I’m going to write a few words about the two governor’s races that everyone seemed to be watching Tuesday.
In Virginia, the republican candidate, Glen Youngkin, beat a man who is- let’s just go on and say it- not the most likeable guy in the world, and he did it by distancing himself just enough from the former guy, and utilizing what I am calling the new Southern Strategy to his advantage. Yes folks, in case you haven’t been paying attention, critical race theory has become the Willie Horton of 2021 and beyond for right wing politicians. Let’s just forget the fact that it’s not even taught in high schools -or any other schools besides law schools and some advance college courses- but it is such a convenient tool to scare the right people if you know what I mean. And it worked. Youngkin styled himself as an approachable suburban dad. He is worth 300 million, and this is his first political office. We will be watching where this goes.
Meanwhile, across the bridge in New Jersey, it’s still too close to call. Although the Democratic candidate, Phil Murphy, is looking more and more like he might squeak out a victory. National pundits will try to say that the fact that this race is this close is a big blow for democrats. But just remember this: The last time a democrat won back to back terms as governor of New Jersey was 1977.
Finally, there were Judicial races here in Pennsylvania, and Republican candidates won up and down the ballots for all the statewide Judicial seats. They did it because republican voters were motivated and came out to vote, and Democratic voters were not. These races are important, too, because the courts will determine whether a lot of these new laws being pushed by Republican state legislatures are constitutional.
On a personal note, a good friend of mine ran for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and she lost because her opponent went negative with false misleading ads leading up to the election. It’s a shame, too, because Marie McLaughlin, when I practiced with her in the same division, was an excellent lawyer, and she has been a terrific Superior Court Judge during her tenure as well. She did not deserve the sleazy way her opponent dispatched her by way of negative and misleading ads. That’s just not me saying this, the Pennsylvania Bar Association agrees with me. But such is politics in modern day America. It’s scorched earth, and it’s tribal, and if you you take the “high road” you will be crushed. Even in a race for the highest judicial office in a great American state.
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