A lot of people are waking up today with hangovers, some for good reasons, some for not such good reasons. The unexpected route of Republicans by substantial margins in Virginia’s election last night had even left leaning pundits amazed but definitely smiling. No one had predicted the margins by which Ralph Northam and his Democratic running mates would defeat the Republican choices. Many thought the Republicans would win the governorship. Nor did anyone see the route of entrenched Republicans in the House of Delegates that after the final recounts of four races could flip that body to the Democrats. Not even the GOP saw that coming.
And it didn’t stop there. From Maine to Washington, the voters used the ballot to repudiate Donald Trump and his cronies.
Maine became the first state to approve the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act via the ballot box. Despite Governor Paul LePage’s threat to block implementation of the law, the Maine constitution and the courts are on the side of the voters. Expansion of Medicaid should begin by August 2018.
The blue state of Washington just became bluer. With the win in a special election, Democrats took control of the state senate. This gives the party full control of all three states on the West Coast.
With former banker and first-time candidate Phil Murphy’s win of New Jersey’s governorship, control of New Jersey government is now in Democratic hands.
Democrats even made inroads in some very red states. In Georgia, Democrats took three seats in the state legislature. Next door in Florida, the Republican mayor of St. Petersburg lost to his Democratic opponent who tied the mayor to Trump and labeled him a climate denier. Up in New Hampshire, Manchester’s Republican mayor lost to Joyce Craig, the first Democrat elected to that office in 14 years. Virginia’s southern neighbor North Carolina, the mayor of Fayetteville is now a Democrat. Over in Charlotteville, voters elected its first African American female mayor, Democrat Vi Lyles.
The GOP embrace of Trumpist policies of white supremacy and nationalism was handed a sound thumping by an electorate that chose diversity and inclusion. Let’s hope the trend continues.
Up Date: The anonymous racist, xenophobic attacks failed miserably In New Jersey:
The two school board candidates who were targeted in racist “Make Edison Great Again” mailers that made national headlines won seats in the election Tuesday.
Jerry Shi and Falguni Patel, who respectively claimed their seats with 6,259 and 6,115 votes, will serve a three-year term on the Edison Township Public Schools board.
Beth Moroney also won a seat on the board with 5,991 votes. Nine people vied for the three open spots.
The race in New Jersey’s fifth most populous town gained notoriety last week after an unknown group sent mailers to homes in Edison proclaiming “Make Edison Great Again” and calling for the deportation of Shi and Patel. [..]
Another candidate in Hoboken was also targeted in xenophobic fliers days before the election. Hoboken Councilman Ravi Bhalla, won his race to become the city’s first Sikh mayor.
Those fliers were placed on car windshields in the city with the message “Don’t let TERRORISM take over our town!” above a picture of Bhalla.
And homophobia got trashed by the election of the first transgender woman, Danika Roem, to the Virginia House of Delegates, She is the first openly transgender person elected to a state wide seat. She defeated longtime incumbent Del. Robert G. Marshall, who once called himself the state’s “chief homophobe.”
The race focused on traffic and other local issues in suburban Prince William County but also exposed the nation’s fault lines over gender identity. It pitted a 33-year-old former journalist who began her physical gender transition four years ago against a 13-term incumbent who called himself Virginia’s “chief homophobe” and earlier this year introduced a “bathroom bill” that died in committee. [..]
Marshall, 73, who refused to debate Roem and referred to her with male pronouns, declined an interview request but posted a concession message on Facebook.