The First Sanders Democrat Just Won Her Congressional Primary,,,


Bernie Sanders is passing the torch of his political revolution onto Congressional candidates around the country, and one of them just won her primary race.

Zephyr Teachout, who is running as a Democrat in New York’s 19th Congressional District, was announced the winner over her opponent Will Yandik with a 47-point advantage in a 73-26 rout with 42 of 509 precincts reporting.

Teachout, a law professor at Fordham University, has statewide recognition in New York as a result of her 2014 campaign for governor, in which she captured 34.43 percent of the vote. Teachout’s victory this year is hardly a surprise, as she most recently dominated polls with a 39-point lead over Yandik.

Teachout will go on to face Republican and former New York assemblyman John Faso in the general election this November. The 19th Congressional District was most recently carried by Republican Chris Gibson, who is retiring. However, President Barack Obama won the 19th district in both 2008 and 2012, which will undoubtedly help Teachout as she campaigns into November. Teachout’s bid has also been endorsed by both of New York’s U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand.

On her website, Teachout’s issue positions closely mirror Sanders’ positions. She’s on the record supporting public campaign financing and a reversal of the Citizens United vs. FEC court decision that opened the floodgates to unlimited corporate spending in elections. She also wants to pass legislation that would force members of Congress to wait several years before becoming lobbyists. She also opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership, wants to ensure universal access to broadband internet, and supports strengthening background checks for gun purchases. She’s also in favor of making it easier for workers to organize unions in the workplace.

In New York’s 24th Congressional District, Eric Kingson fought hard in a contested three-way Democratic primary against Colleen Deacon and Steve Williams, though he eventually lost to Deacon. Kingson, a nationally recognized expert on Social Security, lost to Deacon in all four counties. Kingson’s bid was a long shot, as the last polls showed him 42 points behind Deacon, putting him in last place. Kingson finished second at the end of the night.

Should Teachout go on to win in November, there will be at least one new member of the U.S. House of Representatives seeking to make Sanders’ political revolution a reality.

Credit:Tom Cahill