Ah, the sweet smell of Democratic election victories has temporarily banished the stench of Trump's disastrous presidency from my political nostrils.
It looks like Kentucky has chosen a Democrat, Andy Beshear, to be the next Governor. Yes, Kentucky, where Trump won by 30 points in 2016, and where Trump campaigned last night for the Republican incumbent, Matt Bevin.
Of course, I'm confident Trump will claim that if he hadn't supported Bevin, the race wouldn't have been as close as it was, with Beshear on top by about 5,000 votes. But no matter how Republicans spin the Kentucky outcome, it's still a notable win for Democrats.
I'm also thrilled that for the first time in 26 years, Democrats control Virginia -- Governor plus majorities in both the state House and Senate. So says this Washington Post graphic.
What's cool is that Democrats pulled off control of the Virginia state legislature with district maps drawn by Republicans in 2011. Now that Dems control redistricting, they will be able to do the map drawing after the 2020 census. Which should turn Virginia even more blue.
On the down side, Mississippi looks like it will elect a Republican governor. But that is just a minor blemish on some really encouraging news for Democrats. The swing of suburbs into the Democratic camp that was evident in the 2018 midterms seems to have continued into 2019.
Now us progressives have to keep the momentum going into 2020.
Locally, it isn't too early to start focusing on the prospect of progressives at least maintaining their 6-3 majority on the Salem City Council, and hopefully increasing it.
Trevor Phillips, an Emergency Room physician, has announced that he is running for the Ward 3 council seat currently occupied by a conservative, Brad Nanke, who isn't running again. Give his Facebook page a "like" so you can stay informed on the progress of the Phillips campaign.
Here's why he is running.
Vanessa Nordyke is the progressive choice in the Ward 7 race.
She recently was chosen by the City Council to serve as the Ward 7 councilor for the rest of Sally Cook's term, which ends on December 31, 2020. In the May 2020 election Nordyke will face a conservative opponent, so we need to work to make sure Nordyke is able to serve Salem for a full four-year term.
Vanessa Nordyke is a third-generation Salem lawyer and a Senior Assistant Attorney General at the Oregon Department of Justice.
Vanessa’s dedication to Salem goes back to her teens, with work on issues like homelessness, veterans, mental health and more. Vanessa has served on a quartet of City of Salem boards: the City of Salem Youth Advisory Commission, Social Services Advisory Board, Community Police Review Board, and the Citizen Budget Committee. She co-founded the Marion County Veterans Treatment Court. She co-captained a mock trial team of Latinx students through the Salem-Keizer Coalition for Equality.
In 2018, Vanessa made history as the youngest ever-elected President of the Oregon State Bar, a unified bar of approximately 19,000 lawyers and judges statewide. As President, Vanessa spearheaded a statewide mental health initiative for the Oregon legal community. Her passion for destigmatizing mental illness led Vanessa to develop and conduct mental health trainings all over the state. After completing her OSB presidency, Vanessa resumed her focus on Salem by joining the YMCA Board of Directors and KMUZ Community Radio’s Advisory Council.
Vanessa is a proud graduate of South Salem High School, Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service and University of Oregon School of Law. She is the recipient of Oregon DOJ's Excellence in Justice Award, the Marion County Bar Association’s Government Lawyer of the Year, Outstanding Mentor Award from Willamette University College of Law, and the University of Oregon School of Law’s Outstanding Young Alumnus Award.
Vanessa is a proud dogmom and loves karaoke, traveling, cooking, and the great outdoors.