Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Election Night Recap

It was a pretty good day for Democrats, with some exceptions here and there;

In the big race of the year; Kentucky's Republican Governor Ernie Fletcher lost reelection in a landslide, being defeated by former Lieutenant Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, 59%-41%. Beshear even carried the heavily Republican Cincinnatti suburbs, which Fletcher carried by over 20 points in 2003. Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor-elect Dan Mongiardo was Senator Jim Bunning's 2004 opponent who nearly ousted him, earning a surprising 49% of the vote.

Democratic State Auditor Crit Luallen won her reelection campaign in a similar landslide, and, according to some sources, is being touted as an opponent to Republican Senator Mitch McConnell, the Senate Minorty Leader, next year.

In Mississippi, Democrat John Eaves Jr. lost the Governor's race to incumbent Republican Haley Barbour, but Barbour's 58%-42% victory is smaller than most had expected. Barbour's key to victory lay along the state's Gulf Coast, where he is applauded for his response to Hurricane Katrina. Barbour won nearly 3 our of 4 votes cast in the Biloxi, Gulfport area. Mississippi Republicans won all statewide races, except Attorney General, where Democrat Jim Hood won reelection in a similar landslide to Barbour.

Democrats saw their own success in Mississippi, where they won back control of the State Senate, which they lost in 2004, and increased their majority in the State House.

The big news in state legislature races was in Virginia, where Democrats won control of the Virginia Senate for the first time since 1995. Democrats picked up four seats, including the Fairfax County seat of Republican Jeanmarie Devolites-Davis, wife of US Representative Tom Davis, to take a 21-19 majority in the state Senate. Democrats picked up three seats in the House of Delegates to narrow GOP control 54-44 with 2 Independents.

In New Jersey, where a ballot issue to borrow over $400 million to fund stem-cell research failed, the state legislature did not see big changes. Democratic State Senator Ellen Karcher was defeated in a nasty race by Republican State Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck and in the same district, Democratic Assemblyman Michael Panter, who won his 2005 election by 73 votes, was also defeated. Karcher's defeat was cancelled out by two surprise State Senate victories in South Jersey. In the first district, which includes Cape May and Cumberland Counties, Democratic State Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew defeated State Senator Nicholas Asselta. In the next door Atlantic City-based 2nd District, Democrat Jim Whelan defeated Republican Jim McCullough, but Whelan's assembly seat was lost to the Republicans. Democrats picked up the seat of Republican Bill Baroni in the 14th district. Baroni was elected to the State Senate, replaced Peter Inverso. Democrat Wayne De Angelo won Baroni's Assembly seat and Linda Greenstein, a Democrat, was reelected.

In Ohio, Republican Bob Latta narrowly defeated Steve Buehrer to win the Republican nomination for the Ohio 5th Congressional District special election on December 11th. He will face Democrat Robin Weirauch. Also, Janet Creighton, the Republican Mayor of Canton, located in the battleground 16th Congressional district, an open race next year, was defeated by Democrat James Healy 53%-47%.

In Texas, Democrats picked up a State House seat in Fort Worth in a Special Election, narrowing the Republican majority to 79-71. In Maine, Democrats won an open Republican state House seat, expanding their majority there.

Democrats saw mixed successes in Indiana, where Democrat Bart Peterson, Indianapolis' mayor went down in a shocking defeat against Republican Greg Ballard, but Democrats were fairly successful in other Indiana cities, winning the mayor's races in Fort Wayne, South Bend, Portage, Bloomington, and Elkhart. Democrats defeated incumbent Republican mayors in Anderson and Madison and won an open mayor's seat in Kokomo. Muncie is too close to call, but it appears the Democrat is ahead.

A ballot issue allowing for school vouchers failed in Utah, as did a tax hike on cigarettes in Oregon.

The Mayors of Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Houston, Columbus, and San Francisco, all Democrats, were reelected, while the Republican mayors of Charlotte, Jacksonville and Tuscon were also reelected. Democrat Michael Nutter was elected Mayor of Philadelphia.

Locally, in New York;

Staten Island DA Daniel Donovan was reelected in the only real race in New York City.

On Long Island; Suffolk County Democrats had a great night. Democratic County Executive Steve Levy won reelection, as expected. The Democratic town supervisors of the former Republican strongholds of Brookhaven Islip and Riverhead all won reelection. Democrats picked up a seat in the Suffolk Legislature to increase their majority to 11-7.

Nassau County saw little change, a pale comparison to two years ago, when Democrats won the DA seat. Republicans took over the Long Beach city council and votes rejected the idea of creating the position of mayor. Mayor Ralph Suozzi of Glen Cove was reelected, while the Town Supervisors of Hempstead, North Hempstead and Oyster Bay all kept their positions comfortably. In the County Legislature, Democrats appear to have kept their 10-9 majority, but failed to come close to ousting any GOP incumbent. Republican John Ciotti, the most vulnerable Republican, defeated his Democratic opponent Ali Marza 57%-43%. Democrat Jeffrey Toback of Oceanside kept his seat by a 54%-46% margin, as did Democrat Diane Yaturo of Glen Cove, who won 57%-43%. Democrat Joseph Scannell of Baldwin defeated his Republican opponent 55%-45%. Republicans have not conceded in the 14th legislative district of David Meijias of Farmingdale, who ran unsuccesfully for Congress against Peter King last year. Meijias leads his Republican opponent by 222 votes, a 51%-49% margin with 300 absentee ballots to be counted. A Meijias loss would throw control of the county legislature back to the GOP.

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