From: Raul Alvillar, DNC Political Director
To: Interested Parties
Re: Important Gains Made on Election Day 2015
Date: November 4, 2015
While talking heads have focused on the gubernatorial race in Kentucky, there are a number of results from yesterday’s elections that show the Democratic Party made strides – both in Kentucky and around the country – through important victories at the state and local levels. In Kentucky, for example, our investments helped Democrats win two statewide races, including the re-election of our Secretary of State and the election of a new Attorney General. At the same time, a number of yesterday’s elections helped lay the groundwork for strengthening the Party’s voter engagement heading into the 2016 elections, and there were critical victories in key states at the ballot box that will help ensure a redistricting process that respects every American’s right to vote.
Ensuring Fairness in Redistricting
In Ohio, a ballot initiative to increase minority party representation on Ohio’s redistricting commission and to establish new requirements for district boundaries was approved overwhelmingly with 71.46% of the vote. The new bipartisan commission will be more balanced and likely to produce a less partisan map when new redistricting plans are drawn up. Similarly, in Pennsylvania, where the DNC made a significant investment, three seats up for grabs on the state Supreme Court were won by Judges widely recognized for their commitment to impartiality and protecting the rights of every American.
Gains at the State and Local Levels
We also made gains in state legislatures and mayoral races with candidates committed to fighting for hardworking Americans and the middle class, who will play a role in replenishing our party’s bench with new and diverse talent across the country. In New Hampshire, for example, Democrats won the mayoral race in Nashua, New Hampshire, secured wins in North Carolina mayoral races in Charlotte, Greensboro and Durham, as well as three critical mayoral seats in the Ohio cities of Akron, Columbus, and Toledo. In Florida, with the DNC’s help, Mayor Buddy Dyer fought off a wealthy challenger in Orlando, while in one of the biggest pick-ups of the cycle, Democrat Joe Hogsett won the mayoral seat in Indianapolis.
Below we’ve detailed specific races in states all across the country.
Colorado: Democrats successfully recalled tea party-backed school board members in three school districts (Jefferson, Douglas and Thompson Valley). The race saw national attention because of a conservative push to re-write the AP history curriculum.
Florida: Buddy Dyer won a competitive re-election battle for mayor of Orlando, FL, the fourth-largest city in the state.
Idaho: Democratic incumbent mayor David Bieter won re-election as the mayor of Boise, the largest city in the state.
Indiana: Democrat Joe Hogsett won the mayor’s seat back from Republican control in Indianapolis by a whopping 62-38 margin. Democrats also held mayoral seats in Fort Wayne, South Bend and Gary.
Kentucky: Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes and Attorney General-Elect Andy Beshear both won their state-wide elections.
Mississippi: Our investments in Mississippi paid off, as Democratic Attorney General Jim Hood won re-election in a deep-red state with a popular incumbent governor from the opposing party.
New Hampshire: Former mayor Jim Donchess won his bid for mayor of Nashua
New Jersey: In a rebuke to Governor Chris Christie’s record of failure and constant absence from the state, voters elected the largest Democratic majority in recent years in the Assembly with a near veto-proof majority of 51 to 29.
North Carolina: Jennifer Roberts won her bid to be the mayor of Charlotte, the largest city in the state, while Bill Bell was re-elected in Durham and Nancy Vaughan was re-elected in Greensboro.
Ohio: An important redistricting ballot measure backed by Democrats was approved by an overwhelming margin, which will restore integrity and fairness to the process. Furthermore, Democrats retained mayoral seats in Akron, Columbus, and Toledo—Dan Horrigan, Andrew Ginther, and Paula Hicks-Hudson, respectively.
Pennsylvania: Democrat Jim Kenney was elected as the new mayor of Philadelphia. Three seats up for grabs on the state Supreme Court were won by Judges widely recognized for their commitment to impartiality and protecting the rights of every American, heading toward a redistricting period in two years.
Virginia: Democrats gained one seat in the state’s House of Delegates, and held the line in the State Senate.