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The Progressive Update (6/26/2022): Big Wins in California, Iowa, and DC. Primaries in Illinois, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, and New York.

So, just got off of a nice break, and we are now back to writing about politics again. We have another big day on June 28th, and this time, I decided to get the research done so I can complete this one a few days early. But first, we have the recap of the past few weeks.

First of all, there was a lot of shit out of California, some good and some bad. Starting with the bad, the progressive District Attorney of San Francisco got recalled following a corporate smear job that painted him is responsible for the things that he was actually working on fixing. The plus side is that the recall was 45-55, so he’s still going to have a large voter block in the inevitable Special Election, but it’s still unfortunate that the population can be so easily convinced to turn on the few people trying to help them.

Also on the subject of San Francisco smear jobs, Shahid Buttar did not make it to the general this time either. Shervin Aazami, Mike Ortega, and Kylie Taitano also failed to make it to the general election, and Michael Shure continued in the proud TYT tradition of eating shit in Congressional Elections for districts you don’t live in, except this time, he may have also kept Daniel Lee from the General as well. That being said, David Kim and Angelica Duenas both made the General Election this time. Maebe A Girl also advanced to the General Election against Adam Schiff, but it’s hard to imagine her winning.

Now, the real good news from California comes from Los Angeles, where the progressive movement hit back HARD. The most obvious bit of catharsis comes from ex Republican billionaire Rick Caruso dropping 40 million only to get a mere 36% and not even win first place in LA Mayoral Primary. Keep in mind, people were genuinely worried that Caruso would get over 50% and win outright. While Karen Bass certainly has some of her own issues, Caruso going the same route as Mike Bloomberg before him and getting humiliated is fucking glorious! On top of this, there was not that much of a gap between former CA Senate President Pro Tempore Kevin De Leon, and abolitionist candidate Gina Viola. But wait, there’s more!

Former Green Party candidate Kenneth Mejia ran a campaign for LA City Controller that was focused around educating the public on just how funds are used. Turns out, they were disproportionately going towards police funds. Not only did Mejia blow out the establishment pick Paul Koretz with a 20 point lead, he also got more votes than Rick Caruso did. The progressive pick for LA City Attorney Faisal Gill has also earned the highest share of votes in his primary, and the infamously corrupt LA County Sheriff Alex Villaneuva also appears to be on his way out. And now, that’s still not all.

The DSA LA endorsed Eunisses Hernandez has won outright over City Council Ward 1 incumbent Gil Cedillo, completely bypassing a runoff. This is in addition progressives Katy Young Yaroslavsky and Erin Darling leading their respective races for Ward 5 and 11, Hugo Soto-Martinez leading Ward 13 incumbent Mitch O’Farrell by close to 10 points despite there being two other leftists who ran in the same race, progressive Danielle Sandoval making it to the General in Ward 15, and Rocio Rivas and Marvin A. Rodríguez making it to the General Election for LA’s Unified Board of Education districts 2 and 6 respectively. In other words, things are not looking good for landlords and cop loving corporatists in Los Angeles.

Outside of Los Angeles, Alysse Castro has won her election for Alameda School Superintendent outright. This is in addition to Congressional candidates Mike Barkley and Derek Marshall making it to the General Election against Republican incumbents, Green Party candidate Michael Kerr has made it to the general against Democrat Mark DeSaulnier, and State Senate candidates Caroline Menjivar, Dave Jones, and Aisha Wahab, State Assembly candidates Sara Aminzadeh, Esmeralda Soria, Pilar Schiavo, Louis Abramson, Mia Livas Porter, Tina McKinnor, Maria Estrada, Fatima Iqbal-Zubair, and Georgette Gomez, Almeda District Attorney candidate Pamela Price, Long Beach City Council Ward candidates Kailee Caruso and Joni Ricks-Oddie, Sacramento City Council candidate Caity Maple, and Long Beach Mayoral candidate Rex Richardson making it to their respective General Elections.

The other big winner that night was Iowa, with progressive Medicare for All supporting US Senate candidate Michael Franken winning over Chuck Schumer’s hand picked candidate Abby Finkenauer. This is some seriously good news because Michael Franken has polled significantly better against Republican Chuck Grassley, which means there’s now at least a fraction of a chance of Franken winning in the General Election. The other major event was former 2020 Senate candidate Kimberly Graham winning her primary for Polk County District Attorney, having effectively used her 2020 “no chance in hell” campaign as a springboard to victory in an office where she will inevitably cut down on mass incarceration and broken windows policing. This is in addition to State Senate candidates Izaah Knox and Liz Bennet and State House candidates Suresh Reddy, Kay Pence, and Sami Scheetz winning their primaries, and former Congressional candidate JD Scholten running completely unoppossed.

The following week unfortunately showed that Nevada was a disappointment as well, with Amy Villela and Ozzie Fumo both losing their respective races. Though the following week did show some better results, with Washington DC electing Zachary Parker to City Council, now increasing the number of DSA members to two, in addition to also fending off right wing charter school ghoul Eric Goulet. Also Alabama seems to have seen a rare win with Transphobic Democrat Rod Scott losing his primary to not transphobic Democrat Fred Plump, though it hasn’t been officially called yet.

And that brings us to our next primary, and we have a lot to cover… again. The main event is obvious Illinois, which has three of the races that were on my most important 2022 primaries countdown. I suppose we better check in on how these races have been going. The most recent poll for Illinois’s 3rd Congressional district has Delia Ramirez up by a wide margin, and that was before Bernie Sanders stepped in to endorse her in a district that overwhelming prefers leftists to corporate dems like Gilbert Villegas. So naturally, corporate donors are doing their thing to boost Villegas at the last second. Thankfully, there is plenty of spending on the part of the Delia Ramirez campaign, and the corporate spending doesn’t seem t be to the same extent as against Nina Turner, Summer Lee, Nida Allam, or Jessica Cisneros. Still though, we don’t want to get complacent.

Delia Ramirez (CD-3) – Donation Link

Unfortunately, things don’t seem to be looking as good for Marie Newman, given that the most recent poll has corporate Dem Sean Casten up by nine points, and that she’s stopped running adds against him due to the recent death of his daughter. On top of this, Justice Democrats seems to be focusing all of their attention on Kina Collins instead. I suspect that that this is because Sean Casten is not only a more difficult opponent than Danny Davis, but Casten also has more experience fending off Republicans than Newman does, whose only Republican was her underfunded 2020 opponent. Getting Newman through the General Election in a year that is looking to be brutal for Democrats is naturally going to be more expensive.

Meanwhile, Kina Collins is running in a D+36 district, that all but guarantees that the Democratic nominee will win the General Election. On top of this, Danny Davis has put almost no effort into campaigning. A week before the primary, he finally put out his first campaign ad, and it speaks for itself.

Yes, that is an actual aired on TV ad. Unedited Zoom footage of Danny Davis giving a generic 20 second speech where you can’t understand half of what he’s saying. Meanwhile, Justice Democrats has spent $390,000 on Kina Collins and against Danny Davis. So yeah, it sucks that things aren’t looking too good for Marie Newman, but there are two races where progressives have a serious shit, and if they both get elected, it’s still a net gain.

Marie Newman (CD-6) – Donation Link
Kina Collins (CD-7) – Donation Link

And we’re not even done with Illinois Congressional races. In Illinois 1st Congressional District, the Bernie Sanders endorsed Johnathon Jackson is currently leading the polls. Normally, this would be excellent news, but unfortunately, this endorsement was kind of an L on Bernie’s part. The reason for this is that close to $1,000,000 from Crypto PACs has been spent on Jackson’s campaign, and Jackson’s response to criticism was to say that these PACs are acting completely independently of him, and the fact that Crypto Currency is one of the leading issues on his site has nothing to do with it. While Jackson is still a better choice than corporate Dem Pat Dowell, you’re going to want to support the REAL progressive in the race, Jacqui Collins.

Jacqui Collins (CD-1) – Donation Link

In Illinois’s 17th Congressional District, Litesa Wallace has lead corporate Dem Eric Sorensen by three points in the most recent poll. The downside is that this poll was almost two months ago, and that Sorensen has been spending a lot more on ads than Wallace has, which could end up closing the already small gap between them.

In Illinois’ 8th Congressional District, progressive challenger Junaid Ahmed has spent a large amount of money against incumbent Dem Raja Krishnamoorthi. The downside is that Krishnamoorthi is absolutely loaded with cash, and Ahmed hasn’t gotten any major endorsements, so if Ahmed wins this one it will be a real surprise.

Last and most definitely least is Illinois 13th Congressional District, where progressive David Palmer is massively outfunded and has no major endorsements. Yeah, Palmer has no real chance sadly.

Litesa Wallace (CD-17) – Donation Link
Junaid Ahmed (CD-8) – Donation Link
David Palmer (CD-13) – Donation Link

Also noteworthy is that 2020 Congressional candidate Rachel Ventura, who managed 41% against incumbent Bill Foster, is now running for State Senate against incumbent State Senator Eric Mattson. Given that Ventura has shown herself to be a strong candidate in 2020, and that Mattson just got appointed less than two months ago, Ventura has a real shot at victory. The State House also has the labor backed Lilian Jimenez running for Illinois’s 4th State House seat, Hoan Huynh running in a five way primary for Illinois 13th seat, and Nabeela Syed running for the nomination to take on Republican Chris Bos in district 51.

Rachel Ventura (SD-43) – Donation Link
Lilian Jimenez (HD-4) – Donation Link
Hoan Huynh (HD-13) – Donation Link
Nabeela Syed (HD-51) – Donation Link

Okay, next up is New York, where we have state wide elections and State Assembly elections. Keep in mind, the Congressional Elections and State Senate Elections are not until August 23rd due to redistricting. That being said, there’s STILL a lot of shit to cover. The most noteworthy are the Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial Primaries. As I predicted, Jumaane Williams hasn’t really put a dent in Kathy Hochul’s lead, and most likely will lose.

Ana Maria Archilla however, has a pretty big shot, especially since AOC just recently endorsed her. Keep in mind, incumbent Lieutenant Governor Antonio Delgado only had this seat for about a month after the previous Lieutenant Governor Brian Benjamin had to resign after being charged with bribery and fraud. After progressives in New York were screwed over in the NYC and Buffalo Mayoral races, this could be our big chance to get back at them. Let’s make sure Ana Mario Archilla wins this!

Ana Maria Archila (Lt Governor) – Donation Link

Oh, but that’s not the only race. We also have the New York State Assembly elections, and there are a TON of them, twenty four in fact. Four of these candidates, Ron Kim (AD-40), Emily Gallagher (AD-50), Marcela Mitaynes (AD-51), and Phara Souffrant Forrest (AD-57), are being primaried from the right. It should be noted that three of these candidates primaried incumbent Democrats in 2020, and that Ron Kim has been one of the most progressive Dems in the New York State Legislature for years, so clearly the corporate Dems are not happy about this.

On top of this, AOC has endorsed ten challengers who are running for State Assembly, those challengers are Juan Ardila (AD-37), Samy Nemir Olivares (AD-54), Keron Alleyne (AD-60), Illapa Sairitupac (AD-65), Delsenia Glover (AD-70), Jessica Woolford (AD-81), Jonathan Soto (AD-82), Vanessa Agudelo (AD-95), Sarahana Shrestha (AD-103), and Justin Chaires (AD-111). The remaining challengers are Steven Raga (AD-30), Anthony Andrews Jr. (AD-32), Tim Hunter (AD-43), Justine Cuccia (AD-61), Ryder Kessler (AD-66), Nayma Silver-Matos (AD-72), Kellie Leeson (AD-73), Christopher Lebron (AD-75), Patrick Bobilin (AD-76), and Maryjane Shimsky (AD-92).

Once again, imagine if we had this many candidates in every state!!

Ron Kim (AD-40) – Donation Link
Emily Gallagher (AD-50) – Donation Link
Marcela Mitaynes (AD-51) – Donation Link
Phara Souffrant Forrest (AD-57) – Donation Link
Juan Ardila (AD-37) – Donation Link

Samy Nemir Olivares (AD-54) – Donation Link
Keron Alleyne (AD-60) – Donation Link
Illapa Sairitupac (AD-65) – Donation Link

Delsenia Glover (AD-70) – Donation Link
Jessica Woolford (AD-81) – Donation Link
Jonathan Soto (AD-82) – Donation Link

Vanessa Agudelo (AD-95) – Donation Link
Sarahana Shrestha (AD-103) – Donation Link
Justin Chaires (AD-111) – Donation Link
Steven Raga (AD-30) – Donation Link
Anthony Andrews Jr. (AD-32) – Donation Link
Tim Hunter (AD-43) – Donation Link
Justine Cuccia (AD-61) – Donation Link
Ryder Kessler (AD-66) – Donation Link
Nayma Silver-Matos (AD-72) – Donation Link
Kellie Leeson (AD-73) – Donation Link
Christopher Lebron (AD-75) – Donation Link
Patrick Bobilin (AD-76) – Donation Link

Maryjane Shimsky (AD-92) – Donation Link

Up next is Colorado, where we have three Congressional candidates running “no chance in hell” campaigns. The first of these is Neal Walia, who is attempting to Primary CD-1 incumbent Diana DeGette. Unfortunately, I wasn’t expecting much out of Walia the moment that the Working Families Party pulled their endorsement from him. Yeah, he’s not coming back from that one. While he isn’t absent of noteworthy endorsements, we’ve seen quite often that it takes a lot to unseat an incumbent House Democrat.

The second progressive is Sol Sandoval (CD-3), who initially supported Medicare for All and a Green New Deal, but flip flopped on them like the cowardly sellout she is. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough because even though she has the endorsement of the district’s 2020 nominee and the only other Democrat to run against Lauren Boebert, she still has two corporate opponents who insist she’s “too far left,” one of whom is a very annoying gay guy that makes me need to try really hard not to be homophobic even though I’m gay myself.

Seriously, there’s little that gets under my skin like cis gay men who try and intentionally milk the oldest stereotype of gay men in order to promote establishments that harm LGBT people. We literally got our rights by rioting and throwing bricks at cops, and this fucker wants us to “stop complaining” and vote for him. Given that this is a R+8 district, it’s unlikely that any Democrat could win, but I want to see Sandoval win just to wipe the smirk off Alex Walker’s stupid face. Oh, and I guess Lauren Boebert could also lose her primary or something.

The third candidate is Ike McCorkle (CD-4), who is the only Democrat in the race, and is running against Freedom Caucus lunatic Ken Buck. Unfortunately, this district is R+14, so Ike has no chance in hell here.

Neal Walia (CD-1) – Donation Link
Sol Sandoval (CD-3) – Donation Link

Ike McCorkle (CD-4) – Donation Link

If you want to support a candidate who has a chance of winning, your best bet is Elisabeth Epps (HD-6), who is running for Colorado’s 6th State House seat, and who has been endorsed by the local branches of the DSA, Our Revolution, and the Working Families Party. Unfortunately, corporate donors are pouring in and they’re already calling Epps antisemitic. Hmm, why is it that corporate Dems only ever care about Antisemitism when it’s progressives who don’t think the Government should be bought out by the Israeli government, and have nothing to say about Danny Davis defending a person who praised Hitler and compared Jews to termites? There aren’t many progressives running in Colorado, so it’s important to make sure that Epps wins.

Elisabeth Epps (HD-6) – Donation Link

While the statewide, Congressional, state legislative primaries in Oklahoma aren’t until August 23rd, municipal primaries in Canadian, Cleveland, Oklahoma, Osage, and Tulsa Counties are on June 28th, and there are a few noteworthy primaries there. The most noteworthy one is for Oklahoma County District Attorney, where there are two candidates running on the Democratic side. One of the is Mark Myles, who I don’t think I’d describe as progressive, but at the very least seems like he’s serious about the job and he has the right idea about a few things. The other candidate is Vicki Behenna, whose policies come down to “bigger prisons and more cops” and who voted for Republican Mike Hunter in 2018. It’s worth noting that Mark Myles was actually Mike Hunter’s Democratic opponent in 2018, which really showcases just how much of a DINO that Vehenna truly is.

The other noteworthy primary is for Oklahoma County Treasurer, which has two candidate. Unlike the DA race though, both of them appear to be progressive. That being said, Brandon Kirkpatrick is the only one who has a campaign site, so I think it’s safe to assume he’s going to win. The other guy, Tom Guild DOES get credit for trying to primary Kendra Horn in 2020, but Kirkpatrick seems more qualified. Also worth mentioning are progressives Nick Singer and John Swoboda, who are running for Oklahoma County Assessor and Tulsa County Assessor respectively. Both of them are running unoppossed in the primary, but they are both up against Republican incumbents, and could use as much help as they can get.

Mark Myles (Oklahoma DA) – Donation Link
Brandon Kirkpatrick (Oklahoma Treasurer) – Donation Link
Nick Singer (Oklahoma Assessor) – Donation Link
John Swoboda (Tulsa Assessor) – Donation Link

The last state to cover is Utah, and there’s not much gong on here. There’s Nate Blouin, who is running for Utah State Senate district 13. Yeah, that’s about it. Hope he wins.

Nate Blouin (SD-13) – Donation Link

Anyway, it looks like we got a lot of stuff going on the Tuesday. We can tell just by how many candidates I’ve needed to cover. There’s SO God damned many of them, and at least a few of them are going to win. Now there won’t be as many elections in July, so I may finally post some new game reviews, lord knows a lot of you have been starving for those, but I’m obviously going to be back on my bullshit the next month after that. It becomes increasingly harder to ignore this shit given that every week or so we see yet another example of Republicans being absolute psychopaths and Democrats reading poems to a tornadoes while blocking the doors to the shelter.

The best way to fight back against both of these fuckers is to effectively build up candidates and gain more power within the party. We will definitely continue to gain power, it’s just a matter of gaining enough before Republicans decided to end Democracy.

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