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PRIMER: Tonight’s Must-Watch Special Election in Alabama Featuring DLCC Spotlight Candidate Marilyn Lands is First Election Since the Devastating IVF Ruling

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In a true toss-up district, Marilyn Lands shared her abortion story and is running in a special election centered on reproductive freedoms

WASHINGTON —  Today, a special election for the state House is underway in Alabama’s battleground HD-10. DLCC Spotlight candidate Marilyn Lands is facing off against Teddy Powell, and the stakes couldn’t be higher. Here are three things you need to know:

  1. Marilyn has centered her campaign around reproductive freedoms, testing the potency of this issue in “red states.”

Marilyn Lands is a reproductive rights champion who has made reproductive freedom the cornerstone of her campaign. She has shared her own abortion story and recently released an ad warning Alabamans that contraceptives could be the next freedom taken away due to the Alabama Supreme Court ruling. The strong enthusiasm and grassroots support for a typical sleepy, low-turnout election already shows a clear rejection of MAGA extremism, and is the latest sign of support behind state Democrats pledging to protect reproductive freedom – even in so-called “red states” where Republicans have passed total abortion bans.

  1. This election will test the mood of the electorate around attacks on IVF access. 

The widespread outrage over the Alabama Supreme Court’s IVF decision has brought national attention to this race. Given this is the first election since the ruling, IVF has become a central issue defining this race. That’s especially true since the legislative “fix” that Alabama Republicans hastily put together doesn’t fully solve the problem and continues to cause confusion for families. Marilyn’s race has already proven the salience of this issue as Republicans gear up to make similar attacks on IVF and reproductive health care in other states.

  1. This election is in a true battleground district and carries implications up and down the ballot in November. 

This district is a true toss-up – President Biden earned 49.9% of the vote in this district in 2020 and Marilyn came within single digits of winning this district in 2022. If she clinches victory just two years later in one of the reddest states across the country, that should send a clear signal to Republicans – not just in Alabama, but across the country – that they’re losing ground and facing political repercussions for their attacks on fundamental freedoms. A victory for Marilyn in a competitive district that Democrats haven’t won in at least a decade should rock the confidence of Republicans across the country about the mood of voters heading into November.

Polls close at 8:00 PM EST/7:00 PM CT tonight. The only way to protect reproductive freedoms is to elect Democrats in state legislatures, like Marilyn Lands, which is why the DLCC is spotlighting the campaign. The DLCC and allies on the ground have had undeniable momentum so far this cycle, from flipping seats in states like Florida to maintaining key majorities like the Pennsylvania House. The next important races are for the majority in the Michigan House. 

Tonight’s race is one to watch, but we’re only just getting started in 2024–the year of the states. 

To read more about Marilyn Lands and her DLCC Spotlight race, see below:

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC) is the official Democratic Party committee dedicated to winning America’s state legislatures and building state infrastructure. Over the last decade, we have fought cycle-over-cycle to gain a dozen new legislative chamber majorities and we are leading the effort to bring national attention and investment to our ballot level. State legislatures are the building blocks of our democracy and have the closest connections to Americans’ day-to-day lives. From protecting fundamental freedoms and voting rights to growing the middle class, the DLCC and state legislators are moving the Democratic agenda forward and shaping the future of this country.

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