Kentucky’s Linda Belcher flipping a state House seat is just the latest Democratic win in 2018.
So far this year, Democrats have made gains in the Wisconsin Senate, held a Minnesota Senate seat in a Trump district and flipped seats in the Missouri and Florida statehouses.
“This isn’t just a trend. It’s a movement,” said Amanda Brown Lierman, national political and organizing director for the Democratic National Committee.
“We are making strategic investments in order to be competitive in every ZIP code, every year and every election, from the school board to the Oval Office.”
In Kentucky on Feb. 20, Belcher won a special election for state representative in Bullitt County. She defeated the widow of the late state representative Dan Johnson, the pastor who died by suicide after the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting accused him of molesting a 17-year-old girl at his church.
The swing was dramatic. Trump had won the county with 72 percent of the vote. Belcher won Tuesday with 68 percent.
Nearly 800 state legislative seats elected this year will draw congressional maps in 2021, the DNC said. Democrats are only 12 seats away from flipping six chambers.
“State legislatures are also on the frontlines of fighting back against the Trump-Pence agenda, which is dividing communities, tearing apart families and making it more difficult for families to obtain a good-paying job while providing for their children,” Lierman said.
Courtesy of our friends at the DNC, here’s a handy list of some of the historic flips Democrats pulled off in 2017.
New Hampshire: Edith DesMarais (HD-06): DesMarais is the first Democrat to hold the seat in the district’s history and won by 56 votes. Trump won this district by seven points.
New York: Christine Pellegrino (SA-09): Trump won this district by 23 points. Pellegrino is a mother and has been an elementary school teacher for the last 25 years and ran a campaign on strengthening Albany’s education system.
New Jersey: Vin Gopal (SD-11): Gopal, who is the first Indian-American elected to the New Jersey state Senate, defeated a Republican who had been in office for 11 years.
Oklahoma: Michael Brooks (SD-44) and Karen Gaddis (HD-75): In July, Brooks and Gaddis won in districts that Trump won by double digits.
Florida: Annette Taddeo (SD-40): Taddeo defeated her opponent by nearly 4 points in a district almost evenly divided between registered Republicans, Democrats and Independents.
Virginia: Danica Roem (HD-13), Elizabeth Guzman (HD-31), Kathy Tran (HD-42) Hala Ayala (HD-51): Roem is the first openly transgender state legislature in history, Guzman and Ayala are the first Latina delegates in Virginia’s history and Tran is the first AAPI woman elected to House of Delegates and first Vietnamese American elected at any level in Virginia.
Georgia: Jonathan Wallace (HD-119), Deborah Gonzalez (HD-117), Jen Jordan (SD-06): Democrats picked up three Republican-held seats in Georgia last year and the election of Jordan to the state Senate ended the two-thirds Republican supermajority.
Washington: Manka Dhingra (SD-45): Democrats elected Dhingra in a special election, which successfully flipped control of the Washington state Senate.