VA and NJ Governor elections offer mixed bag for reproductive rights

While proponents of access to reproductive health services can rejoice in Virginia with Terry McAuliffe’s victory over Ken Cuccinelli to become the state’s new governor, New Jersey residents are stuck with Governor Chris Christie.

East coast political junkies, organizers, campaigners, and other people with high stakes in their state elections have found themselves knee deep in GOTV work for the past couple of weeks. I spent the past two days canvassing in Virginia on behalf of Terry McAuliffe, and I’m pleased to know that it was worth it. Although the numbers were pretty close, McAuliffe won the governor’s seat – saving Virginians from Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, whose stance on women’s rights is unsupportive at best and dangerous at worst. While neither candidate made Virginia voters swoon, McAuliffe was the obvious choice for Virginians who want some autonomy over their own bodies and health. 

New Jersey resident’s aren’t likely to be able to say the same thing. Governor Chris Christie was re-elected last night in a landslide against Democratic state Senator Barbara Buono. CBS reports:

“Christie’s Democratic challenger, state Sen. Barbara Buono, won the votes of liberals, African-Americans, and young voters, but that was not nearly enough to stop Christie’s pursuit of a second term.”

This is disheartening considering that in 2011 Christie cut almost $8 million in state family planning funding which closed six clinics in the state. According to the report, 57% of women and 32% of Democrats voted in favor of Christie. So how did Christie manage to sweep his election where Cuccinelli struggled? He didn’t talk about it. Let this be a testament to the importance of looking at what candidates do, as opposed to what they say.

Avatar Image Sesali‘s legs hurt from canvassing in Virginia. But apparently it was worth it

Feministing's resident "sexpert", Sesali is a published writer and professional shit talker. She is a queer Black girl, fat girl, and trainer. She was the former Training Director at the United States Student Association and later a member of the Youth Organizing team at Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She received her bachelors in Women's and Gender Studies from Depaul University in 2012 and is currently pursuing a master's in Women's, Gender, and Sexuality studies at Georgia State University in Atlanta. A self identified "trap" feminist, and trained with a reproductive justice background, her interests include the intersections of feminism and: pop culture, youth culture, social media, hip hop, girlhood, sexuality, race, gender, and Beyonce. Sesali joined the team in 2010 as one of the winners of our So You Think You Can Blog contest.

is Feministing's resident sexpert and cynic.

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