AFSCME Members Help Secure Pro-Worker Victories Nationwide

Election Day 2019 was a big victory for working families. In states and cities across the country, they made their voices heard, electing pro-worker candidates for state and local government and providing further evidence of growing political momentum for working people.

From Arizona to Pennsylvania, from Minnesota to Texas, working families came out on Tuesday to elect candidates who support worker rights, greater access to health care, expanding voting rights, making it easier for workers to form unions, providing quality public services and more.

Voters in Virginia elected the most pro-worker legislature in a generation, while in Kentucky they rejected a divisive chief executive and picked someone new.

“Virginians have elected the most worker-friendly state legislature in at least 25 years and Andy Beshear’s victory in Kentucky is an unmistakable rejection of a brand of politics – one of division and one that favors the wealthy and well-connected over hardworking people,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders in a statement. “In both states, voters have cast their ballots for an agenda that puts working families first and gives Virginians and Kentuckians greater freedom to have a seat at the table and strengthen their communities.”

Many union members, including AFSCME members, contributed to these victories through one-on-one conversations with voters and get-out-the-vote campaigns.

Here are some of the highlights from Election Day 2019:

  • In Virginia, worker-friendly lawmakers now have their first trifecta in the commonwealth – they control the governor’s mansion, the state House of Delegates and the state Senate. Among the delegates who won reelection was AFSCME member Elizabeth Guzman, who was first elected in 2017.
  • In Kentucky, AFSCME-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Andy Beshear won with 49.2% of the vote, a margin of 5,150 votes, against Gov. Matt Bevin, a vocal ally of President Donald Trump. Voter turnout exceeded expectations.
  • In Pennsylvania, AFSCME-endorsed candidates won big in Philadelphia, including Mayor Jim Kenney, who won re-election in a landslide. And in the highly contested races for the city’s seven council at-large seats, all five of the AFSCME-endorsed candidates came out on top.
  • In Arizona, AFSCME-endorsed Tucson mayoral candidate Regina Romero rolled over her general election opponent (an independent) 55.7%-39.7%, becoming the city’s first Latina mayor.
  • In Texas, all AFSCME-endorsed candidates for the Houston City Council were successful. Three candidates won outright and four others made it to a December runoff, including HOPE Local 123 member Sandra Rodriguez.
  • In New Jersey, AFSCME members worked hard to protect large, pro-worker majorities in the state legislature. Members also succeeded in winning a number of local races across the Garden State, especially in Mercer County, where they were particularly active.
  • In Minnesota, six of seven AFSCME-endorsed candidates for the St. Paul City Council won their races.

These and other victories on Tuesday make it clear that working people are eager to make their voices heard. As Saunders put it, “These wins are further evidence of growing grassroots and political momentum in favor of working people. With a powerful wind at our backs, we will continue this momentum by working with these newly elected champions of working people to raise wages and expand access to public services that make our communities stronger.”