By now, you’ve likely heard that Dr. Hiral Tipirneni fell short last week in her underdog quest to win the special congressional election in Arizona’s 8th district. But that only tells a small part of the story. In a dark red district that Trump won by 21 points in 2016, Tipirneni lost by less than 6%, evidence of grassroots progressive energy that could sweep Democrats to power this November — if we work our asses off to help make it happen.
Progressives Everywhere raised over $6000 for Tipirneni’s campaign, which helped deliver a message to political pundits and Republicans. Another one of our candidates, Ohio legislature hopeful Zach Dickerson, outraised all of his GOP opponents in the first quarter. He raised $20,800, while the GOP incumbent — remember, the guy who wanted to let kids carry guns at school? — brought in only $18,200, including $12,500 from special interest PACs. Zach emailed me to thank Progressives Everywhere, so I’m writing to thank all of you.
So, what’s next? We’ve focused a lot on flipping seats in red states, and that’s still absolutely crucial. But corruption is not limited to states run by Republicans. Here in New York, what is ostensibly a deep blue state has been hijacked by Republicans and corrupt Democrats. Team Blue won control of the State Senate in 2012, but the chamber has been instead run by Republicans and a group of eight cynical breakaway Democrats who operate as the “Independent Democratic Conference.”
Republicans and the IDC have together been a major roadblock for progressive policy initiatives, blocking popular ideas like universal healthcare, criminal justice reform, extending voting rights, and protections for women, minorities and LGBTQ New Yorkers. That partnership was tacitly endorsed by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a machine politician who values power over progressive priorities. This has been harmful not only to New Yorkers but also to the rest of the nation, as progressive policies are much more likely to be implemented nationwide if they succeed in a major state.
After half a decade of thwarted democracy, progressives, led by the Working Families Party, decided that enough was enough. They announced a slate of primary challengers for the IDC eight, and then Cynthia Nixon announced that she was mounting a primary campaign against Cuomo, running on her years of experience fighting for public education, LGBTQ rights, and other progressive causes. Yes, she’s an actress, but she’s also a serious candidate, well-read on the issues and passionate about her priorities.
Lo and behold, right after receiving challengers from the left, Cuomo and the breakaway turncoat state senators suddenly decided to act like progressives, announcing the dissolution of the IDC and the implementation of a few long-overdue voting rights reform measures.
Click HERE to donate to New York progressive primary challengers via Progressives Everywhere’s ActBlue page for New York State!
But their scramble to satisfice progressive priorities and mollify angry Democrats is not enough. Cuomo has gone to work to splinter the Working Families Party, pressuring union officials to endorse him. His promises are generally empty; Cuomo has promised to govern as a progressive before, only to turn his back on our most important policy proposals.
He won’t be able to pull that for long — if he even remains in office. Last week, Democrats flipped a Republican seat in the State Senate, moving one seat away from outright control of the chamber. Three more major Republicans are retiring from Albany’s upper chamber. Nixon’s campaign continues to build momentum, and the primary challengers are still working to unseat the former IDC representatives.
With that in mind, Progressives Everywhere is working to raise money for Nixon, several of the progressive primary challengers, and the declared Democrat running for the State Senate in one of the three newly opened seats.
- Alessandra Biaggi is taking on IDC leader Jeff Klein.
- Jessica Ramos is taking on Jose Peralta
- Cynthia Nixon is taking on Andrew Cuomohttp://rachelmay.org/
- Zellnor Myrie is taking on Jesse Hamilton
- John Mannion is running for the seat held by retiring John DeFrancisco
- Robert Jackson is challenging Marisol Alcantara
- Rachel May is taking on David Valesky