Notes from the Chair – Looking Towards 2018 Elections

Notes from the Chair – Looking Towards 2018 Elections

Fellow Democrats,

It’s November 8th, 2017. Remember last November 8th?

One year ago today was a rough night. Hopes of electing the first woman president were dashed, leaving us instead with the frightening prospect of Donald Trump in the White House. It turns out, we were right to be scared.
We also saw several excellent candidates for state and local races lose. What had been planned as a rockin’ celebration at the Blue Note took on a gloomy tone.

I don’t ever want to spend a night like that again. Among the trinkets in my office is a VIP ticket from the inauguration in Jefferson City the following January. Again, a gloomy day for Democrats, but I keep that prominently displayed in my office. I don’t ever want to forget that day, and don’t ever want to spend an inauguration day like that again, either.

But on this November 8th, my mood is anything but gloomy. Yesterday was the start of serious momentum heading into 2018. The results from Virginia, for example, were so encouraging. A tough race for governor was won by Democrat Ralph Northam. Several seats were flipped in Virginia’s House of Delegates, and a blow was struck for equality when a sharply homophobic delegate was defeated by Danica Roem, a transgendered woman. I watched her celebrate and thought of all the people who’ve fought with courage against bigotry for so many years and now get to see real results.

We have to use this momentum, to make progress in our own Missouri legislature. I’m disappointed that Hillary Shields was unsuccessful in her run for SD-8. But she made that race far closer than anyone could have thought a few months ago, and like our own Michela Skelton, I’m hearing that Hillary will run again.

The process of getting ready for November 6, 2018 has already begun. We are working with the Missouri State Democratic Party on identifying candidates for house seats currently occupied by Republicans. I recently met with Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill and I am looking forward to many outstanding Democrats in our county government running for re-election. Dan will officially announce his candidacy for re-election tomorrow. State Auditor Nicole Gallaway will have a campaign reception in Columbia next week. And we are excited to welcome U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill to Columbia as the keynote speaker at our chili supper in January. Watch this space for details soon.

We all have a lot of work to do to make sure we have a successful election night next November. But if last night was any indication, we have a lot of reason for optimism. We will have a strong story to tell, and outstanding Democratic candidates on the ballot top to bottom to represent our principles. Now, it’s up to us. Let’s do the work we need to support our candidates and our party.

And let’s plan on a big, and happy, election night celebration next November.

Darren Hellwege
Chair, Boone County Democratic Party