Yesterday’s midterm elections dealt a sharp blow to anti-union forces as pro-worker candidates were elected all over the country, bringing control of the House of Representatives to the Democratic Party.
In addition, Democratic candidates claimed victory at the state level by winning key governor and legislator positions.
Below are highlights from seven regions that saw inspiring victories.
He is finally gone. The poster child, and he is a bit of a child, of union-busting was sent home packing. Instead, Democratic challenger Tony Evers will be Wisconsin’s new governor. So long Scotty.
Speaking of union-busting, Governor Rick Snyder is retiring. Known for his signing of Michigan’s “right to work” law, Snyder’s departure is welcomed by many. And his replacement, Gretchen Whitmer (D), is a huge friend of Labor. As the AFL-CIO recalls, “When Snyder locked the people out of the state capitol so Republicans could pass ‘right to work’ legislation, Whitmer not only joined working people in protest, she led the protests from her office.”
Congratulations to Michigan voters on electing Whitmer as your new governor.
President Donald Trump might have won Pennsylvania in 2016 (barely) but voters chose Democratic incumbent, Bob Casey, over Trump supporter, Lou Barletta. And Governor Tom Wolf beat a Republican challenged who threatened to “stop all over” the Governor’s face.
Women won big in the Keystone State last night, capturing four of the U.S. House seats. Remarkably, all 14 Pennsylvania members of the U.S. House are male. That will change when the four female winners from last night’s elections take office in January.
Finally, voters in Philadelphia said yes to a $181 million bond for parks, museums, transit, and municipal buildings. The funding is expected to create good union jobs.
Good things happened in the Golden City last night. Voters elected the entire slate of labor-endorsed Board of Supervisors: Catherine Stefani (District 2); Gordon Mar (District 4); Matt Haney (District 6); Rafael Mandelman (District 8); and Shamann Walton (District 10).
Former San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, a friend of labor, was elected as Governor of California.
And Prop A was passed, which means more work for the building trades.
Washington, DC and its Metro Area
Labor enjoyed several victories in the DC region yesterday.
Elissa Silverman retained her DC Council seat against challenger Dionne Reeder. Silverman has been an outspoken support of union and workers.
Victories by Democrats Marc Elrich and Jennifer Wexton were big wins for labor unions in the area. Elrich became the county executive in Montgomery County and Wexton won the US House seat for Virginia’s 10th Congressional District – a seat that had been occupied by a two-term Republican.
Democrats scored big in Trump’s home state, winning 20 Congressional district races. As the New York Times notes, “For Democrats, the road to a majority in the House of Representatives ran through Republican-held districts in the suburbs and exurbs of increasingly blue New York. In three such districts, scattered from Staten Island to Lake Ontario, competitive races by Democratic newcomers proved pivotal in deciding control of the House.”
New Yorkers also voted blue last night by re-electing pro-worker Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand.
The 25th Congressional District north of Los Angeles has been sending Republicans to Congress since 1993. Yesterday it flipped and elected Katie Hill, a progressive who experience includes running a nonprofit that helps the homeless.
Labor sent one of their very own to the State Senate yesterday when they elected former UNITE HERE leader, Maria Elena Durazo. It was a big victory for the Los Angeles labor community, giving workers a stronger voice at the capitol.
Also noteworthy is Brad Sherman, a pro-union Democrat, winning re-election in the 30th Congressional District.