2019 Strategy

Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana

Our 2019 Races: Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana

In 2019, we supported candidates in Virginia, Mississippi, and Louisiana – three of the four states that held general elections that year. We also supported one candidate in a Pennsylvania special election. Each candidate was running in a chamber that fit into our general political strategy of blue flips, blue holds, or blue inroads. They were also “Last Chance” races – the last elections before redistricting in 2021, in states where the legislature controls redistricting. In other words, whoever was elected in these races will draw their state’s next maps and have an opportunity to end – or extend – that state’s gerrymandering.

State Chamber(s) Type of Chamber(s) “Last Chance” Before Redistricting
Virginia Senate and House Blue Flips Yes
Louisiana Senate and House Blue Inroads Yes
Mississippi Senate and House Blue Inroads Yes

Virginia: a New Blue Trifecta

Senate and House of Delegates

Prior to 2019, Virginia was under a divided government: the Governor was a Democrat, while Republicans controlled both chambers of the legislature. The entire Virginia state legislature was up for election in 2019, and they were all Last Chance Races.

In 2019, Sister District returned to Virginia, where we got our start three years ago working on 13 races in the House of Delegates. This year, we helped seven new candidates to victory, and all of our 2017 alumni defend their seats. Democrats were down just two seats in each chamber when the night began, and ended with majorities in both—delivering a blue trifecta to VA for the first time in 25 years. 

Senate Before Election
Dems: 19 / Republicans: 20 / Vacant: 1

Senate After Election:
Dems: 21 / Republicans 19 / Vacant: 0

House Before Election:
Dems: 48 / Republicans: 51 / Vacant: 1

House After Election:
Dems: 54 / Republicans 43 / Undecided: 3

Blue Inroads: Mississippi

Senate and House

Mississippi is under Republican trifecta control: Republicans control the Governorship and both chambers of the legislature. The entire Mississippi state legislature was up for election in 2019, and they were all Last Chance races.

We celebrated our first win in the deep red South, with a victorious candidate in the Mississippi House of Representatives. Shanda Yates’ win shows what a hard-working, adequately-resourced, inspiring Democratic candidate can accomplish in difficult Trump-red turf.

While no chambers were flipped, Shanda Yates’ success is a true triumph. No Democrat had run for this seat in decades, and the Republican incumbent she faced had been in office since she was seven. Trump carried the district in 2016, and Clinton only received 44% of the vote. This was tough turf for a Democrat. But Shanda was willing to do the work. She worked closely with our Head of Campaigns Brandon Turner to develop a top-shelf field and fundraising plan, and stuck to it every day.

Senate Before Election
Dems: 18/ Republicans: 31 / Vacant: 3

Senate After Election:
Dems: 16 / Republicans 36 / Vacant: 0

House Before Election:
Dems: 44 / Republicans: 74 / Independents: 2 / Vacant: 2

House After Election:
Dems: 43 / Republicans 74 / Independents: 1 / Undecided: 4

Blue Inroads: Louisiana

House of Representatives

Louisiana is currently under divided government: the Governor is a Democrat, while Republicans control both chambers of the legislature.The entire Louisiana state legislature was up for election in 2019, and they were all Last Chance races.

Interestingly, about 40% of the state leg seats were open in 2019 because of term limits. While our candidate in Louisiana lost a close race, Democratic Governor John Bel Edwards held on to his seat. And since the Louisiana Governor has veto power over district maps, it is critically important that Democrats kept Edwards in the Governor’s mansion.