Magazine article State Legislatures

Flipped Seats, Narrow Margins Mark Off-Year Results

Magazine article State Legislatures

Flipped Seats, Narrow Margins Mark Off-Year Results

Article excerpt

Democrats in the Old Dominion took control of both legislative chambers and, along with a Democratic governor, have gained full control of the state's government for the first time since 1993.

Going into the election, Virginia Republicans held a 21-19 seat advantage in the Senate and a 51-49 lead in the House of Delegates. (Control of the House rested on a single seat decided by a random drawing in 2017.) Democrats, capitalizing on an invigorated electorate as indicated by relatively high voter turnout, now hold advantages of 21-19 in the Senate and 55-45 in the House.

Democrats also celebrated the victory of Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear (D), son of former Governor Steve Beshear (D), over incumbent Governor Matt Bevin (R) in a race separated by only 5,300 votes. Beshear becomes the state's 35th Democratic governor.

Democrats didn't win everywhere, however. Republicans in Mississippi expanded their comfortable majority in the Senate by two, while maintaining their large margin in the House. And although the race between Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves (R) and Attorney General Jim Hood (D) was tapped by some analysts as an opportunity for Democrats to gain control of the governor's mansion for the first time since 2004, it was obvious when the polls closed that Reeves would succeed in keeping Mississippi red.

In New Jersey, Republicans flipped five Democratic seats--four in the Assembly, one in the Senate--though Democrats still hold commanding leads in both chambers. …

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