I have good news and bad news for us this morning.
I think the good news is amazing and the bad news is pretty awful.
For the sake of my own sanity – I’m going to start with the good news – and there’s a lot of it.
Last night, Democrats won control of the House. This is a huge deal. Of all the things that we wanted and needed to happen yesterday – I don’t anything was as important as this. Not only did Democrats gain at least 34 seats in the House yesterday, for the first time in the entire history of Congress – over 100 women are now elected to the House.
And yesterday – some of the most amazing women in the world were elected to Congress. Democrats didn’t just take the lead – they did so with women and men of color all over the country.
At 4am this morning, my friend and hero, Lucy McBath, who our audience may know as the mother of Jordan Davis, the teenage boy who was horrifically shot and killed by a white man when his friends turned the music in their car up – has just pulled ahead of Karen Handel in Georgia’s 6th congressional district – one of the most important seats up for grabs.
29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio Cortez became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Ayanna Pressley became the first Black woman elected to Congress from Massachusetts.
Jahana Hayes became the first Black woman ever elected to Congress from Connecticut.
Ilhan Omar became the first Somali-American woman ever elected to Congress.
Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim woman ever elected to Congress.
Sharice Davids – an openly gay Native American woman was elected to Congress.
A brilliant brother named Antonio Delgado – who I think is a rising star – a Rhodes Scholar and Harvard Law grad – beat out an incumbent Republican in upstate New York last night.
And I could actually go on and on. We see these types of victories all over the country in Congress – but these wins also mean that Democrats – including so many men and women of color like Maxine Waters, Barbara Lee, and Elijah Cummings are going oversee some powerful committees. The house will now serve as a check and balance for Donald Trump and will be able to effectively stop him and investigate him where needed.
We had other bits of good news as well.
Tish James became the first Black woman ever elected to statewide office in New York last night as she became the state’s Attorney General.
Rachael Rollins became the first Black woman ever to be elected District Attorney of Boston.
Wesley Bell became the first Black man to ever be elected District Attorney of St. Louis County.
I said yesterday, that we had a lot of wins that we desperately wanted, but the two that I thought were most important would be winning back the House, which we did, and the other was the passing of Amendment 4 in Florida – which indeed passed – giving 1.4 million men and women back their right to vote after it was stripped by them for life because they had felonies on their criminal records.
Amendment 4 passed and granted more people their right to vote than any legislation since the Voting Rights Act. Now only Kentucky & Iowa still have this racist lifetime ban in place.
If you ever saw the picture of the 19 Black women running for judge in Houston – all 19 of them won.
Powerful amendments passed all over the country, but I do want to take a moment to unpack some of our bad news.
Our friend and brother Andrew Gillum lost the governor’s race in Florida. I can’t believe it. I genuinely thought he had it. He was up in every poll for the past 10 days and was even up by as much as 7% just yesterday. Some people are saying that what we call the Bradley Effect happened, where white people who are too ashamed to admit to pollsters that they aren’t voting for a Black candidate lie and say they are – then go and vote for the bigot – may have taken place. Whatever the case, it was a painful loss. Andrew was clearly the better man and the better candidate for Florida. It hurts.
Beto O’Rourke lost to Ted Cruz and that hurts. Beto was ahead most of the night until the very end. His campaign electrified all of Texas and helped other Democrats win all over the state. I’m still hurt over this loss.
And I’ll close with this this morning. I thought I was going to be telling you that Stacey Abrams lost, but they are still counting votes, and it’s getting closer and closer. It’s going to be a longshot for her to win, or even to force a runoff, but it’s very possible and we’re just going to have to wait until all of the votes are counted.