Last night’s primary contests in multiple states across the country marked the beginning of a new era in Democratic politics and a long-needed changing of the guard. Women were the big winners last night, winning a slew of primary elections against complacent incumbent men and injecting Democratic caucuses with some much-needed diversity, energy, and progressive ideals.
Paulette Jordan is set to be the first Native American governor in American history after decisively winning her primary against A.J Balukoff with 58% of the vote. She’ll be facing off against Lt. Gov. Brad Little, an anti-gay and anti-choice bigot, presenting voters with a stark choice in November. When she wins, she’ll be the first Democratic governor of Idaho since 1990.
After last night, the state of Pennsylvania will finally no longer have an all-male Representative delegation in the House. School board member and attorney Mary Gay Scanlon won the Democratic primary for PA’s 5th Congressional District and was joined by statehouse member Madeline Dean, who took the nomination for the deep blue 4th Congressional District, and Allentown solicitor Susan Wild who is gunning for PA’s 7th district.
Democratic socialists Summer Lee, Sara Innamorato, Elizabeth Fiedler and Kristin Seale all displaced establishment male incumbents in their races for Pennsylvania’s statehouse, running on a progressive message that proved very popular with voters. “We won on popular demands that were deemed impossible. We won on health care for all, we won on free education. We’re turning the state the right shade of red tonight!” cheered Pittsburgh DSA chair Arielle Cohen to HuffPost.
Democrat Helen Tai defeated Republican Wendi Thomas in the race for the state house’s 148th district, marking the 42nd seat flipped from red to blue since Trump took office. Only nine hundred or so more to go.
Finally, in Nebraska, nonprofit executive Kara Eastman defeated former Rep. Brad Ashford in the race for the state’s 2nd Congressional District, her progressive platform of Medicare for All and the repeal of Trump’s tax bill proving to be more exciting than the call for “consensus building” from Ashford, an ideological weathervane who has gone from Republican to Independent and now to Democrat.
While she faces an uphill battle in the general election, her victory is a sign that even in the deepest of red states, progressive policies can and will win elections in the right climate.
Last night’s victories are a harbinger of the changes that are coming for American politics. Cantankerous old white men have dominated American politics for far too long – and even the most cursory of newspaper perusals is evidence enough of the mess they’ve made of this nation and our society. We deserve a truly fair and just society, and last night’s victories brought that dream just a little closer.