Democracy for America cheers big wins for city candidates in Tuesday elections

Today, Democracy for America (DFA) celebrated a series of big wins in mayoral and city council races from Charlotte, NC to Manchester, NH that occurred this week and will continue building progressive power across the country.

Earlier this year, DFA committed to investing half a million dollars in an effort to identify, recruit, train, staff, and elect a new generation of city officials -- mayors, city council leaders, school board members, state’s attorneys and more - who are ready to fight for racial and economic justice by winning people-powered campaigns.

This week alone, DFA-endorsed municipal candidates won seven elections bringing the current total number of DFA city wins in 2017 to 20.   Over past three years, DFA has supported a total of 97 municipal campaigns and won crucial elections from Seattle to Tucson to Chicago.

Statement from Democracy for America Chair Jim Dean on the PAC’s current 2017 city-level victories:

“All across the country, from providing safe harbor to immigrant neighbors to the racial justice reforms they’re pushing for in local policing, progressives are making America’s cities bastions of resistance to the Trump regime and ensuring that the leadership of their communities are reflective of and responsive to the people they serve.

“Given our cities’ long history of progressive leadership, Democracy for America decided to invest big in electing a new generation of city officials and, after less than a year, those investments are paying off in history-making victories all across the country.  

Just this week, DFA-endorsed candidate Vi Lyles became the first Black woman to be elected Mayor of Charlotte, NC; Joyce Craig, broke through another glass ceiling to become the first woman elected Mayor of Manchester, NH; civil rights attorney Larry Krasner won a game-changing race for District Attorney in the city Philadelphia; and Ben Chin is now headed to a runoff election in December with even more votes than his near win in 2015.

“At DFA, we believe that cities can’t be an afterthought for major Democratic institutions, and they can’t be an old boys network of the corporate Wall Street wing. Our cities must be the labs of progressive policy where we can make a real difference in people’s lives, which is precisely why we’re so excited by the successes we’ve had in city-level races this week and throughout 2017.  Thanks to the hard work of the grassroots, a new generation of city leaders are emerging and winning elections and we can’t wait to work with them to deliver on their inclusive populist vision of a country where every American has the opportunity to build a life that is safe, thriving, and free.”  -- Jim Dean, Chair, Democracy for America

Details of a few of DFA’s city-level victories this week:

  • Vi Lyles became the first Black woman ever to serve as Mayor of Charlotte, NC, trouncing a rightwing Republican with 59.9% of the vote. Since its pre-primary endorsement of Vi’s campaign, DFA mobilized members across North Carolina and nationally in support of the campaign’s field, fundraising, and media events; recruited over 1,663 donors to directly support the campaign, raising $11,540.83 in small dollar contributions; and provided the campaign with cutting-edge voter contact technology tools via our DFA Dialer program.
  • Larry Krasner won his District Attorney’s race in Philadelphia. In office, Krasner is set to be one of the country’s most progressive prosecutors with a commitment to ending the death penalty, ending cash bail, and fighting for police accountability and justice. Krasner’s win is a major victory for Black Lives Matter movement leaders in Philadelphia, one of America’s most incarcerated cities.
  • Joyce Craig became the first woman elected to serve as Mayor of Manchester, NH, defeating a four-term incumbent by 2,000 votes.
  • After a narrow, run-off loss in 2015 to a race-baiting Republican, millennial progressive Ben Chin won the first round of his race for Mayor of Lewiston, ME.

Other big, 2017 city-level victories for DFA:

  • Chokwe Lumumba won his race for Mayor of Jackson, MS by besting nine candidates in a hotly contested primary --  including a well-funded incumbent and a sitting State Senator -- and running on a bold platform of Black self-determination, economic and racial justice and community.
  • Aja Brown was re-elected Mayor of Compton, CA. As the youngest mayor ever to serve in the role, Brown defeated challengers in a primary and runoff and has led the way in fighting for good public schools, accessible transportation, affordable housing and criminal justice reform.
  • In Berywn, Illinois, DFA endorsed a winning slate of 9 municipal challengers to the entrenched political establishment, comprised primarily of first-time candidates, rank-and-file union members, four LGBTQ candidates, and six Latinxs in a rapidly diversifying municipality. The nine seat victory swept in a new city clerk and bold new leadership into Trusteeships, the City Council, and the Treasurer’s offices.
  • State Representative Cory Mason won his mayoral race in Racine, WI as a fighter for working families, defeating six primary opponents and one long-serving incumbent alderman in the October runoff.
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