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All the Good News to Come Out of Last Night's Primaries

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 15, 2018 |

By Dustin Rowles | Politics | August 15, 2018 |


— Christine Hallquist (above, center) won the Democratic nomination in Vermont, making it possible for her to become the first transgender governor in America. This is a really big deal. It may be the Democratic nomination in a very liberal state, but it illustrates that, while folks in some states are still fighting over bathroom bills, there are progressive, generous, and accepting places in America. She will be running uphill against an incumbent Republican governor who — ironically — has faced backlash within his own party for passing gun reform.

— In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar is a shoo-in to become one of the nation’s first Muslim women elected into Congress, having won the Democratic nomination in a very liberal district (the same seat held by Keith Ellison, who won his primary for Attorney General despite allegations of domestic abuse). She will likely join Rashida Tlaib, who is expected to win a House seat in Michigan.

— A National Teacher of the Year, Jahana Hayes won the Democratic nomination for a House seat and is poised to become the state’s first Black Democrat to serve in Congress for the state of Connecticut. Actually, if I’m reading that correctly: She’d be the first black woman in Congress out of all of New England.

— Democrats in Connecticut also nominated Ned Lamont as their nominee for Governor, who is the guy that defeated Sen. Joseph Lieberman for Senate way back when, and this makes me happy if for no other reason than f*ck Lieberman.

— Jeff Colyer conceded to Kris Kobach in the Kansas gubernatorial election, which is a mixed bag. The Democrat has a much better shot at winning the Governor’s seat against Kobach because of how polarizing he is (and how much his nomination will energize liberals) but if Dems fall short, Kansas will be stuck with a corrupt loon hellbent on disenfranchising non-white voters.

— In Wisconsin, Tony Evers, the state school superintendent, won the Democratic nomination for Governor and has a real shot at defeating incumbent nut-house Scott Walker. Evers is not particularly well known, but Wisconsin is — hopefully — transitioning back to a blue state, and an unpopular Trump supporter like Walker may be a casualty.

— In a state that is likely to elect a Democrat for governor, Minnesota rejected Tim Pawlenty’s comeback as the Republican nominee, which I think is a mixed blessing. Pawlenty probably would’ve had a better shot at winning, because he’s more moderate and has disavowed Trump (which is why he lost the GOP nomination here). But it also means that the Democrat has a much better shot in a Purplish-blue state going against a Trump Republican.

— Finally, I don’t know if he has a shot in hell at winning in a heavily Republican district seat where Paul Ryan is vacating, but Randy Bryce pulled off the Democratic nomination after coming onto the scene last year with one of the best campaign ads of the election cycle. Republicans, meanwhile, tossed 6500 votes to Paul Nehlen, an out-and-proud white nationalist.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Header Image Source: Getty