A bunch of elections occurred across the US today. Being an off-year for the main federal elections, these elections were mostly of a state and local level, but were important all the same in deciding some important offices and issues, and more broadly for taking the temperature of the electorate. Off-year elections often have less turnout due to the lack of hype which would normally surround federal elections, but the turnout tends to also be more passionate, and so often serves as a good measure of what people think and what direction they want their local communities and the nation as a whole to go in. Just a year out from the presidential election, you can be sure that candidates on both sides will be paying close attention to today’s elections.
This is not a comprehensive list by any means, but a few of the results have stood out and proven to be good news.
Kentucky shows campaigning on a truly-believed conservative platform is a good thing
In Kentucky there is a new Governor. Matt Bevin, a Republican who certainly could not be considered to be an “establishment Republican” and who was not afraid to campaign strongly on conservative principles, won quite convincingly 52.5% to 43.8% over Democrat Jack Conway (a third-party candidate drew the remainder of the vote). Polls in Kentucky were very close, so this margin of victory is even more pleasing.
Republican Matt Bevin, a businessman and Tea Party favorite, beat Democrat Jack Conway on Tuesday to win the race for Kentucky governor — becoming only the second GOP governor in the state in four decades.
The off-year election, one of many state and local contests held Tuesday across the country, was seen by some as a test for outsider candidates at a time when several such candidates are seeking the GOP presidential nomination.
Throughout his campaign, Bevin cast himself as an outsider, in both government and politics. The 48-year-old investment manager has never held public office and was shunned by the state’s Republican political establishment when he challenged McConnell in the 2014 Senate primary. He never took any meaningful steps to repair those relationships after the race, often deflecting assistance from party officials and likely affecting his fundraising ability.
He relied more on the details of his personal story — his Christian faith and his four adopted children from Ethiopia — than his political policies.
Bevin’s campaign was mostly self-funded, and he preferred to speak to small gatherings of voters instead of courting influential donors.
He has promised some sweeping changes, most notably repealing the state’s expanded Medicaid program and kynect, the state-run health insurance exchange.
(h/t Fox News )
Mr. Bevin’s victory sends a strong message that voters will respond favourably to a candidate who stands for conservative principles, and having the support of the Republican hierarchy is not necessary. This is not unexpected given the failure of long-term Republicans at the federal level to adequately oppose Barack Obama’s policies despite being given a mandate for such opposition over multiple elections.
Matt Bevin strongly opposed Obamacare’s effects in Kentucky, and was also an ardent supporter of Kim Davis, the county clerk who was imprisoned for refusing to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples. One can hope that, despite Democrats still controlling the House in Kentucky, there will now be enough momentum for the marriage licence format to be changed to remove the name of the controlling clerk, as this was the change Kim Davis wanted so that her name would not be enshrined forever more on a document which violates her personal beliefs and the beliefs of the majority of people who voted for her.
Even left-leaning San Francisco has had enough of unfettered illegal immigration
In San Francisco, another hot topic of interest to national presidential campaigns was a deciding factor. The Sheriff of San Francisco was ousted over his support of San Francisco’s status as a “sanctuary city”, which basically means that the city deliberately helps illegal immigrants to evade federal immigration officials.
Embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi convincingly lost his bid for re-election Tuesday after spending months in the national spotlight as the face of his city’s controversial “sanctuary city” policy on illegal immigration.
Mirkarimi, 54, was defeated by Vicki Hennessy, a former sheriff’s official who had the endorsement of San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee and the sheriff deputies association. With 42 percent of precincts reporting, Henessy had received 63 percent of the vote to 31 percent for Mirkarimi.
Mirkarimi and his office received heavy criticism after Mexican illegal immigrant Francisco Sanchez allegedly shot and killed 32-year-old Kate Steinle on San Francisco’s waterfront July 1. Sanchez had been released from Mirkarimi’s jail in March even though federal immigration officials had requested that he be detained for possible deportation.
Hennessy has previously said the sheriff’s order barring the San Francisco jail from cooperating with immigration officials is misguided.
(h/t Fox News )
Illegal immigration is shaping up as one of the major issues in next year’s federal elections. The fact that a city which leans as far left as San Francisco has seen fit to at least start to take a stand against illegal immigration, shows that even places which have embraced illegal immigration are starting to see the error of their ways and the dangers of such policies.
Houston voters are smart enough to see through the bizarre discriminatory agenda buried in anti-discrimination ordinance
In Houston, a bizarre proposed ordinance which would have effectively turned all public toilets in to mixed-sex toilets has been overwhelmingly defeated by voters. The ordinance, which was a non-discrimination ordinance for all sexual persuasions other than straight people (yes, I’m trying to find a way to phrase this so as to avoid that silly ever-changing and expanding acronym), clearly went a few steps too far when it attempted to allow men in to the ladies room and vice-versa. Voters reacted as one would expect sane voters to react.
The Houston Equal Rights Ordinance was nicknamed HERO. It would have, among other things, allowed people with various sexual identities to use whatever bathroom of the sex they identified themselves as – regardless of their biological sex.
Opponents worried it could put women and children at risk. Pastors and their churches across the city fought the measure out of that concern and because of other language in the measure.
They say the way the law was written the city could fine and even imprison violators who did not make certain public accomodations.
Television station KHOU says those number were approximately two-thirds of the voters against the ordinance with a third for it.
(h/t CBN News )
It seems that efforts in other states to prevent Christians from living according to their own beliefs have had such negative effects that people are starting to wake up to the discriminatory agenda being pursued by many who claim to be against discrimination.
It is also clear that people are not comfortable with the relative safety of public toilets being diminished by the removal of gender segregation.
Hillary Clinton’s campaign suffers an indirect blow in potentially safe state of Virginia. (And voters are generally against more gun control)
Meanwhile in Virginia, a state which is seen as a potentially easy victory for Hillary Clinton next year (being just outside Washington D.C., large populated areas of Virginia are home to government many workers in much the same way that towns just outside Canberra are home to large numbers of typically left-leaning public servants), her hopes of winning the state have been dashed as Democrat governor Terry McAuliffe (who has an agenda which is quite similar to Hillary Clinton’s agenda) has been unable to convince voters to support his agenda by giving Democrats control of either the House or Senate.
Republicans held onto the Virginia Senate in fiercely contested elections Tuesday, leaving Gov. Terry McAuliffe without legislative leverage or political momentum as he works to deliver Virginia for his friend and ally Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2016.
The outcome was a blunt rebuke to McAuliffe (D), who had barnstormed the state with 24 events over the past four days and who portrayed the elections as a make-or-break moment for his progressive agenda.
All 140 seats in the General Assembly were on the ballot. But all eyes were on a handful of Senate seats that would decide whether Republicans held their 21-19 majority in Richmond’s upper chamber. Because the GOP dominates the House, flipping the Senate was the term-limited governor’s only hope for building a legislative legacy.
Democrats could have taken control by picking up just one seat because of the tie-breaking authority of Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D). But Republicans held all of their seats.
(h/t Laura Vozzella and Jenna Portnoy, The Washington Post  — emphasis added)
Virginia’s result is also good news for supporters of the 2nd amendment and gun rights. Significant efforts were made by a high-profile anti-gun group to elect Democrats who would degrade gun rights.
A stated goal of Everytown – a group founded by Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York – is to counter the political and financial influence of the National Rifle Association. Everytown has enjoyed some modest victories since 2013, and the outcome of the two Virginia Senate campaigns could signal important changes in the politics of gun control at the state level, as pro-gun control activists significantly outspend gun rights groups.
(h/t Henry Gass, Christian Science Monitor )
And how did that go? Well, as per the emphasis added to the previous article, Republicans held all of their seats.
It seems that conservatives have been willing to stand up and be counted. In most cases conservatives are the natural majority of the US population, but with optional voting it has been made very clear in recent elections that an underwhelming Republican candidate will not attract the voters and will often be defeated by the remaining voters on the Democrat side. Today’s results once again show that solid conservative candidates can and should win as long as they stand firm on conservative values. This is an important lesson to which the candidates for next year’s presidential election should pay very close attention.
Obviously not every election in the US went the way of conservatives, but the cases I have highlighted here are particularly important as they have occurred in places where conservatives have either struggled to win previously or were not expected to win this time around. It is indicative of a national mood which shows that if Republicans run a good conservative candidate for president next year instead of some uninspiring moderate establishment type (eg. Mitt Romney, John McCain, or to highlight a current possibility, Jeb Bush), then victory should be well within reach, and with it the start of the correcting of the course of the nation.