Saturday evening, we received some incredible news out of southwest Washington. Marie Gluesenkamp Perez, a pro-immigrant candidate endorsed by OneAmerica Votes, claimed victory over her far-right opponent, ending 12 years of Republican control of Washington’s third congressional district.
Major pollster Five Thirty Eight gave us a 2% chance of winning this seat. Major political consultants and party officials agreed–but we knew our community better.
Instead, it became one of only 6 house seats across the country that were flipped.
Her win is the result of decades of organizing and electoral work in southwest Washington. In a race as close as this, every voter-to-voter conversation matters. As of right now, there are just over 5,000 votes between Marie and Kent–we contacted 20,000 voters in the 3rd and helped close that gap. Our door-to-door canvassing, phone banking and mail helped make immigrants a significant and clear margin of victory for this race.
Over the years, our political programs have persuaded voters based on issues and our vision of a Thriving Home for all in Washington state. Alongside Gluesenkamp Perez’s campaign and the work of other local organizations, we lifted the political power of disenfranchised voters and won new leadership for our base.
This win proves what we’ve known all along: immigrants win when we organize.
This win belongs solely to the community and organizations like OneAmerica Votes who committed to a long term strategy to transform this district. It belongs to people like OneAmerica Votes staff and leaders like Glicerio Zurita and Elizabeth Ruiz, who have been organizing immigrant communities in Southwest Washington for over 10 years to flip the 3rd Congressional seat.
Immigrants fought to reject fascism and instead elected a strong visionary Latina woman to congress.
And not only this! This was our most successful year of voter contact work. We reached over 35,000 New American and immigrant voters across the state. As a result we also retained our democratic majorities in the state legislature, proving that there is in fact a rising immigrant electorate, and sending new champions like Darya Farivar, Sharlett Mena, Emily Alvarado and Julie Reed (just to name a few) to the legislature.
These victories belong to all of us. It belongs to our leaders on the ground, our staff making political moves, and our donors and board members who have supported us through long years of organizing and ground building.
We will continue to organize across Washington. We will ensure we have pro-immigrant, BIPOC candidates representing our community at every level of government. It happens vote by vote, candidate by candidate, race by race.
Together we organize, elect people like us, and transform our government for the better.