Yesterday, voters in Connecticut, Minnesota, Vermont, and Wisconsin cast their ballots in their states’ primary elections, nominating some incredible women candidates. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- In Vermont, Christine Hallquist made history by being the first openly transgender woman to claim victory as a major party’s gubernatorial candidate.
- First-time candidate Jahana Hayes, who was the 2016 National Teacher of the Year, won her primary in Connecticut’s 5th District and is poised to become the first black woman to represent Connecticut in Congress.
- Ilhan Omar was nominated in Minnesota’s 5th District and could become the first Somali-American elected to Congress.
- Senators Amy Klobuchar (MN) and Tammy Baldwin (WI) were nominated for re-election.
- Senator Tina Smith, the former lieutenant governor of Minnesota, secured the Democratic nomination ahead of a special election in November to serve the remainder of her term.
- Democratic voter turnout outpaced that of Republicans in all four states’ gubernatorial races, including historic turnout in Minnesota and Wisconsin — two key states where we’ll need to compete in November.
After last night’s results, women make up about half of the Democratic nominees for Senate, House, and governor in races without a Democratic incumbent — a historically high number that could lead to historic levels of women serving in Congress next year. Our party is also nominating a historic number of candidates of color and LGBTQ candidates this year, many of whom are running for office for the first time.
We have the energy and excitement on our side — in Democratic House primaries this year so far, voter turnout is more than 80 percent higher than the 2014 midterm elections, meaning Democrats are fired up and ready to win in 2018.
Together we are proving that we have a diverse coalition, we have the candidates, we have the voters, and we have the momentum. But we can’t let up now — not even for a second. So I need to ask:
Winning elections across the country isn’t going to happen unless we make it happen — and it isn’t going to be easy. Republicans are determined to hold onto their majorities and continue taking our country backwards. That’s why it’s so critical that we elect Democrats at all levels of government to help restore integrity and sanity back to our nation’s politics.
You don’t need me to tell you how high the stakes are this November. Currently, there are more than 100 GOP-held districts that are more competitive than PA-18 — where we flipped our first House seat of this election cycle. Democrats need to win at least 23 of those districts in order to take back the House.
There are also 36 states that will choose governors this year, including 26 that are under Republican control. Democrats have a real shot at taking back governors’ mansions in states that haven’t been considered competitive in years.
Women, people of color, LGBTQ, and first-time candidates are running for office like never before this year — many of them are motivated to run because of the horrendous agenda coming from the Trump administration.
Our candidates are ready to provide a check on this president and the congressional Republicans who enable him. But the only way they’ll get the chance to do that is if we all step up to support them right now.
Thanks for your support,
Tom Perez Chair Democratic National Committee
P.S. Where our party stands after last night puts us in a great position ahead of the midterm elections. We have an incredibly diverse slate of candidates ready to win in November, but first they are going to need your help.