What the Hell Just Happened?
Democrats nationally over-performed in the midterm elections, avoiding a Republican surge that many predicted, handing President Biden the best midterm result of any president in the past two decades. We’ve been telling you that because of a bungled redistricting process, New York is now a congressional battleground state. Looking at statewide election results, where Governor Kathy Hochul won by only five points and NY Republicans bucked the national trend and flipped four House seats (likely expanding their delegation to 11), you’re probably thinking, what the hell happened?
Right-wing extremist Lee Zeldin ran a successful fearmongering campaign that benefitted from a huge infusion of money from Republican PACs that hammered Democrats. These attacks and Governor Hochul’s weak campaign hurt down-ballot House candidates, propelling NY MAGA Republicans to win nearly all of the competitive congressional races created by redistricting. Those wins include NY-17, where Mike Lawler, armed with a $9 million dollar war chest, defeated Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney, who won a healthy majority of the Westchester vote.
But it’s not all doom and gloom – there’s some good news. The $4.2 billion Environmental Bond Act passed, which will help pay for clean drinking water, tackle climate change, and create jobs. Governor Hochul became the first elected female governor of New York, thanks in part to robust turnout here in Westchester. Despite some GOP gains, the NY Legislature is maintaining its supermajority. Democrats in Westchester running for the State Senate and Assembly all won. The dozens of people from Westchester (including an entire busload who traveled to Kingston in October) who canvassed for Paul Ryan in NY-18 can celebrate his win. Jen Metzger won her race for Ulster County Executive. Michelle Hinchey won her reelection. These are just some of the candidates who benefitted from having our boots on the ground in the Hudson Valley and the calls, texts, and postcards we sent on their behalf.
It’s depressing when a candidate you work hard for loses, especially those on your home turf. And many of us did work hard for candidates who came up short. But when we come together to canvass, make calls, send texts, write postcards, or remind our friends to go vote, we are doing more than just community building. We are creating an arsenal of democracy together.
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