Recent Elections

November 11, 2021

November 11, 2021

Hello everybody out there in farm country. This radio commentary is brought to you by the National Corn Growers Association, CropLife America, and Renewable Fuels Association. They are all friends, supporters, and allies of a healthy farm economy and prosperous rural America. Thank you.

And now today’s commentary-

This is Randy Russell sitting in for my good friend Jack Block. And now today’s commentary. 

Just one week ago there were elections in Virginia and New Jersey that sent a clear message—Americans don’t want to be governed by the political left. Glenn Youngkin, a businessman and political novice, beat former Virginia Governor and Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe by two percentage points. Just 12 months ago Joe Biden carried Virginia by over 10 points. Interestingly, one year ago Glenn Youngkin’s name recognition stood at less than 2%. Republicans also elected Winsome Sears as Lt. Governor and Jason Miyares as Attorney General, the first African American and Latino, respectively, to serve in these positions in Virginia history. And Republicans gained control of the House of Delegates.

What happened in Virginia? Youngkin ran a state-based election focusing on education, school
curriculums, and holding local school boards accountable. Meanwhile, McAuliffe tried to
nationalize the campaign linking Youngkin to Donald Trump every opportunity he could. In the
end, McAuliffe’s strategy failed. Youngkin won Virginia’s rural counties with 80% of the vote,
won the Hispanic vote by 9 points, and made substantial inroads with suburban women who
strongly favored his focus on education and local school curriculums.

Meanwhile, New Jersey, a state Joe Biden won by 16 points, saw incumbent Governor Phil Murphy eke out a slim victory over a political novice. And in a stunning upset, truck driver Ed Durr, who spent just $2,000 on his campaign, beat Steve Sweeney, the President of the New Jersey State Senate. And finally in Minneapolis, voters rejected by 12 points a ballot initiative that would abolish the Police Department and establish a Department of Public Safety.

So…. what is the key takeaway from last week’s election? Governing from the left is not what most Americans want nor expect from the Government. Most importantly, government overreach—including excessive spending and continued mandates—aren’t what people voted for in the 2020 elections. And in an ominous sign for Congressional Democrats, Dave Wasserman, a highly respected political observer is now predicting that the Republicans will pick up 40 seats
in the House and take back control of the Senate in 2022.

Beyond the elections, the U.S. House of Representatives, after months of infighting, completed action on the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill which will fund roads, bridges, ports and rural broadband. Far less certain is the fate of the so-called human infrastructure package which would greatly expand health and education programs and new climate-related initiatives. Continued debate between progressives and moderates in the House and Senate, such as Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, have left the fate of this nearly $2 trillion package in doubt.

Finally, a very special thanks to all those who have served in the military. It is because of their
efforts and sacrifices that each of us are blessed to live in this Great Nation. As we celebrate
Veterans Day, God bless every one of our veterans! May we never ever take for granted the
freedoms they fought and sacrificed for. This is Randy Russell reporting from Washington.
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