Thursday, November 09, 2023

Bellwether elections spell victory for Democrats, LGBTQ candidates. (Washington Blade)

Since 1775, Americans have defeated tyrants bullies and fascists, again and again.  In 2024, We the People shall do it once again. As President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said to his generals, admirals and staff after the Imperial Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor,  "Do not tell me that it can't be done." 

From The Washington Blade:

Bellwether elections spell victory for Democrats, LGBTQ candidates

Voters turn out to defend abortion rights




Especially notable in Tuesday's results was the reelection of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), an LGBTQ ally who vetoed the ban on gender affirming care for minors passed by his deep-red state legislature. (Screenshot/YouTube MSNBC)

Tuesday’s off-year elections, seen as a bellwether for the 2024 races, spelled victory for Democrats, LGBTQ candidates, and abortion rights while also signaling the failure of anti-trans attacks that were intended to motivate conservative voters. 

Especially notable was the reelection of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), an LGBTQ ally who vetoed the ban on gender affirming care for minors passed by his deep-red state legislature, as well as Virginia Del. Danica Roem’s successful bid to become the country’s second trans state senator.

AdImpact found Beshear’s Republican opponent, Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron, spent more than $5 million in television ads attacking LGBTQ rights, while Roem’s Republican challenger had lobbed anti-trans attacks against her throughout the campaign.

LGBTQ Victory Fund President and CEO Mayor Annise Parker said the newly anointed Virginia state senator “made LGBTQ+ history tonight because she put constituents first, speaking to the real issues that impact children and their families in Virginia, from fixing roads to ensuring kids and families have food on the table.” 

Parker added, “Her win tonight will make national headlines and serves as a deafening rebuke to bigots who continue to try and silence the LGBTQ+ community and trans people in particular.”

The Mississippi House of Representatives and Philadelphia City Council are also slated to welcome their first LGBTQ representatives, Fabian Nelson and Rue Landau, while Luanne Peterpaul became the first LGBTQ woman elected to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly.

“Voters for LGBTQ equality and everyone’s fundamental freedoms came out in force in the 2023 election, reflecting the reality that a supermajority of Americans support LGBTQ people and our right not to be discriminated against,” GLAAD said in a statement. 

“The results will lead to a better lived reality for LGBTQ people in the South and Midwest, and send a message to all lawmakers: LGBTQ people are valued members of our communities, we value everyone’s freedom to be themselves and make their own health care decisions, and we embrace diversity in our elected officials,” the group said. 

After canvassing on Monday for Roem and Josh Thomas, whose victory on Tuesday was key in securing Democratic control of the Virginia House of Delegates, Human Rights Campaign President Kelley Robinson told the Washington Blade voters she spoke with were concerned about their neighborhoods, their kids, and their schools. 

The experience, just days after a national New York Times and Sienna College poll showed disappointing levels of support for President Joe Biden, was a reminder, she said, of “that old adage, ‘all politics is local.'”

Along with LGBTQ rights, abortion was on the ballot on Tuesday. Both chambers of Virginia’s legislature were won by Democrats after a deluge of advertising focused on abortion, following Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) decision to push for “reasonable” restrictions on the procedure. 

Ohio voters turn back GOP efforts and enshrine reproduction rights

In Ohio, meanwhile, by a double digit margin voters elected to have the right to abortion enshrined in their state constitution — a blow to Republicans, especially considering how Ohioans had overwhelmingly supported former President Donald Trump in the 2016 and 2020 elections. 

“Ohioans and voters across the country rejected attempts by MAGA Republican elected officials to impose extreme abortion bans that put the health and lives of women in jeopardy, force women to travel hundreds of miles for care, and threaten to criminalize doctors and nurses for providing the health care that their patients need and that they are trained to provide,” Biden said in a statement on Tuesday. 

“This extreme and dangerous agenda is out-of-step with the vast majority of Americans,” the president said. “My Administration will continue to protect access to reproductive health care and call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law once and for all.”

“The results in Ohio underscore what the vast majority of Americans believe: politicians should not interfere in decisions that should be between a woman and her doctor,” said Vice President Kamala Harris. “Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, people across the country have voted to defend reproductive freedom every time it has appeared on the ballot – including in Kansas, California, Michigan, Montana, Kentucky, and Vermont.”

Moms for Liberty sees major defeats in key states

School board elections also broke in favor of progressive and moderate candidates in places like Fairfax County, Va., which saw a surge in LGBTQ members after Tuesday, where, as Fairfax County School Board Vice Chair Karl Frisch said, “residents have made it clear: they want safe and inclusive schools for every student, including those who identify as LGBTQ+.”

Ailen Arreaza, executive director of ParentsTogether Action, a national family advocacy group, said, “From Ohio to Virginia to Kentucky and beyond, voters saw the GOP’s emphasis on education and parental rights as exactly what it is: an attempt to distract from their extreme and unpopular agenda.” 

The school board races proved a strong rebuke to the Republican aligned anti-LGBTQ group Moms for Liberty, which had funneled significant resources into them. 

Democrats swept contests in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, where the group backed 50 candidates running in 28 districts, including in the closely watched races for the Central Bucks and Pennridge school boards. 

Meanwhile, in Iowa’s Linn-Mar school district, which saw another particularly contentious race over issues of gender identity policy in a battleground state, all candidates supported by Moms for Liberty failed to place in the top four. 

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