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The Progressive Update (5/16/2022): Super Tuesday – Midterm Edition

So, some good news of of West Virginia. Not only did all four progressive state legislature with contested primaries with theirs, but progressive Joe Solomon also won his primary for Charleston city council at large, which brings progressive representation to the biggest city in West Virginia. Other noteworthy news is that House Freedom Caucus lunatic Alex Mooney beat the Joe Manchin endorsed Republican David McKinley in a landslide. This indicates that Joe Manchin’s influence in West Virginia is waning, and he will likely lose re-election in 2024. In other words, primarying him is perfectly justified, since whoever gets the nomination will lose the general election anyway. May as well nominate someone people actually want to vote for. Just sayin.

Anyway, there’s a lot to cover in this edition of the progressive update. We have a LOT of major races occurring on the 17th. Six of the twenty five races listed in my 25 Most Important US Primaries Elections in 2022 piece are on the 17th, including the number one and the number three entries. Primaries are occurring in Idaho, Kentucky, North Carolina, Oregon, and Pennsylvania. Since Idaho has jack shit going on there cause it’s fucking Idaho, that means we have four states to cover. I’ll start with Pennsylvania since it not only has the most important primary of this cycle, but it’s also my home state.

So starting with the Senatorial Election, Fetterman has maintained a significant lead over Conor Lamb, and will almost inevitably sweep the primary. I guess that Joe Manchin endorsement wasn’t much help for him! To be fair, maybe Conor Lamb could have caught up if he called Fetterman a socialist a few more times, or maybe he could have mentioned the shotgun incident. Actually, the REAL nail in Conor Lamb’s coffin was that he never mentioned that he was a marine and a federal prosecutor and a marine! Don’t you know how much voters eat that shit up! You know the troops really are so brave and powerful when they risk their life to fight for our freedom overseas. It’s amazing how they NEVER thought to tell us that CONOR LAMB IS A MARINE & A FORMER FEDERAL PROSECUTOR WHO IS RUNNING FOR THE DEMOCRATIC NOMINATION FOR THE US SENATE IN PA!!!!

Well, it’s nice that the most important primary is pretty much set. But there is another state wide race in PA that I did not talk about, and that is the Lt Gubernatorial Primary. Progressive Brian Sims seems to have a decent shot at the nomination as well. This is a good thing because John Fetterman is the current Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania, and this means that if Josh Shapiro is elected Governor (which seems likely considering he’s leading the GOP front runner Doug Mastriano by eight points), a corporate Dem won’t be taking Fetterman’s seat.

There’s also the two congressional candidates mentioned in my 25 most important primaries piece. Summer Lee has been consistently leading in the polls, but is also facing an absolute onslaught of corporate money meant to interfere in her race. Unlike Nina Turner’s recent election however, Summer Lee has a large array of progressive groups showing up to back her, including Bernie Sanders, AOC, Elizabeth Warren, Pramila Jayapal, Ed Gainey, and a slew of additional endorsements. On top of that, the smears used by establishment figures against Nina Turner are unlikely to be as effective against Summer Lee. With Nina Turner, they at the very least had the clip of her “bowl of shit” comment. Meanwhile, Summer Lee has not gone nearly as hard against establishment Democrats, which means that these attacks against her are much less likely to land. In other words, Summer Lee has a much better shot than Nina Turner, and Nina Turner only lost by 4266 when she had the same backing.

As for Alexandra Hunt, she’s less likely to win given the lack of media coverage or endorsements. But it is noteworthy that she outraised Dwight Evans for the second FEC deadline in a row, and has likely acquired a large amount of name recognition between the Fox News outrage about her abortion and her Onlyfans. There’s no such thing as bad publicity after all, especially when said publicity is from Fox News and you’re running in a D+40 district.

There’s one other congressional race that I also forgot to mention, and that’s PA’s 17th Congressional District. The frontrunner in this race is Chris Deluzio, a former Bernie delegate who supports Medicare for all. And keep in mind, this is Conor Lamb’s congressional district. If Chris Deluzio gets the nomination and then wins the general election, it would be the ultimate fuck you to Conor Lamb and his corporate flunkies. Of course, this is a swing district that is split 50/50 between Dems and Republicans, which is also why Chris Deluzio’s race is arguably more important than Summer Lee or Alexandra Hunt’s. I’m honestly kind of embarrassed that I missed this one in my most important primaries piece.

So yeah, there’s a lot going on in Pennsylvania this cycle, so I’m sure you can guess there’s a lot of progressives running in the state legislature as well. Well, mainly the state house. There’s only one noteworthy progressive running for PA State Senate, and would you look at that, she’s also one that I’m well familiar with, and that my step mother has met personally. This candidate is Tara Zrinski, and she is running for Pennsylvania’s 14th State Senate district. For those that are interested in knowing more about her and her policies, I’d recommend watching TCSN’s interview for her re-election campaign last year.

As for the state House there are *check notes* 18 progressives running, holy shit! Okay, I’ll try to narrow this down so it’s easier for me to write. How many of them have contested primaries, let’s see…. fifteen… okay, and there are two districts with more than one progressive, so that means there are thirteen races to cover… that didn’t help as much as I thought it would.

Anyway, four of these candidates are progressive incumbents. These four candidates, Jessica Benham (HD-36), Elizabeth Fiedler (HD-184), Emily Kinkead (HD-20), and Rick Krajewski (HD-188), have corporate Democrats attempting to primary them. Additionally, all four of their corporate Dem primary challengers have been endorsed by the local Democratic party, despite the fact that the local parties usually favor incumbents. It’s almost as if they’re corrupt or something! As for the challengers, we have…

  • Cass Green, who is attempting to primary Amen Brown in PA’s 10th House district.
  • Joshua Siegel, who is running for an open seat in PA’s 22nd House district.
  • Latasha Mayes or Randall Taylor, who are both attempting to primary Martell Covington in PA’s 24th House district.
  • Rochelle Culbreath, who is running for an open seat in PA’s 54th district. (TCSN has interviewed her as well)
  • Enid Santiago, who is attempting to primary Peter Schweyer in PA’s 134th district.
  • Carol Kazeem, who is attempting to primary Brian Kirkland in PA’s 159th district.
  • David Brown, who is attempting to primary Gregory Vitali in PA’s 166th district.
  • Will Gross and Benjamin Waxman, who are both running for an open seat in PA’s 182nd district.
  • Tarik Khan, who is attempting to primary Pamela DeLission in PA’s 194th district.

So, a lot of shit is going down in Pennsylvania this cycle, which is good since it’s a key swing state… and also cause it’s where I live and all that. Anyway, that’s one state out of four, let me just put those donation links here.

John Fetterman (US Senate) – Donation Link
Brian Sims (Lieutenant Governor) – Donation Link
Summer Lee (CD-12) – Donation Link
Alexandra Hunt (CD-3) – Donation Link

Chris Deluzio (CD-17) – Donation Link
Tara Zrinski (SD-14) – Donation Link
Emily Kinkead (HD-20) – Donation Link
Jessica Benham (HD-36) – Donation Link
Elizabeth Fiedler (HD-184) – Donation Link
Rick Krajewski (HD-188) – Donation Link
Cass Green (HD-10) – Donation Link
Joshua Siegel (HD-22) – Donation Link
Latasha Mayes (HD-24) – Donation Link
Rochelle Culbreath (HD-54) – Donation Link
Enid Santiago (HD-134) – Donation Link
Carol Kazeem (HD-159) – Donation Link

Will Gross (HD-182) – Donation Link
Benjamin Waxman (HD-182) – Donation Link
Tarik Khan (HD-194) – Donation Link

In North Carolina, the most important primary is in their 1st congressional district, between progressive Erica Smith and anti-choice conservative Democrat. This race was listed as the third most important primary this cycle in my most important primaries piece, and it’s not just because Don Davis is an anti-choice piece of shit, but because the front runner for the Republican nomination is an insurrectionist who had a pretty strong performance against former incumbent GK Butterfield in 2020.

Initially, it looked like Don Davis would run away with the nomination, but then the SCOTUS leak happened. Turns out that being an anti-choice Democrat right after the Supreme Court decides to repeal abortion rights is not a good idea. Erica Smith has since received a surge of endorsements from progressive figures. This includes Pramila Jayapal, Eva Clayton, the Working Families Party, Ro Khanna, the Sunrise Movement, Our Revolution, Andy Levin, and the Congressional Progressive Caucus. However, we still can’t count Don Davis out, as he still has the financial advantage. Also, Jim fucking Clyburn has stepped in to endorse him! So thus far, Clyburn has endorsed Don Davis, Henry Cuellar, and Max Rose eh? Somehow, I don’t think it’s “sloganeering” that he has a problem with. On top of thus, there’s a noticeable absence of Bernie Sanders or AOC in this race. This could mean that they don’t find this race winnable… or maybe their too focused on the other major congressional race in this district.

In North Carolina’s 4th Congressional District, we have Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, whose main opponent is state Senator Valerie Foushee. Similarly to Summer Lee’s race, we are witnessing a large flood of corporate cash from AIPAC and the Democratic Majority for Israel meant to prop up Foushee in an attempt to blunt Allam’s momentum. However, we have also seen a condemnation of the money spent on the seat, with an OP-ed in The Assembly NC titled “Buying a Blue Seat” detailing the corruption, and Allam getting a slew of progressive endorsements, which include Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, Pramila Jayapal, Keith Ellison, the Working Families Party, Brand New Congress, the Sunrise Movement, Peace Action, Indy Week, and the Raleigh News and Observer. What’s even more noteworthy is that State Rep Marcia Morey switched her endorsement from Davis to Allam after witnessing their attempt to buy this election.

There is one more congressional to primary, but this one be anywhere near as close as the last to. In North Carolina’s 14th congressional district, we have Ram Mammadov running against State Senator and former US Senate candidate Jeff Jackson. Not only does Jackson have significantly more name recognition, but he also has over 800K on hand. Considering that Mammadov is over $10,000 in debt, it’s unlikely that he’ll catch up. It’s unfortunate, since he has a pretty solid platform, which you can hear about in our interview with him. Even if he has a very uphill battle, he nonetheless deserves your vote and your support!

Anyway, North Carolina also has a bunch of smaller elections that I don’t have time to research, but will at least mention so as to give whatever support I can.

  • Taylon Breeden, who is attempting to primary Julie Mayfield in North Carolina’s 49th state Senate district.
  • Nate Blanton, who is attempting to primary Rosa Gill in North Carolina’s 33rd state House district.
  • Elizabeth Parent, who is running for an open seat in North Carolina’s 37th state House district.
  • Allen Buansi, who is running for an open seat in North Carolina’s 56th state House district.
  • Wesley Knott, who is running for an open seat in North Carolina’s 66th state house district.
  • Carla Day, who is running for an open seat in North Carolina’s 74th state House district.
  • Vermanno Bowman, who is attempting to primary Kelly Alexander Jr in North Carolina’s 107th district.
  • Damon Chetson, who is attempting to primary Nancy Lorrin Freeman in North Carolina’s 10th Prosecutorial district.
  • Brenton Boyce, who is attempting to primary Avery Michelle Crump in North Carolina’s 24th Prosecutorial district.
  • Juan Monjaras, who is attempting to primary incumbent Guilford County Sheriff Danny Rogers.

It’s good to see that North Carolina has a strong progressive mobilization effort. Given how close some of the last few elections are, this is an important swing state after all. Ideally, we can see North Carolina take a more blue turn similarly to Arizona and Georgia. That won’t happen if we don’t keep the fight up though.

Erica Smith (CD-1) – Donation Link
Nida Allam (CD-4) – Donation Link
Ram Mammadov (CD-14) – Donation Link

Taylon Breeden (SD-49) – Donation Link
Nate Blanton (HD-33) – Donation Link
Elizabeth Parent (HD-17) – Donation Link
Allen Buansi (HD-56) – Donation Link

Wesley Knott (HD-66) – Donation Link
Carla Day (HD-74) – Donation Link
Vermanno Bowman (HD-107) – Donation Link
Damon Chetson (PD-10) – Donation Link
Brenton Boyce (PD-24) – Donation Link

Juan Monjaras (Guilford Sheriff) – Donation Link

And that brings us to Oregon, which features two elections that were on my most important primaries list. The first of which is in Oregon’s 5th Congressional, which concerns Jamie McLeod-Skinner’s attempt to primary infamous piece of shit Kurt Schrader. Not much has really changed, aside from Joe Biden deciding to endorse him, despite the fact that he was one of the ‘unbreakable nine” that tried to derail his infrastructure plan. This hasn’t stopped Schrader from trailing McLeod-Skinner though, nor did it stop her from outraising him again! As for Doyle Canning’s campaign for Oregon’s 4th district, that one seems less likely given the gap in fundraising, and the lack of national endorsements compared to other candidates. That being said, it’s not impossible, but it is unlikely.

Also, I’d be remiss to not mention that TCSN founder and a good friend of mine Adam Prine, is running for Oregon’s 2nd Congressional district. So, can he win? Well, to be honest, not really. He seems to have entered into the race a bit late to really build up name recognition. And even if he wins the primary, he’s running in an R+16 district. Not to be mean, but I don’t think this one’s gonna happen. That being said, he still more than deserves your support. Anyway, here’s the list of the guys running in smaller races.

  • Richard Walsh, who is running in a three way primary to challenge Republican Kim Thatcher in Oregon’s 11th state Senate district.
  • Tammy Carpenter, who is attempting to primary Ken Helm in Oregon’s 27th state House district.
  • Farrah Chaichi, who is running for an open seat in Oregon’s 35th state House district.
  • Mark Gamba, who is running for an open seat in Oregon’s 41st state House district.
  • Catherine Thomasson, who is running for an open seat in Oregon’s 45th state House district.

Apparently there’s also some shit going on in the Gubernatorial race as well, where one of the main front runners is apparently a progressive, but is the type of fake progressive that has all the establishment endorsements, while the real progressive in the race (he’s Patrick Starnes btw) has no funding or name recognition. Yeah, I didn’t have time to research Oregon as thoroughly as I could. I’m literally writing this at 3:39 AM on the 16th of May, which is the day before the primary, which doesn’t leave much time. Also don’t vote for Brian Setzler.

Jamie McLeod-Skinner (CD-5) – Donation Link
Doyle Canning (CD-4) – Donation Link
Richard Walsh (SD-11) – Donation Link
Tammy Carpenter (HD-27) – Donation Link
Farrah Chaichi (HD-35) – Donation Link
Mark Gamba (HD-41) – Donation Link
Catherine Thomasson (HD-45) – Donation Link

And that leaves us with Kentucky, which has one major congressional primary, and two other noteworthy ones that most likely won’t go anywhere. The most noteworthy one is Attica Scott running for Kentucky’s 3rd Congressional District against Kentucky state Senate Minority leader Morgan McGarvey. While Attica Scott has a phenomenal ground game, McGarvey has the entire Kentucky establishment on his side, and has outraised Attica by over $1,000,000. Yeah, I don’t see this race happening. Hopefully she keeps trying in future cycles, assuming this one doesn’t work out. At least we still have Charles Booker, who obviously has his primary in the bag, but will have his work cut out for him in the general election. Anyway here are the rest of the candidates.

  • Charles Booker, who is running in the primary for US Senate to challenge Rand Paul.
  • William Compton, who is running in the primary to challenge Republican incumbent Brett Guthrie in Kentucky’s 2nd Congressional District.
  • Geoff Young, who is running in the primary to challenge Republican incumbent Andy Barr in Kentucky’s 6th Congressional District.
  • Robert LeVertis Bell, who is attempting to primary Pamela Stevenson in Kentucky’s 43rd state House district.
  • Neal Turpin, who is attempting to primary Thomas Burch in Kentucky’s 30th state House district.
  • Angela Evans, who is attempting to primary Fayette County Attorney Larry Roberts.
  • Colin Harden, who is running in the primary for Louisville Mayor.
  • Tyler Lamon, who is running for an open seat in Louisville’s 15th Metro Council district.

Anyway, hopefully at least one of them is able to win. We need as many progressives as we can get in a state like Kentucky. Anyway, here are the donation links.

Charles Booker (US Senate) – Donation Link
Attica Scott (CD-3) – Donation Link
William Compton (CD-2) – Donation Link
Geoff Young (CD-6) – Donation Link
Neal Turpin (HD-30) – Donation Link
Robert LeVertis Bell (HD-43) – Donation Link

Angela Evans (Fayette CA) – Donation Link
Colin Harden (Louisville Mayor) – Donation Link
Tyler Lamon (MCD-15) – Donation Link

So some of you may be wondering, why do I bother writing this? There’s only one day left until the primary, and I don’t exactly have significant reach. Not enough to swing an election that’s for sure. Well, you never know, there have been some races determined by single digit vote counts. And I know fully well that oftentimes, the smallest of factors can make a difference, so I want to make sure I am doing everything I can to push for genuine change.

So much of my engagement with politics has been backed with a constant air of frustration. In the grand scheme of things, I’m powerless. Why even bother if you don’t already have the ability to influence genuine change, and when the people who DO have power do nothing with it? Well, that’s all the more reason why we all should pick up the slack.

Let’s make sure our effort isn’t for naught.

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