Elections

Democrats Had a Big Night

SK Ashby
Written by SK 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.