Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

The Friday Five - February 9, 2018

The Friday Five - February 9, 2018

For the Week of 2/9/2018

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.    ‘They Can’t Wait to Vote’: Energized Democrats Target Dominant G.O.P. in Statehouses

Republican leaders are bracing for a building blue wave at every level of the ballot in 2018, but nowhere is Democratic momentum more evident than at the state legislative level. Since Trump's inauguration, the DLCC and state Democrats have dominated special elections, flipped 35 seats from red to blue, returned the Washington Senate to Democratic control, came within reach of ending GOP control of the Virginia House of Delegates, set high watermarks for candidate recruitment -- and it's not even primary season yet. With state Democrats leading the resistance to the Trump agenda and fighting to protect our values at the local level, the DLCC is ready to lead the way to victory in states across the country ahead of critical 2020 redistricting. Check out our 2018 Roadmap for more information on DLCC's winning strategy, and our Spotlight Races page to see our candidates running in must-watch races.

2.    Court fights could erase some of the Republicans' edge in Congress, legislatures

The battle for our democracy is currently playing out in court rooms and in state legislative elections across the country. This week, the judicial system delivered another blow to Republican gerrymandering, this time in Pennsylvania where state Republicans drew the congressional districts to help their party retain 13 of the states 18 U.S. House seats, despite a pretty evenly split electorate. With Republican-drawn maps tied up in court in at least four other states, the DLCC is taking the fight for our democracy to the polls, working to retake majorities in state legislatures. In 37 states, lawmakers have primary responsibility for drawing legislative maps. The DLCC is fighting to win elections so Democrats have a seat at the table in 2020 to ensure the constitutional principle of "one person, one vote" is respected. With state Democrats continuing to trounce Republicans in special elections, Democrats are only 16 seats away from flipping eight chambers. After our wins in Virginia last November, DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post made it clear that Republicans can't count on their maps to save them in 2018: "We know we can make strong gains all across the country, even in states where Republicans have rigged the maps in their favor."

3.    35 and Counting! Democrats Flip Another Republican Legislative Seat

Another week, another special election win for the DLCC and state Democrats! On Tuesday night in Missouri, Democratic Rep.-elect Mike Revis flipped House District 97 from red to blue - a district that went for Trump in 2016 by a whopping 28 points. Revis's victory marked a 31-point vote swing from Hillary Clinton's performance and continued state Democrats trend of mounting enthusiasm and momentum ahead of upcoming 2018 midterm elections. “Representative-elect Mike Revis’s victory tonight will undoubtedly send another shockwave through the GOP as we continue to run the best candidates focused on addressing local issues and improving their neighbors’ quality of life,” said DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post. “The DLCC continues to be impressed by our dedicated and talented slate of candidates, who have stepped up to run in these precedent-setting special elections." On Monday, be sure to watch Minnesota, where Spotlight candidates Karla Bigham and Melissa Wagner will compete in special elections for SD-54 and HD-23B, respectively. On Tuesday, all eyes will be on Florida where Spotlight candidate Margaret Good will fight to flip HD-72.

4.   Joe Biden endorses Margaret Good in Sarasota state House race

Next week in Florida, the DLCC and state Democrats will aim to flip our 36th seat from red to blue since Trump's inauguration. The DLCC has invested over $10,000 in Florida and has provided strategic, field and digital support in the effort to flip HD-72 from red to blue. Democrat Margaret Good's work as an advocate for women, health care access, and environmental responsibility, has received attention from national Democrats including former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, who will be campaigning with Good the weekend before the election. And most notably, Good was recently endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden, who recognizes the importance of flipping this critical Florida House seat. The DLCC has featured Good's race on our Spotlight Races page and hopes to celebrate her victory next week.

5.   Pennsylvania GOP Leader Defies Court Order in Attempt to Preserve Partisan Gerrymander

Last week we said Pennsylvania Republicans reached a new low by threatening to violate the law in order to protect their crudely drawn and blatantly unfair gerrymandered maps. However, Pennsylvania Republicans have outdone themselves this week: now Republican state Rep. Cris Dush is threatening to start impeachment proceedings against five of the state's justices after they ruled against Republicans' illegally gerrymandered maps and ordered new maps to be drawn by tomorrow (a ruling the U.S. Supreme Court has sided with, by the way). This threat is tangible and dangerous as Republicans hold the 2/3 supermajority in the Senate needed to convict the justices on these unjust grounds. With crucial 2020 redistricting on the horizon, the DLCC is committed to electing more Democrats to state legislatures nationwide to ensure Republicans won’t be able to rig another decade of elections.

- Missouri Special Election Victory Marks 35th Seat To Flip From Red To Blue [DLCC Press Release]

- How the Republicans rigged Congress — new documents reveal an untold story [Salon]

- High-stakes state Senate recalls head to court for first, likely not the last, time By [The Nevada Independent]

"I think like a lot of women, because we've been historically underrepresented in politics, I didn't necessarily see myself in this role. But multiple people encouraged and said, 'I think you would be great.' Once you hear it a few times, you start to believe it a little bit, and fully consider it. Once I sat down and mulled it over, I felt like it really was a duty that I had, that I should take on this responsibility firsthand and try to make a difference for other people."
-- DLCC Spotlight Candidate Rachel Crooks, Ohio HD-88

This week DLCC Spotlight candidate Rachel Crooks announced her candidacy for Ohio House District 88 and we are proud to stand with her as she joins the wave of talented, diverse, and strong women and men who have stepped up to run for office since Trump was elected. For the first time since 2006, Democrats have a candidate in all 17 of Ohio’s Senate districts, and for the first time since 2012, Democrats have a candidate in all 99 of Ohio’s House districts, setting a new high watermark. The DLCC looks forward to working closely with Ohio Democrats as we fight to regain majorities in the Legislature and prevent another decade of Republican gerrymandering.

2/12/18:   ELECTION DAY - Minnesota SD-54, HD-23B Special Elections

2/13/18:   ELECTION DAY - Florida HD-72 Special Election

2/13/18:   ELECTION DAY - Georgia HD-175 Special Election

2/13/18:   ELECTION DAY - Oklahoma SD-27 Special Election

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