Politico Magazine recently profiled Progressives flipping an entire state and an unlikely candidate who ran for office and won in 2012, well before the resurgence in Progressive ideas swept the county. Since then, Progressive victories have been playing our across the country and, like most of these wins, this one is also about a true Progressive who beat the odds and then some.
Politico reporter Mark Oppenheimer followed Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins for his piece, How to Turn a Red State Purple (Democrats Not Required), who won his bid to become a State Representative in the Sarah Palin state. To make matters worse for this Progressive unknown, he faced incumbent, Bill Thomas, the powerful chair of the state’s Finance Committee in a very red state where even some elected Democrats openly caucus with Republicans.
How did Tomkins and his team do it? As Oppenheimer wrote, “…through a surprising strategy: ignoring their own party”.
Oppenheimer goes on to illustrate the key winning strategy, “…What’s been less noticed, even in Alaska, is the role played by millennials who, rather than spending years working their way up on the team, instead reinvented the playbook… to reviving progressivism in the state by recruiting new, outsider candidates, teaching them how to win, and connecting them with fellow travelers. In bypassing traditional channels—which in Alaska, as everywhere else, tend to elevate predictable, uninspiring pols who have paid their dues—they’ve propelled a wave of untested candidates with little experience and even less party identity, but who believe in the economic populist agenda shared by a coalition of labor, environmentalists and the state’s large, politically engaged Alaska Native population.”
In the end, the young Progressive operatives behind the scenese say their sweep of the state’s legislature and local races since 2012 has been made easier, faster through the support of Democratic Party leaders who took a chance and got out of their own way on the path to victory.
Read the full story on Politico Magazine