For the Week of 6/15/2018
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:
This week in Wisconsin, the Twitter-fueled nightmares of Governor Walker were realized when the DLCC flipped their 44th legislative district from red to blue in the special election he attempted to block following Sen. Schachtner’s win in January. Senator-elect Caleb Frostman’s impressive victory in a district Trump won by 18 points in 2016 makes him the first Democrat to serve in the district in over 40 years. His victory sends a clear message about not only the strength of the blue wave even in traditionally Republican districts, but also the readiness of voters to send a representative to Madison who will be a champion for them. Once again, the DLCC’s expertise and strategic partnerships played a key role in the outcome of the election. The DLCC invested more than $200,000 in the state, featured Frostman as a Spotlight Races candidate, and helped coordinate a strong voter outreach program. With only two more seats needed to gain control of the Wisconsin Senate, the DLCC looks forward to continuing its work with Wisconsin state Democrats to position Democrats for success in November.
For the first time in at least two decades, Arizona Democrats are fielding a candidate in nearly every state legislative race, with 114 Democrats running in all 30 state House districts and in all but one state Senate districts. This 41 percent increase in candidates from 2016, which includes DLCC Spotlight Race candidates Christine Marsh and Wade Carlisle, is a testament to how the values of the Democratic Party continue to resonate with more voters this year. Democrats are only three seats away from flipping the Arizona Senate, and the #RedForEd movement is fueling a progressive energy in the state that has boosted momentum on the campaign trail and at the ballot box. As Democrats continue to set record candidate filing numbers and fight to provide our nation’s teachers and students with the pay and quality education they deserve, the DLCC will continue to work alongside these candidates to flip red states blue and move America forward in 2018.
While Republicans continue to grovel to the NRA and fail to pass stronger national gun laws, state Democrats have stepped up in the face of Congressional inaction to pass legislation protecting the safety of Americans across the country. This week, New Jersey joined a group of nine other states in keeping our communities safe after Governor Murphy signed into law Assembly bills 1217 and 1181, red flag laws that aim to help prevent suicides and mass shootings, along with four other bills previously passed by the state legislature that would ensure background checks for private firearm sales, lower the capacity on acceptable ammunition magazines from 15 to 10 rounds, and prohibits the possession of armor-piercing bullets throughout the state. By electing more Democrats to state legislatures nationwide, the DLCC is helping lead the fight for commonsense gun safety reforms.
This week, the Florida Democratic Party began a tour of the state with stops in rural communities and traditionally Republican districts in order to meet with voters and connect with them on issues they care about. With 36 counties offering fewer job opportunities than they did 10 years ago and residents of rural towns who work multiple minimum wage jobs unable to afford health care, it is clear that “families are suffering the consequences of twenty years of Republican rule in Florida.” This tour provides an important opportunity for Democrats to reach out to voters and hear their concerns, while sharing their ideas for tackling some of our greatest challenges. The DLCC is proud to work with state partners like the Florida Democratic Party to help elect candidates who will create an America that works for everyone, not just a wealthy few.
On Tuesday, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment on gerrymandering reform by a 75% to 25% vote, taking one more step toward ensuring fairness for voters in the state’s Republican-gerrymandered Congressional districts. This new law, which would come into effect for the 2020 census, aims to prevent partisan redistricting designed to limit the minority party’s power by forcing lawmakers to draw a map supported by a bipartisan majority. The ballot measure was spearheaded in part by the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, which DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post serves as a board member. While this is an important victory for reform in one of the country’s most gerrymandered states, the DLCC is committed to continue fighting for fair redistricting processes and elections in states across the country.
- With Critical Win, DLCC Only Two Seats Away From Taking WI Senate [DLCC Press Release]
- Holder's redistricting group backs new lawsuits in 3 states [McClatchy]
"Any Republican senator should be nervous. Even though these seats have been historically Republican, Democrats are winning seats that (the GOP) drew the lines for. Everything is on the table now."
-- WI Democratic Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling
We could not have said it better ourselves! After flipping our 44th seat from red to blue this week, the DLCC is excited to keep our momentum going heading into November. With Democrats only 17 seats away from flipping 8 chambers, we are confident, motivated, and ready to use our toolbox of resources to support state Democrats .
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