Through the work of DFER partner Education Reform Now Advocacy (ERNA), this election season, we helped secure several crucial wins, both at the federal and local levels, including the re-election of longtime DFER Champion Sen. Patty Murray in Washington state, the re-election of DFER supported Sen. Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, the election of Wes Moore to the Governor’s mansion in Maryland, and the re-election of Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia.
DFER also continued to invest in and develop voter targeting, polling, viability analysis and tactic selection which resulted in winning 47 of the 52 races the campaigns team supported or directly managed. DFER produced candidate research, turnout analysis, campaign finance summaries and polling across more than 100 races.
DFER Champion Governor Jared Polis secured a second term by a nearly a 20 percentage-point margin, while fellow DFER Champion Michael Bennet, a longtime friend of education reform, retained his seat in the US Senate by a 15 percentage-point margin. Longtime DFER Champion Brittany Pettersen made the jump from the state legislature to the US House of Representatives, winning her bid for the Congressional District 7 seat. Education ally Yadira Caraveo also moved from the state to US House, winning her race for Congressional District 8. This means that in Colorado, both US Senate seats, five of eight Congressional Seats, and all of the statewide offices are held by Democrats.
Additionally, Democrats were able to retain and expand their control of the State Board of Education with a 6 – 3 majority by re-electing Board Member Rebecca McClellan, electing Kathy Plomer to a new at large seat, and electing Rhonda Solis to the new Congressional District 8 seat.
Democrats also unexpectedly expanded majorities in the State House, and the State Senate in a highly competitive election year. Democrats now control the State House with a 46-19 majority. DFER celebrates the wins of Representatives Julie McCluskie, Regina English, Marc Snyder, Lindsey Daugherty, Meghan Lukens, Brianna Titone, Sheila Leider, William Lindstedt, Jenny Willford, Ruby Dickson, David Ortiz, Tisha Mauro, Mary Young, and Barbara McLachlan. Dems now have a 22-13 seat majority in the State Senate with the DFER supported election success of Senators Nick Hinrichsen, Dylan Roberts, Tony Exum, Lisa Cutter, Kyle Mullica, Faith Winter, and Tom Sullivan.
DFER Colorado looks forward to working with these returning champions and new members to do what’s best for kids in the upcoming session!
Democrats swept in Connecticut, securing reelection for Governor Ned Lamont and US Senator Richard Blumenthal, winning all five US House races, and taking all races for the constitutional offices—Secretary of the State, Treasurer, Comptroller, and Attorney General. In addition, the outcomes of the state legislative races expanded Democratic majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.
For DFER partner ERNA CT’s part, the team sent 224,000 Get Out the Vote (GOTV) text messages to targeted voters, including voters under 30 and voters of color in four key counties. These regions included Jahana Hayes’ highly competitive US House seat won by just 1,961 votes, or less than 1%, and several legislative races that were high priority flips and seats Democrats saw as very competitive. ERNA CT also conducted polling by SurveyUSA this election season to help candidates understand voter sentiment on education and intersectional issues- supporting their work as they campaigned. ERNA CT sees themselves in an extremely strong position with these electoral outcomes to continue the systemic changes we have been at the center of for several years.
Seven DFER DC-supported candidates won their respective races in the DC November General Election! These wins are crucial for the continuation of DFER DC’s education agenda. We look forward to working with all elected officials to ensure the District advances policies that are just and equitable and put our student’s education first.
DFER DC WINS:
- Mayor of the District of Columbia: Muriel Bowser
- Chairman of the Council of the District of Columbia: Phil Mendelson
- U.S. Representative of the District of Columbia: Oye Owolewa
- At-Large Council of the District of Columbia (D): Anita Bonds
- At-Large Council of the District of Columbia (I): Kenyan McDuffie
- Ward 3 State Board of Education: Eric Goulet
- Ward 6 State Board of Education: Brandon Best
DFER LA saw the re-election of Troy Carter to Congress, a longtime DFER Champion whom DFER LA has worked closely with in support of students and parents at the federal level. DFER LA also celebrated the election of Royce Duplessis to the state Senate, and looks forward to working with him in the upper chamber.
DFER LA WINS:
- Baton Rouge School Board:
- District 2: Incumbent Dadrius Lanus wins re-election.
- District 3: Carla Powell, a first time-candidate and educator was elected to the district’s open seat.
- District 4: Shashonnie Steward replaced Dawn Collins.
- District 5: Cliff “Coach” Lewis bested long-term incumbent Evelyn Ware-Jackson.
- Orleans Parish School Board District 1: Leila J. Eames, previously appointed to fill the seat upon John Brown’s resignation, wins her special election.
- U.S. Congress, LA District 2: Troy A. Carter handily won re-election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- State Senate District 5: Rep. Royce Duplessis won his special election to the Louisiana State Senate.
Furthermore, first time candidate and criminal justice professional Shashonnie Steward is scheduled to partake in a runoff later this month.
Longtime DFER champion and former Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell won the race for Attorney General, becoming the first Black woman to win statewide in Massachusetts one year after placing third in the Boston mayoral contest. Additionally, the Commonwealth elected a nearly all-female slate to fill the state’s Constitutional offices, including its first elected woman and first LGBTQ governor, current Attorney General Maura Healey, and Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll as Lieutenant Governor. Massachusetts and Arkansas will be the first states in the nation to have women serving as both governor and lieutenant governor come January. Furthermore, when the state legislature is sworn in on Jan. 4, it will also make history by being the most diverse group ever to take office, proving that thoughtful and strategic redistricting every 10 years can yield positive results for historically underrepresented communities.
DFER MA WINS:
- Attorney General: Andrea Campbell
- First Essex District: Senator-elect Pavel Payano
- Seventh Essex District: Representative-elect Manny Cruz
- Sixteenth Essex District: Francisco Paulino
- Fourth Essex District: Estela Reyes
- Sixth Middlesex District: Priscila Sousa
- Fifth Suffolk District: Christopher Worrell
- Second Essex and Middlesex District: Senator Barry Finegold
- Fourteenth Norfolk District: Representative Alice Peisch
- Suffolk County District Attorney: Kevin Hayden
DFER NY’s victories were headlined by Kathy Hochul, who became the first-ever woman elected Governor of New York after openly supporting raising the public charter school cap.
DFER NY also expanded its Assembly Champions Initiative, helping elect nearly a dozen candidates in the primary and general elections through its political action committee and independent expenditure committee, including newly elected John Zaccaro Jr., a charter school parent, who also spoke in favor of raising the charter school cap and investing in high quality schools.
In the state senate, DFER NY won 83% of its races, helping to elect five senators. DFER NY looks forward to working with these and all of our champions of education to reform and improve equity for all students in New York State.
- Assembly District 43: Brian Cunningham, raised in the Flatbush neighborhood of Brooklyn, son of Jamaican immigrants and attended traditional public schools, has multiple family members who have worked in NYC charter schools and is committed to supporting parent choice.
- Assembly District 68: New York’s first formerly incarcerated Assembly Member Eddie Gibbs, the grandfather and primary caretaker of Success Academy students, was elected to a full term, after a hard fought primary, in which DFER NY worked diligently to secure his victory.
- Assembly District 71: Al Taylor has been among the most passionate supporters of DFER NY’s Albany agenda.
- Assembly District 78: George Alvarez, supported by Rep. Adriano Espaillat and New York City Councilmember Oswald Feliz, cruised to victory after upsetting a longtime incumbent in the primary. Alvarez is also a charter school parent.
- Assembly District 80: John Zaccaro Jr. is the father of two charter school students and the former chief of staff to NYC Council Member Salamanca.
- Senate District 6: Kevin Thomas won reelection on Long Island. He has championed education reform since he took office. DFER was the first education reform group to support Thomas in 2018 via an independent expenditure and has continued to support him in each election since.
- Senate District 23: Jessica Scarcella-Spanton won a competitive race for an open seat to represent Staten Island and Brooklyn. Spanton was endorsed by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries.
- Senate District 56: Jeremy Cooney won a tight election to return to the state senate. DFER NY ran the only IE for Cooney and this support is a continued partnership including DFER NY’s IEs in both 2018 and 2020.
Backed by DFER’s national PAC, Rep. Joe Morelle won a third term representing the 25th Congressional District in the US House of Representatives.
Last month, DFER TX and its aligned PAC, Legacy 44 (L44), successfully won three of the four general election contests in races for the Texas House in addition to successful victories by L44 supported primary candidates in safe Democratic districts. The 2022 investments made by DFER and L44 have helped solidify and expand the bloc of pro-education reform Democrats at the Texas Capitol as we approach the next legislative session.
DFER-TX/L44 ELECTION WINS:
- Texas House District 22: State Representative-elect Christian Manuel Hayes
- Texas House District 35: State Representative Oscar Longoria
- Texas House District 74: State Representative Eddie Morales
- Texas House District 124: State Representative-elect Josey Garcia
- Texas House District 50: State Representative James Talarico
- Texas House District 42: State Representative Richard Peña Raymond
- Texas SBOE District 4: SBOE Member-elect Staci Childs
LEADERS OF COLOR
The Leaders of Color program works to get more Black and Hispanic people in positions of power to advance education equity. Eight Leaders of Color proudly ran in the midterm elections in Louisiana, New York, and Washington D.C. The team is excited to announce that six midterm candidates have been elected. Taken together, these newly elected leaders join 17 Leaders of Color who have been elected or appointed across program sites this year!
LEADERS OF COLOR WINS:
- East Baton Rouge School Board District 3: Carla Powell (Louisiana)
- East Baton Rouge School Board District 5: Cliff Lewis (Louisiana)
- DC Commissioner 8C02: Joyce Doyle (Washington, DC)
- The Bronx Civil Court Judge: Yadhira Gonzalez-Taylor (New York)
- ANC Commissioner 7E01: Katrina Norman (Washington, DC)
- ANC Commissioner 7E05: Timothy Howard (Washington, DC)
- Memphis-Shelby County Commissioner District 6: Charlie Caswell
- Memphis-Shelby County Commissioner District 12: Erika Sugarmon
- Memphis-Shelby County Commissioner District 10: Britney Thornton
- Memphis-Shelby County School Board District 7: Frank Johnson
- Louisiana State Representative, District 101: Vanessa LaFleur