For the Week of 6/8/2018
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:
With the victory of Senator-elect Lauren Arthur in the special election for Missouri’s 17th District, Democrats flipped their 42nd seat from red to blue since the 2016 election. Arthur’s decisive, double-digit win over her opponent in a district Trump carried by nearly five points sends a clear message about the will of the American electorate and strength of the Democratic Party going into the 2018 midterms. Once again, the DLCC’s expertise and strategic investments played a key role in harnessing the energy of voters to achieve a Democratic victory. In addition to highlighting Arthur as one of its Spotlight Races, the DLCC invested $25,000 and collaborated with her campaign to create a field outreach program which resulted in volunteers knocking on more than 51,000 doors and making more than 154,000 calls in only two months. With only 18 seats needed to flip 8 chambers from red to blue, the DLCC looks forward to building upon the momentum of successes like Arthur’s to flip 18 in ‘18.
A major bellwether for the 2018 midterms will be Iowa, which is already showing signs of promise for Democrats. In a state which Trump carried by almost 10 points in 2016, the DLCC has since made important strides toward regaining the state legislature, from recruiting and featuring candidates like Jennifer Konfrst in its Spotlight Races to providing strategic support to the campaign of Sen. Phil Miller, whose victory in a district Trump won by 21 points ensured a Democratic stronghold. In targeting the Iowa House, the DLCC is committed to continue its fight for families in the state as well as across the nation.
Fox News notes that the National Democratic Redistricting Committee (NDRC) - chaired by former Attorney General Eric Holder - has, "the potential to paint the map blue for the next decade.” The committee, on which DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post serves as a board member and critical strategist, aims to fight the extreme partisan gerrymandering by Republicans which has led to gridlock across the nation by working with the DLCC to elect Democrats who will have a seat at the table during redistricting efforts in 2021. Targeting states such as Texas, Florida, Colorado, and Georgia, the DLCC is committed to continue its fight alongside the NDRC for fairness in legislative maps and elections across the country, ensuring that voters are choosing their representatives – not the other way around.
For students today, the crisis facing public education is a threat far more dangerous than any grizzly bear. In response to budget cuts, slashed salaries, and pension overhauls instituted by Republican lawmakers, a record number of teachers are running for office to make the Democratic value of quality public education a priority. Among them is Arizona’s 2016 Teacher of the Year Christine Marsh, who was inspired to run by her state’s expansion of its private school voucher program. Democrats are only three seats away from flipping the Arizona Senate, and Marsh’s personal experience advocating for students in the public education system provides her with a perspective crucially needed in the state legislature. By supporting the campaigns of candidates like Marsh, the DLCC and progressive state leaders are leading the resistance in our communities against the Trump administration through working to ensure a better future for America’s children.
Last month, teachers in Arizona and other Republican-controlled states marched on state capitals as part of the #RedForEd movement, demanding better pay and more investment in our education system. Now, galvanized by the impact of years of Republican budget cuts on education, Arizona teachers are taking their enthusiasm to the campaign trail and running as Democrats to end Republican attacks on education spending. These 114 candidates for the state legislature, among them five current teachers, 58 women, 51 people of color, and 8 members of the LGBT community, are not only reflective of the incredible diversity of the people our government represents, but also indicative of a progressive energy nationwide as Democrats set record candidate recruitment numbers and fight to provide students with the quality education they deserve. The DLCC is proud to work alongside these candidates to flip red states blue and move America forward in 2018.
- DLCC Flips Senate Seat in Missouri [DLCC Press Release]
- Local Politics is Sexy f/ Jessica Post [Hellbent Podcast]
- Virginia General Assembly approves Medicaid expansion to 400,000 low-income residents [The Washington Post]
- How The Supreme Court Could End Extreme Partisan Gerrymandering This Month [FiveThirtyEight]
- Democrats Have Now Flipped 42 State Legislative Seats From Red to Blue [The Nation]
- 'It's Our Time': Meet 18 Candidates Leading the Historic Rise of Black Women Running for Office in Alabama [Glamour]
"We showed Virginians and the world that chaos and partisan warfare may dominate Washington, but here in Richmond we still work together to do the right thing for our people, not our political party. We can get a lot done if we continue to work together in good faith, with our goal always being to do what’s best for Virginia. We still have important work left to do and I look forward to more big accomplishments that will improve the lives of all Virginians."
-- Virginia Democratic Governor Ralph Northam on state Democrats' momentous success in their fight to expand Medicaid and help an additional 400,000 low-income Virginians access health insurance.
6/12/18: Special Elections in Wisconsin AD-42, SD-01
6/12/18: Primary Elections in Maine, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Virginia
6/19/18: Runoff Elections in Arkansas
6/26/18: Primary Elections in Colorado, Maryland, Oklahoma, Utah
6/26/18: Runoff Elections in Mississippi, South Carolina