Published: Fri, November 09, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Democrats gain governors' seats, but GOP holds some states

Democrats gain governors' seats, but GOP holds some states

Democrats, playing catch-up after a net loss of 13 governorships and more than 900 state legislative seats during the eight-year Obama administration, fielded their largest slate of legislative candidates in more than three decades.

One of those Senate races was in Texas, where Democrat Beto O'Rourke mounted a serious challenge against Republican incumbent Ted Cruz, but he fell short of victory.

Control of both houses of the US Congress, now dominated by Republicans, and 36 governors' offices will be at stake when Americans vote on Tuesday.

Democrats likely will gain full control in IL and New Mexico by winning the governor's races. The former legislative leader will become the second female governor in a state where Democrats heavily targeted other statewide and legislative offices.

Both Abrams and her rival, Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, denounced the calls, with the Republican calling them "absolutely disgusting".

Democrats took six legislative chambers away from Republicans on Tuesday night, giving them control of 37 across the country.

In New Mexico, Democratic Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham is projected to beat Republican Rep. Steve Pearce to succeed term-limited Republican Governor Susana Martinez, turning the governor's mansion from red to blue.

Stitt defeated former Democratic attorney general Drew Edmondson in Tuesday's election to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Mary Fallin.

But a Republican in the mold of President Trump is projected to win the governor's office in Florida, and another leads in Georgia - both states where African-American candidates hoped to break new ground for Democrats.

Republicans also scored a major victory in Ohio's governor race, where Mike DeWine, the state attorney general, defeated Democrat Richard Cordray, who served as the first director of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Another Democrat trying to make history, Ben Jealous, lost his bid to become Maryland's first black governor to incumbent Republican Larry Hogan. The Associated Press declared Evers the victor early Wednesday, but a Walker spokesperson says "we need the official canvass for military ballots to be counted before any decision".

Democrats now fully control 14 state governments, and while that represents a significant brightening of prospects from 2016, they are still well behind Republicans, who have full control of 22 states. Democratic former President Barack Obama swooped in to boost the Democrats, and media star Oprah Winfrey visited Georgia on behalf of Abrams.

Democrats also kept control of CT, a traditionally Democratic state that Republicans had hoped to pick up. Democrats cut into that margin Tuesday but still trail in the nationwide tally. And Republicans are projected to continue to hold power in the 2020 presidential battlegrounds of Florida and Ohio.

Democrats Andrew Cuomo in NY and Tom Wolf in Pennsylvania easily won re-election, as did two Republicans in Democratic-leaning states - Larry Hogan in Maryland and Charlie Baker in MA. Interest has been unusually high for a non-presidential election year, with early voting running well ahead of past cycles.

Democrat Laura Kelly waved to the crowd in Topeka on November 6, 2018, after she was elected governor of Kansas.

Republicans, though, expressed optimism that they would hold on to seats, even in a tough year for the GOP. "Winning the governorships is huge in beginning the process of changing the direction of our politics".

Still, their victories in Illinois, Michigan, Nevada and Wisconsin, were balanced by Republicans holding on to one of the top prizes, Florida, and the governor's offices in OH and Arizona.

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