Much of the coverage of Tuesday night’s primaries revolved around Andrew Gillum’s upset victory in the Florida Democratic gubernatorial primary. Gillum, the only non-millionaire or billionaire in the race, ran on the most progressive platform, including abolishing ICE and establishing Medicare for all.
If Gillum wins in November, he’ll be the first black governor of Florida. He becomes the third black gubernatorial nominee this election cycle, in addition to Stacey Abrams in Georgia and Ben Jealous in Maryland.
But Gillum’s victory Tuesday night wasn’t the only one made for the history books. Here’s a round-up of a few other exciting victories from the primaries in Florida and Arizona, as well as run-offs in Oklahoma.
Lori Alhadeff lost her daughter in February. Alyssa Alhadeff was among the 17 victims killed in a mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, and her mother vowed to channel her grief into political change.
On Tuesday night, Alhadeff won her bid for a seat on the Broward County school board, in a landslide victory.
“I’m so excited to honor my daughter, Alyssa, and the 16 other victims in the Parkland shooting, and to be able to be the voice of change,” Alhadeff, 43, said after her victory, according to The New York Times.
Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed in the February attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, won a seat Tuesday on the district’s school board. https://t.co/3rqbxHzwAS
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) August 29, 2018
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas parents running for Broward School Board are already game changers.
This is Vanessa👇🏼who tells me she became a US citizen after 20 yrs here, just to vote for @rpetty & @lorialhadeff @WPLGLocal10
— Glenna Milberg (@GlennaOn10) August 21, 2018
Alhadeff has promised to focus on school security and to hold accountable school administrators she said did not do enough to enact safety measures after the shooting.
The election outcome is an emotional victory for Alhadeff as well. In February, in the wake of her daughter’s death, she wrote on Facebook,
A knife is stabbed in my heart. I wish I could of taken those bullets for you. I will always love you and your memory will live on forever. Please kiss your children, tell them you love them, stand by them no matter what they want to be. To Alyssa’s Friends[,] honor Alyssa by doing something fabulous in your life. Don’t ever give up and inspire for greatness. Live for Alyssa! Be her voice and breathe for her. Alyssa loved you all forever!
Tuesday night, following her win, Alhadeff told The Sun-Sentinel, “[Alyssa’s] death empowered me to want to run for School Board. I know [she] would be so proud, and I want to make sure what happens to my daughter doesn’t happen to another family.”
It’s been a big year for LGBTQ candidates. According to the Associated Press, nearly 400 LGBTQ candidates mounted campaigns this year, and about 200 are expected to be on the ballot this November.
Among them is Lauren Baer, who won her Democratic primary in Florida’s 18th Congressional District Tuesday night. Should she win in November, she will be the first openly LGBTQ member of Congress from Florida.
Lauren Baer wins the democratic nomination in District 18. She beat Pam Keith. Baer now faces Rep. Brian Mast in November. pic.twitter.com/7RGrpbIuYC
— Shayne Wright (@swrightwpbf) August 29, 2018
“I believe in my heart of hearts that our community deserves a representative who is going to vote in all of our interests, not for special interests,” Baer, an attorney, said shortly after her victory was announced. “I believe we deserve a representative who is going to speak the truth in the district and then vote that way in Washington.”
She will face Rep. Brian Mast (R-FL) in November.
A bad night for officials who opposed teachers
Six incumbent state legislators lost run-off elections in Oklahoma Tuesday night, and all of them had one thing in common: they voted against tax hikes to fund raises for teachers.
Earlier this year, the state increased taxes on fuel, cigarettes, and energy production in order to pay for an average teacher pay raise of $6,100 annually, marking the first salary increase in a decade. But 19 Republicans voted against the tax increases — and thus against the pay raises.
According to the Oklahoma Republic, of those 19, eight have now been defeated, seven others decided not to run, and only four have advanced to the general election.
The losses come after teachers in Oklahoma held a strike in April, a move that won them the raises as well as additional education funding.
In Arizona, incumbent school superintendent Diane Douglas appeared set for a loss, as well, according to unofficial results. Her loss comes after Arizona teachers held a strike earlier this year as well, for a few days from late April through early May.