The midterm elections were an overwhelming victory for the Republican Party. They gained seven seats in the Senate, putting them in the majority with 52 seats overall. Mitch McConnell is poised to take control of the Senate as majority leader. The number of Republican representatives in the House is projected to reach levels not seen since World War II. The GOP also took control of governorships in Maryland, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Wisconsin, Texas, and Arkansas.
An election of milestones:
Tuesday night’s results brought a series of firsts. Mia Love became the first black female Republican to be elected to Congress and Utah’s first representative of color. Tim Scott became the first black senator elected in South Carolina. Tim Hurd became the first black Republican elected in Texas since the Reconstruction. 30-year-old Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is the youngest person to have ever been elected. At 18 years old, Saira Blair of West Virginia is the youngest state lawmaker in America. For the first time in history, there will be more than 100 women serving in Congress.
Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska, Oregon, Alaska, and Washington, D.C. have approved pro-marijuana measures. In Oregon, the new legislation legalizes personal possession, production, and sale to people over 21. It also creates a regulatory system for commercial use and sale. Alaska’s legislation is similar. In D.C., people over 21 may now legally possess up to two ounces and grow up to six plants. Florida’s medical marijuana measure failed to meet the 60% necessary for legalization.
Governor Andrew Cuomo was reelected with 54% of the vote. Republican Richard Funke won out over his incumbent opponent, Democrat Ted O’Brien. Democrat Harry Bronson was reelected to the State Assembly with 56% of the vote.
Hansler is a member of the class of 2015.