Reading Time: 3 minutes

The Forward Party Celebrates a Night of Significant Victories, Demonstrating the Viability of its Focus on State and Local Elections

November 8, 2023

Over 20 Forwardists Competed for State and Local Seats Across Seven States, Winning and Beating Expectations


The Forward Party is celebrating a series of victories in the 2023 election cycle. Barely a year old, we have made great strides in providing better options at the ballot box to the American people, bringing real competition to races that have been uncontested year after year.

It’s said that all politics is local, and 2023 certainly reinforced that. Americans, sick of the political division and lack of progress, are taking power back into their own hands. This can be seen across the country as citizen-led ballot initiatives continue to pass, removing decisions from out-of-touch politicians who are more interested in fundraising than solving our biggest problems. The Forward Party hopes to recruit and run candidates who are addressing this desire of Americans—we’re looking for public servants who believe in democracy, accountability, and transparency. Public servants who pledge to serve their constituents, not their own interests.

Together, we elected five new Forwardists that fit this description:

  • Connecticut: Danielle Chesebrough, Stonington First Selectman
  • Maryland: James Kole, Laurel Councilman
  • Pennsylvania: Seth Bluestein, Philadelphia City Commissioner
  • Pennsylvania: Chris Woodward, Lower Heidelberg Twp Auditor
  • Pennsylvania: Steve Zappala, Allegheny District Attorney

With a full slate of candidates on the Forward line in Connecticut and triumphs across Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, our endorsed candidates have outperformed expectations, demonstrating the effectiveness of our local-focused strategy.

Our success is epitomized by Danielle Chesebrough’s win in Stonington, CT, as the First Selectman, marking her as our first Forward elected official who faced opponents. In Pennsylvania, Chris Woodward’s win as Lower Heidelberg Twp Auditor heralds our effective strategy to identify and fill uncontested seats.

The Forward Party’s focus on state and local races is a strategic response to the current political climate, where extremist groups are gaining momentum. With an eye on ’24, we are actively recruiting candidates to combat extremism and provide better choices for the American voter.

Looking ahead, we’re inspired by voters’ pushback on national politics in local elections. The Forward Party offers a fresh path for those who value their community’s interests above party lines. We are empowering local leaders to address the problems in their communities, not mandating the acceptance of policy litmus tests from the national organization. This is a key aspect of what makes Forward different—we’re building infrastructure to help local communities address their problems, not to entrench power in ourselves and shut out the voices of those we’re supposed to be representing.

We extend our deepest gratitude to all who have joined us in this national movement for positive change. Yesterday’s results are a testament to our collective efforts to heal our nation with leaders that pledge to govern according to Forward’s values-based platform. These values aren’t just words we put on posters, either—we ask all candidates to sign a pledge that puts these into practice, and we’re not afraid to pull our support for a candidate who doesn’t live up to their promises.


Forward empowers leaders to find solutions that work in their communities. We won’t dictate a rigid, top-down policy platform and expect it to work for all Americans.


Forward welcomes new ideas and fearless conversations around the issues of the day. We won’t silence debate or refuse to adapt to the modern world.


Forward strives for collaborative solutions. We’ll make sure they work, and we’ll try something else if they don’t.


Forward is creating a political home for everyone willing to work together in good faith to find practical ways to make this country better.


Forward is asking what we can do for your community. We will not ask what your community can do for us.


Forward believes in approaching one another with grace and tolerance, finding ways to pick people back up rather than knock them down.


Forward supports election reform policies such as ranked-choice voting and open, nonpartisan primaries to bring more competition and better options to the ballot in local elections.

As more and more Americans grow sick of the outdated two-party system in this country, more and more elected officials are finding a welcoming home in the Forward Party. “We’re seeing an unprecedented number of elected leaders reach out to us, tired of being told what’s best for their constituents by out of touch party leaders,” said Lindsey Williams Drath, Forward Party’s CEO. “We believe that voters put people in office in order to solve their problems, and the Forward Party is creating space for these public servants to do just that, without requiring them to adopt policy positions they don’t believe in or know won’t work just to toe the party line.”

The Forward Party is bringing moderates, conservatives, and progressives together to heal our political divisions, find our shared ground, and create a brighter future for America. Forward Party candidates are accountable to the voters, and they will focus on solutions, not partisan fighting, in order to serve their constituents better.

For more information about the Forward Party, please read through our Prospectus and Q1 Fact Sheet.