Pro-choice women win on Election Day
From Emily's List:
Former Gloucester Township Mayor Sandi Love defeated her Republican opponents Agnes Gardiner and Patricia Fratticcioli for a different type of political seat. Now a member of New Jersey's Assembly District 4, Love brings to the table her years of experience both as mayor, and legislative aide to former Assemblywoman Ann Mullen, along with organizational experience such as chairing the Hurricane Katrina Relief Fund which helped raise over $150,000 in money and services. Her opponents were faced with a struggle from the beginning by taking on a competitor such as Love, who is a popular face in the largely Democratic district.
Janet Oleszek is currently within 46 votes of defeating ultra-conservative Republican incumbent Ken Cuccinelli, II in Virginia's State Senate District 37. Oleszek’s deep involvement in the community and being a sitting member of the school board proved to be important contrasts to Cuccinelli’s strict conservative policies. This race has also gone to a recount.
Margi Vanderhye gained control of the formerly Republican seat in Virginia’s House District 34 by defeating Dave Hunt. This seat has not been held by a Democrat in over 40 years! Vanderhye was appointed by Gov. Mark Warner and re-appointed by Gov. Tim Kaine to the northern Virginia transportation authority, with background also in the National Capitol Planning Commission. Vanderhye won with 51 percent of the vote in her favor.
Marion Tasco, first elected in 1987, won re-election to the Philadelphia city council. Tasco is an African American woman who is extremely influential in both city and state politics. Known as a mentor for many other women candidates, Tasco has assisted other aspiring candidates including now-Rep. Allyson Schwartz.
Maria Quiones Sanchez is a rising star with a long future of public service ahead. Running in a district described as the most gerrymandered in the U.S., Quiones Sanchez was re-elected to the Philadelphia city council with 78 percent of the vote. Quiones Sanchez is a long time community activist who ran an energetic grassroots campaign to defeat her opponents.
In Ward 1 for the Tucson City Council race, Regina Romero won 81 percent of the vote. Romero will be the first Latina elected to the Tucson City Council and first woman to represent Ward 1.
Sheila Dixon, the hard-driving West Baltimore politician who became Baltimore's first woman mayor, easily won the mayoral general election with 88 percent of the vote. "We're up for it," Dixon said during a victory speech delivered at her campaign headquarters on Eutaw Street, where she was joined by the other elected women. "We're up for moving this city a lot further than even it is today."
Jill Duson, a two term incumbent, was once again re-elected with 28 percent of the vote to the Portland, Maine, City Council. Duson is the first African American woman to serve on the Portland City Council. Duson is a progressive advocate in her community; she recently supported a successful domestic partnership ordinance in Portland to ensure all city employees are given equal health care benefits.
Kate Browning, a school bus driver from Shirley, New York, was re-elected to the Suffolk County Legislature with 56 percent of the vote. Browning quickly became the top target of Republicans on Long Island with the recognition that this county legislative seat is critical to the Senate race in 2008. Browning is a rising star with great potential for moving up the electoral ladder in the future. She ran an enthusiastic campaign that included daily canvasses and a volunteer implemented door-to-door program.
Jolanda Jones is headed to a run-off in her race for Houston City Council after being the top vote-getter on Nov. 6. Jones is a graduate of the University of Houston, where she was nominated for the Rhodes Scholarship and won the title of Greatest Female Athlete of the Century. She then went on to earn her J.D. from the University of Houston Law Center. Jones was the only woman in the crowded eight candidate race, which also included a right-wing Republican who had strong grassroots support. Jones vows to fight to make Houston’s neighborhoods safer, keep the economy growing, and ensure that every child in Houston has the best opportunity to learn.