Democrat Laura Kelly wins Kansas governor race, CNN projects

Remigio Civitarese
Novembre 10, 2018

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.

In all, voters were choosing 36 governors and 6,089 state legislators in general and special elections that have attracted record amounts of spending from national Democratic and Republican groups.

In Iowa, Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds broke the Democrats' run of Midwest success by being elected to a full term.

Critical contests are taking place in Midwestern and Rust Belt states that sealed Trump's 2016 victory, where Republican losses could hurt his re-election chances in 2020.

Republicans are in control more often than not in state capitols across the country, but Democrats were trying to pull a little closer in elections Tuesday for governor and state legislature.

In addition to Wisconsin, Democrats also won governor races in three other states - Michigan, Pennsylvania and Kansas - that supported Trump in 2016, bolstering the party's hopes of capturing those states in the 2020 presidential election. But their most promising gubernatorial candidates, Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, lost in Georgia and Florida, respectively.

Democrat Laura Kelly waved to the crowd in Topeka on November 6, 2018, after she was elected governor of Kansas. Accusations of race-baiting have dogged both candidates, who deny the charges. Democratic former President Barack Obama swooped in to boost the Democrats, and media star Oprah Winfrey visited Georgia on behalf of Abrams.

Going into Tuesday, Republicans controlled 33 governors' mansions and two-thirds of state legislative chambers.

The Democratic Governors Association has focused on nine swing states - Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin - where it believes the governorships could be pivotal in congressional redistricting.

The outcome of elections for state positions could also affect future control of the U.S. House of Representatives. And it will nearly certainly influence how states redraw congressional districts after the 2020 census.

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and Republican State Leadership Committee, which focus on state races, also set record fundraising targets. In some states, a governor's power to sign or veto congressional maps could decide the partisan balance.

Cook's Duffy expects Democrats to wrest between six and eight governorships away from Republicans, who are defending a large number of open seats in battleground states.

"Those states together are majority-makers in Congress", said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association. But Democrat Christine Hallquist lost her bid to become the first openly transgender USA governor in Vermont, where Republican incumbent Phil Scott won re-election.

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