Four candidates backed by the Democratic Socialists of America won primary races Tuesday night for Pennsylvania’s legislature, sparking supporters to declare the movement is on the rise.
“What we did … tonight across the state is a HUGE deal,” the group’s Pittsburgh chapter tweeted. “The establishment's scared.”
All four winners were female candidates running as Democrats for state House seats, including two from the Pittsburgh area, Summer Lee and Sara Innamorato.
Lee and Innamorato defeated incumbent Democrats in the heavily Democratic districts southeast and north of Pittsburgh, respectively, and are running unopposed by Republicans in the November elections.
The democratic-socialist movement appears to have gained momentum in the country since Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders espoused its ideas in the 2016 presidential race, while officially running on the Democratic Party ticket.
The platform put forth by Sanders and others touts free health care and higher-education for all and, more recently, a job for every American.
The two other Democratic and DSA-backed winners in the Pennsylvania races Tuesday night were Elizabeth Fiedler and Kristin Seale in the Philadelphia area, another Democratic stronghold.
Fiedler is also running unopposed, while Seale, who won by roughly 1 percentage point, faces Republican incumbent Rep. Christopher Quinn, according results from the Pennsylvania Department of State.
All four women defeated male incumbents in the races.
“It feels like a monumental shift,” Arielle Cohen, co-chairwoman of Pittsburgh DSA chapter, told the HuffingtonPost.com. “We won on popular demands that were deemed impossible. We won on health care for all; we won on free education. … We’re turning the state the right shade of red tonight.”