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Republicans add governors

Up to 33 governorships could be held by the party, the most since the 1990s.

  • Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at an Indiana Republican Party on Tuesday in Indianapoli...

    Darron Cummings / Associated Press

    Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at an Indiana Republican Party on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

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Associated Press
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  • Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at an Indiana Republican Party on Tuesday in Indianapoli...

    Darron Cummings / Associated Press

    Indiana Republican gubernatorial candidate Mike Pence and his wife, Karen, wave to supporters at an Indiana Republican Party on Tuesday in Indianapolis.

ST. LOUIS -- North Carolina voters elected their first Republican governor in two decades Tuesday, fanning the GOP's hope of broadening their party's hold on governor's mansions across the country.
The victory by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory came two years after Republicans snatched six governors' offices in the midterm elections. Those victories gave the party 29 governorships to 20 for Democrats and one independent entering Tuesday's elections in which 11 gubernatorial races were to be decided.
When all the ballots are counted, Republicans could have as many as 33 governorships -- the most since the 1920s and one more than they had in the 1990s.
McCrory defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton to become North Carolina's first GOP chief executive since Jim Martin left office in early 1993. McCrory narrowly had lost his gubernatorial bid in 2008 to Democrat Beverly Perdue, who opted not to run this year.
Indiana voters went with Republican Mike Pence, a 12-year congressman who defeated Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham to succeed GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is barred by state law from seeking a third term.
Democratic governors are leaving office in North Carolina, Montana, New Hampshire and Washington, raising Republican hopes that at least some of those offices can be flipped to the GOP. But New Hampshire's governor's mansion remained in Democratic hands Tuesday, as did those in Vermont, Delaware and West Virginia.
Chief executives of conservative North Dakota and Utah stayed in the Republican column with Tuesday's re-elections of popular incumbents. They included Jack Dalrymple, who took over two years ago in North Dakota when John Hoeven resigned to move to the Senate. Dalrymple won his first full term, defeating rancher and Democratic state Sen. Ryan Taylor.
Recent polls have shown a tight race in Washington, where the GOP hasn't occupied the governor's mansion in more than three decades.
The GOP also is competing in Missouri, the latter a state where national Republican and Democratic governors' groups have poured millions into the race between Democratic incumbent Gov. Jay Nixon and Republican businessman rival Dave Spence.
But in at least three states, Democrats easily prevailed. Gov. Peter Shumlin won another term in Vermont, Gov. Jack Markell did the same in Delaware and state Sen. Maggie Hassan was elected to lead New Hampshire.
Some pundits have suggested there isn't necessarily a national tide lifting Republicans in governor's races so much as individual circumstances in a small number of competitive states. Democrats in North Carolina, for example, saw a former governor convicted of a felony in 2010 and the current governor sullied by an investigation that led to charges against her former campaign aides.
Republicans have also been aided by a cash advantage, with the Republican Governors Association raising about twice as much as its Democratic counterpart.

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