Democrats have long been underrepresented in governorships across the country, and they’re hoping that could change this year.
While they saw some high-profile losses in Ohio and Florida, numbers certainly suggest they could still make some inroads: Going into the election, there were 26 Republican-held seats and nine Democratic ones up for contention. According to Cook Political Report, at least 13 of the existing Republican seats were either toss-ups or prime targets for Democrats to flip.
Democrats have already picked up a slew of key seats, including one in Kansas, a typically conservative state. You can see all live results here, and we’ll be keeping track of Democratic gains here for the rest of the night.
Illinois: Democrat J.B. Pritzker beats Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner
Billionaire entrepreneur J.B. Pritzker has taken down highly unpopular incumbent Bruce Rauner, who many voters blamed for a statewide financial crisis. Pritzker poured in more than $170 million of his own money into the election, according to Forbes.
Kansas: Democrat Laura Kelly beats Republican Kris Kobach
Laura Kelly staged a stunning defeat of Republican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a hard-right candidate who’s helped champion many of Trump’s hardline immigration policies and voter fraud theories. Kelly, a member of the Kansas state Senate, framed herself as a fresh start from embattled former Republican Gov. Sam Brownback.
Michigan: Democrat Gretchen Whitmer beats Republican Bill Schuette
Gretchen Whitmer, the former majority leader of Michigan’s state Senate, has firmly defeated state Attorney General Bill Schuette by running an exceedingly practical platform focused on “fixing the damn roads.”
New Mexico: Democrat Michelle Lujan Grisham beats Republican Steve Pearce
Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, the chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, is now the first Democratic Latina to hold the governor’s office in New Mexico. She beat out fellow Rep. Steve Pearce, who has served in the state’s Second Congressional District.
Maine: Democrat Janet Mills beats Republican Shawn Moody
Maine has elected state Attorney General Janet Mills as governor, which makes her the first woman to hold the state’s highest office. She beat out Republican business executive Shawn Moody on Tuesday and will take over the seat from controversial, term-limited Republican Gov. Paul LePage.