Voters headed to the polls to select governors in New Jersey and Virginia yesterday. Hundreds of cities and towns across the country also chose new lawmakers and mayors. Americans also weighed in on a variety of important local issues, including food safety and conservation. But voter turnout was light, even in the states with larger elections at stake.
The Race for Governor
Chris Christie was reelected as the governor of New Jersey, scoring a landslide victory over his opponent, Democratic state senator Barbara Buono. Christie became the first Republican candidate to earn more than 50% of New Jersey’s vote in 25 years. “I did not seek a second term to do small things,” he said. “I sought a second term to finish the job. Now watch me do it.”
In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe won the governor’s job, in a tight race against Republican Ken Cuccinelli. McAuliffe led Cuccinelli 47.1% to 46.3%, and was declared the winner at around 10 PM. This is the first time since 1973 that Virginians have elected a governor from the same party as the president. “It’s a great win, we’re happy,” McAuliffe said. “Now we’ve got a lot of work to do.”
In Other Races . . .
Some big cities will see major changes come January. Bill DeBlasio will be the mayor of New York City. He pulled off a landslide win against Republican Joe Lhota. After serving as the mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, for 20 years, Tom Menino is retiring. Martin Walsh won the job in a tough race against John Connolly.
A former prosecutor and hospital administrator, Mike Duggan, will head Detroit, Michigan. The city filed for bankruptcy in July, 2013. Duggan has a hard road ahead as he hopes to help fix the city’s major economic problems. “Thank you, Detroit,” Duggan said during a victory celebration. “We ran a campaign against an opponent who gave us a very strong race,” he said. “Now the real work begins.”