The 2021 Election Wrap-Up and Great Democratic Debrief - NDTC

There’s a saying that goes, “If you don’t learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat it.” Elections are no different. Yet, after Election Day we rush to the next project or campaign, and in doing so, risk not learning from past mistakes or accomplishments. 

At NDTC, we want to take a moment and reflect on the successes and failures of the last election cycle. In November 2021, we took home 231 wins including 153 general election wins and 139 primary election wins out of more than 600 total candidates on the ballot. Learners ran for city council, school board, municipal council, mayor, and state representative, among others, across 37 states! Out of our prioritized leaders group, 59% of winners are Women, while 52% of winners are POC.

Click here to see our list of wins! 

Following the success of last year, NDTC hosts the Great Democratic Debrief (GDD). By bringing together candidates, campaign staff, volunteers, and local leaders from around the country, Dems exchange insights and debrief their campaigns. 

We hosted two collaborative events where folks discussed their victories and challenges throughout this last election. This type of facilitated discussion only strengthens our chances of victory as we look toward 2022.

Here are our main takeaways from the 2021 Great Democratic Debrief:

Democrats Left Their Mark Across America

While the focus has been mostly national headlines in New Jersey and Virginia, Democratic candidates won throughout the country. And most of these victories came in down-ballot races. 

Here are just a few 2021 winners in municipal and local elections we’d like to highlight:

  1. Anthony Harris ran for Alderman At-Large of Manchester, New Hampshire. While running, Harris detailed his experiences with poverty, sexual abuse, and the criminal justice system. As the Co-Founder of Felon to Freeman and the first Decarceration Organizer for the American Friends Service Committee’s New Hampshire program, his history and current mission strengthened his candidacy. By running, Anthony built the infrastructure for individuals with stories that parallel his own to show up in their communities.
  2. Destiny Hallenbeck was elected to the Chatham, New York Town Board at 21 years old. She ran on a host of issues, including the lack of affordable housing in Chatham, improving rural broadband, and combating poverty and food insecurity. Destiny took 19 courses in the online academy and attended one virtual-live-training, all while continuing her studies as a senior at Union College. 
  3. At 22, Madison Gonzalez became the first Hispanic person to be elected to the Windsor, Connecticut Board of Education. She ran on a message of inclusivity and access to a quality education for all students in Windsor. Madison got her start taking the course: ‘So You Think You Want to Run’.
  4. Judy Pineda Neufeld won her seat on the Somerville, Massachusetts City Council this most recent election. Judy ran on an equitable Covid-19 recovery plan, as well as accessible and affordable housing issues. She also ran to increase public transit to make Somerville a more livable city. And as an NDTC Trainer, Judy not only empowered others to run, but trained them on how to win campaigns.

When Voters Show Up, Democrats Win

What we do know is that there’s no such thing as a true “off-year.” However, 2021 was an off-year election in that there were no national elections. Regardless, we know that when voters show up, especially in local elections, we win. This was a common theme throughout the Great Democratic Debrief.

As we move forward, we, as Democrats, need to energize our base beyond top-of-the-ticket candidates. We must also focus our energy, resources, and votes on down-ballot races, because voter turnout affects Democrats’ overall success.

Check out NDTC’s course, “GOTV,” to learn everything your campaign needs to know to get Democrats in your community to the polls.

Digital Is Essential For Victory 

Due to the constraints of the COVID-19 pandemic, GOTV efforts and in-person fundraising events proved to be difficult. Therefore, one-on-one interactions with supporters and chances to connect with voters in candidates’ communities were limited.

This made a strong digital presence essential to any candidate’s success in 2021. Because COVID is still affecting campaigns, the ability to remain visible on people’s screens remains very important.

Looking Ahead

Key findings from the 2021 Great Democratic Debrief are still revealing themselves. As we move forward in the coming year, our survey data and anecdotal evidence will help guide us in planning learner content, coordinating Virtual Live Training events (VLTs), and developing new curricula. 

As a training organization, we welcome feedback and suggestions for programming or trainings to help everyone see success in their races and for their communities. Please email us at [email protected] to share your thoughts for future resources.

Stay tuned for NDTC’s programming as we look to power Democratic victories up and down the ballot in 2022. We are committed to sharing free resources for anyone who wants to win in Democratic politics, from candidates to staff and local leaders.

Stay Tuned

November 2021 Winners

General Election
Name State Office Seeking
Dan Elder CA Redondo Beach Unified School Board
Julie Bronstein CA San Dieguito Union High School District, Board of Education, Area 5
Jonathan Bowers CA Compton City Council, District 3
Tricia Canonico CO Fort Collins City Council, District 3
Obi Ezeadi CO Westminster City Council, At-large
Madison Gonzalez CT South Windsor’s Board of Education
Rickford Kirton CT Bloomfield Town Council
Jenn Mcmurrer CT Common Council, District C
Kassandra Timothe FL North Miami City Council, District 2
John Smith FL Beach Mosquito Control District Commissioner, Seat 3
Alexis Weaver GA Tucker City Council, District 3, Post 1
Hattie Portis-Jones GA Fairburn, GA City Council
Natasha Williams GA South Fulton City Council, D6
Nathan Clubb GA Atlanta City Council, District 1
David Gilyard GA Valdosta School Board
Janel Fujinaka HI Honolulu Neighborhood Board, District 10, Sub 2
Robert Armstrong HI 2021 Neighborhood Board Election Downtown-Chinatown
Chaundra Bishop IL Urbana City Council, District 5
Elana Jacobs IL Niles Township 219 School Board
Emily Shultz IL Lombard-villa Park District 45 School Board
Julie Kowalski IL Helen Plum Library Trustee, Board Secretary
Arad Boxenbaum IL Geneva Library for Library Trustees
Buffy Lael-Wolf IL Springfield School District 186, Sub 5
Diane Hewitt IL Lisle Township Supervisor
Florence Appel IL College of Dupage Board
Lucia Robinson IL Oak Park Trustee
Mike Ingram IL Champaign County Recorder
Monica Gordon IL Prairie State College District 515, Board of Trustees
Mark Pietrowski IL Cortland Town Mayor
Mary Hess IL Dekalb Township Supervisor
Latonya Simelton IL Oswego School Board
Suzanna Ibarra IL Joliet Township Trustee
Vance Wyatt IL North Chicago City Treasurer
April Arellano IL Franklin Park Deputy Clerk
Karen Johnson IL Lockport Township Trustee
Matt Timion IL Moline City Council
Rick Roitman KS Wellington Council Member
Mike Hoheisel KS Wichita City Council, District 3
Jacob Laha KS Merriam Council, Ward 1
Brian Worrell MA Boston City Council, District 4
Judy Neufeld MA Sommerville City Council
Justin Hurst MA Springfield City Council At-Large
Sara Dion MA Somerville, MA School Committee in Ward 7
Althea Lloyd-White MD Montgomery Women Nonprofit Board Member
Gavin Buckley MD Mayor of Annapolis
Jeffery Tarbox ME Select Board 1
Abigail Geer ME Raymond, Maine Budget/Finance Committee
Gerard Balan MN Hopkins City Council
Bill Stephens MO Alderman, Ward 12
Charles Slider Jr. MO Saint Robert Alderman, Ward 1
Jessica Dahlman MT Kalispell City Council
Eula Reid NC North Carolina Superior Court Judge
Michele Wood NC Weaverville Town Council
Regan Lamphier NH Nashua Board of Education
Derek Thibeault NH Nashua Alderman, Ward 8
Robbie Hinkel NH Dover City Council, Ward 2
Adrian Ballesteros NJ Dover Board of Alderman, Ward 3
Jacqueline Sturdivant NJ Red Bank Borough Council
Wren Longno NY Beacon City Council, Ward 3
Destiny Hallenbeck NY Chatham Town Board
Rita Joseph NY Brooklyn City Council, District 40
Delvin Moody NY Utica Common Council
Jaime Puccioni NY Niskayuna Supervisor
Karine Patino NY Mount Kisco Trustee
Mary Shah NY Lewisboro Council
Nick Page NY Dutchess County Legislator, District 18
Timothy Turbiak NY Ballston Spa School Board
Amy Smith OH Whitehall City Council, Ward 3
Chanell Elston OH South Euclid City Council
Danielle Turner Birch OH Bedford City School District School Board Member
Debbie Schaffner OH Baltimore Village Council
Shenise Turner-Sloss OH Dayton City Commission
Lindsay Gillis OH Dublin School Board
Tiffany Desilva OH Dublin City Schools Board of Education
Kathleen Pucci OH Cuyahoga County, Brooklyn Council, At-Large
Josie Moore OH Cleveland Heights City Council
Joe Nichols OH Medina City School Board
Jocelyn Rynhard OH Dayton School Board
Carl Fischer OH Beavercreek School Board
Vanessa Hayes-Williams OH Pickerington School Board
Ukeme Awakessien Jeter OH Upper Arlington City Council
Megan Reamsnyder OH Westerville City Council
Christina Vera OH Columbus City School Board
Jonathon Elgin OH Richland County Board of Elections
Richard Starr OH Cleveland City Council, Ward 5
Courtney Casgraux OR Silver Lake Neighborhood Council Region 4
Trinette Cunningham PA Fayette County Democraticv Jury Commissioner
Mindy Ross PA Downingtown School Board Director, Region 8
Paige Simmons PA Chester County Magisterial Judge 15-2-07
Sophia Garcia-Jackson PA Chester County Coroner
Margaret Reif PA Chester County Controller
Vincent Ridilla PA Crafton Borough Council
Madhu Gurthy PA Dasd School Board Director, Region 2
Taiba Sultana PA Easton City Council
David Ward PA New Castle Pa. City Council Election
Ralph Rodriguez PA Harrisburg City Council
Nathan Strunk PA Pocono Mountain School Board
Jeannine Delwiche PA Director of Pennsbury School Board, Region 3
Laura Obenski PA Uwchlan Township Supervisor, Chester County
Rachel Holbert PA Wallingford-Swarthmore School Board Director, Region 2
Ben Bright PA Washington County Controller
Kathleen Madonna-Emmerling PA Allegheny County, Moon Township Supervisor
Paulette Lomarro PA Uwchlan Township Tax Collector
Vasu Malepati PA Peters Township School Director
Ms.Seema Singh TN Knoxville City Council Dist 3
Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez TX San Antonio City Council, District 2
Marquette Greene-Young TX Iowa Colony City Council, Position 3
Jalen Mckee-Rodriguez TX San Antonio City Council, District 2
Adam Bazaldua TX Dallas City Council Dist 7
Alison Maguire TX City Council in Denton, Texas, District 4
Crystal Chism TX Desoto City Council Place 6
Julie Holmer TX Plano City Council, Place 7
Traci Williams TX Farmers Branch City Council, District 3
Anne Sung TX Houston Independent School District School Board District VII
Ariela Martinez TX Castleberry Independent School District School Board Place 3
Marquette Greene-Young TX Iowa Colony City Council, Position 3
Roxanne Martinez TX Fort Worth School Board, District 9
Shirley Mckellar TX Tyler City Council, District 3
Wil Kennedy TX Iowa Colony City Council, Position 4
Shawn Newell UT Cottonwood Heights City Council, District 3
Tiffany Boyle VA Newport News, Commissioner of the Revenue
Shelly Simonds VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 94
Clinton Jenkins VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 76
Jim Andrews VA Albemarle Board of Supervisors
Joseph Baron VA Norfolk Sherriff
Karrie Delaney VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 67
Kathy Tran VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 42
Sally Hudson VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 57
Schuyler Vanvalkenburg VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 72
Wendy Gooditis VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 10
Michelle Rief VA Alexandria School Board, District A
Stella Pekarsky VA Chair of Fairfax County School Board
Dani Kehlmann VT Waterbury Select Board
Ekaterina Zakharova WA IHCA Board of Directors, D1
Shawna Williams WA Franklin Pierce School District No. 402 Director, District 2
John Haid WA College Place City Council Member
Awale Farah WA Kent School Board Director, District 4
Brian Pickard WA South Kitsap School District No. 402 Director, District 3
David Berg WA Puyallup School Board, Position 4
Melissa Duque WA Mill Creek City Council, Position 6
Michael Mccullough WA Bonney Lake Mayor
Michelle Evans WA Woodinville City Council, Position 1
Sarah Moore WA Burien City Council, Position 5
Graciela Villanueva WA Yakima School District Board, Position 1
Jennifer Chamberlin WA Bremerton City Council
Libby Wennstrom WA Port Townsend City Council
Linda Redmon WA Snohomish City Mayor
Megan Guido WA Pullman City Council, Ward 3
Savannah Erickson WA South Whidbey Fire/EMS Commissioner
Sharon Weersing WA Marysville School District No. 25, District 3
Ted Weinberg WA Mercer Island City Council, Position 4
Tom Jordal WA Mukilteo City Council, Position 2
Vicki Markussen WI La Crosse City Mayor

November 2021 Winners

Primary Election
Name State Office Seeking
Dianne Nolan CT Stratford Town Council, 8th District
Etrinda Castle GA East Point City Council, Ward D
Wykeisha Howe GA Atlanta Public Schools School Board
Bruce Gardner IA Community College Trustee, District 6
Ronnie Bush IL Freeport Mayor
Diane Goldring IL Evanston City Council, Ward 4
Andrew Van Der Laan KS Blue Valley School District 229, Position 4
Regina Platt KS Topeka City Council, D3
Scott Callaway KS Lenexa City Council, Ward 4
Tricia Warring KS School Board Member At-Large USD 418
Emmanuel Dockter MA Massachusetts House of Representatives’ 5th Plymouth District
Todd Mcghee MA Mayor of Attleboro
John Coggeshall MI Berkley City Council
Martin Genter MI Michigan State Senate District 8
Maria Morano MS Horn Lake City Council, Ward 3
Sharon Gipson MS Mayor of Holly Springs
Demetra Sherer MS Tupelo Mississippi City Council
Geraldine Brinkley MS Tupelo City Council, Ward 1
Jimmy Stokes MS Horn Lake City Mayor
Mary Hernandez MT Billings City Council, Ward 4
Sara Kohen NE Omaha City Council, District 7
David Pizzuto NJ South River Borough Council
Lauren Barnett NJ NJ General Assembly, District 25
Leslie Posnock NJ Monmouth County Surrogate
April Daly NY Putnam County Board
David Vinjamuri NY Weschester County Legislator, District 3
Greg Galluccio NY Town Council, Warwick
India Walton NY Mayor of Buffalo
Ltanya Watkins NY Rockland County Executive
Olivia Drabczyk NY New York City Council, District 51
Rebecca Edwards NY Dutchess County Legislator, District 6
Lisa Havemann OH Rocky River City Council, Ward 1
Monica Wilson OH Parma City Council, Ward 1
Erick Walker OH Cleveland City Council, Ward 4
Mark Hensen OH Pickerington Local School Board
Ryan Wharry OH Ottawa Hills Village Council
Heather Rodenborg OH Delaware City Council At-Large
Alex Rajis PA Township Supervisor, Lower Paxton Township in Dauphin County
Ashton Simmons PA West Pikeland Township Supervisor
Susan Drummer PA Cumberland Valley School Board
Kara Shirdon PA Cecil Township Supervisor
Tom Hasani PA Board Director of the Upper Moreland School District
Van Scott PA Lehigh County Magisterial District Judge, District 31-01-06
Karen Glover PA Whitehall-Coplay School Director
Sonia M Mastros PA Boyertown Area School Board, Region 2
John Poniske PA Waynesboro Borough Council, Ward 1
Maryann Velez PA Luzerne County Council
Zachary Bloom PA Clearfield County Controller
Bryan Maher PA Chester County: West Pikeland Township Supervisor
Cheryl Grosso PA Newtown Square Board of Supervisors
Chris Hess PA Lancaster County Controller
Chuck Dennie PA Bethel Township Supervisor
Cody Zaeske PA Daniel Boone School Board
Colleen Mullin PA Doylestown Township Supervisor
Crissy Richardson PA Northamption Supervisor
Krista Zerega PA Chichester Pa School Board, Region 2
Trina Mackie SC North Augusta City Council
Carlos Gonzalez TX City Council in Alice
Carissa George UT American Fork City Council
Joshua Cole VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 28
Linwood Blizzard VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 99
Sam Soghor VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 24
Sara Ratcliffe VA Virginia House of Delegates, District 58
Ben Nimmons WA Kitsap Village Green Metropolitan Park District Commissioner, Position 5
Doug Hartz WA Thurston Fire Protection District 03, Lacey Fire Commissioner, Position No. 1
James Mitchell WA Park and Recreation Commissioner
Jean Rud WA Sultan City Council, Position 1
Shawn Durnen WA Franklin Pierce School District No. 402 Director, District 3
Ambyrlee Gattshall WA Marysville City Council, Position 2
Cindy Gobel WA Marysville City Council, Position 1
Corey Bailey WA Black Diamond County City Council, Position 3
Han Tran WA Bothell City Council, Position 1
Hanan Amer WA Auburn City Council, Position 4
Nadine Stecklein WA College Place City Council, Position 3
Rick Payne WA Graham School Board
Amani Latimer Burris WI Dane County Board of Supervisors, District 12
Lateria Garrett WI Oshkosh City Council Member
Sagar Tolani WI West Allis-West Milwaukee School Board
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