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Seeing Red: State Elections Update

State Elections Update

In keeping with the trend in Congressional elections, the Republican Party also saw huge gains at the state level. Before Election Day, the partisan split of governors was 29 Republicans to 21 Democrats. Now after elections in 36 states, Republicans will hold gubernatorial seats in 31 states while Democrats will hold gubernatorial seats in 17 states. Notably, Republicans won elections in some traditionally Democratic states including Arkansas, Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts.  

In Alaska, an independent candidate has been elected governor and results are still pending in Vermont. Current Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) failed to secure 50 percent of the vote, and now the Vermont Legislature will pick the governor in January. The Vermont Legislature is controlled by the Democratic Party. 

Other notable governor races:

  • In Pennsylvania, Gov. Tom Corbett (R) lost to Democratic challenger Tom Wolf, making Corbett the only Republican incumbent governor to lose in 2014.
  • Greg Abbott (R), who currently serves as the Texas Attorney General, has been elected as the governor of Texas.  The seat was open when Gov. Rick Perry (R) chose not to run again.
  • Other first-time governors include Pete Ricketts (R) in Nebraska, Doug Ducey (R) in Arizona and Gina Raimondo (D) in Rhode Island.

State legislatures also rode the red wave on election night. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL), prior to the elections, 27 state legislatures were under Republican control in both upper and lower chambers; 19 states were under Democratic control in both chambers, and three states were split. 

State Legislative Elections Map

In 2015, Republicans will now control both house and senate chambers in 30 states, while Democrats will hold both chambers in 11. Eight states will have split legislatures and Nebraska is a unicameral legislature. 

As governors begin to set their agendas for 2015 and state legislators begin filing bills, it’s still too early to tell what the impact of these midterm elections will have on the apartment industry. Please continue to look for future news on state and local proposals from the NAA Government Affairs staff in the Apartment Advocate and the State and Local Policy Outlook.

To see a full breakdown of partisan control at the state level, please see below. 

Contributor: Carly Simpson

Sources: National Journal, National Conference of State Legislatures