2015 Election Results: State and Local Races and Ballot Measures

Presidential coverage may be dominating headlines, but it's not the only election worth your attention.
by | November 4, 2015

Here's a roundup of our coverage of the most important 2015 state and local races and ballot measures (plus our analysis of each governor-turned-2016 presidential candidate).

 

RACES

For a complete rundown of the statewide race results, click here.

But for a closer look at some, read on.

 

Governor

In Kentucky, Republican businessman Matt Bevin will succeed term-limited Democrat Steve Beshear, weakening the Democrats' power in one of the last Southern states where they still have some. The biggest question now is whether the new governor will dismantle the state's progress implementing Obamacare. READ MORE In Louisiana, Republican U.S. Sen. David Vitter will face Democratic state Sen. John Bel Edwards in a Nov. 21 runoff. It won't be an easy fight. READ MORE

 

Mayor

Most incumbent mayors easily won re-election Tuesday, but there were a couple of upsets. Several cities also elected their first female and openly gay mayors. READ MORE

 

BALLOT MEASURES

Eight states on Tuesday had statewide ballot initiatives. Below are the results of the most important and interesting. Plus, read about how people voted on local ballots across the country.

 

Marijuana

A citizen-led ballot initiative in Ohio would have made it the first Midwestern state to legalize marijuana. But voters rejected it, even though polls suggested that they support legalization. What happened? READ MORE And in Colorado, which already legalized medical and recreational pot, voters agreed to let the state have the tax revenue that the drug generated. The money will now go to the programs it was intended to help fund. READ MORE

 

Campaign Finance

In Maine on Tuesday, voters strengthened the public campaign financing system that became a model for other states and helped the legislature become the nation's most blue-collar. READ MORE

 

Redistricting

Voters in Ohio opted to end tactics that political parties use to increase their advantage in redistricting. It could be a big deal in the swing state. READ MORE

 

School Funding

Nearly every state has faced legal battles over school funding. Facing two competing (and confusing) ballot questions on the issue, voters in Mississippi chose neither. READ MORE

 

Residency Requirements

Like some other states, Texas forced many elected officials to live in the capital city. But thanks to voters, all politicians in Texas can now experience the joys of commuting. READ MORE

 

Taxes

In Louisiana, voters made decisions about tax incentives and property taxes. 

 

Infrastructure

In Texas, voters approved lawmakers' proposal for increasing transportation funding without increasing taxes or tolls. But is it a good idea? READ MORE Louisiana voters faced two proposals on ways to boost infrastructure funding -- but only agreed to one. READ MORE

 

Wildlife

Voters on Tuesday made Texas the 19th state to make hunting and fishing a constitutional right. READ MORE And in Washington state, the people voted to increase the criminal penalties for trafficking endangered species. READ MORE

 

LOOKING AHEAD TO THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

Okay, so we said this was all about 2015, but you can't ignore 2016. We recently revisited the record of each presidential candidate who was or is a governor. Read the stories below to peak into their past leadership style and legislative priorities.

 

On the Democratic Side...

 

MARTIN O'MALLEY

Baltimore's unrest has cast a negative spotlight on O'Malley's tough-on-crime policies as mayor. But as Maryland's governor, he left a liberal legacy on nearly every front. READ MORE

 

On the Republican Side...

 

JEB BUSH

Now seen as moderate, Bush governed Florida like a 'conservative hurricane.' READ MORE

 

CHRIS CHRISTIE

Once touted as a "master of disaster" and frontrunner in the presidential race, New Jersey Gov. Christie is now considered neither. READ MORE

 

JIM GILMORE

Although he was succeeded by a Democrat, Gilmore considered building up Republican strength in Virginia as his main accomplishment. READ MORE

 

MIKE HUCKABEE

He may be one of the more conservative presidential candidates, but as Arkansas governor, Huckabee expanded government programs and increased taxes. READ MORE

 

BOBBY JINDAL

The dominant force in Louisiana politics over the past decade, Jindal's fortunes have fallen as he prepares to leave office. READ MORE

 

JOHN KASICH

While other GOP presidential contenders will be touting their conservative policies, Ohio Gov. Kasich would have to defend his. READ MORE

 

GEORGE PATAKI

Pataki compiled a pretty strong record in New York -- if he were running as a Democrat. READ MORE

News Staff | News Staff