One clear election day result: voters want Champions for Children
Tim Smith, First Focus Campaign for ChildrenChildren on the Ballot
It’s been two days since Election Day 2020 and the results are still unclear for many races throughout the country — most notably, for President of the United States. In the middle of a global pandemic and unprecedented mail-in and early voting, our Democracy appears to be working, albeit slowly.
But, voters made one thing abundantly clear this year — they want to elect Champions for Children. As of Thursday morning, every candidate that was named a Champion for Children in 2019, is projected* to win (or is currently leading) their election in 2020.
Every year, First Focus Campaign for Children names 120 Champions and Defenders of Children — 40 senators and 80 representatives — who, in the previous Congressional session, stepped forward to make “the best interest of the child” a top priority in Congress and took affirmative steps to positively address the problems facing children in our nation. Of these 120 Champions and Defenders, 85 were on the ballot Tuesday — 79 of those races have been called with six races still outstanding (including Kamala Harris for Vice President).
This bipartisan group of lawmakers have used their legislative roles to raise and move to the forefront issues that are important for America’s children — from increasing children’s health care to fighting child poverty to advocating for children of immigrants. And, the voters have spoken — resoundingly sending these Champions back to Congress to continue this fight.
For example, voters in Pennsylvania will be sending Republican Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick back to Congress to continue prioritizing kid’s health through bills like the CHIPPER Act. In New Mexico, Democratic Congressman Ben Ray Lujan — who recently told us that investing in kids is “the best decision” that the federal government can make — has been given a new job by his constituents, moving from the House of Representatives to the United States Senate. Senator-Elect Lujan will find plenty of colleagues to join in the fight for kids with — including Democrat Tina Smith of Minnesota and Republican Susan Collins of Maine who each won re-election on Tuesday.
As mentioned, a few races remain too close to call. Champions Jimmy Gomez and Kamala Harris (both California Democrats) are currently leading in their races for reelection to the House of Representatives and Vice President respectively. Defenders of Children Sean Patrick Maloney and John Katko (both New York Republicans) also look poised to return to the House if their leads hold. Congresswomen Donna Shalala (D-FL) and Susan Wild (D-PA) — both Defenders of Children in 2019 — however, still trail this morning (both by fewer than 10,000 votes).
We will update this post as the results become final and look forward to seeing these fierce children’s advocates return to work in January with a clear mandate from voters.
*Current projections are based on reporting by CNN.