Updated: Nov 13
We are so thankful for the campaign workers, the candidates and volunteers who worked through one of the most difficult campaign years we have ever seen.
This year stood in marked contrast to 2018 where Democratic field efforts propelled so many new candidates to victory. In some ways, Democrats had hit a high ceiling for success in a 60 percent Democratic state with 58 seats in the House and 28 seats in the Senate. The room to grow was limited and stifled by the lack of traditional door to door organizing in swing districts. This was compounded by the disadvantage created by the redistricted map for legislative districts after 2010.
Even though in many ways (other than beating Donald Trump!), this was a status quo election in Congress and in our State Legislature, we are proud of the victories we had and the work we did to expand the map for Democrats.
Re-Electing Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal
This looked dicey after the primary with Reykdal down a few points behind his challenger. We worked with Chris to develop a statewide digital and call strategy. We want to thank Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal for working with us on great digital and cable spot in Seattle.
Our first U.S. Senate race!
We were proud to work with U.S. Senate candidate Paulette Jordan in Idaho. Paulette Jordan is a member of the Coeur'd'Alene tribe. Disappointingly, she was the only woman of color running for the U.S. Senate in 2020. We went to her hometown in De Smet, Idaho, shot an ad there and at her Uncle's farm. Idaho has a long way to go before it starts electing Democrats but Paulette ran a great campaign taking it to a forty year incumbent who needed the heat of a strong challenger campaign.
We are proud of our history of success increasing diversity at all levels of the ballot in Washington State. We were excited to see State Representative Davina Duerr elected for the first time to the State House. We were also honored to work with Sharonda Amamilo in her successful campaign for Thurston County Superior Court and to help elect Hillary Madsen, the youngest member of the King County Superior Court. One of the more exciting new organizations this year was started by WinPower client Senator Mona Das. Opportunity PAC did an incredible job lifting up the voices of the African-American women candidates this year. WinPower jumped in during the primary with direct mail to help April Berg and Jamila Taylor have strong primary victories and helping propel them to electoral victory in the fall.
In the tough loss category, we thought CASA Program Specialist and long-time Democratic Activist Tanisha Harris ran an amazing campaign for State House in East Vancouver but fell just short in this status quo campaign year.
Helping FUSE WA Flip The Pierce County Council Blue
We are always up for a FUSE project. They are always on the cutting edge pushing the envelope to bring in new dollars to progressive candidates and going the extra mile to get progressives elected. This time, we worked with them on an independent Digital advertising and direct mail campaign to help push Jani Hitchen over the top in her race for Pierce County Council. This gives Democrats the majority on the Pierce County Council for the first time in a very long time.
Protecting Democratic Incumbents
WinPower worked hard to protect long time incumbents at all levels of the ballot. We are proud of the re-elections of U.S. Representative Adam Smith, Senate Majority Leader Andy Billig, Senators Kevin Van De Wege, Mark Mullet, Lisa Wellman and Derek Stanford; State House members Monica Stonier, Mike Chapman, Steve Bergquist, Steve Tharinger, Bill Ramos, Lisa Callan and Mia Gregerson. Two tough losses here with the defeat of long time incumbents Zack Hudgins and Dean Takko.
Expanding the Map
WinPower prides itself in taking some of the toughest races in the state in rural and exurban parts of the district. Like so many others, we were frustrated to see so many Democratic donors and interest groups focused on races that between Democrats instead of putting those resources into electing more progressive Democrats around our state. We will always be ready to take challengers that are taking the hard step of taking on Republican incumbents in rural and exurban areas of the state to increase the quality of Representation throughout the whole state of Washington. These campaigns this year include Jamie Smith, Donna Sinclair, Darcy Huffman, Daniel Smith, Tom McGarry, Adrianne Moore and Sarah Rumbaugh.
A quick shout out to our friends over at Argo Strategies who did amazing work in Pierce County this year electing T'wina Nobles, Ryan Mello and Jani Hitchen. They also did a great job electing one of our favorite new legislators elected this year, Liz Berry. She is a tour de force and will be an amazing asset in the House Democratic Caucus.
We hope that all the campaigners who worked so hard in 2020 get a much needed break, that we get through this pandemic quickly (with the help of a new President), and people can enjoy the holidays safely.
We will be ready and excited to go to work again for progressive Democratic campaigns in 2021. Be safe.