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, giving 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.
Mr. McCrory defeated Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton to become the state’s first GOP chief executive since Jim Martin left office in early 1993. Mr. McCrory had lost his gubernatorial bid in 2008 to Democrat Beverly Perdue, who opted not to run for re-election this year.
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 and Delaware.