Democracy For America, Progressive Democrats of America, and other groups and bloggers from across the US helped progressive challenger Donna Edwards win a stunning upset victory against eight-term incumbent Albert Wynn. Despite Wynn's huge advantages in terms of special interest contributions and insider connections, Donna Edwards marshaled support from what Wynn's campaign dismissed as "a vast left-wing conspiracy" to defeat the most conservative member of the Congressional Black Caucus. With 76% of the precincts reporting, Donna led by 60% to 35%, a margin of more than 22,000 votes. Because the 4th district is overwhelmingly Democratic, Donna is a sure bet to win this seat in the November general election.
The DFA team made countless calls for Donna, and also worked at Giant supermarkets, metro stops and door-knocked to help achieve this victory. Democracy for Montgomery County Steering Committee Chairperson Sharon Polidoro and members Maida Schifter, Mike Hersh and Donna's Montgomery County Campaign Organizer Gina Angiola joined in the celebration at the Saturday Rally. DFAer Suzanne St. Cyr from Prince Georges County also attended. Democracy For America Executive Director Jim Dean rode through the Montgomery County part og this sprawling district, meeting voters, waving signs, passing out information about Donna.
Kim Gandy, the President of the National Organization for Women praised Donna's courage and dedication. Hip Hop Coalition President Rev. Lennox Yearwood and PDA National Chairperson Mimi Kennedy fired up the crowd. SEIU Executive Director Terry Cavanagh put the contest in context, recounting his conversation with a member of Congress who wondered "why are you doing this to Al Wynn? There are worse Democrats than Al Wynn." The reply: "Give me some time and maybe we'll think of one." Other supporters spoke of Donna's willingness to listen, her eagerness to help, her goodness, decency, intelligence and more. Jim Dean said this is a contest between "the culture of incumbency vs. the culture of activism." He sounds like a natural partner for PDA, and Mimi discussed issues like election protection with him before and after the rally.
Donna thanked all of us for our support. She told us she's lived in Prince Georges County for 25 years, the county where she raised her son. In a voice worn by weeks and weeks of hard work, talked about her commitment to the people of the 4th District, her fundamental understanding of the difficulties facing working people, single moms--real Americans. As Donna explains, if we elect her to Congress we won't have to push her or lobby her to do the right thing on universal health care or getting us out of Iraq or helping families hurt by the foreclosure crisis.
Donna promised us, "January 2009, my name will be right on top of the list," of the leaders making a difference on all these issues and more. And PDA is right on top of the list among the "vast left wing conspiracy" poised to usher Albert Wynn back into private life. As the chant rocked the room: "Al Wynn? Time to go!" and "It's Donna Time!" Voters in Maryland's 4th District agreed. Thanks to everyone who pitched in to help Donna win!