While Democrats won the war for the White House, Republicans claimed victory in the battles for the State Houses in Tuesday's elections. Former Charlotte Mayor Pat McGrory's win over Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton in North Carolina will give the GOP the governorships of at least 30 of the 50 states.
"That's the highest number of governorships held by either party in 12 years, and 2013 will mark just the 10th year since the end of the Great Depression that the GOP has held 30 or more governor's offices," the Republican Governors Association (RGA) said in a post-election statement. The GOP held 29 of the governorships going into this year's elections. "There's no doubt that the Republican Party's strength comes from the states, and the RGA's ability to expand our majority provides optimism for the future," said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, chairman of the RGA.
McGrory, who captured nearly 55 percent of the vote, will become the first Republican governor in the Tar Heel State in 20 years and the first in modern history to enter the office with a Republican-led General Assembly, the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer reported. His victory strengthens the GOP's near-total control of governorships in the South, leaving Arkansas as the only Southern state with a Democratic governor. The former Charlotte mayor lost in a close election to current Gov. Bev Perdue four years ago. Perdue, who suggested in a Rotary Club speech last year that the 2012 congressional elections should be cancelled, chose to cancel her own opportunity to seek a second term, deciding at the end of last year she would not seek reelection. North Carolina Democrats were also plagued by a scandal late last year over allegations that the party's former executive director had sexually harassed a staff member.
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Photo: Governor-elect Pat McGrory and the North Carolina Executive Mansion