Sep 16, 2017

Dems winning in Trump country as Republicans resign

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

Democrats have recently taken six state House or Senate seats from Republicans. And they're in districts Trump won by large margins.

Why this matters: After getting swept in U.S. House special elections after Trump's win, Democratic success at the local level is an uplifting sign for the party, especially as state legislatures will be in charge of congressional redistricting ahead of 2022 elections.

Go deeper: Forward Majority, a new super PAC, is raising $100m to help Democrats win state races ahead of the next round of congressional redistricting.

1. State House race for New Hampshire's 9th district

  • Democrat Charley St. Clair beat Republican Steven Whalley with 56% of the vote (he didn't run in 2016)
  • Seat formerly held by Republican Rep. Robert Fisher
  • He resigned in May after it was revealed he founded the controversial Reddit forum "Red Pill" and faced perjury charges
  • Trump won with 76% of the vote

2. State House race for New Hampshire's 6th district

  • Democrat Edith DesMarais beat Republican Matthew Plache with 52% of the vote (she didn't run in 2016)
  • Seat formerly held by Republican Harold Parker who resigned in December to become policy adviser to Gov. Chris Sununu
  • Trump won with 51% of the vote

3. State House race for Oklahoma's 75th district

  • Democrat Karen Gaddis beat Republican Tressa Nunley with 52% of the vote (she lost to the incumbent in 2016)
  • Seat formerly held by Republican Rep. Dan Kirby who resigned in February after two former aides accused him of sexual harassment, which he denied.
  • Trump with 58% of the vote

4. State Senate race for Oklahoma's 44th district

  • Democrat Michael Brooks beat Republican Joe Griffin with 52% of the vote (he lost to the incumbent in 2014)
  • Seat formerly held by Republican state Sen. Ralph Shortey who resigned in March after facing three felony charges related to alleged engagement in child prostitution
  • Trump won with 57% of the vote

5. State House race for Oklahoma's 46th district

  • Democrat Jacob Rosencrants beat Republican Darin Chambers with 60% of the vote (he lost to the incumbent in 2016)
  • Seat formerly held by Republican Rep. Scott Martin who resigned in March to become president of the Norman Chamber of Commerce
  • Interesting note: This district's vote completely flipped from last year to this year — in 2016, the Republican candidate won 60% of the vote and a Republican has held this seat since 1995.
  • Trump won with 57% of the vote

6. State Assembly race for New York's 9th district

  • Democrat Christine Pellegrino beat Republican Thomas Gargiulo with 52% of the vote
  • Seat formerly held by Republican Joseph Saladino who resigned in January to become town supervisor of Oyster Bay, NY.
  • Trump won with 60% of the vote

What to watch for: Republican state Sen. Bryce Marlatt of Oklahoma's 27th district resigned earlier this week after charges of sexual battery against a female Uber driver. There are now three vacant Senate seats up for grabs in Oklahoma, all previously held by Republicans. And two races in the special general election on Nov. 14: Oklahoma's House District 76 race, after the seat was left vacant following the death of Republican Rep. David Brumbaugh, and Oklahoma's Senate District 45 race, which is vacant after Republican state Sen. Kyle Loveless resigned amid allegations of campaign finance allegations. But even if they sweep these races, Democrats would be more than a dozen seats from a majority in Oklahoma's 101-seat House.

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