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Dems Win House, Score Upsets Nationwide

Dems score string of upsets on way to winning House. NBC: “Democrats reclaimed a majority in the House on Tuesday, heralding a new era of divided government in the nation’s capital. By 6:30 a.m. ET on Wednesday, the party had already picked up 28 seats in the House, more than the 23 needed to take the majority, with several West Coast results still outstanding. ‘Thanks to you, tomorrow will be a new day in America,’ House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., told volunteers at a Democratic celebration in D.C. Tuesday night.’Every call you made, every door you knocked, every text you sent, every conversation you had made the difference between winning and losing in this election,’ she said standing alongside other Democratic House leaders. ‘Thanks to you, we owned the ground.’ In Virginia, GOP Rep. Dave Brat, who defeated former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a major upset in a 2014 primary, lost Tuesday to Democrat Abigail Spanberger. In Florida, Democrat Donna Shalala, former Health and Human Services secretary under President Bill Clinton, was projected to win Florida’s 27th Congressional District. The Miami seat had been held by retiring GOP Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who had represented the area since 1989. Elsewhere in Miami area, moderate GOP Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., lost his seat to Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. Eleven-term GOP Rep. Pete Sessions, who has served as chairman of the powerful Rules Committee since 2013, was projected to lose his Dallas-area seat to Democrat Colin Allred, a former NFL player and civil rights attorney. And Rep. John Culberson, who has served in the House since 2001, was on track to be defeated by Democrat Lizzie Fletcher in a district that Clinton carried by 1 percentage point two years ago.”

Evers Wins WI, Defeats Scott Walker

Tony Evers wins WI Governor’s race, beating Scott Walker. NYT: “Gov. Scott Walker, who moved Wisconsin to the right over the last eight years, cutting taxes and sharply diminishing the power of labor unions, was defeated on Wednesday by the Democrat, Tony Evers, the state schools superintendent, The Associated Press reported. The advantage for Mr. Evers was razor thin, a little over 1 percentage point. With more than 2.6 million votes cast and 99 percent of precincts reporting, Mr. Evers led by about 30,000 votes. The outcome buoyed the hopes of Democrats in a long-divided state for a resounding return after 2016, when Wisconsin surprised many by helping secure the presidency for Donald J. Trump. This year’s Wisconsin race has been viewed as a crucial test of partisan control in the Midwest, where governors’ offices and state legislatures, including Wisconsin’s, have been dominated by Republicans. Mr. Evers, 67, won amid signs of rising Democratic energy in several special elections in the state earlier in the year and despite a fierce fight for a third term by Mr. Walker, a Republican whose formidable political and organizational skills had showed him tied with Mr. Evers in polling before the election. The outcome was a blow to Wisconsin Republicans, who have for the last eight years largely dominated the State Capitol and remade policies from taxes to requirements to vote, but now face a changed landscape.”

KS Dem Laura Kelly Defeats Kris Kobach

Dem Laura Kelly wins in Kansas, defeating Kris Kobach. Vox: “One of the reddest states in the country just elected a Democrat in its governor race, rejecting a hardline anti-immigration activist whose rhetoric echoed and anticipated President Donald Trump. Laura Kelly defeated Republican Kris Kobach and independent Greg Orman to win the governor race in Kansas on Tuesday night after a race that was often neck and neck between the two major-party candidates. Kobach, a polarizing, hard-right figure whose tenure as secretary of state was marked by legal battles over his voter registration laws, seemed to give Kelly a chance. Kelly also campaigned hard against the deeply unpopular outgoing Gov. Sam Brownback, who stepped down in January to become an ambassador; Brownback’s 2012 regime of severe tax and spending cuts more or less starved the government. (The legislature, in a bipartisan vote, reversed many of the tax cuts in 2017.)”

FL Restores Voting Rights To 1.4m Returning Citizens

Florida will restore voting rights to felons. The Hill: “Florida will restore voting rights to felons who have completed their sentences. Under the newly passed law, Florida will return voting rights to an estimated 1.5 million felons who have completed the terms of their sentence, including parole and probation. It does not apply to felons convicted of murder or sex offenses. The constitutional amendment required approval by 60 percent of Florida voters to pass. Three polls taken in the days leading up to the election indicated support for the proposal was stronger than 60 percent, but supporters feared voter drop-off on down-ballot issues threatened passage of the issue. The majority of U.S. states return voting rights to felons after the individual fulfills a range of requirements, but in Florida the process previously could take up to a decade.”

Rewriting The Progressive Housing Agenda

Dear presidential hopefuls: the people want to talk to you about housing. Shelterforce: “Over the last three months, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Kamala Harris have all introduced major housing bills. All three may be presidential hopefuls. As housing organizers and community leaders who see and experience housing injustice on a daily basis, we believe this is a good thing, and about 40 years overdue. We also believe it is worth understanding why housing has been so neglected, why it is rising to prominence now, and what it will take to ensure that housing stays on the agenda in a way that reflects the real needs of the people most impacted by housing injustice. But we won’t be satisfied with just any housing platform. Candidates must first listen to those most affected by this crisis, then develop solutions that radically reflect the needs of people who have been ignored for years. We believe the people closest to the problem are the ones closest to the solution. Presidential hopefuls, the people want to talk to you about housing. Call us.”

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