BY ALEX ROARTY – McCLATCHY
The liberal resistance to President Donald Trump hasn't managed to capture any new Congressional seats for Democrats — but it's having a major effect on politics at a more local level.
In Jackson, Miss., progressives elected a candidate last month who promised to make his Deep South town “the most radical city on the planet.” In Cincinnati, a liberal favorite earned more support than the incumbent mayor in the first round of voting this spring.
And in Philadelphia, a Black Lives Matter advocate won the Democratic primary in May to be the next district attorney — in a city where even Democratic law enforcement officials have traditionally taken a hard line.
“We have a president who any sentient person recognizes is a wannabe dictator,” said Larry Krasner, who won the Democratic Party’s primary for district attorney in Philadelphia. “That’s the kind of thing that can wake you up in the morning, make you lace up your shoes, and go vote. So, yes, I think that had impact.”
Indeed, while Trump’s election has whipped progressives into a frenzy and driven new activists and big dollars into high-profile federal races for the House and Senate, it’s in cities and towns that the vociferous response against the president is transforming politics.
The effect has major implications for the Democratic Party, both in the agenda it pushes and its electoral bench of future candidates for higher office.
Krasner is the crown jewel of liberal success in local elections this year, winning a competitive multi-candidate primary in a city where the winners of Democratic primaries almost always win the general election. The civil-rights attorney — an open critic of the city’s police who is closely aligned with the Black Lives Matter movement — is on track to take office just eight years after the retirement of former District Attorney Lynne Abraham, who over the course of nearly two decades in office earned the moniker “Queen of Death” for the frequency with which she sought the death penalty.