Yesterday in elections in Oregon and Idaho, anti-democracy candidates were defeated in several marquee races. Most notably Idaho gubernatorial hopeful Janice McGeachin, whose embrace of white nationalism and militias was soundly rejected by voters.

“Yesterday’s results make clear that our inclusive democracy is being contested throughout the Pacific Northwest and Mountain West,” said Eric K. Ward, executive director of Western States Strategies. “For decades we’ve seen that our region has been a bellwether for white nationalist and paramilitary attacks on democratic institutions and communities, but also home to the broad, moral coalitions that have risen up to defeat them. The defeat of anti-democracy candidates with white nationalist and paramilitary ties up and down the ballot is evidence that those of us committed to inclusive democracy, even if we have vastly different political views, do indeed have the power to come together to defeat movements that traffic in bigotry, white nationalism and political violence. When voters understand the white nationalist views of some of the candidates running for office, they reject them. It’s critical that we come together to organize and educate communities so more people understand the threats we face.”

In addition to Janice McGeachin, who was defeated in her bid for governor, a number of other anti-democracy candidates were rejected by voters, including Priscilla Giddings, who ran for Lieutenant Governor; Dorothy Moon, who ran for Secretary of State; and Chad Christensen, Todd Engel and Eric Parker, who mounted bids for the state legislature. In Ada County, antisemitic sheriff candidate Doug Traubel was soundly defeated, alongside losses for Proud Boy and conspiratorial candidates in Oregon.

“From a national perspective, it’s clear that Idaho and Oregon have lessons to teach other states,” said Ward. “Anti-democracy attacks aren’t limited to our region of the country, and our commitment to defeating them can’t be either. We need to recognize the need for a broad movement to defend inclusive democracy. We need a response at every level of government and across civil society appropriate to the threat we face as a country. We ignore the lessons this election can teach us at our peril.”


Western States Strategies is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization based in Portland, Oregon. Please visit for more information.

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