Let's savor the moment: Last night, with the help of the Daily Kos community, Democrat Leanne Krueger-Braneky pulled off an upset and picked up a seat in the Pennsylvania state House that had been held by the GOP since 2010. Krueger-Braneky defeated Republican Paul Mullen by a 48-42 margin, which only amounted to around 500 votes. (A conservative dissident, Lisa Esler, ran a write-in campaign and likely picked up the remainder.)
Republicans fought hard to keep this seat in their hands, and in a familiar story, Krueger-Braneky faced a financial disadvantage. But rewriting the typical narrative, Daily Kos stepped in during the stretch run in a big way and contributed over $22,000 to LKB's campaign. That allowed her team to fully fund its voter contact and get-out-the-vote operations, and the final results show how impressive an effort it all was.
Special elections often haven't felt very special for Democrats in recent years, with low turnout usually hobbling Team Blue's chances. But this is now the second time this year that this community has shown up in force to help a Democrat win such a race: We did the same thing back in January in Virginia. This time, more than twice as many people donated and we raised more than twice as much money. And in legislative races like these, which are a far cry from the multi-million dollar affairs we're used to seeing for Congress, we get great bang for our buck.
But make no mistake about it: These elections are incredibly important. With D.C. gridlocked, our best opportunities for progressive change are now at the state level. Democrats are still in the minority in the Pennsylvania legislature, but thanks to this victory, we're one win closer to taking it back next year.
So congratulations to Leanne and a huge thank you to all of Daily Kos! Together we can do amazing things. And now it's on to the next one!