Of the many important wins Tuesday night that made up one, huge VICTORY for all, here are a few by candidates I had highlighted in a recent post:

Jerry McNerney (D-CA) for CongressJerry McNerney defeated seven-term incumbent conservative, Richard Pombo, who chaired the House Resources Committee and was deemed an “eco-thug” by the Sierra Club. McNerney supports Rep. John Murtha’s plan for speedy withdrawal and made renewable energy a focus of his platform – even using the slogan New Energy for Congress.

Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) for CongressEd Perlmutter said that one of his first acts in Congress will be to add his name to Rep. Murtha’s list of co-sponsors for legislation calling for a speedy withdrawal. He advocates for a “Manhattan Project” to achieve energy independence.

Paul Hodes (D-NH) for CongressPaul Hodes defeated six-term incumbent Charles Bass in a district held by Republicans since 1990 – and he did it with a platform calling for nuclear disarmament and immediate troop withdrawal.

Bob Menendez (D-NJ) for SenateSen. Menendez took a strong antiwar stance in calling for troop withdrawals this year. He also successfully defeated the constant, unsubstantiated allegations of corruption by his Republican challenger.

John Hall (D-NY) for CongressTruly a favorite here at The Nation (and not just because of his music career), John Hall stunned six-term incumbent Sue Kelly while thwarting a flurry of Rove-like tricks down the stretch. In addition to calling for immediate troop withdrawal, Hall told Congressional Quarterly that he hopes to have a seat on the Energy and Commerce Committee where he will pursue an “Apollo Project” for renewable energy. Hall says energy independence “would give the American psyche such a jolt, such a shot in the arm. We would once again feel like a country in control of its own destiny.”

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for SenateWe can’t emphasize enough the importance of Sherrod Brown’s victory. Read my post about Brown from last night, and John Nichols’ recent Nation cover story.

Joseph Sestak, Jr. (D-PA) for CongressMedia consultants advised Joe Sestak not to discuss troop withdrawal and he ignored them. Instead, he made war the main issue of the campaign and called for a withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq by the end of 2007. Sestak defeated a 20-year incumbent.

Bernard Sanders (I-VT) for SenateBernie Sanders defeated his Big Bucks opponent and is one of the most progressive members of the Senate.

These were some of the victories. There were also many candidates who were right on the issues but came up short at the ballot box. Nevertheless, each played a key role in collectively focusing the national conversation on the war, the economy and the GOP’s unrelenting assault on our constitution. Their contributions will be felt long past Election Day.