One of the most notable, but underreported, stories coming out of last night's elections is the one of a progressive warrior who, despite being outspent by two of his big money funded opponents, ended up notching an impressive victory, decisively winning his primary race in Maryland. That candidate is Maryland State Senator, now Congressman, Jamie Raskin.
Initially, he was facing off against Kathleen Matthews, who worked as a lobbyist for Marriott Hotels and is the wife of cable news anchor Chris Matthews. Kathleen came into the race with deep pockets and even deeper connections to big money interests inside the Beltway. From the very beginning she used these connections to outspend Raskin, but the state Senator more than held his own by raising a smaller, but more respectable campaign warchest from over 11,000 small donors. The news media had already begun to write him off when another powerful, wealthy opponent entered the race. Months into the contest, wealthy businessman and wine magnate David Trone joined the race. Unlike Matthews, who raised her funds from special interests and large donors, Trone was rich enough to use his own capital to try to buy his way into Congress. Utilizing his personal resources, Trone unabashedly self-funded his campaign with over $12 Million, out-spending Raskin 6 to 1.
Undeterred, Raskin fought on, declaring that "an election is not an auction" while continuing to take his message in support of voting rights, campaign finance reform, and fair elections directly to the voters of Maryland. These are not new priorities for the state Senator, he has dedicated most of his adult life to fighting for reform. Now, thanks to the voters, a dedicated group of volunteers, and working Americans chipping in, Raskin, given his likely victory in his overwhelmingly Democratic district in November, will have a much bigger stage from which to fight for these reforms.
This is truly what a "political revolution" is all about. It is about standing up and fighting back against a corrupt campaign finance system and a rigged economy. With Raskin poised to take a seat in the United States House of Representatives, we will have another progressive warrior in our ranks to ensure these issues remain a national priority.