Election 2021: Youngkin Wins VA, New Jersey Call Contested, Mayor Race Roundup

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Tuesday's election derailed the hopes of a democratic sweep expected in major political races, with Biden endorsed Virginia Democrat Terry McAuliffe losing and New Jersey's Phil Murphy barely securing a victory, with a recall expected.

Republicans returned a strong showing at the polls, primarily outside of Virginia's major cities which are consistent democratic strongholds, securing a narrow 50.9% of voters.

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Virginia Governor-elect Glenn Youngkin, a political outsider, successful business leader, and underdog in the hotly contested campaign for governor, issued the following statement after his surprise victory over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the 2021 Virginia gubernatorial election.

"Virginians yesterday called for a Commonwealth where we—bonded by the Virginia spirit of liberty and freedom—can all achieve the great Virginia promise, and I am honored and humbled to answer that call. Together, as Virginians, we are going to get to work on Day One to ensure we have better schools, safer streets, a lower cost of living, and more jobs. 

"I would like to thank my wife, Suzanne, and our four children for their enduring love and support over the last 40 weeks. And thank you to our Women for Glenn, Latinos for Glenn, Black Virginians for Glenn, Farmers for Glenn, Educators for Glenn, Law Enforcement for Glenn, and all our supporters for their relentless encouragement and tireless efforts to help make Virginia the best place to live, work, and raise a family. 

"To all those who came out to vote for us on Tuesday—thank you. Thank you for standing up for Virginia and entrusting me with your family's futures. To those who voted a different way this time—thank you for fighting for what you believe in. I look forward to coming together and earning your support over the next four years."

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New Jersey Race

Democratic incumbent Phil Murphy struggled to secure a victory, in what many considered a staunch blue state, as the votes, two days after the polls closed are still being counted. With each candidate, Murphy (D) and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, who surprised everyone with a very strong and possible upset victory.

With only 40,524 votes separating the two, and as New Jersey has no recount mandates, Ciattarelli is expected to demand a recount to ensure that every legal vote is counted.

While The Associated Press has called the race for Murphy, Ciattarelli's team responded, "With the candidates separated by a fraction of a percent out of 2.4 million ballots cast, it's irresponsible of the media to make this call when the New Jersey Secretary of State doesn't even know how many ballots are left to be counted," Ciattarelli spokeswoman Stami Williams said in a tweet," reported The Washington Post.

Until further notice, it appears incumbent Phil Murphy has squeak out a victory, in a race that is seen as highlighting the red tide in seemingly blue strongholds.

Mayoral Races Round-up

With relatively low voter turnout in the off-year election secured upset victories in many major cities. With New York City the only major city reaching above 200,000 voters casting ballots, reflects a laissez-faire attitude toward politics and governmental leadership, allowing the political ship to sail with interference.

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New York Mayor

Former Brooklyn borough president Eric Adams handily won New York Mayoral race over republican challenger Cutis Sliwa. More than a million New Yorker's cast their ballots, with Adams securing 66.5% of the votes. Sliwa, the Republican disruptor, with 28.8% of the votes surprised many pundits with his relatively strong showing

Boston Mayor

Michelle Wu, in an historic win, became the first female and first woman of color elected to Boston's top office. A 2007 Harvard graduate, Wu began her political career as a city council member.

With 430,000 registered voters, the 142,118 voters who showed up at the polls on Tuesday represent only a third of all voters. Wu's victory, while historic, reflects a waning interest in local politics with only one-third of registered voters casting their ballot on the future leadership of the city.

"Just 108,000 voters cast ballots in the preliminary election that narrowed the field to two finalists — Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George. That's about 5,000 fewer than the number who voted in the last open race for mayor eight years ago," reported Commonwealthmagazine.org.

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Atlanta Mayor Race

After Atlanta Mayor Democrat Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would not seek a second term, the field for leadership in Georgia's largest city and in the nation's top forty largest cities, populated with challengers. After Tuesday's election, the top two candidates, former Mayor Kasim Reed (D) who secured 40.8% and City Council President Felicia A. Moore (D) who secured 23.0% will face off in the November 30, run-off election. Reed appears to be closing in on a second term.

Minneapolis Policing

Minneapolis, the hot seat of social unrest, justice, and violence, over the last two years, put the disbanding the police force to the voters, who overwhelmingly supported maintaining the current police force structure, 56.2% to 43.8%, which also may have contributed to a larger voter turnout.

"The continued debate over the future of policing — including a ballot question that would replace the police department with a new department of public safety emphasizing mental health services and violence prevention — has collided with one of the worst violent crime waves in the city's history," The Washington Post reported.

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