Democratic gubernatorial setbacks, House victory

Herb Boyd | 11/8/2018, 11:28 a.m.

The news wasn’t good for the two African-American Democratic gubernatorial candidates in Georgia and Florida. Andrew Gillum was defeated by Ron DeSantis in Florida, and Stacey Abrams has apparently lost to Brian Kemp in Georgia, although Abrams, unlike Gillum, has yet to concede as of Wednesday morning.

“Across our state,” Abrams declared Tuesday evening, “folks are opening up the dreams of voters in absentee ballots, and we believe our chance for a stronger Georgia is just within reach. But we cannot seize it until all voices are heard. And I promise you tonight, we’re going to make sure that every vote is counted.”

As we go to press, Kemp, the secretary of state, with almost all the precincts reported, has 50.5 percent and Abrams has 48.6 percent of the tally. The remaining percentage belongs to the Libertarian candidate Ted Metz.

If Abrams is to close the gap, she will have to gain in the absentee ballots and the unofficial count in heavily Democratic leaning counties.

Meanwhile, before midnight in Florida, Gillum conceded the race to his Republican opponent, where it was a closer contest with DeSantis polling 49.7 percent of the vote and Gillum garnering 49 percent.

“We could not be prouder of the way we ran this race,” said Gillum, the mayor of Tallahassee, speaking to a crowd at Florida A&M University. “We recognize that we didn’t win this tonight.” But, with tears nearly forming in his eyes, Gillum said, “Are we going to wake up and bask in sorrow and defeat? Or are we going to get up and reassert ourselves at the mission at hand?”

The gubernatorial setbacks in Georgia and Florida for the Democrats are somewhat mollified by the retaking of the U.S. House of Representatives. Although the count is not official yet, the Dems apparently have the victories they sought to regain the House, and late Tuesday evening, Nancy Pelosi, the top Dem in the House, said, “We all have had enough division. The American people want peace. They want results. They want us to work for positive results for their lives.”

Even so, as she addressed the need for peace and unity, the Congress remains divided with the Senate still in control of the GOP.

And if the midterm election was about a referendum on Trump, the results are as mixed as ever, although with the House in Democratic hands, some of Trump’s plans will be solidly contested.

Maybe now his tax refunds records can be brought to the surface and affordable health care provisions protected.

Moreover, with the Dems now in charge, Rep. Maxine Waters, likely to chair the House Financial Services Committee, will have the subpoena power to get information from the president and the executive branch, and resume her march toward his impeachment.