Results are coming in after Tuesday’s elections, with major wins for Democrats in several crucial states. In Virginia, the party gained control of both legislative houses for the first time in 25 years. In Kentucky, Democratic challenger state Attorney General Andy Beshear has ousted Trump-backed Republican incumbent Matt Bevin in a tightly contested run for governor. In Mississippi, Republican Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves defeated Democratic state Attorney General Jim Hood in the governor’s race.
Several local candidates across the country made history. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, Paige Cognetti was elected as the first woman mayor after running as an independent despite being a registered Democrat. She’ll also be the first mayor-elect to give birth. Her child is due in December. Ghazala Hashmi became the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia Senate after winning a suburban Richmond district. And Danica Roem made history for a second time, becoming the first out transgender person to win reelection to a state legislature, after defeating an anti-LGBT Republican candidate to represent the 13th District in the Virginia House of Delegates.
Tuesday’s election also decided several important state ballot initiatives. Voters in New York City approved ranked-choice voting, a measure supporters say will help underrepresented voters and candidates of color. In Jersey City, voters approved strict regulations on short-term rentals, in a major blow to Airbnb. A measure to make Tucson, Arizona, a sanctuary city was overwhelmingly defeated by voters there.
We speak with John Nichols, a political writer for The Nation.