We have election results!

The Daily Brew
Welcome to today’s Brew. The caffeine still hasn’t worn off yet from last night’s election results work. We’re bringing you a special edition today—10 things to know about last night. Note: results are current as of 2 am EST.

  1. Join us for a briefing later today discussing yesterday’s results
  2. Three top statewide executive offices may have flipped in Kentucky
  3. Democrats win control of state Senate, House of Delegates in Virginia
  4. New York City approves ranked-choice voting for city primaries
  5. Reeves elected governor of Mississippi
  6. North Carolina mayoral election decided by two votes
  7. Incumbent Turner leads Houston mayoral race
  8. Texas voters reject first constitutional amendment since 2011
  9. Tucson voters reject sanctuary city initiative
  10. New Jersey state Assembly races yet to be called

Join us for a briefing later today discussing yesterday’s results

Want a quick summary of yesterday’s key results? Join me as I sit down with Cory Eucalitto—one of Ballotpedia’s Managing Editors—to discuss the outcome of Tuesday’s elections and their effect on policymaking and redistricting. We’ll cover results from coast to coast starting at 1:30 p.m. Central Time. Register using the link below and if you can’t join us live, we’ll send you a link to the recording when it’s available so you can catch up on your schedule.

Register here
 blank    blankblank   

Three top statewide executive offices may have flipped in Kentucky 

Kentucky’s gubernatorial election was too close to call Tuesday night with 100% of precincts reporting. Attorney General Andy Beshear (D) received 49.2% of the vote to incumbent Gov. Matt Bevin (R)’s 48.9%, according to unofficial results. John Hicks (L) received 2.0%. Beshear declared victory but Bevin had not conceded the race.

Daniel Cameron (R) defeated Gregory Stumbo (D) in Kentucky’s attorney general election Tuesday night, 58% to 42%. The current attorney general is Beshear, who ran for governor, so Cameron’s win is a change in party. Democrats have controlled Kentucky’s Attorney General office since 1948. Republican Michael Adams won the race for secretary of state currently held by term-limited incumbent Alison Lundergan Grimes (D). 

If Beshear’s lead holds, Kentucky will remain under divided triplex control because partisan control of these three offices and the governorship will be split. Kentucky has been under divided triplex control since the 2015 elections. If Bevin wins, Republicans will have triplex control.

Republicans control both chambers of the Kentucky state legislature, which did not hold elections yesterday. If Beshear’s lead holds, Kentucky will have a divided government. It has been a Republican trifecta since the 2016 elections. If Bevin wins, Kentucky will remain a Republican trifecta. 

According to election night returns, Beshear won 23 counties and Bevin won 97. Seventeen counties were won by a different party this cycle than in the 2015 gubernatorial election. Thirteen of those counties flipped from Bevin (R) in 2015 to Beshear (D) in 2019. The other four counties flipped from Jack Conway (D) in 2015 to Bevin (R) in 2019. Beshear won in 21 counties that President Donald Trump (R) carried in the 2016 presidential election.

Democrats win control of state Senate, House of Delegates in Virginia 

Democrats flipped two seats to gain a 21-19 majority in the Virginia State Senate and gained at least five seats to win a 54-45 majority in the Virginia House of Delegates. One House race was too close to call. Heading into the election, Republicans held a 21-19 majority in the state Senate and a 51-49 majority in the House of Delegates. One Republican incumbent was defeated in the state Senate, and four Republican incumbents were defeated in the state House.

The next legislative session will be the first where Democrats have a majority in the House of Delegates since 1997 and in the state Senate since 2014. Along with Gov. Ralph Northam (D), Democrats will have trifecta control in Virginia for the first time since 1993. The House of Delegates elections were the first ones conducted using a remedial map after a federal district court ruled in June 2018 that 11 state legislative districts were an illegal racial gerrymander. The state Senate elections were held using district boundaries enacted in April 2011. 

Democrats will control the redistricting process after the 2020 Census. Virginia’s congressional and state legislative district boundaries are set by the state legislature and subject to veto by the governor. 

Virginia State Senate elections →
Virginia House of Delegates elections

New York City approves ranked-choice voting for city primaries 

New York City became the most populous jurisdiction in the U.S. to approve the use of ranked-choice voting. Seventy-three percent of voters approved Question 1, which provides for ranked-choice voting in primary and special elections for mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president, and city council members. Question 1 allows voters to rank up to five candidates—including a write-in candidate—in order of preference and also makes changes to the timing of elections to fill vacancies and city council redistricting.

Reeves elected governor of Mississippi 

Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated state Attorney General Jim Hood (D), Bob Hickingbottom (Constitution), and David Singletary (I) to become Mississippi’s third consecutive Republican governor. Reeves received 52% of the vote to Hood’s 47% with 99% of precincts reporting. Alongside the Republican majorities won in both chambers of the state legislature, Mississippi will remain a Republican trifecta. Mississippi Republicans also held the secretary of state’s office and gained the state attorney general’s office, winning a triplex—control of each of the top three executive offices—for the first time since 1876.

North Carolina mayoral election decided by two votes 

Incumbent Bluferd Eldreth was re-elected mayor of Jefferson, North Carolina, over challenger William Spencer by a margin of two votes, 20 to 18. Jefferson is located in the western part of the state about 85 miles northwest of Winston-Salem. For the first time ever, Ballotpedia covered all local elections across an entire state—North Carolina. This included races in 503 cities, towns, and villages, nine school districts, and 17 special districts—a total of 529 local elections!

Incumbent Turner leads Houston mayoral race 

Incumbent Sylvester Turner leads in Houston’s mayoral race but may fall short of the threshold needed to avoid a runoff election. As of 1 a.m. Central Time, Turner had received 47% of the vote with Tony Buzbee second with 30% of the vote in the 12-candidate field. If no candidate receives a majority, a runoff election will take place December 14. Policy debate in the race centered on Turner’s record during his first term, especially regarding his handling of the city’s budget and spending priorities.

Texas voters reject first constitutional amendment since 2011 

Texas voters rejected Proposition 1, which would have allowed elected municipal judges to hold office in multiple municipalities at the same time. With 99% of precincts reporting, the vote was 66% against and 34% in favor. Proposition 1 is the first constitutional amendment to be rejected in Texas since 2011, when three measures were defeated. It was put on the ballot by the state legislature, where it received unanimous support from Republicans and Democrats in both legislative chambers.

The current Texas Constitution was adopted in 1876. Voters had decided 677 proposed amendments before 2019, approving 74% of them. Ninety-one percent of proposed amendments have been approved since 1995.

Tucson voters reject sanctuary city initiative

Voters in Tucson, Arizona, decided against making their city the first in the state with sanctuary city policies, with over 70% of voters rejecting Proposition 205. The citizen initiative would have:

  • declared in the city code that Tucson was a sanctuary city; 

  • restricted law enforcement officers from actions to determine a person’s immigration status under certain conditions; 

  • prohibited officers from contacting federal law enforcement agencies to determine a person’s immigration status; and

  • prohibited city employees from inquiring about a person’s immigration status, among other policies.

New Jersey state Assembly races yet to be called 

Elections were held for all 80 seats in the New Jersey General Assembly, although media outlets had only declared winners in 52 seats as of 2 a.m. CT. Democrats had won 38 seats and were leading in at least six others. It takes 41 seats to gain partisan control of the chamber. Heading into the election, Democrats had a 54-26 majority. Democrats have held majorities in both houses of the New Jersey state legislature since 2004.