Collin County Politics: A Broader Look at the 2023 Election

November 11, 2023

I’m all about local politics. It’s where we have the most influence and where the decisions that impact us the most are made. However, I’m going to stray from that for this column because it’s important to realize just how great last Tuesday’s election was for Democrats. And liberal Texans need to hear that! When you live in a one-party rule state where most voters are clueless sheep (looking straight at you, Republicans!), it tends to get depressing. Hope is important, especially for us.

Before I dig in though, I want to take a minute to discuss our local Texas results. As expected, most of the 14 constitutional amendments on the ballot passed. Although disappointing, this was not a surprise. Almost 96% of all constitutional amendments pass. Remember the clueless sheep comment? Yep. The only amendment that didn’t pass was Proposition 13 which would’ve allowed judges to retire at a later age. Draw your own conclusions as to why.

In Collin County, despite my best efforts, all 5 bond proposals passed. This also wasn’t a surprise as few voters do their homework or even know much about the Commissioner’s Court and their pathetic leadership. Plus, few people turn out for such a boring election. Only 13.91% of the county’s registered voters even bothered to show up. Remember that low number when we get to Mississippi’s turnout because they absolutely blew us out of the water.

Onto the more hopeful national results!

Moms for Liberty Ran into a Wall of Democracy

The biggest losers of Tuesday night – and the defeats most delightful to write about – were candidates endorsed by the hate group, Moms for Liberty (MfL). If you don’t know much about this group, you’ll get the drift when I tell you that they’re also called Monsters for Liberty and Klanned Karenhood (to name a few). The media tends to portray them as a grassroots group but they’re not. They have ties to the Heritage Foundation, the Koch network, and other GOP heavy hitters. These people mean business (of the fascist kind), so it’s even more fun to see them fall flat on their faces this week.

On Tuesday, every single MfL endorsed candidate in Minnesota, Kansas, North Carolina, and Washington lost their race. They backed 14 candidates in ruby-red Iowa but only one won. In Virginia, of the 6 MfL backed candidates, only one was successful. In Ohio, only 5 of the 25 MfL-supported candidates won. MfL fielded 19 candidates in New Jersey but only 4 won. Colorado ousted most of their MfL candidates and, in Pennsylvania, things got so bad for the group that some of the candidates refused their endorsement! Super! Fun! It’s almost as if most Americans don’t like book-banning, Nazi-loving, fascists.

Austin Isn’t the Only Blueberry in the Tomato Soup

On Tuesday night, Republicans found out that not all red areas remain red because a lot of people actually like Democratic values. In Rabun County, Georgia (an R +31 county), two Democrats won seats in city council elections. In Idaho (an incredibly conservative state), the city of Boise decisively re-elected Mayor Lauren McLean. I guess they like her emphasis on equitable access to housing, living wage jobs, and climate change. In Indiana, the city of Indianapolis rejected Trump’s pick for mayor and re-elected Mayor Joe Hogsett and the city of Evansville elected Stephanie Terry, its first female and person of color mayor. Keep this up, Indiana, and I might not be sorry I ever lived there!

Some Swing States are Looking a Little Less Swing-y

In Michigan, at least one red area is becoming bluer. Democrat Lori Stone was elected as mayor in Warren, a city smack dab in the middle of MAGA Macomb County. She will be the city’s first female top officeholder. But the wins don’t stop there! Warren’s 3 full-time officeholders will be women, as will 3 out of 7 members of the city council. This election also saw the election of Melody Magee, the first resident of color to be elected to the city council. Michigan’s neighbor Ohio outdid themselves. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard that Ohio voters not only enshrined reproductive rights into their constitution but also legalized marijuana. Imagine if we could do that in Texas!

In Pennsylvania, not only did voters send the Moms for Liberty school board candidates packing in Central Bucks and Pennridge school boards but Democrats won all 5 seats for the Norwin School Board which is located in ruby-red Westmoreland County! In a great day for justice, Democrats won all 4 four statewide judicial races, including an open seat on the state’s highest court. Virginia voters thumbed their noses at Governor Fleece Vest. They not only held the state senate but flipped the state house, leading the way for Don Scott to become the first black speaker in the state. Not too shabby for a state that once was the capitol of the Confederacy! Isn’t this fun?

Blue States Show a Lot of Republicans the Door

Even blue states have red areas but, after Tuesday, there are fewer of them. Multiple towns in Connecticut flipped from red to blue, including Danbury. The New Jersey state senate and house both turned blue. In New York, Democrats gained control of the Monroe County legislature which had been under Republican control for almost 30 years. New Yorkers also elected Yusef Salaam – one of the Central Park 5 – to a New York City council seat. Take that, Trumpolini! In Spokane, Washington, liberal city council candidates won 3 of the 4 races and Lisa Brown was elected mayor. The embattled city now has a liberal supermajority on the city council. Republican special interests spent more money there than they did anywhere else in the state and it turns out they wasted their money. Hahahahaha!!! More of that, please.

Even a Big Loss Was Important

In super-red Mississippi, the governor’s race should’ve been a slam dunk. It wasn’t. Incumbent Tate Reeves was almost unseated by Democrat Brandon Presley (yes, of those Presleys). But perhaps he actually was unseated. At least 9 (!!!) Hinds County polling locations – an area that includes the nearly 83% black capitol of Jackson – ran out of ballots with thousands of people waiting to vote. A circuit judge denied a request to keep the polls open until 9 p.m. as advocates of democracy requested. Given the problems with polling locations, no one knows the number of people who left without voting or were turned away.

Reeves “won” by about 40,000 votes, an incredibly close race considering that 800,000 people cast ballots. In a state of 1.75 million registered voters, turnout was a little less than 50%. I can’t even remember the last time Texas elections garnered even close to that percentage of participation! Why is this loss important? Because it shows how close Republicans were to losing what should’ve been a safe race. It also demonstrates just how willing they are to subvert democracy to get what they want. We must all take note and be prepared to do what we must in 2024.

Our Takeaways

What should we here in Texas take away from these election results? From all the Democratic wins, we can conclude that there are more people who value democracy and liberal values than those who don’t. We just need to organize and outvote them. It can be done but we all must do our part. That means voting in every single election and being civically engaged.

But from the Mississippi debacle, we must realize that we’re up against unscrupulous enemies and we must be prepared to protest however we can. After all, Ted Cruz is on the ballot in 2024 and I’m sure you recall what happened last time he ran. Let’s not let him get away with cheating (or anything else) ever again. I don’t think I can stand it. Can you?

Comments 1

  1. Thanks for this hopeful report. It left me smiling! Let’s hope that Texas can have some of the same kind of turnarounds in 2024.

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