Dems take the House, Republicans kept the Senate, but don’t take that as a weakness; the Dems had to defend 26 Senate seats this year and the Republicans only 9. It was a heavier lift. Things are going to change, and a Democratic House will change them. More than 100 women were elected to Congress last night, including the youngest-ever, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Dems will be the committee chairs in the House, and a partial firewall is built against Trump’s unstable acid presidency. Its investigation time! Time for subpoenas directed at President Trump – his business dealings with foreign governments, his tax records, and who may be paying him off for access. Time too, to protect counsel Robert Mueller’s separate investigation of possible Russian interference in the 2016 election for Trump.
Heartbreaks: Texas Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke lost, giving one of the best concession speeches I’ve ever heard (and shocking late-night TV censors with the line, “I fucking love you guys.” With his loss, the gross Ted Cruz is re-elected. Just ew. Two hotly-contested Governor races in the South were tainted with voter disenfranchisement by Republicans, and largely against black people. And it contributed to both GOP wins. In the Florida Gov race, Andrew Gillum lost to Ron DeSantis, a basic Republican white guy not above using racist dog-whistles like ‘monkey’. But it was close: DeSantis 49.7%-Gillum 49%. In Georgia’s Gov race, Stacey Abrams, who would be this country’s first black woman governor, has refused to concede. The vote stands 50.5% for Brian Kemp, 48.6% for Abrams. Kemp, the state’s highest-ranking election official, Abrams is arguing that all the votes aren’t counted in heavily Dem counties. Given Kemp’s history, this race is still an open question. In Gov races, Ohio’s Richard Cordray also lost, and so did Maryland’s Ben Jealous, but Dems picked up 6 Gov seats overall.
THANKS, DONALD TRUMP
Fuck off, Bob Hugin. You come in with your mega-bucks from price-gouging cancer patients, and your history of thinking women & gay people are less than you, and you try to ramp up voters’ natural distrust of Senator Menendez by jacking up the actual ethics cloud over him into a total bullshit lie of “underage girls”. All while cozying up to Trump, who actually does those things. You’re a creep. And a failed creep at that. Buh-bye. Menendez 53.1% – Hugin 43.8%
Partying with Menendez last night, a juror from his corruption trial
Navy pilot, federal prosecutor, walking feature story – Mikie Sherrill wins decisively in CD11, besting the NJ GOP’s former chair Jay Webber. Before Sherrill was even in the race, local activists were organizing against Rodney Frelinghuysen, scion of a NJ political dynasty at the top of his career as House Appropriations Chair. More than any other race in the state, maybe even in the country, we owe this win to ordinary people who made this happen by sheer will, determination, and – in most cases – brand new muscle skills. Mikie Sherrill 55.57% – Jay Webber 43.30%
Unlike Sherrill, Malinowski’s CD7 win did not feel pre-ordained. Leonard Lance was a much better, more skilled opponent, who has shape-shifted so many times in his long NJ career – like Frelinghuysen, a political dynasty in NJ politics himself. Lance has been the Republican maverick in the Legislature, and the tea party darling in the Congress, with many voters not even noticing he stopped representing their interests. Because he’s just so darn nice. Malinowski is the soft-spoken player on the national scene, gone from his native New Jersey for years, but welcomed back to lead this district. A massive ground game may have driven this win; it felt like the engine kicked into overdrive the last few days, including a 1,000-person Union County GOTV canvass. Malinowski 50.3% – Lance 48.15%
Jeff Van Drew wins CD2. Yeah, I really don’t care. This race looked close all night, prompting a flurry of texts of why the hell that was. Grossman, who likes white supremacist websites, was so odious that even the NRCC, whose job it is to get him elected, dropped him like a hot racist potato. But that’s not even it. CD2’s primary was not remotely a fair fight with the smooth machinery of bossman George Norcross ordaining a win as surely as he did for his little brother Rep. Don Norcross. And running right over a talented black woman, like that’s nothing. Tanzie Youngblood had already been campaigning against Rep. Frank LoBiondo before he dropped out, landing on the cover of Time Magazine in their iconic women running issue. LoBo drops out, and – poof – now Van Drew announces, is endorsed the same day by all 8 county chairs in-district, and that was that. A DINO Democrat with a 100% rating from the NRA gets the seat, and Norcross now controls 2 of 12 Jersey congressional seats. We need party reform.
CD3 race is too close to call. With VBMs, provisionals, and overseas ballots still left to be counted, the Andy Kim challenge to Rep.Tom MacArthur is too close to call, though MacArthur currently leads with about 2,000 votes. MacArthur 49.76% – Kim 48.92%.
In other NJ contests, CD4: Chris Smith decisively over Josh Welle 55.84%-42.66%, CD5: Josh Gottheimer wins his first re-elect easily 55.21%-43.46%. All other NJ House Dems – Norcross, Pallone, Sires, Pascrell, Payne & Watson Coleman – win easily.
Green Party ran only two candidates; Madelyn Hoffman and Diane Moxley each got eight-tenths of a point, in the U.S. Senate & CD7 races respectively.
Honestly, if there’s other news, I haven’t caught up to it yet. What are you reading, Blue Jersey?