Democrats in Virginia won control of the state legislature in Tuesday’s elections, opening the door for lawmakers there to pass new gun-control laws, a higher minimum wage and a host of other measures Republicans have long opposed, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Wresting the House of Delegates and Senate from the GOP gives Democrats across-the-board political control in Richmond for the first time in 26 years. Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam still has two years left in his term. The Associated Press called both tallies for the Democrats, who needed to pick up several seats across both chambers to take control.
“Tonight, the ground has shifted in Virginia government,” Northam said. “The voters have spoken, and they have elected landmark Democratic majorities in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.”
In Kentucky, a gubernatorial contest remained too close to call late Tuesday, according to the AP, with Democratic challenger Andy Beshear narrowly leading Republican Gov. Matt Bevin, the Journal added.
Beshear, the current state attorney general, told supporters he hadn’t spoken yet to Bevin but said “my expectation is that he will honor the election that was held tonight, that he will help us make this transition.” Bevin said he wasn’t conceding. “This is a close, close race,” he told supporters. “We are not conceding this race by any stretch.”
In Mississippi, Republican Tate Reeves was elected the state’s next governor, keeping the post for the GOP despite a strong challenge from Democratic opponent Jim Hood, the state’s attorney general. Reeves, the state’s lieutenant governor, was backed by President Trump, who is popular in the state, the Journal noted.
The Virginia contests drew intense national attention, high-profile campaigners and millions of dollars in out-of-state donations, and were seen as a key test of voter enthusiasm and party momentum before the nationwide 2020 elections.