Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/7

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/7

KS: Democrat Laura Kelly defeats Trump favorite Kris Kobach to become Kansas governor

kshb.com

Democratic state Sen. Laura Kelly will be the new governor of Kansas, prevailing over Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach. Kelly’s victory was viewed as repudiation of both former Gov. Sam Brownback’s fiscal management and the divisive rhetoric of President Donald Trump, a strong Kobach supporter.

NE: Nebraskans OK Medicaid expansion

omaha.com

Nebraska’s voters Tuesday did something its governor and state lawmakers declined to do for more than six years: expand Medicaid to cover more low-income Nebraskans.

WI: Democrat Tony Evers narrowly defeats Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker

apnews.com

Democrat Tony Evers ousted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in the state's closest governor's race in more than a half a century, denying the polarizing Republican and one-time presidential candidate a third term and succeeding where his party had failed in three previous attempts, including a 2012 recall. Walker refused to concede the race early Wednesday, and his campaign alleged that "thousands" of ballots were damaged and may have skewed the count.

LA: Louisiana votes to eliminate Jim Crow jury law

vox.com

Louisiana voted to approve Amendment 2, eliminating a Jim Crow law that made Louisiana one of two states allowing non-unanimous juries in felony trials. Oregon is the only other state that allows split juries, but even it requires unanimous verdicts for murder trials.  

OK: Victims’ rights — ‘Marsy’s Law’— referendum OK’d in Oklahoma

kfor.com

Oklahoma’s Question 794, a “Marsy’s Law” measure that guarantees certain rights for crime victims, was overwhelmingly passed, receiving more than 78 percent of the vote. Marsy’s Law for Oklahoma’s director, Kim Moye, said the vote creates “a system that treats victims as human beings worthy of respect instead of numbers on a court docket.”

MO: Medical marijuana, minimum wage hike OK’d in Missouri; gas tax fails

stltoday.com

Unofficial election returns showed Missouri voters endorsing legalization of medical marijuana, an increase to the state’s minimum wage and an ethics package. A measure to raise the state’s gas tax failed. With their votes, Missouri voters effectively bypassed Missouri’s GOP-led legislature on issues that lawmakers have not addressed for several years.

TX: Republicans sweep statewide races in Texas

texastribune.org

U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz defeated Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke in a closely watched race. Gov. Greg Abbott and every other statewide Republican seeking re-election also were victorious. But the election proved to be the closest statewide contest in two decades.

PA: Pennsylvania women break record, make history

ydr.com

Pennsylvania had a record eight women on the ballot for the U.S. House of Representatives, and half of them won. Pennsylvania is currently one of 11 states with no women in Congress. That will change in January when four Democratic women are sworn in: Madeline Dean, Chrissy Houlahan, Mary Gay Scanlon and Susan Wild.

FL: Republicans Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott emerge with narrow victories in Florida

orlandosentinel.com

Once again, all eyes were on Florida as another election goes right down to the wire. Republican Ron DeSantis edged out Democrat Andrew Gillum in a tight battle for governor. Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Rick Scott were also very close in their U.S. Senate race, which is too close to call and could be headed to a recount. Scott held a narrow lead over Nelson as of Wednesday morning.

GA: In Georgia governor’s race, Democrat Stacey Abrams predicts runoff

myajc.com

Republican Brian Kemp clung to a slim lead over Stacey Abrams in the Georgia gubernatorial race as final election returns trickled in, but the Democrat said she would not concede the race until more absentee ballots were counted.

KY: Kim Davis, Kentucky county clerk who refused to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, loses to Democrat

kentucky.com

Kim Davis, the Kentucky county clerk made famous by her refusal to sign marriage licenses for gay couples, lost in her re-election bid for the Rowan County clerkship.  

IL: Illinois governor loses to Democrat J.B. Pritzker

chicagotribune.com

Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker soundly defeated first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, giving Democrats near total control of Illinois’ state government. In conceding defeat, Rauner called for unity after a grueling, bitter race in which the two candidates accused each other of criminal activity. They broke national campaign funding records by tapping their personal fortunes for hundreds of millions of dollars.

AR: Arkansas OKs Voter ID requirement

arkansasonline.com

Arkansans approved an amendment led by Republican state lawmakers to require photo identification at the polls.  

OH: Ohio voters reject reduced sentencing for drug offenders

dispatch.com

Ohioans soundly rejected a proposal to reduce prison sentences for felony drug offenders and instead offer a quicker path to rehabilitation.  

WA: Washington state OKs gun-control measure

seattletimes.com

A state gun-regulations ballot measure seeking to make Washington’s firearms laws among the strictest in the country passed Tuesday with 60 percent of the vote in election-night returns. The measure led in large western counties and trailed in most eastern counties. Votes will continue be counted in the coming days.  

WV: West Virginians OK anti-abortion amendment

wvgazettemail.com

West Virginia voters added an anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution that says “nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of abortion.”

MI: Michigan voters bring legal recreational pot to the Midwest

apnews.com

Michigan voters have made their state the first in the Midwest to legalize recreational marijuana, passing a ballot measure that will allow people 21 or older to buy and use the drug and putting conservative neighboring states on notice. The Michigan law is set to take effect in about a month.

ID: Idaho OKs Medicaid expansion

idahostatesman.com

Conservative Idaho approved Medicaid expansion. It also picked the Republican candidate, Brad Little, as its governor. The state was one of three red states to approve Medicaid expansion.

AL: Ten Commandments amendment cruises in Alabama

al.com

Alabama voters overwhelmingly supported an amendment to the state’s constitution authorizing public displays of the Ten Commandments. The amendment, as written, promises that no state money will be used to defend it during legal challenges, which are surely to come.  

ND: North Dakota tribe sees strong voter turnout in spite of voter ID confusion

bismarcktribune.com

The North Dakota tribe provided more than 750 new tribal IDs since Oct. 15 and continued to print new IDs on Election Day.

SC:  Republican wins South Carolina governor race behind good economy, Trump

postandcourier.com

Behind an improving economy and strong support for President Donald Trump, Republican Henry McMaster was elected to his first full four-year term in South Carolina’s governor office.  

NC: Democrats break supermajority in North Carolina, but fail to flip key U.S. House seats

newsobserver.com

A “blue wave” didn’t wash over North Carolina. But voters delivered new seats to Democrats in Congress and broke the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly.

ME: Democrat becomes first woman elected Maine governor

pressherald.com

Democrat Janet Mills won the governor’s race, becoming Maine’s first woman to hold the office.

“I am so excited for what lies ahead,” Mills said after dancing her way up to the podium amid cheers at the campaign party at the Aura nightclub in Portland. “It is time, they say, for hope once again … and for a new day in Maine.”

KS, NM: Kansas, New Mexico elect Native American women to Congress

kansascity.com

Kansas voters selected Sharice Davids to be their next congresswoman. Davids, a Democrat and member of the Ho-Chunk Nation, will join New Mexico’s Deb Haaland, a Democrat and member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe, as the first two Native American women to serve in Congress.

MD: Republican governor wins a second term in deep-blue Maryland

washingtonpost.com

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan won re-election, defying a strong backlash against President Donald Trump to become the second Republican executive in state history to earn a second term.

DC: Mayor becomes the first chief executive to win re-election in D.C. since 2002

washingtonpost.com

Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser became the city’s first chief executive to win re-election in 16 years, but her handpicked candidate failed to unseat one of her rivals in a bitterly contested District of Columbia Council race.

OR: Democrats gain supermajority in Oregon

oregonlive.com

Democrats' new super majority in both chambers of the Oregon legislature means corporate tax hikes and progressive policy changes could be an easy sell in the 2019 session.

DE: Republicans suffer high-profile losses in Delaware legislature

delawareonline.com

Democrats expanded their majority in the Delaware General Assembly by flipping one seat in the Senate and one seat in the House from red to blue. But the number of seats turned in this shallow blue wave might end up mattering less than whose seats they won.

CA: Democrat elected California governor in win for resistance against Trump

latimes.com

California cemented its role as a defiant counterweight to the federal government as the state’s voters elected Democrat Gavin Newsom, an enthusiastic adversary of President Donald Trump, as their next governor. California voters also rejected Proposition 10, a ballot measure to expand rent control, and defeated a measure to repeal a recent gas tax increase.

MN:  Minnesota Democrats keep governor’s office, regain House majority

apnews.com

Minnesota Democrats held on to the governor’s office and unexpectedly swept back into power in the state House, but the jubilance ended in the state Senate, where Republicans clung to a razor-thin majority by winning a special election. Democrat Tim Walz, a sixth-term congressman, defeated two-time Republican candidate Jeff Johnson in the governor's race.

NM: Few withstand blue wave in New Mexico

santafenewmexican.com

Minute after minute, race after race, the disaster for the New Mexico Republican Party just got worse. Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham won the governor's race and Democrats swept most statewide offices.

MT: Montana House Republican re-elected; Senate race locked

billingsgazette.com

Republican Greg Gianforte won re-election to Montana's only House seat and the Senate race between Democratic incumbent Jon Tester and Republican Matt Rosendale was too close to call. Medicaid expansion was losing, though votes were still being counted Wednesday.

MS: Tight U.S. Senate race triggers runoff in Mississippi

clarionledger.com

Democrat Mike Espy and Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith will face off in a Nov. 27 runoff, set to make history as either the first woman ever or first African-American since Reconstruction to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate. Neither Espy nor Hyde-Smith received more than 50 percent of the vote.  

MA: Republican governor wins re-election in deep-blue Massachusetts

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker, the popular Republican who has presided over a strong economy, has won re-election to a second term. Baker emphasized the state’s good economic conditions, preached bipartisanship and comity, and trumpeted laws he’s put on the books, including efforts to fight the epidemic of opioid overdoses.

RI: Gina Raimondo wins second term as Rhode Island governor

providencejournal.com

The Democratic incumbent rode the tailwinds of a strong economy to win another four years. Turnout surpassed the last gubernatorial election.

VT: GOP Vermont governor wins re-election, Democrats pick up statehouse seats

burlingtonfreepress.com

Gov. Phil Scott’s re-election shows that his brand of Republicanism can succeed in a Democrat-dominated state. In Vermont’s state House, Democrats picked up a supermajority.

NY: Cuomo wins third term in New York as Democrats consolidate control in Albany

nytimes.com

Andrew Cuomo was resoundingly elected to a third term as governor of New York as fellow Democrats in Albany celebrated a wave of victories in the state Senate, regaining control of that chamber for just the third time since World War II, and giving the party a sweep of the executive and both legislative branches. The state Assembly also remained firmly in Democratic hands.

NJ: Menendez wins New Jersey Senate race; Democrats take three GOP seats

northjersey.com

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, Democrat of New Jersey, completed his comeback from a corruption trial and ethics admonishment, winning a third term by defeating millionaire Republican challenger Bob Hugin, who used his wealth to bury him under negative ads. Democrats also captured three Republican-held House seats, while a fourth appeared too close to call.

IN: Indiana Republican Mike Braun unseats incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly

indystar.com

Republican Mike Braun defeated incumbent Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly in one of nation's most bitter and hotly contested U.S. Senate races. The result defied polls that for weeks said the race was too close to call.

TN: Marsha Blackburn to become Tennessee's first female senator

tennessean.com

Signaling a new direction for Tennessee and helping to cement GOP control of the U.S. Senate, Republican Marsha Blackburn beat Democrat Phil Bredesen to become the state’s first female elected to the upper chamber.

VA: Virginia Democrats flip key House seats; Tim Kaine cruises

washingtonpost.com

A trio of Democratic women defeated Republican incumbents in Virginia congressional districts, and Democratic U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine cruised to re-election as voters turned out in strong numbers around the state.

Nevada, Arizona Split on Renewable Energy Voters OK Affordable Housing Measures
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