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DLCC Holds Key Seats in Special Elections

Press Releases


April 4, 2018
Mara Sloan
DLCC Communications Director
[email protected]
DLCC Holds Key Seats in Special Elections
Democrats carry special elections in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and California
WASHINGTON — State Democrats won seats in three special elections on Tuesday night, with two additional contests headed to a runoff.
In California, Assemblywoman-elect Sydney Kamlager won the special election for AD-54. In AD-39, Democrat Luz Maria Rivas will advance to runoff elections on June 5, along with Democrat Jesse Gabriel in AD-45. In Rhode Island, Sandra Cano won the special election for SD-08 and Jim Hawkins won in Massachusetts HD-02 (Bristol).
“The DLCC is proud to support all of these newly elected legislators as they head to their state capitols to help improve education, increase access and affordability of health care, and fight for equal rights for all Americans,” said Jessica Post, the Executive Director of the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. “We have to keep the pressure on as we work to elect more Democrats like these to state legislatures around the country and win Democratic majorities in chambers so we can pass progressive legislation that will help move our country forward.”

California Assemblywoman-elect Sydney Kamlager carried the special election for AD-54 with almost 70% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. Kamlager has dedicated her career to helping the Los Angeles community, working in nonprofits for over 20 years. As the second African American woman elected president of the Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) Board of Trustees in its 77-year history, she helped connect students to educational and vocational opportunities.

Rhode Island state Senator-elect Sandra Cano is a political refugee from Colombia who moved to the U.S. when she was 17 years old. She works in finance and hosts her own public radio show on Latino Public Radio. She previously served as an at-large member of the Pawtucket City Council and is a former member of the Pawtucket School Committee.

Jim Hawkins won a hard-fought toss-up seat in Massachusetts. Rep.-elect Hawkins is a part-time district coordinator for the Massachusetts Teachers Association and a longtime resident of Attleboro, where he was a math teacher at Attleboro High School for 12 years. The DLCC contributed the maximum amount to the Massachusetts Democratic Party earlier this year.

These wins come on the heels of the DLCC announcing a new record for first quarter fundraising of more than $5 million, with $1 million coming from online donations. The DLCC is on track to spend $35 million this election cycle, and has highlighted some of their state Democrats to know in 2018 at With Democrats only 16 seats away from flipping eight chambers, you can read about the DLCC’s 2018 roadmap here.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is the only organization exclusively committed to electing Democrats to state legislatures all over the country and winning Democratic control of chambers. For over two decades, the DLCC has been working with state legislative leaders to invest strategically in state programs, which has led to Democrats flipping 39 seats since Trump’s inauguration. The DLCC is building on Democrats’ winning momentum and continues to lay the groundwork for substantial gains in 2018 in statehouses nationwide. State Democrats recently scored critical victories in ConnecticutNew HampshireKentuckyFlorida, MinnesotaMissouri, and elsewhere, while also leading the resistance against the Trump administration’s extremist policies. You can learn more about critical upcoming elections and follow DLCC’s Spotlight Races at

For more information or to schedule an interview with the DLCC, please contact Mara Sloan at [email protected].
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