Good morning, RVA! It's 41 °F, and expect the rain to continue a bit here, a bit there for the rest of the day. Highs will stick to the mid 40s.
Whoa, y'all! I don't think anyone expected last night's election to swing as hard left as it did. At the top of the ticket, Ralph Northam crushed Ed Gillespie by 9 points. Fellow Democrats, Justin Fairfax (Lt. Governor) and Mark Herring (Attorney General) also beat out their conservative challengers. Of note: Fairfax is just the second Black person to hold a state-wide office—after Governor/Mayor Wilder.
Democrats cleaned up in the down-ticket House of Delegates races as well. Coming into the night, the House was split 34-66, Democrat-Republican. Liberals would pick up and pick off 16 seats to bring the house total to a 50-50 tie (pending a bunch of stressful recounts). Bigoted Bob Marshall, author of just about every single piece of legislation that embarrassed Virginia on national media including our own transgender bathroom bill, was defeated by Danica Roem. She's now the nation's first openly transgender state legislator. The House Majority Whip lost to Democratic Socialist candidate Lee Carter. Longtime Henrico delegate John O'Bannon fell to Debra Rodman. Del. Manoli Loupassi conceded to Dawn Adams (the state's first openly lesbian candidate). Hala Ayala and Elizabeth Guzman became the first Latina women elected to the General Assembly. Everywhere you turn, across the state, diverse, liberal women trounced entrenched conservative men.
A huge concern I had early yesterday morning was that the national narrative following Virginia's elections would be one of "Trumpism works," but, instead, I saw such an incredible refutation of awful racist policies and politics. I feel pretty proud of our state today, y'all. It sounds cheesy, but I feel hopeful in a way I hadn't since last November. I'm sure I'll have more thoughts (and, of course, more opinions) later on, but for now, let's just sit with that!
Locally, the big freaking news is Democrat Courtney Lynch (another woman!) soundly beat Bob Witte in Henrico's Brookland district. Left-leaning humans now control Henrico's Board of Supervisors and could really, really change the regional picture. Again, a refutation of those crappy, dog-whistley, anti-bus mailers sent out by the Virginia GOP.
In other local elections, Kenya Gibson picked up the 3rd District School Board seat and will be sworn in tomorrow. Antoinette Irving is our new sheriff and Nichole Armstead the new Treasurer. Congratulations, all!
Paul Goldman's Ballot Referendum easily passed—but what do you expect when the language on the ballot includes inspirational MLK quotes? Now we wait to see what the General Assembly will do, since they're the only ones who can change the City's Charter. One tiny hiccup though, Del. Loupassi had said he'd champion the changes in the GA, buuuuut he just lost his job. Smarter political people than I could probably spin all of these moving parts—the School Board, the Education Compact, the newly constituted and way more liberal General Assembly—into a political victory for the mayor. But for now, we wait! Aside: I'd love to see some sort of rules passed to prevent language that is not germane to the legislation on the ballot.
Everyone on Twitter now has a 280 character limit. All the more room for you to share your thoughts on last night's wild election, am I right?
This morning's longread
It will be work to fold yourself in, even just a little bit, to make space for others. It will be uncomfortable. You will spend a lot of time thinking about how you are in conversations, while you are in those conversations. You will find yourself standing between two colleagues, looking kind of high and paranoid, as you're thinking, "Can I talk yet? Is it my turn? This sucks. I have things I need to say! I hate this." I need you to understand that women think those exact thoughts every time they talk to you. Every. Time.