We have identified three priority races for people with disabilities based on closeness, relative quality of candidates and competitiveness of presidential race in the state:
please support Roy Cooper
please support Colin Van Ostern
please support John Gregg
Governors are very important for people with disabilities, and will become even more important if Trump and the Republican Party succeed in getting rid of federal protections and rights by weakening or eliminating the Department of Education and block-granting Medicaid. Already, some states refuse to enforce federal laws, a problem for Texas children and adolescents trying to access insurance coverage for autism services. Some Republican governors have refused to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, leaving many low-income people with disabilities uninsured. While Democratic governors face competing pressures and disability advocates are just one of them, they tend to want to be supportive and generally do much better than Republicans. Republican governors have prioritized business interests against those of people with disabilities when it comes to tax and budget policy, workers’ compensation, health care, education, transportation, and many other issues.
Not only do governors have a great impact on disability policy, but Republicans in power have used that power to ensure continued rule: gerrymandering electoral districts so that even if Democrats win more votes, they get fewer seats; disenfranchising current or potential voters who tend to support the existence of a “safety net” for people who are born with disabilities or become disabled; weakening unions of workers whose interests in decent pay and working conditions more often than not parallel the interests of the people they serve; etc. Democrats in power depend on coalitions that include people with disabilities as well as direct service providers such as people who provide in-home supportive services. They want voting to be easy, which benefits people with disabilities which complicate their lives. Though both parties rely on big donations, Democrats generally support reducing the impact of campaign contributions, while Republicans support the existing system and resist disclosure requirements.