This story originally appeared in The Intercept and details the difficultly in progressive candidates making in-roads into the Democratic Party machine. We have seen evidence of this in Cape May County as well, and it’s something we need to continue to watch.
n the wake of the 2016 election, a group of despairing Democrats in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, formed a new political group to ensure that they would never be out-organized locally again. Faith leaders, small-business owners, social workers, nonprofit leaders, teachers, and students joined together as part of the historic dusting-off that was taking place all across the country. The group, which came to call itself Lancaster Stands Up, put its energy toward defending the Affordable Care Act from its multiple assaults in Washington and fending off the tea party-dominated state legislature in Harrisburg.
The group’s town halls and protests began to draw eye-popping numbers of people and even attracted national attention. With their newfound confidence, Lancaster progressives looked toward local and federal elections. The national press was captivated by the upsets across the state of Virginia in November, but that same night in Pennsylvania, Democrats across the state in local elections knocked Republicans out of seats they’d owned forever. The surge suggested that capturing the congressional seat covering Lancaster and Reading, which Democrats lost by 11 points in 2016, was well within reach.
In June, one of their own, Jess King, who heads a nonprofit that helps struggling women start and run small businesses in the area, announced that she would be running to take out Republican Rep. Lloyd Smucker in Pennsylvania’s 16th District. Nick Martin, her field director and another co-founder of Lancaster Stands Up, was a leading activist in the popular and robust local anti-pipeline movement, an organized network King was able to tap into.
Read the rest of the article atThe Intercept.