November 2017Spectacle

A Cascade of Press Clips on the Nov. 7 Election's Left Surge

ALL THE BIG WINS FROM TUESDAY NIGHT'S ELECTION
Democrat Chris Hurst, a former journalist whose girlfriend was shot during a live news broadcast, won a seat in Virginia's House of Delegates. Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialist, picked up a seat as well, Splinter News reported.

 

VIRGINIA HOUSE CANDIDATES MAKE HISTORY
By the end of the night, voters across the state would elect the state's first Democratic socialist Delegate, Lee Carter, who unseated House Majority Whip Del. Jackson H. Miller of Manassas even after state Democrats pulled their support for his candidacy, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported.

 

WATCH OUT DONALD TRUMP, HERE COME THE DEMOCRATS
The electoral wave lifted the fortunes of even very left-wing candidates, including Democrat Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and supporter of single-payer health care. He unseated GOP House Majority Whip Jackson Miller in Northern Virginia's 50th District. Carter, a former Marine, failed to provide the state Democratic Party with daily updates about his campaign, prompting the party to deny him aid and go silent on his bid. The Washington, D.C., chapter of DSA stepped in to help with canvassing, and on Tuesday Carter won, Huffington Post reported.

 

DEMOCRATS POISED TO MAKE SIGNIFICANT GAINS IN VIRGINIA LEGISLATURE
Republican Dels. Richard L. Anderson (Prince William) and Jackson H. Miller (Manassas) lost to their Democratic challengers, Hala Ayala and Lee Carter. Ayala and Guzman are Latina, and Carter is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, The Washington Post reported.

 

REPUBLICANS SEEK NEW PATH AFTER GILLESPIE'S FAILURE
Then the voters voted, and Republicans went down in defeat across the state, from the top of the ticket to the bottom. A Democratic transgender candidate unseated a conservative in Prince William County. The Republican whip in the House of Delegates lost to a self-identified democratic socialist. And Republicans found themselves shut out of the top statewide offices, again, The Washington Post reported.

 

DEMOCRATS DEFEAT GOP INCUMBENTS ACROSS PRINCE WILLIAM
The party now stands at the precipice of regaining a majority in the House as Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam ascends to the governorship; Republicans started the day with a 66-34 advantage, but as of Tuesday night, Democrats had won 16 seats to force a 50-50 tie. That result was largely powered by the massive gains in Prince William, which featured a pair of House Republican leaders getting swept out of office. House Majority Whip Jackson Miller, R-50th District, lost 54 percent to 45 percent to Lee Carter in the Manassas-area race, while House Majority Caucus Chair Tim Hugo, R-40th District, lost by just 68 votes to Donte Tanner (though that race appears headed to a recount), Inside NOVA reported.

 

DEM SWEEP IN VA SHOWS POWER OF RESISTANCE
Ilya Sheyman, executive director of MoveOn.org Political Action, had the following response to Ralph Northam's and Justin Fairfax's victories in the Virginia governor and lieutenant governor races tonight. "Victories by MoveOn endorsed delegate candidates such as Danica Roem, Jennifer Carroll Foy, Elizabeth Guzman, Hala Ayala, Lee Carter and others point to a bright progressive future in Virginia. These candidates demonstrated how running grassroots-fueled campaigns that embrace our nation's diversity and inclusive, populist ideas are the way to win in 2018," Common Dreams reported.

 

HISTORIC FIRSTS IN VIRGINIA
Voters easily put Democratic Socialist Lee Carter House of Delegates into office in District 50. Like Senator Bernie Sanders, Carter ran as a Democrat but is a self-described socialist, in a district where Hillary Clinton easily beat President Donald Trump in 2016, WTVR reported.

 

DEMOCRATS, SOCIALISTS, AND POPULISTS SWEEP ELECTIONS
In Virginia, Democratic Socialists of America-backed (DSA) Lee Carter defeated the GOP whip Jackson Miller in the House of Delegates. Richmond-Times Dispatch reporter Patrick Wilson noted that the state Democratic Party offered little support to Carter. He won anyway. Numerous wings of the Democratic Party united behind Carter, including factions such as Planned Parenthood who had backed Hillary Clinton last year, The Intercept reported.

 

ROEM WINS, AND VIRGINIA DEMOCRATS PARTY
Among the other winners: Jennifer Carroll Foy, Hala Ayala, Elizabeth Guzman, and Lee Carter also picked up seats. The room exploded as each of them walked in. When the House of Delegates convenes in January, Prince William County’s delegation will include a black woman, the chamber's first two Hispanic women, its first trans woman, and a Bernie Sanders-style socialist, The Washingtonian reported.

 

DEMOCRATIC CIRCULAR FIRING SQUAD DODGES BULLET
Of course, it's quite possible that the combination of tactics proved complementary. An outside group fired the culture war blast, while the candidate managed, however awkwardly, to stay out of the firing line. And those on Northam's left may point to other down-ballot victories in Virginia as evidence of what's ideologically possible, such as the democratic socialist Lee Carter, who beat the Republican state House majority whip, and Danica Roem, the first transgender candidate to win a state legislative seat, Politico reported.

 

NORTHAM BOOSTS ANTI-TRUMP REPUBLICANS
Perhaps more telling than Northam's win, however, are the gains Democrats made in Virginia's statehouse. Democrats were expecting to pick up roughly six seats in the House of Delegates but by time of publication had picked up 14 seats. Democratic socialist Lee Carter defeated House GOP whip Jackson Miller, The Washington Examiner reported.

 

EVERYTHING JUST GOT A LITTLE LESS TERRIBLE
Danica Roem became the first openly transgender person to be elected to state government in the U.S. by unseating Bob Marshall, a long-term GOP incumbent who called himself the commonwealth's "chief homophobe" and just so happened to write an anti-trans bathroom bill similar to North Carolina's. If that weren't satisfying enough, a Democratic Socialist named Lee Carter also won a district that was widely viewed as a Republican hold, SF Weekly reported.

 

SUPER PAC HELPS DEMS PICK UP 12 SEATS
Forward Majority ran ad campaigns in 16 races throughout Virginia. Democrats won 12 of those races. District 50, where the local Democratic Party cut off Lee Carter (the Dem candidate) from financial resources after he didn't comply with their canvassing demands. Carter won with 55% of the vote, Axios reported.

 

VIRGINIA CANDIDATES WHO MADE HISTORY
Virginia also made national news for electing its first Democratic Socialist, Lee Carter, to office. Carter's win in the state's 50th District, which includes the northern city of Manassas, was all the more notable given he beat Virginia's House Majority Whip Delegate Jackson H. Miller, Vox reported.

 

SOME BIG WINS DOWN BALLOT
30-year-old Lee Carter beat a senior-ranking Republican member of the House of Delegates. But what caught people's attention is that Carter, a former Marine, is also an avowed socialist. His victory is a boost to the Democratic Party's resurgent left wing, which has become a real force in the wake of Sen. Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign, CBS News reported.

 

SOCIALIST BACKED CANDIDATES WIN ACROSS THE COUNTRY
Candidates endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America and Our Revolution, two groups pushing progressive candidates within the Democratic Party, won several races across the country Tuesday, demonstrating that the surge from the Democratic Party's left is able win voters. One of the most notable wins of the night was in Virginia, where Lee Carter, an IT specialist and former Marine who didn't have the backing of the state Democratic Party but had the backing of the two progressive groups, beat House Majority Whip Jackson Miller, the second-highest ranking Republican in the state House, Gephardt Daily reported.

 

CONSERVATIVES WARN OF MARXISTS
"One of the most impressive wins backed by DSA went to Lee Carter, a ginger-haired 30-year-old Marine veteran who beat an incumbent Republican to become House Majority Whip in the state of Virginia. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported in October that Carter, a Democrat, received very little help from his own party. When he won with DSA's help, he and his supports sang the socialist anthem 'Solidarity Forever' together, according to a video posted on social media," Newsweek reported.

 

COLUMN: WE DON'T HAVE TO SETTLE
"And in some cases, these people did it in spite of their party. After Democrats swore up and down that they were coming for Virginia Majority Whip Jackson Miller's seat months ago, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported the party essentially cut Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, off for refusing to play by their rules," Katherine Krueger wrote for Splinter News.

 

COLUMN: THE GOP'S SUBURBAN COLLAPSE
"Not only did Northam pile up huge margins in Northern Virginia's suburbs, but that's also where the Democrats made most of their House of Delegates pick-ups. The most prominent of these was the victory of Danica Roem, who will become Virginia's first transgender legislator, having defeated longtime GOP delegate and self-professed homophobe Robert Marshall. But no less unlikely was the victory of Democrat Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, in the district adjoining Roem's," Harold Meyerson wrote in The American Prospect.

 

COLUMN: HOW A SOCIALIST BEAT A POWERFUL VA REPUBLICAN
"Democrat Lee Carter, a red-haired, 30-year-old Marine veteran from Manassas, won a remarkable nine-point victory to oust Delegate Jackson Miller, a deep-pocketed Republican incumbent who serves as House Majority Whip. Carter ran openly as a socialist - he and his supporters crooned the union anthem 'Solidarity Forever' after their victory - and he won with almost no institutional support from the state Democratic Party," Graham Vyse wrote for The New Republic.

 

COLUMN: MAYBE A BACKLASH TO WHITELASH
"Jackson Miller, the GOP legislative whip, lost to a Marine veteran named Lee Carter, who ran as a Democratic Socialist. Late in the campaign, Miller's people sent around a flyer linking Carter to Vladimir Lenin and Karl Marx. That didn't work, either," Charles Pierce wrote for Esquire.

 

COLUMN: 3 WINNERS AND 3 LOSERS FROM THE VA ELECTIONS
"These victorious Democratic challengers were diverse - Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman became Virginia's first Latina state legislators, while Danica Roem will become the entire country's first openly transgender state legislator. They also varied ideologically - Lee Carter, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, won an underdog victory. All of this goes to show that there's not necessarily just one path to victory for the party," Andrew Prokop wrote for Vox.

 

COLUMN: THE SOCIALISTS ARE COMING
"As a movement, the DSA gained mightily from the presidential campaign of Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont last year, and the movement has become increasingly diverse and youthful. Tuesday night was good for Democratic Socialists elsewhere as well. In one of the election's most surprising outcomes, DSA candidate Lee Carter toppled a prominent Virginia Republican, Jackson Miller, in a race for state legislature," Chris Potter wrote for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

 

COLUMN: TRUMP BACKLASH WON'T LAST FOR LONG
"Centrists crowed at the victory of Northam, a moderate candidate who defeated more lefty Tom Perriello in the primary - and improved on Hillary Clinton's 2016 margin of victory in the state by 5 percentage points. But downballot, the results were even more impressive. In District 50, Democratic Socialists of America member and Marine Corps veteran Lee Carter (who got no help from the party) won in the House of Delegates by 9 points — a swing of over 26 points from 2015," Ryan Cooper wrote for The Week.

 

COLUMN: DEMOCRATS A MESS, BUT WINNING
"Lee Carter, a Democratic Socialists of America member and Marine veteran, pulled out an upset of a Virginia House of Delegates Republican leader. What's more, Carter did that even after the state Democratic Party largely withdrew its support due to a spat over how much the candidate should report to the higher-ups. (Carter is still part of the Democratic Party.) The conflict between Carter and his local party bosses is likely to play out on bigger stages as the 2018 midterms approach," Harry Cheadle wrote for VICE.

 

COLUMN: HOW DOMINION ENERGY LOST BIG
"Democratic leadership in Virginia will have to cope an increasingly hostile wing of their party that opposes Dominion. Lee Carter, a Democrat who won in Virginia's 50th District, ran an insurgent themed campaign against Dominion's planned gas pipeline and planned high-voltage transmission lines. He also called for a ban on corporate campaign contributions, positions which created tensions with the state Democratic party," David Pomerantz wrote for Desmog.

 

COLUMN: YESTERDAY WAS A GOOD DAY
"Carter had been largely abandoned by the state's Democratic party after choosing to run on a platform calling for single-payer health care and curtailing big-money campaign finance, and openly opposing the Democrat-supported Dominion Energy plan for a natural gas pipeline and a high-voltage transmission line through residential neighborhoods. His opponents distributed mailers comparing him to Stalin. And ultimately, none of it mattered - Carter beat out a top-ranking Republican with an 84 percent lifetime rating from the American Conservative Union by 54 percent to 46 percent," Branko Marcetic wrote for Jacobin Magazine

 

COLUMN: LEFT HAD A GREAT NIGHT
"What does it mean to be a Democrat? Tuesday provided answers, if the party cares to listen. It can be the party of Lee Carter, a socialist veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps who unseated the majority whip of the Virginia House," Sarah Jones wrote for The New Republic.

 

COLUMN: AN EXCITING NIGHT FOR THE LEFT
"For socialists, there was plenty of encouraging news from around the country. Lee Carter, an Our Revolution candidate and member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), was elected to the Virginia House of Delegates despite receiving hardly any support from the state Democratic Party. It's an even more stunning victory when you realize that Carter actually managed to defeat the House Majority Whip, one of the 'most powerful Republicans' in the state! (Carter didn't try to soften his politics, either: he literally filmed himself feeding a questionnaire from the National Right To Work Committee into a shredder, in front of a Union Strong sign)," Nathan Robinson wrote for Current Affairs.

 

EDITORIAL: A NEW COURSE FOR THE COMMONWEALTH
"The Assembly will become more diverse in January when it is joined by Danica Roem, the transgender Democrat who slew Bob Marshall, along with Dawn Adams, the legislature's first lesbian, and two Latinas: Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala. Kathy Tran will become the first female Asian-American delegate, and Lee Carter will enter office as the state's first avowed socialist," from the Editorial Board of the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

 

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