On the evening of last Tuesday’s primary election, I was reporting from Poize, a bar in Riverside where the India Walton campaign was holding a watch party. I’d just called my boss, Jim Heaney, to tell him it looked like Walton would win.
A roar came from the crowd inside as another wave of ballots was reported. I checked my phone: Walton had surpassed 10,000 votes.
An email popped up from the editor of The Nation:
“Hey Geoff. If India Walton pulls off an upset, can you get us 1000 words by Thursday explaining how she did it—and what it might mean?”
Walton won and I did. Here’s the story.
What I wrote was this: That it’s probably not possible to understand how disruptive Walton’s win over four-term incumbent Byron Brown has been unless you’re from here.
Her victory broke the troika of power headed by Brown and his allies in the state capital, state Sen. Tim Kennedy and Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes.
Walton’s win shook up Brown’s core supporters: real estate developers and construction firms, as well as the banks, insurance companies, and law firms that service them. It dealt a powerful blow to the county Democratic Party’s leadership, too.
In this city—where nothing seems to change, where the loci of power have seemed immoveable for decades—Walton has ignited a revolution. Let’s see if she can keep it.