The recent round of big-city elections seem to indicate a shifting political landscape. And, it appears to be heading leftward.
In Boston, Martin Walsh, a former labor leader in the city’s building trades, ran for mayor against a long-time city politician in what some called the first competitive race in three decades--and won. In Seattle, Kshama Sawant, an activist backed by the group Socialist Alternative, raked in 35 percent of the votein her bid for a City Council seat. Although the race has yet to be decided, Sawant is neck-to-neck with her opponent. Closer to home in Minneapolis, Ty Moore, also with Socialist Alternative, won 38 percent of the vote for a City Council, only 3 percentage points lessthan the eventual winner.
And New York City’s election of Bill de Blasio, a progressive Democrat, ended two decades of Republican mayoral control, with some hailing his victory as a “new era of liberal governance.”
While not all were decisive wins for progressives, these results show a support for liberal or left-leaning candidates in local elections that hasn’t been seen in years. On the other hand, Nancy Wade, a Green Party candidate in Illinois who ran for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 5th District only received 5.7 percent of the vote.
These results play out nationally as discontent grows within Chicago’s progressive quarters that are taking aim at policies like the Chicago Transit Authority’s Ventra deal and the largest mass school closure in American history that took place over the summer.
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