Democrat Stacey Abrams Refuses to Concede Georgia Governor's Race

Democrats capture several governors' mansions from Republicans

Democrats capture several governors' mansions from Republicans

The hotly contested race in Georgia, where Democrat Stacey Abrams was seeking to become the first black woman to be elected governor of a US state, remained too close to call early on Wednesday.

Wisconsin Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tony Evers, left, and lieutenant governor candidate Mandela Barnes in Madison, Wis., Wednesday. The two-term governor, who also survived a Democratic-driven recall election in 2012 after ending collective bargaining for public workers, briefly ran for president in 2016. Democrats did win gubernatorial races in Kansas, Wisconsin and IL, as well as four other states.

In Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer turned back Republican Bill Schuette in the contest to replace Republican Governor Rick Snyder, who could not run again due to term limits.

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

Democratic candidates also triumphed in Illinois, Maine, New Mexico and Nevada, where Republicans had held the governorships. The Democratic victories in Kansas and MI will break up Republican trifectas.

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 Georgia, Abrams, 44, was locked in a tight battle with Republican Brian Kemp, the state's secretary of state. Kemp is now at 50.5 percent; if he dips below 50, the race goes to a runoff.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner conceded to his Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker, less than an hour after polls closed. But their most promising gubernatorial candidates, Stacey Abrams and Andrew Gillum, lost in Georgia and Florida, respectively. Obama swooped in to boost the Democrats, and media star Oprah Winfrey visited Georgia on behalf of Abrams. Accusations of race-baiting have dogged both candidates, who deny the charges.

The Democratic Party said it flipped at least six state legislative chambers on the strength of local races. That includes 25 states where they hold a trifecta of power, compared with just eight for Democrats.

The outcome of elections for state positions could also affect future control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Although most state lawmakers responsible for redistricting will be elected in 2020, voters on Tuesday were electing more than 800 state lawmakers in about two dozen states to four-year terms where they could play a role in approving new congressional or state legislative districts. In some states, a governor's power to sign or veto congressional maps could decide the partisan balance.

Republicans, as expected, also retained control of the Ohio Senate.

"Those states together are majority-makers in Congress", said Jared Leopold, a spokesman for the Democratic Governors Association.

"Laura is the only choice to lead Kansas and end the Brownback-Kobach experiment for good", Sebelius said before the vote, tying Kobach to former Gov. Sam Brownback, whose administration dug the state into a deep financial hole before he left the post to become the USA ambassador at large for worldwide religious freedom.

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