Tonight, in my tiny town of Flemington, New Jersey, Mark Legato (D) beat out Julie Luster (R) for a contested Borough Council seat Legato won in November by just one vote and Luster has contested ever since. We won by 30 votes tonight.
Our secret weapons were two young women in sneakers and blue jeans who pounded out our GOTV program over a sleepless two days in the inadequately-heated Hunterdon County Dem HQ. It was more efficient, more productive and frankly, one hell of a lot more fun than anything we have ever done. The Republicans didn’t know what hit them. And it drove the win.
One of the fundamentals of Gov. Howard Dean’s 50-State Strategy is Show up everywhere. And that doesn’t mean just mayor’s races in Salt Lake City, state contests in Alaska or gaining ground in the Show-Me State. For this to work it also has to mean that we concede no vote even in the most crimson portions of very blue states. Places like Hunterdon County. 50-State Strategy = 21-County Strategy.
So here’s the thing: Next time you hear some self-serving dinosaur like James Carville spin bullshit about replacing Howard Dean as DNC Chair, remember the paradigm shift Dean presides over. Money lifts from the hands of Beltway consultants, and pays for organizers like Mary Campbell and Colleen Montgomery who fan out and help generate victories powered by us. Boom. Out of those victories emerge better government and better direction.
We won in Flemington tonight. If James Carville or Rahm Emanuel or anybody else wants to take down Howard Dean, they have to knock me down first. And I’m in a feisty mood. Did I mention we won?
UPDATE & Postscript, later that same year: On the night of this victory, our next candidate stood on a chair and announced that she was running next: Linda Mastellone, the first-ever candidate to emerge directly out of Hunterdon DFA. We won that race too, in a blitz of DFA-intensive work. And with Linda’s win, the Democrats took control here, here in this town where Republicans outnumber Democrats two-to-one. Boom! – – Rosi