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Jim Hightower: There's a Blue Wave Cresting in Statewide Elections

March 6, 2018 in Blogs

By Jim Hightower, AlterNet

Democrats are winning big locally.

Last year's grassroots progressive runs for office laid to rest much of the Democratic Party's orthodoxy about who is “electable,” and how it's essential that candidates — in hopes of attracting moderate “swing” voters — run big-money campaigns on small-bore, middle-of-the-road issues. For example, meet these eight big-issue/low-dollar candidates who rejected party orthodox and won:

        –Danica Roem — Virginia House of Delegates

        –Andrea Jenkins — Minneapolis City Council

        –Phillipe Cunningham — Minneapolis City Council

        –Lisa Middleton — Palm Springs City Council

        –Stephe Koontz — Doraville, GA City Council

        –Raven Matherne — Stamford, CT City Council

        –Tyler Titus — Erie, PA School Board

        –Gerri Cannon — Somersworth, NH School Board

One thing these victors have in common is that each of them is openly transgender. Even two years ago, political pros assumed that transgender people were unelectable nearly everywhere. So these eight barrier busters show how rapidly attitudes are changing, even in this bigoted time of Trump. Roem's win in Virginia was especially satisfying, for she defeated a Republican incumbent who has long been a vociferous demonizer of the LGBTQ community and a vituperative leader of the right wing's demagogic crusade to pass anti-transgender “bathroom bills.”

The nationwide progressive offensive in 2017 produced other ground shifting results such as: many victories by millennials (five elected to the State House in Virginia alone); victories by immigrant candidates, including in Somerville (MA), Helena (MT) and Minneapolis; and a rebellion in previously red suburbs. Victories like these are proliferating because immigrant populations are growing, Trumpism and GOP extremism are turning voters off, a rapid and relentless downsizing of the middle class is altering attitudes and serious grassroots political organizing by Our Revolution, Democratic Socialist of America, Working Families Party and other progressive groups is making a difference.

After a year of Donald Trump's appalling excesses in office, combined with last year's electoral successes by dozens of progressive female candidates, and the recent tsunami of “silence …read more


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