Dems Win Governorships Of 2 States

Former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, left, walks with Austin mayoral candidate Gus Garcia and his wife, Marina, to election headquarters Tuesday night, Nov. 6, 2001, in Austin, Texas. Garcia trounced a large field of challengers to become the first elected Hispanic mayor of Texas' capital city.
Americans went to the polls yesterday in a traditional display of democracy, unbowed by the terror attacks.

In the most closely watched race, billionaire Republican Michael Bloomberg won an upset victory over Democrat Mark Green for New York mayor. He'll succeed Rudolph Giuliani in leading the city's recovery from the World Trade Center disaster.

Voters in New Jersey and Virginia elected Democratic governors for the first time in years. Mark Warner beat Republican Mark Earley in Virginia. Jim McGreevey beat Republican Bret Schundler in New Jersey.

County Commissioner Jane Campbell has become Cleveland's first woman mayor. And Miami incumbent Joe Carollo lost his reelection bid, coming in third in a field of ten. The top-two vote-getters face each other in a runoff next week.

Among the ballot issues, the highest cigarette tax in the nation has been O-K'd in Washington state. It boost the tax by 60 cents-a-pack. That means it'll cost most than five dollars to buy a pack of smokes in some places.

Here's a roundup of other election highlights around the nation:


  • With two-thirds of precincts reporting, votes were nearly tied on two proposals to acquire local operation of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and provide power to city. PG&E spent more than $1 million fighting the measures.
  • San Francisco voters overwhelmingly approved a $100 million bond issue to pay for solar power in public buildings. They also authorized city supervisors to underwrite renewable energy projects in homes and businesses without voter approval.
  • Voters in Carson, a Los Angeles suburb, decided not to secede from troubled Los Angeles Unified School District. With 772,000 children, the district is nation's second-largest after New York.


  • Voters rejected a proposal to let the state spend $50 million to create prototype for monorail that would link Denver and Rocky Mountain resorts.
  • Voters in the western Colorado city of Montrose upheld a 7-month-old ban on smoking in public places. Many restaurants said they suffered financially because of the ban, and at least one was shuttered after smokers took their business elsewhere.


  • Hartford Democrat Eddie Perez, community activist and ex-Trinity College official, won election as Hartford's first Hispanic mayor.

    -Waterbury voters chose state lawmaker Michael Jarjura to replace Republican Mayor Philip Giordano, who has been charged with sexual assault and violating the civil rights of his alleged victims.


    -Miami Mayor Joe Carollo lost his bid for re-election Tuesday. Former Mayor Maurice Ferre and Manny Diaz, an attorney for Elian Gonzalez's Miami relatives, were headed to a runoff next Tuesday to decide the city's next mayor.

    -Miami Beach voters said the city should provide employee benefits to gay and heterosexual domestic partners.


  • Former city administrator Shirley Franklin was the top vote-getter in Atlanta's mayoral election, but it was unclear if she would get enough votes to avoid a runoff against City Council President Robb Pitts in the race to succeed term-limited Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell.


  • About 50 voters in newly incorporated Vedic City elect Bob Wynne, running unopposed for mayor. Wynne helped found community of followers of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought Transcendental Meditation to Iowa.


    -Portland residents voted on nonbinding resolution on whether city should endorse universal health care. Measure drew drawn fierce opposition from health insurers, who have mounted television ad campaign.


  • Boston Mayor Thomas Menino easily won re-election against City Councilor Peggy Davis-Mullen in nonpartisan contest.


  • State House Democratic leader Kwame Kilpatrick beats City Council president Gil Hill to become Detroit's next mayor.
  • Voters in Traverse City and Kalamazoo rejected amendments that would have prevented their cities from enacting policies protecting gays from discrimination. In Huntington Woods, voters upheld a city ordinance banning anti-gay discrimination.
  • In Dearborn, 16-year incumbent Mayor Michael Guido defeated Abed Hammoud, an assistant Wayne County prosecutor. After Sept. 11, Hammoud, a Lebanese immigrant in a community where 20 percent of the 98,000 residents are Arab-American, put out flier denouncing the terror attacks and proclaiming pride in his U.S. citizenship.


  • Political novice R.T. Rybak defeated Minneapolis Mayor Sharon Sayles Belton, city's first black and first female chief executive, in nonpartisan race.
  • With all precincts reporting, state Sen. Randy Kelly had a 403-vote lead in the race to succeed St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, who plans to run for U.S. Senate. Kelly declared victory, but his opponent, City Councilman Jay Benanav, said he would wait to decide whether to concede or pay for a recount.


  • Larry W. Presley, a retired Tupelo police officer, and Steve Brooks advanced from a field of 14 to a runoff for Lee County Sheriff. The winner replaces Presley's brother, former Sheriff Harold Ray Presley, a cousin of Elvis Presley, who was killed in shootout.
  • Faye Peterson elected Hinds County district attorney, becoming state's first elected black female prosecutor. She was named interim district attorney to fill vacancy when Ed Peters retired. She defeated former assistant district attorney Bryan Buckley.


  • Jim McGreevey coasted past GOP challenger Bret Schundler, becoming the state's first Democratic governor since 1989. McGreevey succeeds acting Gov. Donald DiFrancesco, finishing Christie Whitman's term after President Bush put her in charge of Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Democrats won a majority ithe Assembly for the first time in 10 years and gained five seats in the Senate, which will now be evenly divided 20-20.
  • Atlantic City Mayor James Whelan outpolled City Councilman Lorenzo Langford 4,202 to 4,145. But Langford said that more than 1,500 unopened absentee ballots would propel him past Whelan. The count was to continue Wednesday.


  • Billionaire media mogul Michael Bloomberg, a Republican, beats veteran consumer activist Mark Green, a Democrat, in the race to succeed term-limited Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
  • Democrat John C. Liu won a New York City Council seat to become the first Asian-American chosen for a major elective office in the city.
  • Jeanine Pirro won a third term as Westchester County District Attorney despite criticism by her Democratic challenger of her husband's conviction on federal tax fraud charges.


  • Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory, a Republican, defeated former City Council member Ella Scarborough. McCrory also soundly defeated the Democrat in 1999.
  • In Raleigh, Republican incumbent Paul Coble conceded to ex-councilman Charles Meeker, a Democrat, in mayoral runoff. Only 962 votes separated the two, and absentee and provisional ballots remained to be counted.


  • Jane Campbell, a county commissioner, became Cleveland's first female mayor. She turned back Raymond Pierce, a deputy assistant education secretary in the Clinton administration, in nonpartisan contest.
  • Incumbent Charlie Luken defeated challenger Courtis Fuller to become Cincinnati's first directly elected mayor in 76 years. Luken weathered criticism of his handling of riots last spring sparked by the shooting of an unarmed black man by a white policeman.


  • Pittsburgh Mayor Tom Murphy, a Democrat, easily won third term against Republican James Carmine, a philosophy professor.
  • Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham, once called "America's Deadliest D.A." because of her zeal for the death penalty, won a landslide victory over three little-known challengers.
  • City Controller John Brenner was elected to succeed York Mayor Charlie Robertson, who dropped out of the race after being charged with murder in a black woman's death during 1969 race riots.
  • In Scranton, Democratic city councilman Chris Doherty beat businessman Robert Bolus in the mayor's race. Bolus had been told he might be barred from serving if he had won because of a conviction a decade ago. Bolus says he's innocent, but has record that includes receiving stolen machinery for his trucking firm.
  • Republican J. Michael Eakin, known as the "rhyming judge," beat fellow Superior Court Judge Kate Ford Elliott to give the GOP its first majority on the state's highest court in three decades. Eakin sometimes delivers opinions in verse, like this on divorcing couple's dispute over prenuptial pact: "A deal is a deal, if fairly undertaken, and we findisclosure was fair and unshaken."


  • Spartanburg Mayor James Talley sought third term against literally everyone else in town. He botched petition to get his name on the ballot, meaning election depended entirely on write-in votes. Any of city's 23,000 registered voters could win.


  • Former Austin city councilman Gus Garcia trounced a large field of challengers to become the first elected Hispanic mayor of Texas' capital city. Garcia will serve out the unexpired term of former Mayor Kirk Watson, who resigned to run for Texas attorney general.
  • Houston Mayor Lee Brown, a Democrat, narrowly led Republican city councilman Orlando Sanchez. Since neither got more than 50 percent of the vote, a runoff will be held within the next month.
  • Voters narrowly approved a measure to prevent Houston from offering health benefits to partners of gay and lesbian municipal employees.
  • Voters approved creation of Texas Mobility Fund, which will let Texas borrow money for new and improved roads needed for growing population. Another 18 proposed amendments on ballot also approved, including measure to build roads in poor communities on Mexico border known as "colonias."
  • Voters approved a constitutional change that would require the governor to call a special legislative session to appoint presidential electors under certain circumstances. The change was inspired by last year's close presidential election.


  • Democrat Mark Warner defeated Republican Mark Earley in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. Jim Gilmore. Warner is the first Democrat to win a statewide election in Virginia since 1994.
  • Republicans gained in the House of Delegates. The 100-member House that convenes in January will have 64 Republicans and 34 Democrats, compared with 52 Republicans and 46 Democrats in the current House.


  • Rivals in Seattle's nonpartisan mayoral race were County Councilman Greg Nickels and City Attorney Mark Sidran.
  • Swing District 21 in suburban Seattle could break 49-49 tie in state House of Representatives between Republicans and Democrats. GOP is counting on Joe Marine, insurance agent appointed in January to the seat when moderate Renee Radcliff resigned. Law requires special election to complete her two-year term. Democrats hope businessman Brian Sullivan will win. Polls show voters evenly split.
  • Voters approve statewide citizen Initiative 773 to raise tobacco tax to $1.42 1/2 a pack, nation's highest. Another proposal, Initiative 747, would prevent property taxes from rising more than 1 percent a year unless voters approve a larger increase.

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