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AFSCME members helped make the midterm elections a historic success

Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images
AFSCME members helped make the midterm elections a historic success
By AFSCME Staff ·

AFSCME members came out in full force in favor of pro-worker, pro-democracy candidates this year, helping to make the midterm elections a historic success for working families.

Together, we knocked on almost 200,000 AFSCME doors and had more than 47,000 one-on-one conversations. AFSCME’s political programs also reached millions of voters in key races to communicate about the issues that matter most to working families. Our efforts helped elect or re-elect friendly candidates at every level of government and in communities across the nation.

Most recently, we helped re-elect Sen. Raphael Warnock of Georgia during a runoff election held Tuesday. His historic victory makes him the first Black senator to win a full six-year term in Georgia and will expand the Senate’s pro-worker majority.

Following the Nov. 8 elections, AFSCME President Lee Saunders called the results “a big win for working people and a striking rebuke to creeping authoritarianism in America.”

“While the economy remains a concern for many, there is no doubt working people have made progress over the past two years – from low unemployment to lower prescription drug costs to student debt relief,” Saunders also said. “[On Tuesday, Nov. 8], working people chose this progress over political extremists hellbent on taking away our rights and freedoms. In other words, gas prices are temporary; authoritarianism is forever.”

AFSCME members returned to the streets this year for a massive get-out-the-vote operation after the pandemic shut down door-to-door canvassing in 2020. Our efforts contributed to the election or re-election of governors in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

In addition to Senator Warnock’s win, we also helped elect a new pro-worker senator in Pennsylvania and won 80% of congressional races where our union endorsed a candidate.

At the state level, we helped achieve crucial victories to protect democracy from election deniers, winning secretary of state and attorney general races. We helped elect new pro-worker majorities in the Michigan State Legislature, the Minnesota State Senate and the Pennsylvania State House. In Illinois, we successfully supported a measure to enshrine collective bargaining rights in the state constitution.

AFSCME members were motivated by a desire to protect our rights and freedoms as well as safeguard the hard-won federal legislative victories of the last two years. These include laws to support public services, rebuild our infrastructure, combat climate change, lower prescription drug costs, create jobs and more.

The year 2023 will no doubt bring many challenges. But our union remains committed to fighting alongside the Biden administration and our allies in Congress, as well as state and local leaders across the nation, on behalf of working families.

The victories AFSCME members achieved in these midterm elections will help protect the historic progress we have made since 2021, even as we continue to set our sights higher and work hard for future wins to come.

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