Indivisible Baltimore helps flip long-time GOP seat in PA-178 special election

Indivisible Baltimore is proud to have helped Democrat Helen Tai win her special election on May 15th, making it the 41st state seat to flip to Dems since Trump was elected.  Helen was elected State Representative in Pennsylvania’s 178th House District, becoming the first Democrat to win this seat in 34 years. Helen won in this Republican stronghold, which Donald Trump carried in 2016, while taking unabashedly progressive positions on gun control, environmental protections, abortion rights, and worker issues.

We organized two canvassing trips to Bucks County, PA, where we knocked nearly 800 doors for Helen’s’ campaign. In addition, we hosted phone banks to get out the vote in the final week before the election. Helen won by only 96 votes, underscoring the importance of every single voter contact made by volunteers. She even thanked us in her victory speech!

We hope that Helen’s victory marks the start of a banner year for Democrats in Bucks County, a traditionally Republican area in the Philadelphia suburbs that is becoming bluer. Pennsylvania’s 1st Congressional District, which contains all of Bucks County, is a prime opportunity for Democrats to pick up a seat. First-term Republican Brian Fitzpatrick is the incumbent, but Hillary Clinton carried this district by 2 points in 2016. Moreover, there are seven state legislative districts in Bucks County (not counting the district that Helen just flipped) that are currently held by Republicans, but that Clinton either won or narrowly lost.

Pennsylvania also has important statewide elections in 2018. Democratic Governor Tom Wolf is running for reelection and the outcome of his race will have implications for redistricting after the 2020 Census. And Democratic Senator Bob Casey must win his reelection bid if Democrats have any chance of controlling the Senate and stopping Trump from packing the courts with right-wing judges.

Over the next six months, Indivisible Baltimore will work to elect Democrats in Bucks County and to statewide office in Pennsylvania. We hope you’ll join us!

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