Everyone expected Chris Christie to bulldoze over Democratic challenger Barbara Buono in his re-election bid last night: After all, outside of New Jersey, did anyone even know her name? Buono received no support from the national Democratic party, and aside from donations from Women’s Campaign Fund and EMILY’s List, few donations came her way. We congratulate her for having the guts to step into the fray under these conditions, when no other Democratic candidate had the courage to do so. And we expect to see her again in 2017.
And that’s the thing about politics: You win some, you lose some and then you come back stronger and win again. We applaud all of the progressive, pro-choice, Democratic women who made it to our Run, Mama Run map in 2013. And we are excited to list all of the candidates who won their races:
In New Jersey: Christie will remain in the Governor’s chair, but Democrats have held on to their control of the state legislature. This should temper any overreach he may be tempted to pull while he tries to appeal to the Republican base in any Presidential bid. We congratulate incumbent State Senators Nia Gill and Linda Greenstein and State Assembly members Mila Jasey and Gabriela Mosquera, who were all elected to another term.
Virginia was the other state that dominated last night’s news, as voters averted a frightening scenario by electing Terry McAuliffe over Warrior on Women Ken Cuccinelli. We were disappointed to see the defeat of a slate of pro-choice Democratic women who ran in races for state delegate there, but at least incumbent Eileen Filler-Corn held on to her seat. And we look forward to supporting Kathleen Murphy, Susan Hippen and Jennifer Boysko (who lost by just 60 votes!) the next time around.
Several of our nation’s large cities elected female Mayors yesterday. Incumbents Annise Parker of Houston, Stephanie Mayor of Syracuse and Marilyn Strickland of Tacoma were all handily re-elected (with Strickland running unopposed). And Minneapolis, Albany and Dayton will be inaugurating their first female Mayors: Betsy Hodges, Kathy Sheehan and Nan Whaley. We congratulate them all!
City and County Councils around the United States will also be a bit more diverse after yesterday’s election: Congratulations to Candace Mumm of Spokane, Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu of Boston, Detroit’s Raquel Caseteneda-Lopez and Kate Gallego of Phoenix. You make us all proud!
New York’s Queens Borough has a new President in Melinda Katz. And Thurston County elected Mary Hall as their new County Auditor.
Remember: Today’s city council member can be tomorrow’s Mayor, Assembly member or member of the US Congress. We cannot emphasize enough how important it is to support progressive, pro-choice women in offices on all levels of government. And we want to remind you all that voting is a right that we need to exercise all the time, not just for Presidential elections. There are more registered Democrats than any other party. When we vote, we win. Conversely, when we choose to sit an election out, we give the Republicans a better shot. Why do you think they are passing all these laws to take away your right to vote? Why do you think they get away with passing laws that take away a woman’s right to choose?
This is how we fight back. And the battle has just begun.