November 10, 2022
Gubernatorial elections resulted in few changes of control on Election Day, as Democrats held off challengers in several races that polls showed could be close—including Wisconsin, New York, and Michigan—while Republican incumbents won decisively in Florida and Texas, according to the Associated Press.
Democrats also prevailed in the only two states to flip, Maryland and Massachusetts, reports The Wall Street Journal.
In Maryland, The New York Times notes, Wes Moore, a celebrity author and nonprofit executive, is projected to take back the governor’s office for Democrats after eight years under Governor Larry Hogan, a Republican who has reached his term limit. Moore, who will become the first Black governor of his state, faced up against Dan Cox, a far-right state delegate.
In Massachusetts, Attorney General Maura Healey, with more than 63% of the vote as of Wednesday morning, November 9, has fended off gubernatorial candidate Republican Geoff Diehl (with 35%), the Times reports.
One of the most hotly contested races in the nation was in Wisconsin, where incumbent Democrat Tony Evers is projected to have fended off Republican businessman Tim Michels. Evers ran on a platform of investing in education and infrastructure—opposing gerrymandering and supporting abortion access—while Michels said he would do more to fight crime and touted his support from former President Donald Trump.
In New York, incumbent Democratic Governor Kathy Hochul defeated Republican U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, according to the AP. Zelden gained on her in recent polls, which gave Republicans hope he could become the first candidate from their party to win statewide office in two decades as he focused on voter concern about rising crime. Hochul campaigned on her record from her year in office, including new gun-control laws, COVID-19 pandemic management, and rebate checks for taxpayers. She will become the first woman elected as governor in New York history.
Robust victories for Florida’s Ron DeSantis and Texas’ Greg Abbott put the two men into strong positions as they both prepare for possible presidential runs in 2024, according to political analysts.
Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer defeated conservative political commentator Tudor Dixon, who criticized the incumbent for the length of COVID-19 shutdowns and pledged to expand the state’s economy and stop the teaching of critical race theory in schools. Whitmer focused on her record repairing roads and increasing education spending.
New Mexico Democratic Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham defeated former television meteorologist Mark Ronchetti, a Republican, according to the AP, in a race focused on issues including crime and abortion access.
In Maine, Democratic Governor Janet Mills won re-election over former Republican Governor Paul LePage. LePage hammered the incumbent over energy costs, while Mills touted her efforts to diversify the state’s energy sources.
Pennsylvania Democratic Attorney General Josh Shapiro beat Republican State Senator Doug Mastriano in the gubernatorial race, according to CNBC. After focusing his campaign on law-and-order issues and protecting abortion access, Shapiro will succeed departing Democratic Governor Tom Wolf.
Georgia Republican Governor Brian Kemp defeated former State House minority leader Stacey Abrams, a Democrat, according to TIME magazine. Kemp largely ignored attacks from Trump over President Joe Biden’s win in the state in 2020 and focused on his efforts to promote business development, loosen gun laws, and open the state quickly following COVID-19 lockdowns.
California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom easily won re-election, NBC reports, in the nation’s most populous state, after a campaign in which he spent much of his time feuding with Republicans and promoting liberal positions on such issues as climate change and abortion access.
Races that were too close to call in the early-morning hours on Wednesday, November 9, included Kansas and Nevada, where Democratic incumbents sought to keep their seat; and Alaska, where a Republican governor is campaigning for reelection.
Research contact: @WSJ