A Surprising Set of Election Results

It’s been 9 years since Democrats have had a good election night. With the ballots from November 7th all counted, we can now finally reset that number back to zero. While I had presumed that Democrats would win several of the various races this year, I am genuinely surprised to see how strong the “Blue Surge” really was in the recent elections.

Firstly, let’s discuss the one major race that pretty much every voter knew was going to swing blue: the NYC Mayoral. Mayor Bill de Blasio earned another four years at the helm, to the disappointment of those who criticized his tense relationship with the NYPD and others who were convinced by corruption allegations against him to vote for one of his opponents. He may not give much of a good name to NYC Democrats, but he has the popular mandate (62% of the votes) that the other two candidates were unable to inspire. While the city will continue to be blue for at least the rest of the decade, Mayor de Blasio’s questionable record may make it difficult for the next Democratic nominee to win over voters in 2021. Perhaps State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (the Republican nominee) will learn from her mistakes and launch another bid next decade-and we may not have seen the last of Independent Bo Dietl either.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio won four more years. (Image via Flickr)

In this year’s two governor’s races, I was frankly flabbergasted to see Democrats be elected in not one, but two states! Virginia Democrats will keep control of the governor’s mansion. Since Virginia governors cannot run for multiple terms consecutively, they had to win without relying on incumbent advantage like Mayor de Blasio. And their New Jersey counterparts surely kept “Bridgegate” and “Beachgate” in mind as they went to the polls. It would appear that voters in NJ and VA have begun a national pushback against the course set by the President, although he reminds us in a tweet why Democrats shouldn’t count their chickens before they hatch.

We will see whether his prediction that his supporters will be “tired of winning,” as he once said, comes true in the coming years. For Kim Guadagno (NJ GOP nominee) and Gillespie (her VA counterpart that Trump mentioned), that statement clearly did not apply.

What I find quite fascinating is how this year’s governor’s races resulted in the exact opposite of what happened in 2009, when Republicans replaced Democrats as the governors of VA and NJ. It would appear that a bit of a trend is in place, similar to how the past two Democratic Presidents were elected with a House majority and lost it two years later. Although I have written about why I think it is unlikely, I can certainly hope that this pendulum will continue to swing through 2018 all the way to 2020.

Nassau County Executive-Elect Laura Curran (right) and Town of Hempstead Supervisor-Elect Laura Gillen (left)
(photo via the Long Island Herald)

Moving on to the local elections for my area of Nassau County, I applauded the unexpected, historic victory of Laura Gillen as Town of Hempstead supervisor over incumbent Anthony Santino, making her the first Democrat to win that position EVER (considering that the town as we know it today has existed since Long Beach seceded in 1922, a Democrat supervisor has been long overdue)! I was also quite relieved to see Democrat Laura Curran win the County Executive’s office. Although I respect her opponent, Republican Jack Martins, for his thoughtful comments about the value of public workers that earned him their union’s endorsement (he broke with Republican orthodoxy by saying that he would rather raise taxes slightly than take a person’s job away), I was disgusted by his bizarre and disturbing ad campaign that borrowed a page from the first President Bush’s playbook. He depicted his opponent as being “endorsed” by the  MS-13 gang in a mailer (it can be seen here in this LI Herald editorial) and he insisted in TV and Internet ads that Curran will certainly “raise your taxes,” contradicting his statement about tax increases sometimes being necessary. Thankfully, these misleading ads did not have the same impact on Curran that they did on Michael Dukakis in ’88. And as an aside, Curran has pledged that she will end the days of over-the-top mailing campaigns by banning “most taxpayer-funded mailers and fliers.” After all, who wouldn’t want less garbage clogging up their mailboxes? I can’t help but think back to last year’s gem that depicted “two-faced” State Senator Todd Kaminsky being a puppet manipulated by Mayor de Blasio and his cronies. If introducing legislation to help developmentally disabled high school students achieve their diplomas makes one a puppet, then I’ll gladly endorse Pinocchio for Governor next year.
In any event, I’m just glad to see that numerous citizens went to vote in an off-year election. It can be hard for many people to get to the polls, as work and other obligations often interfere. Hopefully, we will see a steady increase in voter turnout over the next several years as Americans grow increasingly sick and tired of government corruption and incompetence.

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