Elections

Democrats Had a Big Night

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Without a doubt the single most important election Democrats won last night was the Virginia governor's mansion, but that was just the beginning of an historic night for Democrats across the country and also within Virginia.

Democrats flipped more than a dozen seats in the Virginia state legislature last night to regain equal control of the statehouse and among those was the first openly transgender woman in the country to win a state election.

From the Associated Press:

Democrat Danica Roem, a former journalist, is set to make history as the first openly transgender person elected and seated in a state legislature in the United States. She unseated Republican Del. Bob Marshall, one of the state’s longest serving and most socially conservative lawmakers. The race was one of the year’s most high profile, drawing international attention and big money to the northern Virginia House of Delegates district outside the nation’s capital.

To say that Bob Marshall was one of the "most socially conservative" lawmakers is far too kind. Marshall was an arch-homophobe who authored the state's anti-transgender "bathroom bill," a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, and a bill to ban gay service members in the National Guard.

Marshall repeatedly misgendered Roem during the campaign by referring to her as a "he," but Roem did not respond in kind. Roem remained focus on economic policy issues and substance and left Marshall nowhere to go with this bigoted attacks. And it worked. She won.

A diverse group of Democrats made history across the country last night from Virginia to Minnesota where Andrea Jenkins also became the first openly transgender African-American woman elected to a city council of a major city.

The Huffington Post has composed a comprehensive list of historic firsts that occurred last night.

I don't want to get too far ahead of the times, but I believe Democrats can use these victories to build momentum toward the midterm elections in 2018. The threat of Trump clearly weighed on the results, driving Democratic turnout, and it's not as if Trump is going to get better. He's only going to get worse. There are so many things Trump and the GOP can fuck up between now and next November.

  • Toolymegapoopoo

    So much courage to do what she did facing a hostile entrenched opponent who was such a bigot he wouldn’t even debate her or even refer to her by her preferred pronoun. Now he’s her constituent! Obviously this doesn’t make up for last November but it is a great start. I haven’t had the time to process all the other Progressive victories yesterday but for the first time in a long time I feel optimistic for next year.

  • Badgerite

    Some really good people got elected last night. The next generation of democrats, and they are quite impressive.
    I was very impressed with the interview that The Last Word and Lawrence O’Donnell had with Justin Halifax and Danica Roem. They are intelligent, committed and care primarily about making government work for the people of their Commonwealth. Diversity is not something to fear. These are truly fine people and they will do all they can to make the lives of the people who voted for them better. And most impressive, they will do all they can to make the lives of the people who didn’t vote for them better. I was very impressed. And one would have to say, Tom Perez must have been doing something right. Those were some solid wins. Time to make sure that the voting machines in all states are secure from tampering and hacking. At the very least there should be a paper audit trail if a dispute arises or something seems not right. Paper ballots if we must. And get people registered. No matter what the obstacles.

  • Last night was the first time I have felt hope since Trump was elected. Let’s keep our chins up and keep pushing forward!

  • Username1016

    I get all my news from reading, not TV or video, so can someone tell me how to pronounce “Danica”? Is it DON-icka (or DAN-icka), or is it da-NEE-ka? TIA 🙂

    • Badgerite

      Like the NASCAR driver. Dan-ik- ca.

    • Toolymegapoopoo

      No NPR? Dude, you might be missing their golden age.

  • Aynwrong
    • I’m confused by that tweet. No misspelled words and only one exclamation point. Clearly NOT modern day Presidential. What’s going on?

  • muselet

    Last night provided sane, decent people with some welcome good news.

    Last night may be the springboard to a good 2018 general election.

    Congratulations to the winning candidates and thanks to the voters who rejected madness (to the rest of the electorate, what is wrong with you people?).

    That said, as the proprietor of this establishment often says, DON’T GET HAPPY!

    If Ds—and liberals and progressives and whateverthehell we’re calling ourselves these days more generally—stop campaigning and voting as if we’re 10 points behind what the polls say, we’re doomed to get swamped (yes, you see what I did there) again.

    Enjoy the warm, comfy glow of victory. Don’t get happy.

    –alopecia

    • Aynwrong

      Well said.

    • ninjaf

      We should enjoy the victory today and then get right back to work tomorrow.

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    • JMAshby

      It’s okay to GET HAPPY, just not complacent.

      I think Trump’s profound awfulness will prevent the latter.

      • Toolymegapoopoo

        HIGH FIVES ALL AROUND!!! It was obvious all day how yesterday has wounded our idiot president. Keep up the great work, Ashby, you are part of the cure.

    • Victor the Crab

      Great victory last night indeed. It actually warmed my cynical heart a bit.

      But yeah, DON”T GET HAPPY! This will just make the right more determined to keep what they’ve got at all costs, and to destroy the left without prejudice. And one of the things they’re going to do is goose the Bernie Bums into believing their suspicions that their savior got screwed out of his “rightful” title as Democratic nominee and president in order to divide the left and stay home a year from now.