Today's primary turned out as good as any progressive could have possibly hoped for. According to Bay Windows, Carl Sciortino defeated his challenger. Sonia Chang Diaz pulled out the nail biter and managed to overcome the tremendous institutional support Wilkerson pulled together in a 51-49% vote. Jon Hecht, of Watertown, claimed victory in his tough sticker campaign. These are all strong, progressive voices who will make a difference in Beacon Hill. They won tough and heavily contested primaries and will now be able to work, or continue to work in Carl's case, for the progressive causes that will make a difference in the lives of those who need it most, most especially the average voter.
The only failure of the night was the seriously uphill battle in unseating Paul Donato, one of the state's most entrenched and powerful incumbents - he's a DINO that's lived to see another day, but he certainly was sent a message loud and clear. Even when we fail, we win - just consider the fact that Donato voted for ending the 1913 discriminatory bill that prevented out of staters from marrying here, when in years past he was unforgiving in his anti-equality stances.
The work is not over, though. Among the five state candidates I've endorsed, progressives facing tough challenges who could make a tremendous difference in this state, one has yet to actually face her big election day. Sara Orozco didn't have a primary challenge, but she's facing a tough anti-equality, fringe-right incumbent as an out, proud latino woman. She still has some time before the election, but this is now the race in which progressives must rally around because winning this seat is big. We have a chance to truly change the dynamic in the senate - sending in Jamie Eldridge, Sonia and Ken Donnelly will all make a difference in the tenor and ability for progressives to build coalitions from within that body. The importance of adding another bonafide, energetic and hardworking progressive to the mix - and subtracting one of the state's worst politicians - can not be overstated. We've been changing Beacon Hill one politician at a time - and the results are starting to bear fruit. Soon, we'll have the numbers and coalitions to bring the kind of change that will truly impact the lives of the people of this state.