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Science Was The Real Winner in This Week's U.S. Elections

The people have spoken.

SCIENCE AF STAFF
8 NOV 2017
 

Dr. Ralph Northam is a 58-year-old pediatrician and Army veteran. Now, in a hard-fought race against Republican Ed Gillespie, Northam has become Virginia's 73rd governor.

"In Virginia, it's going to take a doctor to heal our differences, to bring unity to our people, and I'm here to let you know that the doctor is in," Northam said in his victory speech at George Mason University.

 

Dr. Northam is just one of a long list of victorious candidates endorsed by 314 Action, an organization dedicated to getting more scientists into office. In the organization's first ever round of endorsements, their pro-science candidates won offices across the country - from county commissioner to state legislator to governor.

Finally, it seems as though the country is ready for politicians that know their science.

"314 Action's endorsed candidates proved something last night: science will not be silenced, and voters are ready for candidates who are going to use their STEM training to base policy on evidence," said founder and former researcher Shaugnessy Naughton.

"If this year is any indication, 2018 is going to be a big year for candidates with STEM backgrounds."

Naughton attributes the successful election at least in part to the current administration's war on science.

"It is clear that the seemingly constant flow of alternative facts around science, climate change and public health that is being spewed by the Trump Administration and some members of Congress is a catalyst for voters who are ready to support candidates that stand for science, facts and reason," she said.

 

Since January, 314 Action has provided training, support and guidance for 7,000 scientists that want to get involved in politics. And it seems as though their efforts are finally paying off. Many of the victorious candidates on Tuesday were involved in these very training sessions, proving their merit.

"We are creating a pipeline of STEM candidates, and our victories in this election are just the beginning of that movement," said Naughton.

"Offices at the local and state level directly impact education policy, which is why we believe supporting candidates at this level is of critical importance to our pro-science movement."

Below are the list of victorious pro-science candidates.

We elected:

Ralph Northam (Virginia Governor)

Hala Ayala (Virginia State House of Delegates 51st District)

Cheryl Turpin (Virginia State House of Delegates 85th District)

John Mack (Newtown, PA Township Supervisor)

Christina VandePol (Chester County, PA Coroner)

Martin Miller (West Norriton, PA Commissioner)

Laurie Osher (Orono, ME Town Council)

Eunice Franklin-Becker (Colonial School District Board, PA)

Tiffany Hodgson (Wissahickon School Board, PA)

Judy Lofton (Perkiomen Valley School District, PA)

Monica Taylor (Upper Darby School Board, PA)

Wayde Weston (Perkiomen Valley School District, PA)

Monica Linden (Franklin, MA School Committee)

Kelsey Waits (Hastings, MN School Board)

We Re-elected:

Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (New Jersey's 16th Legislative District)

Mayor Nancy McFarlane (Raleigh, NC Mayor)

David Gioiello (Shelton, CT Board of Education)