The dust on the 2016 election is beginning to settle. We are tired, bruised, shocked and angry. (I am sure there are more adjectives you can add.)
Thank you to all who helped the Chatham County Democratic Party succeed. Our county performed brilliantly. Your donations, time, dedicated work, and energy made the difference. We have much to be proud of.
I want to specifically thank a few individuals out of the very many: Erika Lindemann for her service and comradery without which this election would have been much more taxing; Sheila Beaudry, Chris Kaman, our CCDP treasurer Linda Batley and the Siler City office team: Karen Mallam, Elizabeth Cox, Jesse Scotton and Lou Forrissi.
For us the election is bittersweet. Every democrat on the ballot in Chatham won the vote in our county. Our turnout was spectacular and as always among the highest in the state. At the local level all races were won by Democrats. We were blessed with great candidates – even in the one race in which two democrats were running against one another both were stellar candidates.
At the state level we did not get the sweeping victory that we have dreamed of for the past four years. But there are positive results:
- Roy Cooper is on track to being elected Governor and replacing a Republican incumbent.
- With a new Democratic Governor, the state and county boards of elections will be controlled by Democrats.
- The NC Supreme Court has Judge Mike Morgan as Chief Justice, and the balance of power on the NC Supreme Court has changed.
- Democrats won county commission seats across the state and split or flipped two that were Republican held
- We gained seats in the General Assembly
- Josh Stein is elected Attorney General
- Beth Wood is reelected
- Elaine Marshal is reelected
Our shared disappointment at the congressional, senatorial and presidential results is beyond describing.
But what now?
After we mourn and rest, we must not follow the pattern of the past. Our county party Secretary has commented on how I move quickly from focusing on a mistake or bad outcome to “What is the solution?” There are already many articles pointing to the culprits who brought this disaster upon us. Finger pointing is not helpful. What has been the status quo at the state and national level for our party no longer serves us. We must walk a new path.
In Chatham, historically our volunteers and voters have returned to their lives after the election, forgetting about the county and state party “machine.” They often ignore the mid-term elections, where there is no presidential race to generate excitement.
Your state and your country require more of all of us at this time. If you want a different outcome, you must change what you do.
Candidate campaigns are exciting, and people passionately work for candidates. But without a strong state and local party to work year round, we cannot win the majorities we need to impact policy and legislation.
Politics is a cycle, and the gains are incremental.
This is one election. There are important ones ahead as this Facebook post so clearly presents.
“If Hillary had become president on the heels of Obama's two terms, the Democrats would be in a very vulnerable position in the next two major elections: the 2018 midterms and the 2020 general election. Democrats would likely suffer heavy losses in the 2018 midterms due to historical precedent (the party that wins the White House usually does poorly in the following midterm elections) and sheer voter fatigue. However, with Donald Trump in the White House the tables are turned, and Republicans are the ones who will be in a defensive position in 2018 as they now control both the White House and Congress and will have to give full account of their agenda and results to voters. In this scenario, Democrats are likely to make significant gains in the 2018 midterm elections.
Then building on that, Republicans will again be on the defensive in the 2020 general election with Trump in the White House. The core of Republican policy is set up to hurt the working and middle classes and benefit the rich and powerful. Ironically, these are the same working class people who voted for Trump. They will inevitably feel disappointed over the next four years as they realize that Trump can't magically solve their problems.
Going into 2020, Republicans will face die-hard opposition from Democrats, a likely disillusioned white, working class, GOP base (the manufacturing jobs are never coming back), and an even more diverse electorate than today. All these factors will put them in a very weak position in that election. If Hillary had won this year, Democrats would be the ones on the defensive.
2020 is just the year that Democrats need to win. The next US census takes place that year, and that is also when the next congressional districts will be redrawn. Democrats can use their electoral gains in 2020 to Gerrymander Republicans out of the House of Representatives and regain full control of Congress, and lock in their majority for a decade or more.” (post by Scandalous One on Daily Kos)
There is much to contemplate and serious work to be done to continue to fight for our values, our state and our nation.
Our focus must be on 2018 and 2020.
In addition to asking you to participate in the party at the county and state level, I want to ask you to become a member of the CCDP Phoenix Society.
CCDP used your donations effectively and strategically in this election. We have demonstrated good stewardship. Phoenix Society donors give a monthly recurring donation to the county party. Ten, Twenty or thirty dollars a month builds a foundation for us to message to voters, engage citizens in their government and prepare to win more elections. Find out more about being a Phoenix here.
Thank you for supporting me as I worked for our Democratic team. It was an honor to serve.
(The Board of Elections has not finished counting provisional and military ballots thus final results are not available. As soon as they are I will share our analysis.)
Building on and extending the historic legacy of the Democratic Party, the Chatham County Democratic Party is committed to:
- Truth in Government
We encourage all individuals who share these values to join us in our efforts to bring them into the political process. We also encourage individuals to consider running for political office to help turn these values into public policy which protects the health and safety of its citizens and advances quality of life, the common good and economic well-being of all the people in Chatham County.