Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
For the first time in history, Democrats won competitive seats on the Delaware County Council. Candidates Brian Zidek and Kevin Madden defeated Republican incumbent David White and retired district judge John Perfetti. No Democrat has sat on the Council since 1980, when the Home Rule Charter ended the requirement for minority party representation. Republicans hold the other three seats on the five-person council.
Democrats also furthered their gains in lower elections, capturing all three row office races. District Attorney Jack Whelan was the only Republican to win a county-wide seat, edging out Kelly Eckel for a seat on the Court of Common Pleas. Voters in Delaware County sided with the Democratic endorsement on the ballot proposition, voting against an increase in the property tax exemption. Full Delaware County election results can be found here.
Major elections outside of Delaware County also showed significant progress for the Democratic Party. Democratic candidate Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam defeated GOP lobbyist and former Bush aide Ed Gillespie in the Virginia gubernatorial race, and Democrat Phil Murphy claimed New Jersey’s governorship, shifting control to his party after eight years under Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Democrats picked up at least 15 seats in Virginia’s House of Delegates, the most since 1899, with a recount set to determine control over Virginia’s lower legislative body. The Democrats also hold the majority in both New Jersey’s State Senate and State Assembly. Also notable in Virginia, Democrat Danica Roem – a transgender woman – beat Rep. Bob Marshall, a 13-time incumbent and author of the state’s transgender bathroom ban, for his seat in the House of Delegates. Roem becomes the country’s first openly transgender lawmaker.
In Utah, Republican John Curtis easily beat Democrat Kathie Allen to replace retiring Rep. Jason Chaffetz (also a Republican). Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio cruised to victory, winning his second term. Ohio overwhelming voted against an initiative that would have capped prescription drug costs, while voters in Maine decisively favored expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, making it the first state in the nation to do so by referendum.
Attention now turns to Atlanta’s mayoral race, which will go to a runoff on December 5th between Keisha Lance Bottoms and Mary Norwood, as well as Alabama’s special election to replace Attorney General Jeff Sessions, where Republican favorite Roy Moore will face Democratic hopeful Doug Jones on December 12th.
Featured image courtesy of Delco Times.