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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.

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). 


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

But for a closer look at some, read on.



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



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


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.



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



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



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



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



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


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...



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...



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



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



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



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



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



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



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

Caroline Cournoyer is GOVERNING's senior web editor.
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