In Tuesday’s midterms elections, Jerry Brown won his fourth term as Calif. governor, while the GOP took the Senate.
Riding a powerful wave of voter discontent, resurgent Republicans captured control of the Senate and tightened their grip on the House on Tuesday night in elections certain to complicate President Barack Obama‘s final two years in office.
The Republican Senate leader, Mitch McConnell, dispatched Democratic challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky after a $78 million campaign of unrelieved negativity. Voters are “hungry for new leadership. They want a reason to be hopeful,” said the man now in line to become majority leader and set the Senate agenda.
Two-term incumbent Mark Pryor of Arkansas was the first Democrat to fall, defeated by freshman Rep. Tom Cotton. Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado was next, defeated by Rep. Cory Gardner. Sen. Kay Hagan also lost, in North Carolina, to Thom Tilllis, the speaker of the state House.
Republicans also picked up seats in West Virginia, South Dakota and Montana, where Democrats retired. They needed a net gain of six seats in all to end a Democratic majority in place since 2006.
With dozens of House races uncalled, Republicans had picked up nine seats in Democratic hands, and given up only one. Several Senate races were close, a list that — surprisingly — included Virginia.
In Calif.’s gubernatorial race, Jerry Brown won his record fourth term, defeating Republican Neel Kashkari. Brown had previously served two terms from 1975 to 1983 and is the state’s longest-serving governor.
Democratic State Sen. Ted Lieu will take over the Congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Henry A. Waxman, who served for forty years. Lieu will represent California’s 33rd District, which includes areas of Los Angeles’ Westside. Lieu defeated beat Republican gang prosecutor Elan S. Carr.
In North Carolina, American Idol alum Clay Aiken has been projected to lose to incumbent Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) in his bid for a seat in the House. Ellmers is leading Aiken, a Democrat, 56 percent to 44 percent on Tuesday evening, giving Ellmers her third term representing North Carolina’s second District.
In total, the elections’ $4 billion price tag spending was unprecedented for a non-presidential year.