A year ago today, Donald Trump was elected. It was a nightmare then and it remains a nightmare now.
But last night, the people of Virginia, New Jersey and municipalities across the country voted for positive change. In many cases, history was made.
A tidal wave and massive turnout in Virginia won them the Governor’s mansion and may have flipped the Virginia House of Delegates to being controlled by the Democratic Party. It was a stunning, unprecedented wave of enthusiasm that has put the Democrats in an outstanding position for 2018 and beyond.
History was made, beautiful breakthrough history. In New Jersey, voters elected Sheila Oliver the first black, female lieutenant governor in state history. She will go to Trenton with her ticket mate Phil Murphy as the duo give the state of New Jersey full Democratic control over the state government. This will allow the state to make big leaps forward by raising the minimum wage, instituting automatic voter registration and passing comprehensive gun control.
Justin Fairfax will become the first black lieutenant governor of Virginia. He will join fellow groundbreakers Lee Carter (first Democratic-Socialist elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia), Kathy Tran (first Asian-American woman elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia) and Elizabeth Guzman and Haya Ayala (first Latina women elected to the House of Delegates in Virginia).
The voters of Maine chose to expand Medicaid over the objections of their clown governor Paul LePage. 70,000 people will now be able to receive health insurance.
But the most emotional victory for me, and many others, last night was the victory of Danica Roem, who will become the first openly transgender state legislator in the U.S. Roem defeated Bob Marshall, the 25 year incumbent.
Marshall is one of the most bigoted legislators in Virginia, if not the biggest. His sponsored legislation includes the state constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, restrictions on abortion rights and the “bathroom bill” which instructs individuals to use the bathroom of their birth gender. Throughout the campaign, Marshall insulted Roem, intentionally misgendered her and promised to take policy steps to restrict her rights. Last night, she destroyed him by a whopping nine percentage points. Afterward, she responded with incredible grace saying: “I don’t attack my constituents. Bob Marshall is now my constituent.”
The question was posed: could progressives and people of color rebound from the worst electoral defeat on record, beat back Trumpism and stock their benches of elected officials with talented, energized innovators? The answer is a resounding: