Progressive Women & Newcomers Earn Big Wins In Southern Democratic Primaries


By Jessica Taylor & Scott Detrow
NPR (5/22/18)

Tuesday was another big night for Democratic women and political newcomers in the party, with a historic nomination in Georgia, an intra-party squabble settled in Texas and an upset victory in a Kentucky House race.

The day’s contests featured Democratic ideological and stylistic battles, but in the end the national party largely got the candidates they wanted — especially in critical Texas — that they believe will be the most competitive general election nominees.

Stacey Abrams easily won the Democratic nod for governor in Georgia, beating fellow former state legislator Stacey Evans with her argument that firing up the base is the best way to win in a conservative state, instead of primarily focusing on flipping moderates. Abrams still faces a tough general election, but if she wins in November she’d be the first African-American female governor in U.S. history. With her primary win, she’s already the first black woman ever to be nominated for governor by a major political party.

The progressive vs. pragmatic divide framed a big race in Texas, where activists had placed their hopes in Laura Moser. She was targeted by national Democrats who thought she was too liberal to flip a swing district in the Houston suburbs. The populist left had tried to to score more wins after finally bringing the fight to party leaders by defeating their favored candidate in a Nebraska primary last week, but ultimately they came up short this week with Moser losing handily to Lizzie Fletcher, herself a first-time candidate. …

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