ more than 40-year control of the district. The DLCC invested $10,000 in the state, helping to build staff capacity and party operations critical to Young’s win. The DLCC looks forward to continuing our win streak and flipping more seats and chambers from red to blue throughout 2018 and into 2020.
This November for the first time ever, North Carolina Democrats have candidates running in each of the 170 districts - 120 state House districts, and 50 state Senate districts - on the ballot. Democrats across the country are fired up and putting their name on the ballot to defend their communities from a Trumpian agenda peddled by state Republicans. DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post celebrated the historic announcement, saying “this is a pivotal moment for Democrats in North Carolina and we are officially putting Republicans and their gerrymandered maps on notice.” Democrats in other battleground states are also setting records: in Ohio, Democrats are running candidates in all 99 state House districts, in Arizona, 108 Democrats - including 50 women and 54 people of color – have filed to run for state legislature, and in Texas, Democrats are on the ballot in a record number of districts, 133 of 189 state House districts and 14 of 15 state Senate districts. The DLCC looks forward to supporting our candidates and has already started to put our winning strategies into motion in battleground states nationwide.
3. At least 18 states are looking into changes in the way they draw congressional and legislative districts
After the 2020 Census, more than 400 U.S. House districts and nearly 7,400 state legislative districts will be redrawn. The significance of this reapportionment cannot be understated and the DLCC is already working to elect Democrats to statehouses nationwide to make sure district lines are redrawn fairly and state Republicans are not able to gerrymander maps for another decade. And voters are on our side – ballot initiatives are being introduced by citizens in at least six states to ensure the next decade’s maps are drawn fairly. Additionally, since the start of this year, more than 60 bills dealing with redistricting criteria and methods have been introduced in at least 18 state legislatures. The DLCC’s mission to elect Democrats to state legislatures is more important than ever, as we fight to make sure Democrats have a seat at the table when maps are redrawn in 2021.
While the nation is still reeling from the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, Marjory Stoneman Douglas students are continuing to put pressure on elected officials to pass reforms to curb gun violence. In Virginia, state Democrats, led by House Democratic Leader David Toscano, are answering the call to action and using their increased numbers to start a dialogue with their Republican colleagues. In a speech advocating for the passage of gun control legislation in the Virginia House of Delegates, Leader Toscano called on the speaker of the House to revive and put before the full House gun safety legislation that had been introduced by Democrats and previously struck down by Republicans in subcommittees. Virginia Democrats stand idly by and will continue to work to engage in this important dialogue to protect all Virginians.
During the 2016 presidential election, millennial women were 28 percent more engaged than four years prior, even as voter turnout slumped to its lowest level in two decades. Now, young women are not only marching for change, they are running to be the change they wish to see. Women are stepping up to run for state legislatures in record numbers – first in Virginia, and now in states across the country like Texas, Kentucky, Colorado, and beyond. The DLCC has partnered with EMILY’s List to make sure that these women have the resources, support, and training they need to run and to win this November. If these trends continue – and the DLCC is working hard to make sure they do – women will indeed have “an unparalleled capacity to effect change.”
- DLCC Flips Fifth New Hampshire Seat from Red to Blue, 38th Seat to Flip Nationwide [DLCC Press Release]
- In Second Win of the Night, DLCC Flips 39th Seat From Red to Blue [DLCC Press Release]
- DLCC Announces Record Candidate Recruitment in North Carolina [DLCC Press Release]
- Dem wins New Hampshire seat in Trump district [The Hill]
- Democrats flip seats in N.H., Connecticut special elections [MSNBC - Rachel Maddow]
"It’s always been my belief that lawmakers should be judged not by what we say in response to gun violence but by what we do in response to gun violence."
-- WA state Rep. Laurie Jinkins
After the DLCC and Washington Democrats flipped the state Senate from red to blue last November, Washington Democrats have wasted no time passing legislation to move their state forward. During debate over a bill to ban bump stocks, Democratic state Rep. Laurie Jinkins spoke out on behalf of her constituents and implored her colleagues to act.
3/6/18: ELECTION DAY - Massachusetts SD-03 (Essex) Special Election
3/6/18: ELECTION DAY - Oklahoma HD-51 Special Election
3/13/18: ELECTION DAY - Tennessee SD-14 Special Election
3/24/18: ELECTION DAY - Louisiana HD-93 Special Election
3/27/18: ELECTION DAY - Alabama HD-21 Special Election
4/3/18: ELECTION DAY - California HD-39, HD-45, HD-54 Special Elections
4/3/18: ELECTION DAY - Massachusetts HD-02 (Bristol) Special Election
4/3/18: ELECTION DAY - Rhode Island SD-08 Special Election