Democrat Tony Evers looked ahead to leading Wisconsin with a Republican-controlled Legislature, the first time state government has been divided in a decade, while ousted Republican Gov. Scott Walker eyed a possible recount following the state's closest governor's race in more than half a century.
The Evers victory, coupled with the apparent win by Democratic attorney general candidate Josh Kaul in a race too close to call, realigns the political dynamic in Wisconsin following eight years of Republican control. While Democrats had hopes of making headway in the Legislature, Republicans will remain in the majority with Evers as governor, setting up at least two years of divided government. That hasn't happened in Wisconsin since 2008, when Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle was in office and Republicans controlled the Assembly with Democrats in charge of the Senate.
Evers declared victory early Wednesday morning, but Walker held off conceding while his campaign investigated 2,000 absentee ballots in Milwaukee that were reconstructed due to damage or errors. The city's elections commission said the reconstruction process is routine, transparent and overseen by representatives of both political parties, election workers and the public.
Major U.S. stock indexes opened higher Wednesday after the uncertainty of a contentious midterm election ended with the most widely expected result: a Democratic takeover of the House and Republicans retaining the Senate majority.
Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher trailed challenger Harley Rouda by 2,682 votes with all precincts reporting early Wednesday in Orange County’s 48th Congressional District. Provisional ballots and late mail ballots still have to be counted.
Democrat Fiona Ma was elected state treasurer Tuesday in a win over Republican Greg Conlon. Conlon and Ma ran for the open seat after incumbent John Chiang, a Democrat, ran for governor and lost in the primary.
Ma is a former CPA, San Francisco supervisor and assemblywoman. Conlon is a retired CPA who has run for the seat twice before and lost both times.
The treasurer oversees the state’s investments and administers the sale of bonds and notes.
Democrat Betty Yee won another term as state controller on Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Konstantinos Roditis.
Yee is the officer in charge of paying the state's bills and administering the payroll system for state workers. In her role, she is one of the state officials with the power to audit state agencies and local governments.
Roditis, of Anaheim, built his campaign around a “trickle-up taxation” proposal to radically alter the way the state collects taxes — cities and counties collect all revenue before a percentage of funds go to Sacramento. He also pledged to defund the state’s high-speed rail project.
Secretary of State Alex Padilla was reelected Tuesday and will serve a second term, defeating Republican challenger Mark Meuser.
Padilla is a former state senator and Los Angeles City Council member from the San Fernando Valley. He spearheaded a new Motor Voter act in 2015 and a new system for online business registrations. But the new systems have had hiccups: More than 23,000 Californians were registered to vote incorrectly by the state DMV.
Meuser, an attorney, ran on a campaign to stamp out alleged voter fraud. He has claimed that some counties have more voters than people eligible to vote, though elections experts said the claims misrepresent the way the data are collected.
Former U.S. Ambassador Eleni Kounalakis, was elected lieutenant governor Tuesday, defeating state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-Azuza).
Kounalakis, a prominent Democratic Party donor, was appointed ambassador to Hungary by President Obama and has never held public office. Her father, prominent developer Angelo Tsakopoulos, has been a major source of financing for her first campaign.
Hernandez, an optometrist from the San Gabriel Valley, was first elected to the Assembly in 2006 and then the state Senate in 2010. The lieutenant governor has a seat on several state boards including the University of California Board of Regents, the California State University board of trustees and the State Lands Commission.
California voters on Tuesday rejected Proposition 5, a measure that would have offered a property tax break to homeowners 55 and older as well as the severely disabled and natural disaster victims if they move to a new home.
In what could be a stunning upset, retired Sheriff’s Lt. Alex Villanueva took a narrow lead over Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell early Wednesday. With 100% of precincts reporting, he was ahead by 4,927 votes.
Provisional ballots and late mail ballots still have to be counted.
Villanueva would be the first challenger to unseat a living incumbent sheriff in the county in more than 100 years. Villanueva, who has served in the Sheriff’s Department for three decades, took a lead despite McDonnell out-fundraising him 8 to 1. He made expelling immigration agents from the county jails a centerpiece of his platform.