Good job, New Hampshire and Florida: On Tuesday, two Democrats—both women—took state seats from Republicans in special elections.
Annette Taddeo swept Miami’s District 40 against State Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, where Clinton beat Trump 58 to 40 percent in the general election. She fills the seat vacated by former Sen. Frank Artiles, who resigned in the wake of a racist tirade against two of his black colleagues last April.
Taddeo becomes the 16th Democrat in the GOP-controlled state senate, which holds 40 seats total. She previously run for Congress twice and ran as Charlie Crist’s running mate in Florida’s 2014 gubernatorial race.
“The voters wanted a champion in Tallahassee who will fight for higher paying jobs, affordable healthcare and fully funded public schools and I am honored and humbled that they have placed their faith and trust in me,” she said in a statement.
Democrat Kari Lerner earned a narrow victory in New Hampshire’s Trump country, securing just 39 more votes than Republican former state Rep. James Headd “in a district in which Republicans have a 2-1 advantage in registrations,” New Hampshire’s WMUR9 reports. Headd was a five-term candidate, serving in the House from 2002 to 2012. (Also, this is your reminder that midterms and local elections matter a lot!)
“There’s something happening in this state and all across this country when the deepest red districts in New Hampshire are consistently turning royal blue,” New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley told WMUR. “This, our hardest-won victory so far, is the latest proof that voters are showing up when it matters to reject the dangerous and divisive agenda of Donald Trump and Chris Sununu.”
According to the Hill, Democrats have taken eight Republican state seats since the presidential election, while Republicans have flipped none. However, Democrats have a very difficult fight ahead if they want to take control at the state level by 2018. One of the next elections to pay attention to is Alabama’s senate race, where extreme Christian, gay-bashing, Muslim-hating Roy Moore just won the Republican primary.