I need examples of local government machines losing to outsiders
May 21, 2019 10:15 AM   Subscribe

I am wondering if there is a recipe for city machines losing to non-insiders. Like a city needs X conditions to be happening (perhaps scandal or incompetence) combined with Y candidate (charisma, name recognition, media favorability, money?). Examples, case studies, websites, books, all would be great.

Assume I'm only interested in medium-large cities and races under national level, i.e. not Congress, think city council, county auditor, prosecutor. I'd accept stories of state legislature races, but really looking for city/county. I recently found this manual from the ACLU on fighting police abuse, and got to thinking there might be resources in other areas in which I have interest. Thank you!
posted by imabanana to Law & Government (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
First example that comes to mind is state-level, but I'll keep thinking:

Last year, a slate of New York State Senate primary candidates defeated six out of eight members of the Republican-aligned Independent Democratic Conference. This is a good rundown, but you could get way more into the weeds with it.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:24 AM on May 21, 2019

A look at Harold Washington's career might be interesting.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:25 AM on May 21, 2019

I remember in 2014 when Tony Thurmond beat Elizabeth Echols for the California AD 15 seat, some people were upset that he went against the local (Berkeley) Democratic machine.
posted by kendrak at 11:03 AM on May 21, 2019

Chicago! Just this winter several DSA candidates beat long term incumbents in the Aldermanic races. Many of the incumbents defeated received a lot of backing from real estate and other "machine" interests.
posted by phack at 11:06 AM on May 21, 2019 [1 favorite]

You could read about Philly’s DA, Larry Krasner. There’s a New Yorker article about him, could be a decent place to start, afraid I can’t link right now.
posted by ferret branca at 11:52 AM on May 21, 2019

In 2017 Mik Pappas unseated the long-term incumbent for Pennsylvania’s 31st Magisterial District seat with the support of the DSA - this is a local election which covered two neighborhoods in Pittsburgh, PA. The incumbent, Rob Costa Sr, is a member of the very politically connected Costa family, which includes Jay Costa the state senate minority leader. Then in 2018 Dom and Paul Costa - incumbent members of the state house of representatives - both lost to DSA-backed candidates in the primary. The DSA-backed candidates went on to win the general election.
posted by muddgirl at 3:56 PM on May 21, 2019

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