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    2017 Election Night Recap

    Regardless of the outcomes, last Tuesday proved to be an exciting time for a political enthusiast. If you’re like me, you were up late into the evening trying to figure what the night’s results meant for the country moving forward. Elections indeed have consequences and results last week will prove to be consequential for thousands of people across several states and major U.S. cities.

    Virginia Statewide: In short, it was a successful evening for Democrats in the Old Dominion state. The Democratic ticket swept all major state wide races, welcoming in a new governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general. While most polls had the democratic governor barely leading his republican competition, the margin of victory turned out to shock almost everyone.

    Arguably more shocking than the democratic sweep of the state’s marquee races was their down ballot success. Prior to the election, Republicans led the Virginia House of Delegate by a 66-to-24 majority. With the results of last week, Virginia Democrats have secured 49 out of the 100 seats with results still pending in three races. With their coalition of women and minority candidates democrats are within striking distance of taking control of Richmond’s lower chamber for the first time since early 2000.

    New Jersey Statewide: As expected, the democratic candidate for Governor of the Garden State claimed victory early Tuesday evening. Democrats in New Jersey are now in the position of controlling both chambers of their legislature as well as the governor’s mansion. With a new progressive governor and even more comfortable majorities in both chambers, look to the state to become a new progressive hub. 

    Washington State: Democrats also flipped a Washington State Senate seat securing the full party control of the evergreen state. Like New Jersey, look for more progressive legislation coming out of Olympia in the not so distant future.

    Ballot Measure: One of the lesser known results of Tuesday evening is the Medicaid expansion in the State of Maine. By nearly a 3/5 margin, Mainers voted to expand Medicaid becoming the 33rd state in the nation to do so and the first state to expand coverage through a ballot initiative. After seeing the success expanding Medicaid through a ballot measure, look for other states to replicate this idea.

    Utah Congressional Race: Republicans secured a win and maintained control over one of Utah’s congressional seats after Republican John Curtis easily defeated his democratic challenger. 

    Mayoral Elections: Democrats continued their success in the evening with reelection of incumbent mayors in some of the nation’s largest cities, including New York City and Boston.

    Looking towards 2018, ask any politico and they’ll tell you that the midterms elections are a life time away. However we can see from last Tuesday’s results that the electorate is excited and motivated. Make no mistake that last week’s results should motivate both parties. We are already seeing republicans in both the house and senate double down on tax cuts and resurrecting a health care repeal effort as they look to protect their majorities before next year’s midterm elections. The common factor that drives all election outcomes is turnout.

    As a charitable 501(c)(3) organization, Goodwill® does not endorse or support individual candidates or national parties. However, we do encourage all citizens to express their opinions through the power of their vote. As we prepare for next year’s midterm elections, we encourage all eligible citizens to register to vote and engage in their local and national elections. Elections have consequences and everyone deserves to have a say in the outcomes.

    Joshua Alvarez
    GII Manager of Advocacy Outreach and Engagment
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