• Parody in Blue

The Midterms - Utah and Oklahoma!

OK let's head out west for more Red states that we shouldn't be writing off! Let's start with Utah.

Utah is an interesting place in that its very not pro-Trump, but pro-traditional Republican. Somehow, its Republicans are not getting tarred by being associated with Trump, despite none of them really doing anything to be a check on him.

Utah doesn't have a Governor's race this year, but it does have a Senate race! But there is no chance Dems win here, since Mitt Romney is running and he's suuuuuper popular. But we have a very respectable candidate in Jenny Wilson. And at any rate, I will not be sad to see Orrin Hatch go. At all.

UT is the last of the 4-Rep states, all are currently Republican held, and one of them is considered competitive! The closest to any Dem hope is UT4, which covers part of Salt Lake City and an area west and south of Provo. Incumbent Mia Love is being challenged by Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams. Cook has it rated as a tossup! It should be noted Dems have held this seat before, and its not a very old district, only being created in 2010.

At the state level, half of the State Senate is up! Republicans strongly control the chamber 24-5. The only seat that might be a potential pickup this year is SD8 (Salt Lake). Its a Red district, but narrowly. Our candidate is Kathleen Riebe.

The whole House is up, with Republicans having a 62-13 majority. Clinton did actually win a few districts, but mostly because Evan McMullin got a lot of NeverTrump Republican votes. Still, you never know. A couple of potential pickups:

HD10 (Ogden): A narrowly Red district, LaWanna Shurtliff is our candidate.

HD30 (West Valley City): Clinton actually won this district with a plurality, our candidate is Robert Burch Jr.

HD33 (West Valley City): Clinton actually did really well in this district, our candidate is Ira Hatch.

HD38 (Kearns): Another plurality Clinton win, our candidate is Edgar Harwood.

HD39 (Taylorsville): Same as 38, our candidate is Stephen Peck.

HD44 (Murray): Clinton actually got to 40% here, our candidate is Andrew Stoddard.

HD49 (Sandy): Trump very narrowly won here. Barely. Our candidate is Anthony Sudweeks.

HD54 (Herber): Trump won here, but Clinton got almost 40%. Meaghan Miller is our candidate.

Utah has a bunch of interesting ballot initiatives!

Amendment B: A proposal to allow property leased by the government not to pay property taxes, is a blatant giveaway to business interests.

Amendment C: A proposal to allow the legislature more special sessions. If the problem is the legislature doesn't meet often enough, why not just add another session instead of doing "special" sessions?

Opinion Question 1: so wouldn't do anything legal, but would allow people to weigh in on a gas tax. Its pretty clear that gas prices need to be higher to both pay for infrastructure and to mitigate the environmental impact of cars.

Prop 2: Medical marijuana! Of course anything that advances the cause of legalization is great! How long can the federal government hold out if like 40 states legalize marijuana??? Yes!

Prop 3: The Medicaid expansion! Another of my very favorite resolutions, getting health care to thousands of the poorest citizens! Yes!

Prop 4: Creating an independent redistricting commission. Another super great thing that is spreading to a lot of states, stopping state legislatures from drawing lines for themselves to help their party keep control or help incumbents stay in office, but to draw them fairly and ensure better representation. Yes!

On to Oklahoma! OK is usually deep Red, but it has Blue pockets, and it's teachers are FIRED UP!

For Governor, the departing Mary Fallin is very unpopular and her potential Republican replacement isn't much better. Leaving the door open to Former State AG Drew Edmundson to take the seat! There are also active races for all the state offices like Attorney General and State Treasurer.

No Senate races this year, but some possible House action! OK has 5 seats, and they are all very Red. The least Red though is OK5 (Oklahoma City and Shawnee). Our candidate to flip is former Congressional aid Kendra Horn. She is Emily's List endorsed!

At the State level, half the State Senate is up. Republicans have a 41-7 majority, so really there is nowhere to go but up? Still, Dems won 2 special elections in 2017, so you never know! None of the races are obvious pickups, but maybe SD40 (Oklahoma City). This district was almost evenly split in 2016, and its an open seat, with our candidate being Carri Hicks.

The whole State House is up. Republicans have a 74-27 majority. Potential pickups:

HD62 (Lawton): A narrowly Red district, our candidate is Larry Bush for this open seat.

HD66 (Sand Springs): This is a really deep Red district, but the candidate here, Angela Graham, is endorsed by both Emily's List and Our Revolution, so you never know!

HD71 (Tulsa): A Romney/Clinton district, our candidate is Denise Brewer, also an open seat. Emily's List endorsed!

Ballot measures! OK's aren't nearly as sexy as Utah's, with several technical and budget things. The budget ones in particular seem pretty useless. OK also has the Marsy's Crime Victim Law on the ballot, and as I noted when talking about another state, this is a boilerplate law with good intentions, but is opposed by the ACLU as being way too vague and not tailored to each state.

At the municipal level, there are a number of counties having elections for County Commissioner and other offices. Especially if your area is electing a District Attorney or Sheriff, make sure they are being asked about criminal justice reform!

And that's it! Let's surprise some Red states! #beavoter!!!!

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