10:08am – Wednesday, November 14 UPDATED
UPDATE: Attorney General Steve Bullock (D) has won the governorship in Montana.
Former Congressman Jay Inslee (D) remains ahead of AG Rob McKenna (R) for the governorship of Washington State. AG McKenna has not conceded and provisional and absentee ballots are still being counted.
North Carolina has elected Pat McCrory (R) as Governor, succeeding Democratic Governor Bev Perdue who did not seek re-election.
Democrat Maggie Hassan has been elected Governor of New Hampshire, succeeding Democratic Governor John Lynch who did not seek re-election.
Republican Mike Pence has been elected Governor of Indiana, succeeding retiring Governor Mitch Daniels (R).
Democratic Governors Jack Markell (Delaware), Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia) and Peter Shumlin (Vermont) have won re-election to second terms. Republican Governors Gary Herbert (Utah) and Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota) have won re-election to second terms.
Going into the election, there are 29 Republican Governors and 20 Democratic Governors. Rhode Island Governor Chafee is an Independent.
UPDATE: Kathleen Kane (D) was elected AG of Pennsylvania, the first time a Democrat has won since it became an elected office in 1978.
Democrat Bob Ferguson has been elected Attorney General of Washington.
Republican Tim Fox has been elected Attorney General of Montana.
In West Virginia, 5-term incumbent AG Darrell McGraw was unseated by Republican Patrick Morrissey (R).
Indiana AG Greg Zoeller (R) , Oregon AG Ellen Rosenblum (D) Vermont AG Bill Sorrell (D), Missouri AG Chris Koster (D) have won re-election. North Carolina AG Roy Cooper was unopposed and thus has won re-election as well. John Swallow (R) was elected AG in Utah.
In Maine, with the Republican loss of the legislative majority, Republican AG Bill Schneider will likely lose his office come January. Maine is the only state in which the legislature elects the Attorney General.
From a low point of just 14 a decade ago, Republicans have made capturing these offices a major priority and it has paid off. Excluding the non-partisan AG’s, Republicans and Democrats each hold 24 Attorney General offices.
STATE LEGISLATIVE MAJORITIES
UPDATE: Democrats have taken control of the Maine legislature, the Oregon House and taken control of both houses of the Minnesota legislature. Republicans retook the Wisconsin Senate and the Alaska House.
The New York Senate majority is still up in the air. Republicans count their caucus ranks at 31, including Senator-elect and Democrat Simcha Felder. Democrats count 30 amongst their caucus members, including the four members of the Independent Democratic Conference. Two races are still undetermined and although Democrats are hoping for a win in both, chamber control cannot be called until these races are in the history books. Republicans have controlled the chamber for most of the last 40 years.
Arkansas House hangs on one remaining seat and some 200 provisional ballots. Republicans did succeed in gaining control of the Arkansas Senate.
In 2010, 22 state legislative chambers changed majority control–a high water mark. All were lost by Democrats whose majorities succumbed on Election Day and afterwards with party switches.
Contributing to the historic nature of 2010, 1,765 new legislators took office–the most ever for any election prior to decennial re-districting. With 2012 being the post-redistricting election year, that record number could be matched or topped, yielding the least experienced cohort of state lawmakers in US history. Some have projected that almost half of all state lawmakers may have two or fewer years of experience as the 2013 sessions convene. Opportunity? Threat? You decide.
BALLOT QUESTIONS: TAXES
UPDATE: California Proposition 30 PASSED
Michigan Proposal 5 FAILED
Washington Initiative 1185 PASSED
New Hampshire CACR 13, Michigan Proposal 5 and Washington Initiative 1185 are ballot questions designed to limit the legislature’s ability to raise taxes. New Hampshire’s prohibits the General Court from enacting any tax on a person’s income. New Hampshire does not have an income tax right now and there are no plans to implement one. Washington’s would require a two-thirds vote to raise revenue, which includes repealing tax exemptions and any tax increase. Michigan’s ballot proposal requires a two-thirds vote for any bill imposing additional taxes or increasing the taxation base and also allows statewide initiatives to approve tax increases (similar to California).
While we cannot call this next proposal a potential trend-setter (after all, NO state looks to California for fiscal guidance), California Proposition 30 is Governor Jerry Brown’s (D) plan to raise revenue and stem the fiscal hemorrhage that has defined California for more than a decade. The plan calls for raising the top rate income tax from the current 9.3% to a maximum of 13.2% and raises sales taxes for four years. The funds are targetted to education and local public safety services.
BALLOT QUESTIONS: UNIONS
UPDATE: All three of these initiatives FAILED
California Proposition 32: Would prohibit both labor unions and corporations from donating to candidates and candidate-controlled committees. It also would prohibit using payroll-deducted funds for political purposes.
Michigan Home Health Care Amendment: Would give home health care providers limited collective bargaining rights.
Michigan “Protect Our Jobs” Amendment: Would make collective bargaining a right for public and private workers.