FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 8, 2017
Contact: Stephanie Reichin
New York – On an election day that was widely seen as a litmus test for future federal elections in the wake of President Trump’s unexpected 2016 victory, voters overwhelmingly supported advancing reproductive freedom, expanding access to health care, and electing progressives to local and state office across the country.
“Election Day 2017 was a referendum on the regressive policies of Donald Trump, and we heard voters say in a resounding voice, ‘enough is enough,’” said Andrea Miller, President of the NIRH Action Fund. “Access to abortion care, health care for low-income people, and the rights of the LGBTQ community, people of color, and immigrants were all on the ballot yesterday, and we saw voters ready to push back against the Trump agenda and forward on a progressive vision for cities, states, and this country.”
In Virginia’s crucial governor’s race, in which abortion rights was a decisive issue, Ralph Northam secured a massive victory. Virginians also came out to the polls in droves to make major gains in the House of Delegates – including electing the first Latinas to serve in the General Assembly in Elizabeth Guzman and Hala Ayala, and the first openly transgender state legislator Danica Roem, who beat the racist, homophobic, misogynist, 22-year incumbent Bob Marshall.
The NIRH Action Fund was proud to partner with NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia in their election efforts this year. As Tarina Keene, Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia said, “Starting with electing Ralph Northam as governor, Virginia got a slew of bright new voices committed to fighting for the rights and freedoms of all Virginians, not just the ideological few. It’s incredible to see the House of Delegates getting that much closer to becoming a truly representative body of Virginia.”
In New Jersey, voters elected Phil Murphy, who supports a woman’s right to control her body and her reproductive health, over Kim Guadagno, who has said she wants to defund Planned Parenthood.
In Maine, after the Trumpian Governor Paul LePage vetoed the expansion of Medicaid coverage several times, voters agreed to grant health care access to an estimated 70,000 low-income residents by a nearly 20-percentage point margin.
In Washington state, Manka Dhingra won her special election to deliver a state government fully supportive of progressive policies, including reproductive freedom.
At the local level, progressives won in mayoral and city council races in multiple cities, including Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City, Mayor Kaseem Reed of Atlanta, Mayor Marty Walsh of Boston, Mayor Byron Brown of Buffalo, Mayor Lovely Warren of Rochester, and Mayor Kathy Sheehan of Albany. Vi Lyles will become Charlotte’s first Black woman mayor, and Jenny Durkin will be Seattle’s first openly lesbian woman to become mayor.
“We’re seeing a nation that is angry about the path the federal government and many states are leading us down, and motivated to reclaim our power and change the direction we are moving,” Miller said. “Voters turned out in unexpectedly high numbers in local elections across the country, and shifted the balance of power in several states. These victories mean that we have the opportunity to continue to advance policies that safeguard access to abortion, contraception, and all reproductive health care. The NIRH Action Fund will continue to fight alongside our partners in states across the country to advance reproductive freedom every day.”
The NIRH Action Fund conducts nonpartisan advocacy and electoral engagement to advance reproductive freedom in states and cities across the country. The NIRH Action Fund PAC makes endorsements in New York State.