Thirty-six governors' races were on the ballot Tuesday, but two of those contests—in Florida and Georgia—dominated the political landscape. In Florida, Democrat Andrew Gillum, who was vying to become the state's first black governor, conceded to Republican Ron DeSantis, a strong ally of President Trump, reports the Hill. With 99% of precincts reporting, DeSantis led 49.9% to 48.9%. Gillum's statement appeared to leave a little wiggle room for a reversal in the tight race: "Earlier this evening, I called Mr. Ron DeSantis and congratulated him on what we expect will be him as the next governor of the great state of Florida," he told supporters. In other races:
- Georgia: Democrat Stacey Abrams, who was vying to become not only the first black governor in her state but the first black female governor in the nation, was behind GOP secretary of state Brian Kemp but refused to concede early Wednesday, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. She said there were tens of thousands of absentee ballots still to be counted and predicted a "do-over" runoff election next month. (A sample of the contentiousness.)
- A first: Guam elected its first female governor, Lou Leon Guerrero, reports Axios.
- Another first: Democrat Jared Polis will become Colorado's governor and in the process becomes the first openly gay American to be elected governor. He ran against Walker Stapleton. (Vox notes former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey came out in 2004, but he was already in office at that point.)
- In Illinois: Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner gave his concession speech not even an hour after the polls closed, reports the Chicago Tribune, which frames billionaire Democrat JB Pritzker's win as "likely putting his party in near total control of state government." Fox News reports Pritzker, who is heir to the Hyatt hotel chain, will be the wealthiest governor in US history.
- Another Dem in Kansas: The red state of Kansas will have a Democratic governor: Laura Kelly has defeated Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
- Michigan: Democrat Gretchen Whitmer defeated Republican Bill Schuette by a margin estimated at 10%, reports the Detroit Free Press. She will succeed term-limited Republican Gov. Rick Snyder.
- Walker out in Wisconsin. Republican Gov. Scott Walker failed to win a third term in Wisconsin. He narrowly lost to Democrat Tony Evers.
- Like father, like son: Andrew Cuomo has been elected to a third term as governor of New York, defeating Republican Marcus Molinaro and echoing the three terms served by his father, Mario Cuomo, reports the New York Times.
- Three more flips: Democrat Steve Sisolak defeated Adam Laxalt in Nevada, Michelle Lujan Grisham beat Republican Steve Pearce in New Mexico, and Democrat Janet Mills beat Shawn Moody of the GOP in Maine.
(Read more 2018 midterms