While it is certainly possible that I may have the odd conservative reader on my blog from time to time, I am a proud and unrepentant progressive, and I suspect that many of my regular readers are the same. To be sure, their ~brand~ of progressivism can vary from all-out Bernie Bros to old-fashioned trade unionists, to kickass feminists, to ravaged veterans of the Christian Left such as myself. For many of us, the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 have been disheartening times. We lost the presidency, most obviously, but we also failed to retake the Senate, lost winnable governors’ races in Vermont, New Hampshire, and Missouri, and continued to hemorrhage seats in state senates and assemblies.
Encouraged by yesterday’s marches across the United States, I have decided to take part in the conversations that will hopefully establish a sustainable, fair, equitable, and sustainable future for all Americans. And we can start by fielding the best candidates we can for office. There are two governors’ spots being vacated in the off-off-year of 2017 (New Jersey and Virginia), and thirty-six that are up for election in 2018- only nine (nine!!) of which are presently held by Democrats.
So for the first time ever, the Northumbrian Countdown is going to wade into the Democratic primaries and endorse some candidates, in many cases before the candidates themselves have declared that they will run for office. 2018 is a ripe pick-up opportunity for many reasons. For one, the opposition party almost always does better in off-year elections. 2010 and 2014 are recent examples, but the one I want you to keep in mind is 2002. Even only one year after 9-11, with President Bush enjoying widespread popularity at the time, the Republicans took a beating in statewide offices. That year, Democrats won the governor’s mansion in Wyoming, Kansas, Iowa, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and other unfriendly territories. Given that Donald Trump already has an underwater approval rating during his supposed “honeymoon” with the public, I can’t imagine an outcome that looks good for the GOP in 2018, assuming we still have a functional democracy by then.
Here, then, is my list of candidates. Given that we are seeing what my friend Donnie calls a “Cards Against Humanity” cabinet, the need to put qualified, experienced men and women who see holding office as a true public service and a sacrifice of their time and talents is paramount. But I also looked for candidates who were inspiring, eloquent, and progressive in ways that wouldn’t alienate moderate voters. I was especially hesitant to choose candidates who were too urban- Democrats need to work hard to win back suburbs and lower the gap in rural areas. We have to make it possible for a roofing contractor in Altoona without a college diploma to vote for this party again. When I could, I tried to choose younger candidates in order to build up the Democratic bench and cultivate future presidential, vice-presidential, and cabinet timber. Finally, I tried to pick candidates who could benefit from strong grassroots support, avoiding milquetoast consensus candidates. These factors weren’t always easy to square, but I did the best I could.
2017 Governors’ Elections:
New Jersey: The Garden State’s blue tilt and growing religious and racial diversity would make this a challenge for Republicans even if Jerseyans didn’t basically view Chris Christie as the devil incarnate by now. Having lived in Jersey City during the first summer of my marriage to Heather, I love what Steve Fulop is doing, but I want to save him for a future chapter- holding the line in the Senate. Instead, the Northumbrian Countdown endorses John Wisnewski of New Jersey’s General Assembly. He led the investigations into Bridgegate against Governor Christie that led to his descent from Republican frontrunner to tragicomic Trump lapdog. As the chair of Bernie Sanders’ Jersey campaign, he can count on the significant grassroots momentum that comes with it.
Virginia: This state, home to many of our founding fathers, still has an unusual law on the books that prevents governors from serving more than one term in a row. This eliminates Terry MacAuliffe, who wasn’t an especially strong candidate anyway, and whose demeanor reminded many of Clinton-era cronyism. Instead- and this is one of my favorite people on the list- I’m delighted to endorse Tom Perriello. Perriello was briefly a congressman from the state’s largely rural 9th district before a disheartening loss in 2010 and was one of President Obama’s favorite congressmen. Both before and after his time in Congress, Perriello has been on the forefront of global human rights. He helped prosecute for crimes against humanity in Sierra Leone, Darfur, and Afghanistan, served as a special envoy to the Great Lakes region of Africa, and has worked for the International Center for Transitional Justice and the National Council of Churches. He is a man of deep thought and rare conviction, and can help Democrats reclaim the conversation on religion, morality, and ethics in government.
2018 Governors’ Elections:
Alabama: This is a tough election, one that’s probably impossible to put in the Democratic column. I considered Jim Folsom, Jr., longtime Alabama lieutenant governor who barely missed out on holding higher offices about a half-dozen times. Instead, I went with my conscience and picked civil rights legend Gwendolyn Webb. She marched in Birmingham, ran afoul of Bull Connor, and spent some nights in jail. After that, she chose to reform the system from within, becoming the first black woman to serve in an Alabama police department. Given that there’s an decent chance that the Republican nominee will be loony “Ten Commandments Judge” Roy Moore, this election needs to be Alabama’s opportunity to take a moral inventory of themselves. Webb’s candidacy can provide that opportunity.
Alaska: This is another very tough race, and this one has an interesting twist. Alaska’s current governor is a reasonably competent Independent, Bill Walker, in a state with a high number of independent voters. But if the Independent and the Republican cancel each other out or draw votes away from one another, that creates a window of opportunity, one that could be filled by Mark Begich. Begich won a close Senate race in 2008 against beleaguered incumbent Ted Stevens- and this was with Sarah Palin on the national ticket! He lost his re-election in 2014, but only by 2% in a deep-red state in an extraordinarily bad year for Democrats. All of this suggests that he’s by far the best candidate on very unfriendly terrain. The former Anchorage mayor is only 54 today and did a good job of representing Alaskan interests in the Senate, departing from his party on energy and gun issues.
Arizona: When I cover the Arizona Senate race in 2018, I have a choice that will blow. your. mind. For now, I’m getting behind Kyrsten Sinema, who represents the swing district that consists largely of Phoenix suburbs. In a state whose demographics are trending blue but with agonizing slowness, Sinema is the most likely candidate to cut the gordian knot that keeps Democrats from breaking through. Sinema can also benefit from large amounts of grassroots activism in Arizona, whose forces recently celebrated a key victory in 2016 by toppling longtime bigoted sheriff Joe Arapio. She’s a moderate “blue dog”, but still holds orthodox progressive views on reproductive choice, immigration, and gun rights, and is skilled at framing her positions for middle-of-the-road voters.
Arkansas: How far Democrats have fallen in this state. In the last 8 years, they’ve managed to lose the governorship, both Senate seats, and every congressional office. In a state that made Bill Clinton, the Democrats’ lack of appeal among rural, Southern, undereducated and religious white voters has become shockingly manifest. The only chance is to try and let lightning strike again; hearty populists do well in Arkansas- from Dale Bumpers to Bill Clinton to Mike Huckabee- and the present group of Republicans holding office are no populists. My pick, therefore, is Bill Halter. The former lieutenant governor came shockingly close to primarying Blanche Lambert-Lincoln in 2010, and knows full well that a message that is friendly to the everyman plays well in Arkansas, and can make clean energy and affordable health care sell down there.
California: Jerry Brown’s two terms are up, and he has overseen a revival in California in terms of economic prowess, clean energy, and fairer taxation in a notoriously anti-tax state. But Brown, Feinstein, and Boxer’s longevity have led to a massive backlog of worthy Democrats in our country’s most populous state. Xavier Beccara, Eric Garcetti, and Antonio Villaraigosa are all worthy candidates, although I suspect that the Democratic governor’s race will be won by Gavin Newsom. He’ll probably be fine, but his closeness with Silicon Valley tech giants, and his blatant disregard for the law (even a very bad law like Prop. 8) makes me worried. Instead, I’m supporting Delaine Eastin, one of our country’s very best education reformers. In an era where Betty DeVos may well become our next Secretary of Education, Eastin has worked hard to strengthen public education in the Golden State. As California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction she slashed class sizes and revamped curriculum standards. She’s still not satisfied, though: she aims to increase California’s chronically low per-student spending and implement universal pre-K and full-day Kindergarten. I’m forfeiting youth- Eastin will be over 70 when 2018 rolls around- but I honestly believe she’s the best choice.
Colorado: This mountainous state has officially joined the ranks of blue-leaning swing states, capped off by three consecutive victories for governor. I hope we can keep the streak going, and Mike Johnston may be the man to do it. Long considered an up-and-comer in the Aspen Festival circuit, he is- like Senator Michael Bennet- an education specialist; he once served in rural Mississippi for Teach for America. He’s an ambitious legislator, with some worthwhile concepts for making sure every Coloradan can achieve a debt-free higher education experience.
Connecticut: While Connecticut is a reasonably blue state, Democrats’ gubernatorial prospects are imperiled by the stank of Dan Malloy’s unpopular administration. Given that someone directly associated with his administration would be likely to be dragged down, I happily endorse Carolyn Miles. Miles is the CEO of Fairfield-based Save the Children, one of the world’s most important charities. She’s helped get nutritious food, education, and medical care to countless children both at home and abroad.Recently, Peoplemagazine named her among the 25 Women Changing the World.
Florida: For the last three races, Democrats have secured can’t-lose nominees that still, remarkably, found a way to lose: Jim Davis, Alex Sink, Charlie Crist- you name it, they lost it. The key is to be unconventional, and I think I found a candidate in Grant Hill. This longtime Democrat was, of course, an NBA legend. And given the success of Kevin Johnson, Bill Bradley, and Mo Udall, basketball players have a great track record. Soft-spoken, friendly, contemplative, and ethical, Hill won the NBA’s Sportsmanship Award three times. With deep pockets, business savvy, and an appreciation for teamwork, it would be great to see what Hill could accomplish on this stage.
Georgia: Like Arizona, Georgia is a state that is trending blue, but at a glacial pace. Statewide office holders who could appeal to the wide public are scarce, but I think a second chance should be given to Jason Carter. In a very red year with terrible turnout, in a blue-trending red state, Carter took on an incumbent governor and still kept the loss within double digits. And he’s no mere legacy pick- he is a state senator, a prominent ethics reformer, and like his great-grandmother Miss Lillian, served in the Peace Corps. In a more favorable climate, where he won’t be facing turn-limited Nathan Deal, Carter has a real chance.
Hawaii: This one is easy, since the islands already have a Democratic governor who has only served one term. David Ige for re-election it is!
Idaho: This is another potential hopeless cause. Although Idaho once elected Democratic governors readily- remember Cecil Andrus and John Evans- those days are long over. The best I can do is Dave Bieter, the mayor of Boise. Read his courageous statement defending refugees and immigrants in defiance of President Trump. If every state is on the table in 2018, Bieter is a Basque-speaking, take-no-shit champion of his city, battling chronic homelessness and showing what someone in a minority party can do in a blood-red environment.
Illinois: This is a state that sometimes makes me ashamed to be a Democrat. Bruce Rauner won a squeaker of an election in 2014, and his approval rating has been underwater for most of his term as Illinois lurches from financial crisis to financial crisis. The smart money is on someone like Lisa Madigan or a Friend of Obama like Penny Pritzker or Valerie Jarrett or Arne Duncan. I would make bold to look in a different direction, someone who can rehabilitate the depressing, moribund state of Illinois politics-Chicago Cubs president Theo Epstein. Think it’s crazy? Think again. Epstein has a genius for the deal, an ability to ferret out underrated talent, and took the basement-dwelling Chicago Cubs, who hadn’t won a pennant since Theodore Roosevelt was president, into World Series champions. He’d be the perfect choice to shake up Illinois politics for the better.
Iowa: Few states turned blue to red so alarmingly quickly as Iowa, with lots of rural, evangelical voters. If current governor Terry Branstad is confirmed as Ambassador to China, the Democrat will have a strong new incumbent in the form of Kim Reynolds, presently the lieutenant governor. I endorse Rob Hogg. He not only has the perfect name for Iowa, he’s a 40-something state senator and climate change expert. Although he lost the Senate primary to Patty Judge, his earnest, grassroots style and wonkish demeanor has drawn comparisons to Paul Wellstone.
Kansas: Kansas is a damn mess and a clinic in Republican mismanagement. Governor Sam Brownback defied expectations and got re-elected in 2014, but since then, budget crises, cutbacks of essential services, and general dissatisfaction imperil Republicans in a state that hasn’t elected a Democrat to the Senate since the New Deal. Although Paul Davis did an admirable job in the 2014 race, this blog endorses Mark Parkinson, who served briefly as governor of Kansas when Kathleen Sebelius was appointed the HHS secretary. On the “who were you better off with?” question, Parkinson wins considerably, and as a former Republican, he is well poised to understand the average Kansan’s frustration and frame the race in a non-partisan way. As president of the American Health Care Association, he would be capable of offering solutions if the health care system is thrown into turmoil with Obamacare’s repeal.
Maine: As with Iowa, Democrats should be concerned about their poor performance in rural blue states. Trump carried Maine’s forested 2nd district and almost carried Vacationland wholesale. However, Maine has also had one of the worst governors in the nation, Paul LePage, a cranky Nixonian misanthrope who twice failed to break 50% of the popular vote due to independent candidate Eliot Cutler. Maine’s Democratic bench is uninspiring, unfortunately, making me look elsewhere. I therefore endorse Yellow Light Breen (yes. that’s his real name.) Having grown up in rural Maine, he went on to become an executive in Bangor Savings Bank and found the Maine Development Foundation, determined to bring sustainable growth to the state. He’s a great public speaker in the TED-talk style, a staunch education advocate, and a strong tonic for people sick of politics as usual.
Maryland: In this dark blue state, the Democrats snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in 2014, as businessman Larry Hogan beat lieutenant governor Anthony Brown. Hogan has proved fairly popular since then, and has thankfully survived a cancer scare. But if the Democrats want a chance to win, they need to bring out the big guns. Enter Tom Perez. He may very well be voted DNC chair next month, but failing that, he would be a strong choice for governor. He was, after all, President Obama’s last Labor Secretary, and reportedly one of the finalists for Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential search. He’s a cautious results-oriented man who nonetheless has a command of detail and is as strong an ally of Black Lives Matter as one will find in the highest echelons of government.
Massachusetts: Another heartbreaking loss in 2014. Charlie Baker is now the incumbent, and one of the more popular governors in the country. But if 2018 is a wave year, then the governor’s race in one of the most Democratic states in the country should most certainly be on the table. My pick is state attorney general Maura Healey. Don’t confuse her with Martha Coakley, the previous attorney general, who botched both the 2014 race against Baker and the special election to fill Ted Kennedy’s seat. Coakley is a much more natural politician and has a fascinating biography that includes captaining the Harvard women’s basketball team. She’s technically declined to enter the race, but the day is still young.
Michigan: The Wolverine State shocked the world by going for Donald Trump by a sliver of a percentage last November. It’s a warning sign that Michigan, long a Democratic bedrock, is now a legit swing state, one that cannot be taken for granted. But tailwinds favor them in the 2018 midterms in Michigan. Unpopular governor Rick Snyder, he of the Flint water crisis and kneecapping labor laws (in Michigan!) is retiring. Gretchen Whitmer has already thrown her hat in the ring, and I heartily endorse her. She’s a fiery orator, a staunch critic of right-to-work, and is young (45) and photogenic. Whitmer’s a winner and a great choice to help Michigan regain its progressive mojo.
Minnesota: Mark Dayton’s successful two terms as a governor will come to an end, and it’s as yet unclear as to who his successor will be. My endorsement goes to the state’s attorney general Lori Swanson. Swanson has been elected and re-elected easily into statewide office, and has gotten behind a number of key issues that enjoy widespread agreement. Her investigations into price-fixing for generic drugs and medications met with great approval, and her lawsuits against for-profit universities make her a great foil in the era of Trump University.
Nebraska: Whoever gets the Democratic nomination for this spot faces a herculean task- facing an incumbent governor in a ruby-red state. In fact, Nebraska’s third district, which covers most of the state outside Lincoln and Omaha, is one of the most Republican in the country. Still, Nebraska is a weird state. Members of its unicameral legislature are technically nonpartisan, and it recently ended the death penalty through an unlikely alliance of conservative Christians and urban liberals. Nebraska had no problem electing Democrats to the Senate and the governor’s mansion in the 1980s and 1990s, and it’s trends- including two big urban centers and some high college graduation rates- make it more likely than its prairie neighbors to swing Democratic. I’d like to see Howard Warren Buffett– yes, the 33-year-old grandson of the Sage of Omaha. He’s already a noted philanthropist, and worked in the Department of Defense to help restore Iraq and Afghanistan’s agriculture sectors. He owns a farm in Nebraska and is also an alternative energy guru. We are the same age, and I’m embarrassed at how little I’ve accomplished in comparison!
Nevada: Despite trending blue and staying blue in 2016, Nevada has a strong tendency to elect Republican governors. Its current one, Brian Sandoval, is by far the most able Republican governor in the country. Sandoval, however, is term-limited, and in this heavily Hispanic state, an unpopular Trump will cause tremors in statewide elections. In such an environment, my endorsement goes to Ross Miller. At the age of only 30, he was elected Secretary of State of Nevada, and lost the attorney general race by only one percentage point against a well-funded opponent, Adam Laxalt. He’s tough, has a tendency to delve into mixed-martial arts, and has a reputation for being non-partisan.
New Hampshire: New Hampshire and Vermont are the only two states to vote for their governor every two years- which actually used to be how most states did it around the turn of the last century. Despite leading in the polling for the last few weeks, Chris Van Ostern lost by 2%. New Hampshire usually doesn’t toss out incumbent governors, but Van Ostern is still our best choice for a rematch against Chris Sununu in 2018. Methodical and strategic (and plenty youthful at 37), he’s a steady choice, as steady as New Hampshire granite.
New Mexico: No state has transitioned from swing state to blue state quite so hard as New Mexico, thanks partly to major demographic changes that have made it majority-minority. Susanna Martinez, a Hispanic Republican, has served as governor for the last eight years. Her popularity has waned and waxed, but New Mexico may be tiring of her acerbic style. Hector Balderas, long considered one of the nation’s best up-and-coming politicians, is the prohibitive favorite. In fact, he may already be in Huey Long’s “dead woman or live boy” territory. He’s served as the state’s attorney general and its auditor, gaining a reputation as a champion of special-needs children (his daughter has Down’s Syndrome.)
New York: Some people think that Andrew Cuomo is entrenched in corrupt Albany politics, and they aren’t entirely wrong. But when I was 26, I was trying to get off of my COBRA’d health insurance when I rejoined my grad school full-time after a year of field research. No matter what happened, no matter what I did, I couldn’t get my insurance company to remove me and kept getting costly COBRA bills. Unsure of what else to do, I wrote to my governor. Within 72 hours of my sending the letter, I got a hasty, panicked, apologetic call from my health insurance provider. That’s the sort of thing that wins a man’s loyalty.
Ohio: Long considered the consummate swing state, Republicans won decisive victories here in the 2014 gubernatorial election and in the 2016 presidential election. Economic populism sells here, and with John Kasich retiring, opportunity knocks for Tim Ryan. Rumor has it that he was on the longform list of Hillary’s veep prospects. He unsuccessfully ran against Nancy Pelosi- an empty gesture- but one that decisively marks out his dissent from coastal liberalism. Representing Youngstown and Akron, he’s from the buckle of the Rust Belt and has called for tariffs against countries like China that manipulate their currency. I’m not totally convinced that he isn’t more show-horse than work-horse, but we need to do better in the Great Lakes states, and Ryan is our best shot.
Oklahoma: Remember, Democrats won the governorship of this state in 2002 and again in 2006. It’s not impossible, especially with flagging Mary Fallin coming to the end of her two terms. Scott Inman is, like Brad Henry before him, the kind of guy who could win if conditions are right. He’s spent four terms as the Democrats’ leader in the Oklahoma House- and he’s only 38.
Oregon: The last time a Republican won the governor’s race in Oregon was in 1982, the year before I was born. Now, that trend has to come to an end eventually, but I don’t think it will be in 2018. Kate Brown, the nation’s first openly LGBT person elected governor (Brown identifies as bisexual), won a special election after the resignation of John Kitzhaber in the light of his wife’s illegal activity. Brown earned high marks for her treatment of the “Yee-hawd” conducted by Bundy and other activists in seizing a wildlife refuge. With both chambers of the state legislature run by Democrats, Brown has the opportunity to consolidate gains in the state and continue making Oregon an attractive place for young people.
Pennsylvania: This is one of the rare swing states that Democrats presently hold. Tom Wolf beat out the incredibly unpopular Tom Corbett in the party’s only gubernatorial pickup in 2014. Wolf has butted heads with Republicans, who control both branches of the state legislature, and Pennsylvanians- who voted for Trump by a small margin- may get tired of the gridlock. But an important historical trend helps him: Corbett is the only incumbent governor in a century to have lost re-election in the Keystone State.
Rhode Island: This is another state that gives me fits. The last two elections have seen mediocre talent carrying the day: independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee (yes, the guy who tanked so memorably in the first Democratic debate) and now Gina Raimondo. Raimondo has marketed herself as a financially savvy reformer but to little avail. She might not run, but if she does, I would support a primary challenge from Angel Taveras. Taveras was the first Hispanic mayor in Rhode Island’s history, and helped Providence avoid bankruptcy in the wake of a massive deficit he inherited. Proudly Latino and a real success story (“from Head Start to Harvard”) he could be the face of one of the nation’s most rapidly changing states.
South Carolina: Elizabeth Colbert Busch gets my endorsement. Although she lost a congressional race to adulterous ex-governor Mark Sanford, Busch has many of the requisite tools for success. Aside from her famous late-night host brother, she’s worked for Charleston’s Chamber of Commerce and has helped turn Clemson into a center of energy research. She’s just the ticket to help South Carolina slowly break out of stereotypes and join its neighbors as a reasonable, far-sighted east-coast state.
South Dakota: This is also going to be a very tough one; Republicans have held the governorship since the 1970s. Nevertheless, Stephanie Herseth Sandlin is the best choice out there. She has won statewide office four times before as South Dakota’s at-large congresswoman and has made choices friendly to her region, coming down more moderately on gun rights and voting against the ACA. It’s likely that she will face Kristi Noem, the woman who bested her in the 2010 election.
Tennessee: The Volunteer State had a Democratic governor from 2003 to 2011, so it can be done. I have selected Fort Knox mayor Madeline Rogero as the Northumbrian candidate in this election. She’s a strong union advocate, having worked with Cesar Chavez, and has plenty of community development accolades as head of the Dollywood Foundation and Colin Powell’s America’s Promise organization. This is a woman who knows nonprofit work, grassroots momentum, and municipal services through and through. Maybe a 60-something Catholic woman might not seem like the best candidate for hill country, but a tough race can sometimes call for an unconventional candidate. And don’t forget– the outgoing governor of Tennessee, Bill Haslam, was also mayor of Fort Knox in his time.
Texas: In 2014, Lone Star Democrats ran Wendy Davis, a brave woman who famously stood up for reproductive rights in pink sneakers in a long filibuster, and was nevertheless a terrible choice to win in Texas. Team Blue hasn’t won a statewide office in two decades now, so a change in strategy is called for. As much as I like former HUD secretary and San Antonio mayor Julian Castro, I don’t think he’s going to win either. So, I’d like to suggest an unconventional choice: William McRaven. Yes, that’s right. The man who commanded the SEAL operation that killed Osama bin Laden. A man with wide respect from soldiers who served under him. The current chancellor of the University of Texas system. Assuming we could get him to run as a Democrat, how does this guy lose? You need a candidate that, for better or worse, a white, male Texan in a ten-gallon hat can vote for, and McRaven’s the man.
Vermont: Unbelievably, the Democrats lost the governor’s race in Vermont in 2016. Republican victor Phil Scott doesn’t appear to be a bad fellow at all, but in a state where a socialist senator has a 70% approval rating, his position cannot be considered very secure. Like New Hampshire, Vermont holds gubernatorial elections every two years, an enduring vestige of the New England town hall tradition. My choice to challenge Scott in 2018 is Chris Louras– in fact, the only Republican on this list. Louras ought to challenge Scott in the primaries or run as an independent. This Rutland mayor is a very brave man who put his career on the line to settle a hundred Syrian refugees in his city while continuing to make Rutland a center of tourism and commerce.
Wisconsin: Democrats are licking their chops for a chance to take down Scott Walker, who looks for all the world like he’s running for a third term. After heartbreaking losses in the recall election and in 2014, there’s never been a better time to kick out archconservative Walker. Wisconsinites won’t forget that he basically moved to Iowa for his forgettable candidacy for president. But right now, Wisconsin is heavily divided between liberal Milwaukee and Madison and basically everywhere else. In fact, in terms of geographical segregation- persons of color in cities, whites in the suburbs and exurbs- Wisconsin is the worst in the nation. So while I’d love to support someone like Jennifer Shilling, I somewhat reluctantly endorse Ron Kind. He handily wins election year after year in Wisconsin’s sprawling third congressional district, which is 97% white. I think he was wrong on his opposition to refugee resettlement, but this is an office that has to be taken back.
Wyoming: Our final governor’s race is in America’s least populous state, and one of its most Republican. Although Wyoming elected Democrat Dave Freudenthal as governor in 2002 and 2006, this is a remarkably tall order; Republicans outnumber Democrats in every single county in the state. But a strong candidate should be run nonetheless, and I choose Chris Rothfuss. He’s one of just 3 Democrats in the Wyoming state senate, holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering, and teaches at the University of Wyoming. His boyish appearance and infectious enthusiasm belie a serious policy wonk-mentality and a refreshing change if Wyoming decides to buck it’s deep Republicanism in 2018.
So…those are my endorsements- and this is, at 5,000 words, the longest post I’ve ever done on this blog. In future installments, I’ll hopefully get to the Senate, House and 2020 presidential race. What are your thoughts? Do you have other candidates in mind? Let’s work together in solidarity to make America live up to its promise and stand up to bigotry, callousness, and cruelty- especially in our public officials.