OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
The Democrat Party is collapsing and losing, or struggling, in elections in places no one expected them to.
In one case, for the first time in three decades, a Democrat did not win the position of mayor in Columbia, South Carolina, an area that Joe Biden won by around 40 points, The State reported.
Daniel Rickenmann will be the 37th mayor of Columbia. According to unofficial numbers from the Richland County elections office released just after 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Rickenmann had tallied 10,550 votes (52%), while opponent Tameika Isaac Devine had 9,751 (48%).
The results of the election will be certified Thursday morning by the city’s election commission.
Rickenmann was jubilant Tuesday night as he celebrated with supporters at The Main Course restaurant in downtown Columbia. As a rock band jammed on stage, the capital city’s mayor-elect posed for selfies with voters and hugged his wife, Laura.
“I’m just overwhelmed by all the support from the business community, the citizens of Columbia, the young people and the old, a cross section of people,” the Republican said. “I’m just excited about the opportunity to serve them and get to work.”
“At the end of the day, it came down to a battle,” he said. “There were a lot of outside folks involved. At end of the day, Columbia chose and we both respect the voters.”
Devine acknowledged her opponent’s victory and said she would continue to work for Columbia.
“We have raised issues of income instability, affordable housing, creating equitable neighborhoods and embracing the diversity of this city,” she said, adding voters “spoke very clear” in electing Rickenmann.
“But I will tell you that although I am no longer going to be in an elected position in this city, my work in this city is not done,” the Democrat said.
“We have people in this city who need a champion, and that champion does not have to be mayor and does not have to be an elected official,” she said. “We know that we have so many more elections ahead of us so I am asking everybody to roll up their sleeves and continue to work.”
Democrats have been suffering many defeats this election season, including a Republican truck driver in New Jersey who defeated the Democrat Senate president.
In New Jersey, when the incumbent Democrat Gov. Phil Murphy barely survived in a race he was predicted to win in a landslide, the long-reigning Democrat Senate president has been defeated by a truck driver who has never been in politics before and who spent around $153 on his campaign, The Washington Free Beacon reported.
This is monumental in the blue state and changes the entire landscape of NJ politics as the race has been called by CBS 2.
Edward Durr, who says he jumped into the race “not seeking power or fame, only give the people better representation,” employed no staff for his long-shot campaign, instead relying on family, friends, and grassroots supporters to knock on doors in South Jersey’s Third Legislative District. His opponent, Steve Sweeney, is the longest-serving Senate leader in New Jersey history.
“I have lived here all my life. I have been a commercial truck driver for last 25 years. I consider myself to be ‘blue collar,'” Durr’s campaign said on its website. “I believe in God. I am hard working, trusting, and very loyal. I believe in fiscal responsibility, transparency, and lower taxes. I also support the Second Amendment. I am not a polish politician who is looking for a career; instead, I would like to see government return to the hands of the people.”
We are talking about a career politician, and the most powerful Democrat in the state behind the governor, being defeated by an amateur who spent less on his campaign than many families spend for a night on the town.
A campaign ad on Facebook from Durr in September focused on how Democrats handled the coronavirus pandemic in the state and the governor’s decision to house infected, elderly patients in nursing homes, high crime in the state’s cities and the high taxes in the state that Democrats seemingly want to continue increasing.
“The Senate president has spent 20 years in Trenton. Higher taxes, increasing debt, and a rising cost of living. We deserve better,” he said in the video before he got onto his motorcycle and drove past a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag.