For the Week of 11/17/2017
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:
Last week the DLCC and state Democrats claimed victory in dozens of elections from coast to coast. DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post discusses the DLCC’s 50-state blueprint for success ahead of 2018 and the “reverse coattails” effect that quality state legislative campaigns can have to help top of the ticket Democrats. As the major player in the state legislative space, the DLCC is thrilled by last week’s election results and looks forward to continuing to strengthen and rebuild the Democratic party from the ground up ahead of 2018 midterms and crucial 2020 redistricting.
This week another DLCC Spotlight Race candidate has claimed victory: this time flipping an Oklahoma state Senate seat from red to blue. Senator-elect Allison Ikley-Freeman flipped the fourth seat in Oklahoma since Trump’s inauguration, beating Republican opponent in a district Trump carried by 39 points in the 2016 election. A therapist at a non-profit community mental health agency, Ikley-Freeman campaigned on her dedication to ending Oklahoma’s education crisis, creating housing and daycare opportunities for families, and expanding access to health care. This marks the 33rd legislative seat to flip from red to blue since Trump’s inauguration, sending a clear message that when faced with adversity, the American people will step up and defend our values, safeguard the progress we have made, and push onward.
Nevada Republicans are desperate to turn back the clock and reclaim control of the state Senate after losing it in 2016, so they are attempting to recall State Senators Joyce Woodhouse and Nicole Cannizzaro for no reason other than that they are Democratic women whose policy platforms differ from Republicans’ goals. Republicans in Nevada submitted signatures Tuesday afternoon to the Secretary of State to officially recall State Senator Nicole Cannizzaro (SD6). Like the other two frivolous recall attempts of State Senators Joyce Woodhouse (SD5) and Patricia Farley (SD8), no official reason for the recall has been given. Republicans and special interests recently failed to submit a qualifying petition to recall Senator Patricia Farley and their petitions to recall Sen. Woodhouse and Sen. Cannizzaro barely met the signature threshold. In SD6, Republicans cut it close, submitting just above the number of signatures necessary and less than an hour before their deadline. The DLCC has created a recall committee called Our Votes, Our Voice to run a "decline to sign" campaign to educate and ask voters to not sign a recall petition through mail, field, and digital ads. They have been active in field efforts to talk with voters about what Republicans are trying to do and will closely monitor the signature verification process.
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves: “Female candidates swept local elections last week, from Virginia to Washington. Where women were on the ballot, they won.” In Virginia, Democratic women shattered numerous glass ceilings -- from setting a new high-watermark for the number of women candidates on the ballot (43 Democratic women ran for the Virginia House of Delegates), to electing the first Latinas and Asian-American women to serve in the chamber, electing Danica Roem, who will be the only openly transgender state legislator in the country, electing Virginia's first lesbian state Representative, and more. In Washington State, DLCC Spotlight Race candidate Manka Dhingra flipped the entire state Senate to Democratic control with her special election win, unifying Democrats’ leadership of state government. But it didn’t stop there -- Democratic women saw success in Georgia and in elections across the country. Since Trump’s inauguration, the DLCC and state Democrats have flipped 33 seats from red to blue -- a whopping 20 of those seats were won by Democratic women! The DLCC is committed to working with our partners like EMILY’s List, Run For Something, and Emerge America to recruit, train, and support women candidates for state legislatures nationwide.
After state Democrats’ landslide victories in Virginia last week -- flipping 15 seats and picking up the most seats since 1887 -- the statehouse is going to become a lot more diverse as new Representatives claim their proverbial seats at the table. These Representative-elects will use their voices to stand up for often underrepresented communities and work to better the lives of all Virginians. The House of Delegates will welcome all-star women who shattered glass ceilings last Tuesday: the chamber will see its first Latina and Asian-American members, its first transgender woman, and its first lesbian member. The Virginia Legislative Black Caucus also will grow from 12 to 13 House members with DLCC Spotlight Race candidate Jennifer Carroll Foy’s victory in House District 2. With recounts pending in multiple districts, the majority is still in play. The DLCC’s early investments in Virginia ensured Democrats had the infrastructure and field programs in place to harness the influx of grassroots enthusiasm that made it possible for Virginians to set a new record by knocking on over one million doors and led to Democrats flipping at least 15 seats from red to blue -- beating Republicans on their own maps. The DLCC looks forward to continuing our work in Virginia ahead of crucial 2020 redistricting.
- DLCC Releases 2017 Election Results Playbook -- DLCC Press Release
- Democrats Continue to Dominate Oklahoma Special Elections -- DLCC Press Release
- DLCC on Latest Nevada Recall Petition -- DLCC Press Release
"We are not a state of hate. We are a state that is diverse."
- Virginia Representative-elect Elizabeth Guzman
DLCC Spotlight Race candidate and Representative-elect Elizabeth Guzman will become one of the first Latinas to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates. Rep.-elect Guzman immigrated to the United States as a single mother, working three jobs to fight for her and her daughter’s education. She campaigned on important issues critical to improving her local community and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of her now-constituents. All Virginians will benefit from having Rep.-elect Guzman in Richmond as she works to move the state forward in the Trump era of Republican extremism, fear-mongering, and spikes in hate crimes and dangerous rhetoric as seen in Charlottesville earlier this year.