So Tuesday was a primary day in some states, and the returns we’ve heard so far have been very encouraging for the left movement, as multiple grassroots candidates defeated establishment incumbents, despite the well documented efforts of the national Party machine to defeat them or otherwise pressure them out of running (or into complying with their fundraising goals and thus becoming beholden to the same donors).
The big story of the night is that four candidates backed by the DSA won their state representative primaries . The Costas were the big story; with incumbents Don and Paul both losing by substantial margins, the former 64-35 to Sara Innamorato (21st) and the latter 68-31 to Summer Lee (38th). Elizabeth Fiedler also won the nomination in the 184th and Kristin Seale won the nomination in the 168th.
Jess King, one of the featured subjects of the Intercept article about the DCCC and other national organizations putting fundraising and spending demands on grassroots candidates, ended up winning her U.S. House primary uncontested after a bizarre primary season in which the DCCC, EMILY’s List, and other big-name organizations endorsed her opponent (and 2016 loser) Christina Hartman, only for Hartman to decide in late February after redistricting to run in the 10th district and not the 11th, then dropping out altogether a month later when other Democrats in the 10th planned to challenge her eligibility.
In one of the closest elections of the night, Kara Eastman won the Democratic nomination for NE-02 over DCCC-backed former Rep. Brad Ashford on a platform that includes Medicare for All, decriminalizing marijuana, raising taxes on corporations and the wealthy, and ending Citizens United.
Paulette Jordan, a Native American former state representative, won the Democratic nomination for Governor of Idaho 58-40 over A.J. Balukoff, a 72-year-old white man who had racked up endorsements from a number of prominent Democrats.
This is just a sampling. And it’s an encouraging start, but it’s just a start. Still, I think it shows the hunger for left-wing policy and that running grassroots campaigns focused on the people can really work. Even if the national party still fights it. Here’s yet another candidate confirming Ryan Grim’s Intercept report that the DCCC sets fundraising goals and mandates spending 3/4 of funds on ad buys (conveniently, of course, with their approved consultants), and several others telling the same story.
The article in one sentence lays out the divide between the establishment Democratic Party and the left, the grassroots, and the people who left the party because it left them a long time ago:
The core Sanders argument was always that Democrats could never effectively represent people against corporate power while continuing to be sponsored by it.
Discuss the results, or anything else, really. And yes, I know it’s late. We’ll leave this up for tomorrow too.