The Latest: GOP’s Laxalt concedes in Nevada governor’s race

November 7, 2018 GMT
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Voters line up to cast their ballots shortly before the polls open in the midterm elections at First Church in Owasso, Okla., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)
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Voters line up to cast their ballots shortly before the polls open in the midterm elections at First Church in Owasso, Okla., Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Mike Simons/Tulsa World via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on Tuesday’s elections for governor and other state offices (all times local):

3:15 a.m.

Republican Adam Laxalt has conceded the Nevada governor’s race to Democrat Steve Sisolak.

The Associated Press has not called the race, which was one of Democrats’ top targets for flipping control. Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval was term-limited.

Sisolak repeatedly campaigned on a pledge to stand up to President Donald Trump, who supported Laxalt.

Sisolak chairs the Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. He rose to prominence following the 2017 mass shooting on the Strip, starting an online fundraiser that amassed millions of dollars for victims.



3:05 a.m.

Republican nominee for Georgia governor Brian Kemp says he is “confident victory is near” but is waiting on final results in the close race.

Kemp told supporters at his election party early Wednesday “the math is on our side to win this election” but stopped short of claiming victory.

Earlier, Democratic opponent Stacey Abrams implied that a runoff is likely in the election. Abrams told supporters they would “have a chance to do a do-over.”

The Associated Press has not called the race.

Kemp has a narrow lead, but the race could still go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.


2:30 a.m.

Democrat Tony Evers has defeated Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, denying the polarizing Republican and one-time presidential candidate a third term.

Evers’ win on Tuesday is a huge victory for Democrats, who couldn’t find the recipe to take out Walker in three previous elections, including a 2012 recall.

Evers campaigned on the promise of cutting middle-class income taxes, eliminating a tax credit program for manufacturers and possibly raising the gas tax to pay for roads.

Evers is a former teacher who’s been state schools superintendent since 2009. He turned his understated personality to his advantage in the campaign, arguing that voters were tired of divisiveness and yearned for more collegial politics.



2:20 a.m.

Democrat Stacey Abrams says votes remain to be counted in the tight Georgia governor’s race and vows to wait for them all.

Abrams told supporters at her election night party they would “have a chance to do a do-over” in her race against Republican Brian Kemp, implying a runoff.

Kemp is Georgia’s secretary of state and has a narrow lead over Abrams, but it’s possible the race could go to a runoff. In Georgia, a race goes to an automatic runoff if neither candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

Early returns after Tuesday’s voting showed Kemp running up large margins across rural and small-town Georgia. But parts of metro Atlanta, where Abrams’ strength is concentrated, had yet to report.

Some of those Atlanta-area counties had extended voting hours for some precincts to accommodate the crowds and compensate for problems.


1:20 a.m.

Democrats have flipped control of the Minnesota state House, but Republicans have held on to a narrow Senate majority.

Democrats had needed to flip 11 seats to take control of the Minnesota House in Tuesday’s elections. Republican House Speaker Kurt Daudt conceded that the GOP would lose the majority that it held since 2015.

Minnesota’s Senate seats were not up for a regular election. But there was one special election to fill a vacancy, and Republicans held on to that seat to maintain a 34-33 majority in that chamber.

The national Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee says Democrats picked up scores of state legislative seats across the country in Tuesday’s elections.


1:10 a.m.

Republicans have kept control of the governors’ offices in Idaho and South Dakota by winning elections to succeed departing GOP incumbents.

Rep. Kristi Noem turned back an unusually strong challenge from Democratic state Sen. Billie Sutton to win South Dakota’s gubernatorial race Tuesday. She will become the first female governor in state history and will succeed term-limited Gov. Dennis Daugaard.

In Idaho, Lt. Gov. Brad Little defeated former Democratic state lawmaker Paulette Jordon to become the next governor. Little will succeed retiring Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter, who has been in office since 2007.


12:50 a.m.

Democrats have regained control of the Maine governor’s office with a victory in an open-seat election by Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills.

Mills defeated Republican businessman Shawn Moody and independent state Treasurer Terry Hayes in Tuesday’s gubernatorial race. She will succeed Republican Gov. Paul LePage, who was term-limited after eight years in office.

Democrats also flipped control of governor’s offices in Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico.

Heading into Tuesday’s election, Republicans held control of 33 governor’s offices.


12:40 a.m.

Republican Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds has won a full term in office by defeating Democratic businessman Fred Hubbell.

Reynolds’ victory Tuesday makes her the first woman elected governor in Iowa. She previously won two terms as lieutenant governor and was elevated to chief executive when Gov. Terry Branstad was named by President Donald Trump to serve as ambassador to China in 2017.

Reynolds also previously served in the state Legislature.

Iowa had been one of the states where Democrats thought they had a chance of flipping control of the governor’s office.


12:30 a.m.

Rep. Keith Ellison has been elected Minnesota attorney general despite an ex-girlfriend’s accusation of domestic abuse.

Ellison defeated Republican Doug Wardlow on Tuesday for an office that threatened to swing to Republicans for the first time in nearly half a century.

Ellison rose to national prominence as the first Muslim elected to Congress and last year became deputy chairman of the Democratic National Committee. He talked of using the attorney general’s office to resist President Donald Trump’s agenda.

Then Ellison’s ex-girlfriend accused him of dragging her off a bed during an argument in 2016. Ellison repeatedly denied her allegations, but they helped make the race close, even though Wardlow was a virtual unknown.


12:25 a.m.

Democrat Gavin Newsom has won the governor’s race in California, a state that has provided some of the strongest resistance to President Donald Trump.

Newsom defeated Republican businessman John Cox in Tuesday’s election to succeed outgoing Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown. Brown and Newsom are critics of the Republican president.

Newsom served as lieutenant governor under Brown and has pledged to pursue universal health care and a surge in housing construction.

He previously was mayor of San Francisco, where he gained attention for ordering the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples before it was legal.


12:15 a.m.

Colorado voters have approved a pair of constitutional amendments revamping the redistricting process ahead of the 2020 Census.

The ballot measures approved Tuesday are intended to prevent partisan gerrymandering and apply to congressional and state legislative districts.

The Colorado measures will create a 12-member commission to handle redistricting, composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and four independents. The commission will be required to “maximize the number of politically competitive districts.”

Congressional redistricting had been assigned in the past to the state Legislature and the governor. State legislative redistricting had been done by an 11-member commission.


12:10 a.m.

Missouri voters have approved a constitutional amendment making the state the first to require a specific mathematical formula for determining “partisan fairness” when drawing legislative districts.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday makes “partisan fairness” and “competitiveness” top criteria for redistricting over traditional standards such as compact and contiguous districts. It applies only to state legislative districts, not those for Congress.

Missouri was one of four states with ballot measures proposing to overhaul redistricting procedures to be used after the 2020 Census. The measures in Colorado, Michigan and Utah also were intended to decrease the likelihood of partisan gerrymandering, but none of the rest placed a specific mathematical equation into their state constitutions.

Michigan voters approved a constitutional amendment stripping the legislature and the governor of their power to draw districts for Congress and the state Legislature.


12:05 a.m.

Michigan voters have approved a constitutional amendment stripping the legislature and the governor of their power to draw districts for Congress and the state Legislature.

The ballot measure approved Tuesday is an attempt to prevent partisan gerrymandering when districts are redrawn after the 2020 Census.

After the 2010 Census, Republicans who controlled both chambers of the Michigan Legislature and the governor’s office approved maps that have been shown by a statistical analysis to provide an advantage to Republicans.

The new constitutional amendment creates a 13-member citizens’ commission for redistricting, composed of four Democrats, four Republicans and five independents. It prohibits districts that provide a disproportionate advantage to any political party.

The measure was opposed by the Michigan Republican Party.


11:50 p.m.

There will be no change at the top in Vermont or Oregon.

Republican Gov. Phil Scott won re-election Tuesday in the traditionally Democratic state of Vermont by defeating Democratic challenger Christine Hallquist.

In Oregon, Democratic Gov. Kate Brown won re-election over Republican challenger Knute Buehler.

Republicans had believed that Oregon provided one of their best chances to flip a Democratic governor’s seat in a year when Democrats generally have been making greater gains.

Democrats on Tuesday flipped governor’s offices in at least four states — Illinois, Kansas, Michigan and New Mexico.

Republicans entered Election Day holding 33 governor’s offices and two-thirds of the state legislative chambers.


11:40 p.m.

Democrat Laura Kelly has defeated a prominent ally of President Donald Trump to win the Kansas governor’s race.

Kelly defeated Republican Secretary of State Kris Kobach (KOH’-bahk) on Tuesday to flip the governor’s office from red to blue.

It was at least the fourth Democratic pickup, along with wins in the Illinois, Michigan and New Mexico governors’ races.

Kobach had built a national profile as an advocate of tough immigration policies and strict voter photo ID laws. He served as vice chairman of Trump’s now-defunct commission on voter fraud.

Kelly will be Kansas’ third governor in a year.

Republican Gov. Sam Brownback resigned in January to accept a position in Trump’s administration. He was succeeded by Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, whom Kobach defeated in the Republican gubernatorial primary.


11:35 p.m.

Republicans have turned back Democratic challengers to keep control of the governors’ offices in Arizona, New Hampshire and Ohio.

In Ohio, Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine defeated Democrat Richard Cordray on Tuesday to lead a GOP sweep of nonjudicial statewide offices. DeWine will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sihk).

Cordray had been an Obama-era consumer protection chief.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey defeated Democratic education professor David Garcia to win re-election in a race that focused on border security and education.

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (soo-NOO’-noo) won another two-year term by defeating former Democrat state Sen. Molly Kelly.


11:30 p.m.

Republican Ron DeSantis will be Florida’s next governor, riding President Donald Trump’s support to a victory over Democrat Andrew Gillum.

The 40-year-old former congressman and Navy officer won Tuesday after Trump went to Florida twice in the final six days of the election to help increase Republican turnout.

Gillum was hoping to become Florida’s first black governor. He conceded late Tuesday.

DeSantis was considered an underdog until Trump injected himself in the Republican primary, helping DeSantis cruise to victory over better-funded and better-known Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

DeSantis stumbled after his nomination, most notably by saying Floridians shouldn’t “monkey this up” be electing Gillum. Although he took a more moderate turn after the primary, he relied heavily on Trump in the last days of the election.


11:25 p.m.

Florida Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum is conceding to his Republican rival, Ron DeSantis.

The Tallahassee mayor was seeking to become the state’s first black governor and become the first Democrat to win the governor’s race in more than 20 years.

The Associated Press has not called the race.  

DeSantis was supported in the race by President Donald Trump.

Gillum told a crowd gathered on the campus of Florida A&M University on Tuesday he sincerely regrets he “couldn’t bring it home for you.”

Gillum pulled off an upset when he won the Democratic primary in August.


11:10 p.m.

Democrats have held on to governors’ offices in Minnesota and Hawaii.

Minnesota Rep. Tim Walz defeated Republican Jeff Johnson on Tuesday to mark the first time since the 1950s that one of Minnesota’s political parties has held on to the office for at least three terms. He will replace Gov. Mark Dayton, who chose not to seek re-election.

In Hawaii, Gov. David Ige (EE’-gay) won re-election by defeating Republican state Rep. Andria Tupola. Hawaii is a heavily Democratic state.


11:05 p.m.

Democrats are chipping away at Republican leadership in state capitols by flipping control of at least three gubernatorial offices.

Democrats J.B. Pritzker in Illinois, Gretchen Whitmer in Michigan and Michelle Lujan Grisham in New Mexico won elections Tuesday for seats previously held by Republicans.

Democratic gubernatorial candidates also were putting up strong challenges in the previously Republican-held states of Iowa, Kansas, Wisconsin and South Dakota.

Heading into Tuesday’s elections, Republicans controlled 33 governor’s office and two-thirds of all state legislative chambers. That included 25 states where they held a trifecta of power, compared with just eight for Democrats.

Whitmer’s victory breaks that Republican trifecta in Michigan. The Democratic gubernatorial victories in Illinois and New Mexico could give them trifectas there.


For AP’s complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: