Blue Wave Continues Lifting Dems to Victory in KY Governor’s Race and VA Legislature

In a huge upset, the Democrat Andy Beshear upset the sitting Governor in Kentucky running on a pro-climate change, clean energy platform.  And the state House and Senate in Virginia also flipped to Democratic control, with clean energy issues looming large in the election as well, with the largest single donor to Dems in Virginia funding liberal candidates in an effort to loosen the hold of Dominion Energy in the state capitol.

Why This Matters:  Environmental issues were an important factor in Democratic victories on Tuesday.  Deep in the heart of coal country, Democrats proved they can put together a winning coalition.  And even in a purple state like Virginia, there are now larger forces than the state’s most powerful utility — companies like Amazon, Google, and Walmart — that want to overhaul Virginia’s regulations (that Dominion wrote and wanted desperately to protect) related to buying renewable energy made a key difference in the election, giving Democrats control of the executive and legislative branches. Now the conservation movement needs to build on these positive results.

Beshear on the Environment

According to WPFL in Louisville, Beshear did not run away from climate change, saying, Climate change is real, but you don’t have to take my word for it, ask any farmer here in Kentucky or ask the U.S. Military which is preparing for it each and every day.”

Dominion Power Loses Its Grip on VA

The Associated Press wrote a fascinating story about how starting in 2018, a wealthy investor named Michael Bills “has given more than $2 million to dozens of Democratic candidates and political action committees in an effort to weaken the strength of Dominion Energy, long a dominant force in Virginia politics and a major source of corporate campaign donations.”  In addition, Bills’ wife, Sonjia Smith, contributed more than $1.1 million to counter Dominion. And apparently the contributions were directed “to Democrats in close races” in the Virginia legislature.

  • Stephen J. Farnsworth, a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington told the AP, “A new generation of more activist Democratic candidates, supported by a big money donor, have created the most challenging political environment for Dominion in quite some time.”

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