Election Day 2021 is in the books, but that doesn’t mean a break from news—we still have to sort through all the results, and the 2022 election cycle begins in earnest now. A more detailed rundown of last week’s election results will be coming soon for subscribers; simply in the interest of (relative) brevity, this issue only contains some of the biggest races, mostly the ones we told you about in our free election day preview. (It also contains plenty of news, after the Results section, if that's what you’re here for.)
This under-the-radar primary isn’t yet over. Self-funding attorney and homecare CEO Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Broward County Commissioner Dale V.C. Holness traded the lead back and forth on election night; when the dust settled, Cherfilus-McCormick led by just three votes. After a machine recount and a hand recount, Cherfilus-McCormick leads by five votes. The winner will be determined by a batch of votes numbering at most in the dozens; these ballots are late-arriving ballots cast by overseas and military voters, or UOCAVA voters (named for the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act which requires standardized absentee balloting rights for overseas and military voters.) They will not be opened until Friday, after Florida’s deadline for receipt of UOCAVA ballots.
Cherfilus-McCormick, who ran an idiosyncratic campaign which focused on low-budget TV ads promoting her UBI plan (and falsely implying she was already a member of Congress), seems like an unlikely victor. But a badly split field, Cherfilus-McCormick’s willingness to self-fund handsomely, and very little outside involvement until the waning days of the race combined into the perfect storm for an unusual campaign like hers. If she does emerge victorious, it’s welcome news, despite the odd parts of her campaign; she supports a litany of progressive causes, including Medicare for All and the Green New Deal, and even supports a $20 hourly federal minimum wage. (Holness does not support any of those things.) She’s also not enmeshed in the Florida Democratic establishment; she ran against Hastings twice, in 2018 and 2020, both times challenging him from the left in the Democratic primary.
As for the primary losers? Thanks to Florida law requiring state and local officeholders to resign in order to seek other office, Holness and fellow Broward County Commissioner Barbara Sharief will be replaced by appointees of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. But the state legislators who gave up their jobs to run—state Sen. Perry Thurston and state Reps. Omari Hardy and Bobby DuBose—can actually run for their old jobs, because unlike county commission seats, state legislative vacancies in Florida are filled by special election. DeSantis waited as long as he possibly could to call special elections for the vacant legislative seats because the absence of three Democratic legislators made it easier for Republicans to legislate to their crazy hearts’ content; because of that delay, the filing period for those special elections is still open. All three have reason to return; Hardy is young and was only in his first term, while both DuBose and Thurston were in leadership.
Seriously, though, watch that Cherfilus-McCormick ad we linked to. It makes a lot of…unusual choices, and kinda has the vibes of an ad for a personal injury law firm or a car dealership.
As expected, the Atlanta mayoral election is headed to a runoff. Contrary to expectations is the pair of candidates who advanced to that runoff: City Council President Felicia Moore and At-Large City Councilor Andre Dickens. Former mayor Kasim Reed’s once-intimidating campaign sputtered out at the polls, coming in third place behind Dickens.
Moore, a fairly conservative Democrat, starts out as a clear favorite over Dickens, a more generic liberal; she garnered 41% of the vote to his 23%. There was still some promise for Dickens in the first-round results; Moore cleaned up in the city’s whiter north side, but performed abysmally in predominantly Black southern and western Atlanta. This makes perfect sense: while nobody would confuse Dickens’s rhetoric on crime and policing with progressive stances, Moore ran a conservative, tough-on-crime campaign reminiscent of the 90s and 00s.
Boston Mayor & Council
As expected, progressive city councilor Michelle Wu defeated conservative city councilor Annissa Essaibi George to become the next mayor of Boston. Wu’s victory had appeared inevitable for some time; it’s still a big fucking deal. From the start of her campaign, Wu has championed a detailed plan for a municipal Green New Deal and fare-free public transit; she might be the most progressive and most climate-focused mayor of any major US city once she takes office. And she’ll have some allies on the city council to help her turn her ideas into reality: progressive at-large city councilor Julia Mejia was easily reelected, and progressive Ruthzee Louijeune won another at-large seat. (Moderates won the other two at-large seats with Erin Murphy and incumbent councilor Michael Flaherty.) Moderates held Districts 3 and 4, but progressive Tania Fernandes Anderson won Acting Mayor Kim Janey’s open District 7 seat and became the first Muslim elected to the Boston city council, and DSA-endorsed activist Kendra Hicks won the District 6 seat left open by retiring City Council President Matt O’Malley, a moderate.
This one sucks.
Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown won a fifth term, running as a write-in candidate after losing the Democratic primary to socialist nurse India Walton. Brown couldn’t have done it without Republican votes, Republican money, and complicit Democrats who either backed him or stayed neutral as he embraced the GOP in his desperate bid to keep his job. A whole lot of credit is due to the Working Families Party and Buffalo DSA for powering Walton’s primary victory; significantly less credit (but still some credit) is due to establishment Democrats like Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand who endorsed Walton once she was the Democratic nominee. Every Democratic official who stayed neutral should be viewed with deep skepticism, and every Democratic official who backed Brown should be on your shit list ‘til the end of time.
We hope this is not the last we see of India Walton, who ran an impressive, inspiring campaign that scared the living daylights out of the Buffalo Democratic establishment.
Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, a generic liberal Democrat, easily beat David Mann, a moderate who has been in and out of elected office since the 70s (including two separate brief stints as mayor, a term in Congress, and a return from political hibernation in 2013 to run successfully for the city council, where he’s remained since.) This is the expected result; it’s still nice to see a fear-mongering candidate backed by the local police union lose so soundly—Pureval got about 66% to Mann’s 34%.
City Council President Kevin Kelley is the kind of guy who used to dominate Cleveland politics: a moderate product of the Cleveland machine. But he was swept aside by nonprofit director Justin Bibb, whose campaign danced around most policy questions but was definitely to the left of Kelley’s. On one key policy question—Issue 24, a ballot measure creating a civilian review board to oversee the city’s police force and have the final say on disciplinary action against police officers—Bibb did take a clear stance. He supported the measure from the get-go, the only mayoral candidate of the seven who qualified for the August preliminary election to do so. Kelley, on the other hand, opposed it. On election night, Cleveland voters delivered a clear verdict in Bibb’s favor, and Issue 24’s: Bibb got 63% of the vote, and Issue 24 passed with 59% of the vote.
Detroit City Clerk
Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey unfortunately won another term quite easily, defeating Detroit DSA-endorsed Rashida Tlaib staffer Denzel McCampbell. Detroit is set for another four years of woefully incompetent election administration.
Jersey City Mayor & Council
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop won a third term with ease, and his council slate also did well, only losing two races and being forced into a runoff in another. (DSA-endorsed labor organizer Joel Brooks came close to dealing the Fulop slate a third loss in Ward B, losing to incumbent Mira Prinz-Arey by less than four percentage points.) In Ward C, insurrection-curious Fulop-backed incumbent Rich Boggiano got 44% of the vote, sending him to a runoff with second-place finisher Kevin Bing, who got 30%. In Ward E, progressive incumbent councilor James Solomon won in a landslide over Fulop-backed challenger Jake Hudnut. And in Ward F, incumbent councilor Jermaine Robinson was walloped by challenger Frank “Educational” Gilmore. (We’re not making up the “Educational” thing.) Gilmore was condemned by many for admitting he was unvaccinated at a campaign event in October 2020. The backlash prompted Gilmore to get his first COVID shot the very next day. So...points for being responsive to public pressure, at least?
King County, WA Executive and Council
After leading progressive state Sen. Joe Nguyen by nearly 20 percentage points in the August nonpartisan primary, King County Executive Dow Constantine only bested Nguyen 55-44. It’s a strong finish for Nguyen, but Constantine, a fairly generic Democrat with barely-hidden statewide ambitions, will remain in office as chief executive of one of America’s largest counties. The King County Council will move a bit to the left, as longtime Republican incumbent Kathy Lambert lost reelection to Democrat Sarah Perry, reducing the GOP to just two seats on the nine-member council; the council’s other Republicans, Reagan Dunn and Pete von Reichbauer, won reelection, and moderate Democratic incumbent Dave Upthegrove defeated progressive challenger Shukri Olow.
Port of Seattle Commission
While the left had an otherwise rough night in the Seattle area, the obscure Port of Seattle Commission provided a glimmer of hope, as progressives Hamdi Mohamed and Toshiko Grace Hasegawa unseated incumbents Stephanie Bowman and Peter Steinbrueck. The Port of Seattle Commission oversees Seattle’s airports and seaport; because Seattle is a major international port, the commission’s powers are surprisingly broad. With Mohamed and Hasegawa on the five-member commission, the agency could be poised to take a tougher line towards the international shipping industry’s climate impact.
Seattle’s municipal elections were a disaster. Progressive city councilor Teresa Mosqueda’s reelection—which was much closer than expected—was the only good news. Centrist former City Council President Bruce Harrell defeated progressive current City Council President Lorena González for mayor, literal Republican Ann Davison defeated abolitionist Nicole Thomas-Kennedy for city attorney, and business-friendly moderate Sara Nelson defeated socialist Nikkita Oliver for an at-large city council seat. Bleak stuff.
New York City Council
New York’s city council elections were no exception to the Republican wave. Republican Joann Ariola easily held blue-leaning District 32 despite a strong campaign from progressive Democrat Felicia Singh, and Republicans managed to flip at least two more council seats in conservative parts of Brooklyn and Queens. Ironically, this could help elect a more progressive speaker; Singh was a progressive, but the other Democratic losers were moderates. If the Republican councilors are unwilling to back a moderate Democrat for speaker, moderate Democrats might find themselves with fewer speaker votes than they would have if the council elections had gone well for the party.
Somerville, MA City Council
Boston DSA made an ambitious attempt to take control of the Somerville city council; had they succeeded, Somerville would’ve been the first US city in decades with a socialist majority on its council. The socialist slate came up short of full control, but they did reelect their two incumbent city councilors (J.T. Scott and Ben Ewen-Campen) and they picked up two at-large seats on the city council with candidates Willie Burnley Jr. and Charlotte Kelly.
St. Petersburg, FL
Democrat Ken Welch handily defeated Republican city councilor Robert Blackmon in the officially nonpartisan election for mayor of St. Petersburg, and Democrat Copley Gerdes managed to flip Blackmon’s council seat; Democrat Lisset Hanewicz also held off a Republican challenge in an open Democratic seat. Centrist city councilor Gina Driscoll easily turned back long-shot progressive challenger Mhariel Summers. It was a decent night for Democrats in St. Petersburg even as the party was collapsing nationwide, and a demonstration of Florida’s undying devotion to having dead-heat elections no matter how lopsided the national electorate’s mood. But the most noteworthy St. Petersburg election result was not any of the aforementioned; that honor belongs to democratic socialist Richie Floyd’s defeat of centrist independent former councilor Jeff Danner.
Floyd and Danner, like all council candidates, faced citywide runoff elections (even though the city council is district-based and the first-round vote is conducted within each district.) Predictably, the St. Petersburg establishment put aside partisan differences to throw the kitchen sink at Floyd; with all the votes counted, we now know they failed. The people of St. Petersburg, Florida chose a socialist schoolteacher over a centrist former city councilor with broad bipartisan backing. It fucking rules. (And it’s historic: Floyd and Welch are the first Black candidates to ever defeat white opponents in a St. Petersburg runoff.)
Stamford, CT Mayor
He may claim to have invented the wrap sandwich, but one title Bobby Valentine can’t claim is mayor of Stamford, and we doubt sneaking back in with a fake mustache and glasses will work as well at city hall as it did in the Mets dugout. Democratic state Rep. Caroline Simmons, who ran vaguely to the right of incumbent mayor David Martin in the Democratic primary, will be the next mayor of Stamford, keeping the office out of the hands of the outright conservative Valentine.
Center-right independent Syracuse mayor Ben Walsh was easily reelected over Democratic city councilor Khalid Bey. We’re willing to chalk this up to Syracuse Democrats choosing an awful nominee; Bey was unvaccinated and a vaccine skeptic until he predictably contracted COVID.
Former state Del. Angela Angel has filed to run for this open seat. Angel served one four-year term in the state House of Delegates, 2015-2019, and exited after an unsuccessful campaign for state senate. The Maryland General Assembly regularly makes mincemeat of freshman legislators, and Angel was no exception—the biggest story of her time in the state house was how conservative House leadership and procedural hurdles killed a bill she'd written to protect victims of harassment from exes, which she'd personally experienced, despite widespread support. Angel seems alright, though we'll have to see what her policy positions are if/when she rolls out a campaign, but the harassment bill fight already established her as someone willing to fight for what she believes in. She’s definitely not a movement progressive—she was the director of Black engagement for Pete Buttigieg’s presidential campaign—but she’s not totally terrible at a glance, which sets her apart from many Democratic politicians in Prince George’s County.
Meanwhile, state Del. Jazz Lewis continues to establish himself as an early frontrunner, yesterday notching the endorsement of his boss and mentor, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer. (Lewis does not seem to be as terrible as Hoyer.)
Since Rep. David Price’s retirement announcement three weeks ago, a large number of Democrats have been mulling campaigns for the deep-blue Research Triangle district he’s leaving behind. The field isn’t settled yet, but it’s beginning to take shape. Here’s where things stand, with a new candidate in the race.
State Sen. Wiley Nickel: Nickel is a rapidly emerging favorite of the Wake County political establishment. While Nickel was first elected to office in 2018, he’s been in politics since the 90s, when he worked for Bill Clinton and Al Gore. The heir to a Central Valley cattle fortune, he worked in two separate DA offices, and took his first stab at office there, running for a seat in the California Senate in 2006 (a largely self-funded campaign that went quite poorly) as a proud moderate, something which he no longer leans on. Nickel was recently endorsed by most of the Morrisville (pop. 28,000) city council, Wake County Commissioner Vickie Adamson, and a few other political figures who either haven’t ever held office, or haven't in decades.
Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam: On the other side of the Democratic Party spectrum, Nida Allam has already become the favorite of the left. Allam became a political organizer after three of her friends were murdered in an Islamophobic hate crime; she joined the Sanders campaign shortly thereafter, serving as a regional political director and as a delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. There, a photo of her wiping away tears was memorably passed off by the Clinton campaign as an example of Clinton supporters overcome by the historic nature of Clinton’s nomination; in fact, Allam was heartbroken by Sanders’s loss. She didn’t give up after 2016; instead, she redoubled her commitment to politics, getting elected Third Vice Chair of the North Carolina Democratic Party and joining the board of Planned Parenthood South Atlantic. In 2020, she ran for Durham County Commission and won, becoming the first Muslim woman to hold public office in North Carolina. Allam launched on Monday, and raised $55,000 in the first 8 hours of her campaign. Her campaign has also received support from Rep. Ilhan Omar and Durham City Councilor Jillian Johnson.
State Sen. Natalie Murdock: Murdock worked for various municipal governments around the state before being elected Durham Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor in 2018 and state Senator in 2020. Murdock is a solid progressive, but she reps Durham in the Senate, where the left is behind Allam, possibly complicating her path.
Floyd McKissick, Jr.: McKissick, the son of the civil rights leader of the same name, preceded Murdock in the Senate. A city councilor from 1993-2001 and state senator from 2007-2020, the younger McKissick is a well-known political figure in Durham. His history is, to say the least, fraught. He’s been accused of assault twice, once by his then-wife, and was reprimanded by the state bar for improperly representing both sides of a contract case (meaning he helped someone swindle an elderly man out of everything he owned the day after the man’s wife’s death). In his time in the legislature, he supported many Republican initiatives, including charter schools, local preemption, gas tax cuts, and culture war nonsense.
State Sen. Mike Woodard: Woodard has represented northern Durham County, as well as two counties to its north, in the legislature since 2012. In that time he’s established himself as the leading Big Ag lackey in the Democratic caucus (including signing on to the infamous ag-gag bill) and has an all-around centrist and corporate disposition.
Former Wake County Commissioner Jessica Holmes: Holmes served six years on the Wake County Commission before running for state Commissioner of Labor in 2020, where she, like most of the statewide ticket that year, lost narrowly. Holmes is a fairly standard liberal on most issues. She may have a geographic advantage as the only non-Nickel candidate from Wake County considering running.
State Rep. Zack Hawkins
State Rep. Graig Meyer
Hillsborough Town Commissioner Matt Hughes: Hughes’s office in the (very) local politics of a town of 7,000 belies a more powerful position in the state party, so he could be a threat (and we do mean threat, this is a guy moderate enough to side with Sinema on the reconciliation negotiations), but his reaction to Allam’s entry seems to indicate he won’t be running.
The elephant in the room as every potential candidate considers whether or not to make the leap is redistricting. Republicans have actually drafted and enacted a congressional map already, but we've avoided talking about it because it is, to put it gently, highly illegal. In terms of federal law, there's a clear problem with their 1st district. While federally-protected minority access districts don't have to, and indeed often should not be, majority-minority by population, this district drops the Black population down so far it almost voted for Trump, a screamingly obvious violation of decades of federal Voting Rights Act jurisprudence. In the realm of state law, the 5-2 Democratic Court that struck down the previous decade’s congressional map for partisan gerrymandering may now be reduced to 4-3 Democratic with a Republican Chief Justice, but it hasn’t gone anywhere, and the new map is also a blatant partisan gerrymander. The new NC-06 (a successor to the old NC-04) contains the counties of Orange (Chapel Hill), Durham, and part of Wake County, but no one’s sure if that’s going to last.
Nick Kristof, the sweatshop-loving, sex work-hating newspaper columnist running for governor out of boredom, has already proven why he can’t be ignored, despite bringing nothing to the race besides money: he’s already raised $1,000,000 in less than a mo th. Oregon isn’t a very large state, so at this pace he should be plastering the airwaves with ads come spring. Don’t mistake this money for organic support, however—only about 15% of it was from in-state donors.
Congressman Kurt Schrader had his district remade in redistricting. While everyone's expected him to run for OR-05, which he lives in and represents the bulk of, instead of OR-06, he's been quiet about his choice until this week, when he finally revealed that yes, he'll be running for reelection in OR-05 like everyone thought. He's also backed away from his previous position on the Build Back Better reconciliation package, now saying he's a no if the price tag is over the official $1.75 trillion, after previously rejecting the terms of the bill outright, something possibly motivated by the recent entry of primary challenger Jamie McLeod-Skinner.
Three state legislative leaders from Philadelphia have endorsed state Rep. Summer Lee’s bid for Congress in this Pittsburgh-based seat (which will not be numbered PA-18 after redistricting, as Pennsylvania is losing a congressional district, but will almost certainly be quite similar to the current district.) They are House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, House Minority Whip Jordan Harris, and Legislative Black Caucus Chair Donna Bullock. It can be hard to view Lee through an establishment/outsider dichotomy with regards to Pittsburgh politics—despite her running an extended political network and accumulating allies locally, including the new mayor, the local party still took the extraordinary step of endorsing a primary challenger against her in 2020 (who wound up losing by over 50%). Statewide, though, Lee may have only been in the state house for three years, but she’s evidently made some friends in that time.
A new entry to the race this week came in the form of Steve Irwin, an attorney from the Squirrel Hill neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Irwin, a former staffer to then-Republican Arlen Specter, was running as a Democrat for lieutenant governor before the congressional seat opened up. Irwin, a clear moderate, may wind up the choice of that same local party apparatus that Lee has easily defeated twice in her district if no one else runs. In his first post-launch interview, he softly implied that Lee and the Squad share some views with the Tree of Life shooter, which is either a garbled answer to a multi-part question from a first-time candidate unready for the task of a difficult congressional campaign, or the beginning of an extraordinarily negative campaign against Lee.
A couple weeks ago, socialist Austin City Councilor Greg Casar coyly announced an exploratory committee for the now-open TX-35. Exploratory committees are a weird gray area for candidates to “test the waters”; exploratory candidates are limited in what they can say and do, and how they can spend the money they raise. Casar's decision to start with an exploratory committee was baffling, because he was very obviously running. (The best guess we have is that he wanted to announce in tandem with Julie Oliver in TX-37, but the two couldn’t agree on a timeline.) Thankfully, the exploratory song and dance is over now. He officially began his campaign this week, put out a nice launch video, and 72 hours later announced he'd raised $100,000 already. That's a very good amount for any candidate to raise so quickly, especially one like Casar whose politics repulse a lot of deep-pocketed donors.
He's not alone in the field, however. In addition to activist Claudia Zapata, who's been running for months, state Rep. Eddie Rodriguez filed to run this weekend. Rodriguez has represented southeast Travis County in the state house since 2002, and recently lost the special election to Austin's state senate seat, meaning he should still have some name recognition across the Austin portion of TX-35. Rodriguez is on the progressive end of Texas politics, but Casar is clearly to his left, and has the enthusiastic support of both local and national progressive groups. (For example, the Working Families Party immediately endorsed Casar.) With Rodriguez likely in, that means San Antonio state Rep. Trey Martinez Fischer is out; the two are allies, and it was always unlikely they’d run against one another. Martinez Fischer announced today that he’d seek reelection to the state House instead of running for Congress.
IL-07, NY-03, TX-28, TN-05
Indivisible has announced an initial slate of congressional endorsements for 2020. On it are three incumbents—Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Mondaire Jones (NY-17), and Pramila Jayapal (WA-07)—and four challengers—Kina Collins (IL-07), Melanie D’Arrigo (NY-03), Odessa Kelly (TN-05), and Jessica Cisneros (TX-28). Collins, Cisneros, and Kelly are not particularly surprising, but this is the first major national endorsement for D’Arrigo, who is challenging powerful Long Island moderate Tom Suozzi (who may or may not be retiring to run for governor.)
Joe Salazar, a three-term former state representative from the northern Denver suburbs, announced he’s running for the open SD-24, a Democratic district in the same area. Salazar ran for Attorney General in 2018 as an unabashed progressive, and came within 1% of winning the primary. Salazar is a progressive rising star in Colorado, especially among environmental groups, and he says he’s running for state Senate instead of a federal office to hold Governor Jared Polis’s feet to the fire. He had previously considered running for Senate or the newly-created CO-08.
The field to succeed New York Attorney General Tish James grew by one since we last wrote, and it wasn’t any of the likely suspects. Zephyr Teachout, the unsuccessful 2018 AG candidate, was never going to have the race to herself; perhaps state Senate Deputy Majority Leader Mike Gianaris would run, or Brooklyn DA Eric Gonzalez, Queens DA Melinda Katz, or Queens Assemb. Clyde Vanel. And all of them are still potential candidates—nothing has occurred to publicly indicate any of them have lost interest in the race. But Teachout’s first official opponent is state Sen. Shelley Mayer, a moderate Democrat who represents much of suburban Westchester County.
Mayer opposed New York’s first serious attempt to legalize marijuana in 2019, placing her to the right of most Democrats in the state legislature and then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo; she was one of just three Democratic state senators to oppose legalization in a safely Democratic district. (A total of nine Democratic state senators opposed the 2019 effort; six were from swingy suburban districts in the NYC suburbs.) Marijuana legalization seemed within reach after Democrats took back the New York state Senate in 2018, especially with the decimation of the state senate’s conservative, Republican-caucusing Democratic faction known as the IDC; because of holdouts like Mayer, that didn’t happen. (She gave Gothamist a Boomerific won’t-somebody-think-of-the-children excuse, including the phrase “you can use a vaping tool to smoke dope.”) Consequently, legalization had to wait until 2021, after state senate Democrats romped in 2020 and gained a supermajority. (Mayer was on board in 2021, when legalization finally passed the legislature.)
Long story short, we’re not impressed.
NYC-DSA, NY Legislature
NYC DSA made its expected endorsements in a trio of state legislative districts, backing David Alexis for Senate District 21 against state Sen. Kevin Parker, Illapa Sairitupac for Senate District 26 against state Sen. Brian Kavanagh, and Democratic District Leader Samy Nemir-Olivares for Assembly District 54 against Assemb. Erik Dilan. Currently, SD-21 is located in Central Brooklyn, SD-26 includes parts of northern Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, and AD-54 includes parts of the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Bushwick and East New York. Also in the race for SD-26 is Alana Sivin, a former public defender and criminal justice reform advocate who also sought the DSA endorsement. NYC-DSA also cross-endorsed another DSA chapter’s Assembly candidate, asking supporters to donate to Mid-Hudson Valley DSA candidate Sarahana Shrestha. Mid-Hudson Valley DSA recently unseated the chairman of the Ulster County Legislature, and Shrestha is a co-chair of the chapter. Shrestha is challenging Democratic Assemb. Kevin Cahill for a district that includes the college town of New Paltz, the artsy Hudson River city of Kingston, and the town of Woodstock that lent its name, but not its location, to the famed music festival. In other words, it makes perfect sense as a place for DSA to venture beyond its usual urban stomping grounds, especially with DSA chapters’ string of successes in electing candidates to local offices in the Hudson Valley.
Eddie Lucio Jr., a strong contender for the worst elected Democrat anywhere in the country, is finally retiring from the Texas Senate after thirty years of being awful. Progressive Sara Stapleton Barrera, who was just seven percentage points away from beating him in the 2020 primary, is running again. The district has been redrawn to be more competitive for Republicans, which is cause for concern, but the differences between Lucio and a Republican are not that significant (he’s close with far-right Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick) and the district still leans Democratic.