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Republicans Won More Governorships on Tuesday

by Countable | 11.10.16

While much of the Election Day coverage focused on Republicans winning the presidential race and control of Congress, the GOP also picked up seats in several noteworthy races for governor across the country.

Entering Tuesday’s 12 gubernatorial contests, Republicans controlled 31 governorships, Democrats had 18, while one state (Alaska) was governed by an independent.

It appears that Republicans will either pick up two or three governorships depending on the outcome in North Carolina, where Republican Gov. Pat McCrory trails challenger and current Attorney General Roy Cooper (D) by 0.1 percent in a race that looks to be headed for a recount. McCrory’s reelection bid has struggled in part due to the backlash over his signing HB2 into law, which required transgender people to use the restroom that appears on their birth certificate.

One of the more surprising gains for Republicans came in Vermont, where Lt. Gov. Phil Scott defeated Sue Minter (D), a former state secretary of transportation. Vermont’s governorship has alternated between Democrats and Republicans with each successive governor since 1963.

The other two pick ups came in Missouri and New Hampshire. A former Navy SEAL, Eric Greitens, edged out Attorney General Chris Koster (D) in Missouri. And in New Hampshire, Chris Sununu (R) defeated Colin Van Ostern (D), both of whom are members of the state’s Executive Council. Sununu is the son of former NH Governor John H. Sununu, and the brother of former U.S. Senator John E. Sununu (R-NH).

In Oregon, incumbent Gov. Kate Brown (D) won reelection, becoming the the first openly LGBT to be elected governor of a U.S. state. Brown will serve out the remaining two years of the four year term won by former Gov. John Kitzhaber (D), who resigned amid an ethics scandal after beginning his fourth term as governor.

Rep. John Carney (D-DE), who has served as the state’s sole representative in the House for two terms, defeated a member of the state’s assembly, Colin Bonini (R), to become Delaware’s governor.

Republican Vice President-Elect Mike Pence had been up for reelection as governor of Indiana, but was unable to compete in both the presidential and gubernatorial races because of state law. Pence's Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb (R) won the race to succeed his old boss by defeating John Gregg (D), a former speaker of the Indiana House who lost a close race against Pence in 2012.

Here are the results of Tuesday’s governor races:


John Carney (D) 58% - Colin Bonini (R) 39%
Democrat hold


Eric Holcomb (R) 51% - John Gregg (D) 45%
Republican hold


Eric Greitens (R) 51% - Chris Koster (D) 45%
Republican pick up


Steve Bullock (D) 50% - Greg Gianforte (R) 45%
Democrat hold

New Hampshire

Chris Sununu (R) 49% - Colin Van Ostern (D) 47%
Republican pick up

North Carolina

Roy Cooper (D) 49% - Pat McCrory (R) 49%
(Recount likely)

North Dakota

Doug Burgum (R) 77% - Marvin Nelson (D) 19%
Republican hold


Kate Brown (D) 51% - Bud Pierce (R) 44%
Democrat hold


Gary Herbert (R) 67% - Mike Weinholtz (D) 29%
Republican hold


Phil Scott (R) 53% - Sue Minter (D) 44%
Republican pick up


Jay Inslee (D) 56% - Bill Bryan (R) 44%
Democrat hold

West Virginia

Jim Justice (D) 49% - Bill Cole (R) 42%
Democrat hold

— Eric Revell


Written by Countable

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