Left vs. center left
Moderate Democrats had a better night than progressives.
Eric Adams became New York’s mayor-elect, easily winning the general election after having relied on an anti-crime message to defeat more progressive candidates in the Democratic primary. In Buffalo, India Walton, a socialist running for mayor, appears to be trailing the incumbent, Byron Brown, a more moderate Democrat who lost in the primary but ran as a write-in candidate.
In the Seattle mayor’s race, Bruce Harrell, a Democrat who called for more police funding, is leading Lorena González, who endorsed cutting police budgets. And a law-and-order Republican, Ann Davison, is leading Nicole Thomas-Kennedy, a self-described police “abolitionist,” in the city attorney race.
Progressives did win some victories yesterday. Michelle Wu, a protégée of Senator Elizabeth Warren, will become the next mayor of Boston. Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Dearborn, Mich., elected progressive mayors as well. Larry Krasner, Philadelphia’s progressive district attorney, easily won re-election against a Republican challenger.
And Tucson overwhelmingly passed a measure to lift the minimum wage to $15 an hour — another economic issue on which the progressive position is popular nationally not only with Democratic voters but with many moderate and Republican voters too.
Overall, though, progressives are struggling to turn their activist energy into many electoral victories. They have won some political offices in deep blue places, as they did again last night, but very few in swing districts or states.
More election results
New York City: Alvin Bragg will become Manhattan’s first Black district attorney, inheriting an investigation into the Trump family business. Shahana Hanif, of Brooklyn, is the first Muslim woman elected to the City Council.