Democratic U.S. Rep. Jared Polis on Tuesday defeated Republican state Treasurer Walker Stapleton in the Colorado governor’s race, keeping the seat in Democratic hands.
Polis will succeed the term-limited John Hickenlooper to become Colorado’s first openly gay governor. The 43-year-old is a five-term congressman and technology entrepreneur who promised to fight for universal healthcare, renewable energy standards and publicly funded preschool and kindergarten. He vowed to stand up to President Trump’s efforts to dismantle former President Obama’s healthcare law.
Stapleton is a two-term state treasurer who campaigned on defending Colorado’s constitutional restrictions on taxing and spending. The 44-year-old Stapleton insisted that Polis’ ideas for funding K-12 education, roads and energy would bankrupt the state.
Democrats took control of the House in a dramatic midterm rebuke to President Trump. Putting them in the majority, voters gave Democrats a check on Trump and his agenda and the power to investigate him and his administration.
TOPEKA, Kan. — Traditionally red Kansas leaned left Tuesday night, electing a Democrat to the governor’s seat and rejecting Republican Kris Kobach, one of President Trump’s most ardent supporters.
The victory of Laura Kelly, a state senator, was powered in part by moderate, anti-Kobach Republicans crossing party lines. It paves the way for Medicaid expansion in the state, which had been vetoed by Republican Sam Brownback when he was governor.
At least one of the state’s four congressional seats went Democratic as the Kansas City suburbs continued their years-long drift to the left and upstart Sharice Davids, a former MMA fighter, unseated Republican incumbent Rep. Kevin Yoder in the state’s 3rd Congressional District.
The governor’s race was seen less a referendum on Trump than on Brownback, who passed a large tax cut in 2012 that destabilized the state government’s finances and made him deeply unpopular.
Kobach, the current secretary of state and a news-making firebrand known for hardline stances on immigration and voting requirements, had enjoyed near-universal name recognition in the state but also carried a large unfavorable rating. He supported reinstating the Brownback tax cuts, which were reversed by the state Legislature last year after moderate Republicans seized power from their more conservative counterparts.
For the Record, 5:38 a.m. Nov. 7: An earlier version of this post referred to Sharice Davids as a former WWE fighter. She is a former MMA fighter.
Florida elected Trump stalwart Rep. Ron DeSantis as governor today, rejecting Democrat Andrew Gillum's strong bid to be its first black chief.
DeSantis, one of the president's most vocal allies in Congress, shares his victory with Trump, the part-time Florida resident who repeatedly campaigned for him and against Gillum, Tallahassee's mayor, calling Gillum, without evidence, corrupt and incapable of doing the job.
Before Associated Press called the race, Gillum conceded.
Democrat Lauren Underwood defeated Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren in the far suburbs of Chicago, a high-profile pickup for Democrats in a district that President Trump won by nearly 4 percentage points.
Two years ago, Democrats said they would target the district, but it was considered a long shot, given Trump's popularity and Hultgren's history of defeating challengers by nearly 20 percentage points.
Republicans kept Senate control with a narrow majority helped by a favorable election map.
Despite widespread dissatisfaction with President Trump's performance, voters kept the Senate in his party's control and maintained Republicans' power to reshape the federal judiciary and to protect the president against investigations.