| 30 May 2024, Thursday |

Republican wins in Virginia governor race

The Republican Glenn Youngkin, a 54-year-old political newcomer beat Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who served as governor from 2014 to 2018.
Broadcasters called the race for the conservative Youngkin as he was 2.7 points ahead of McAuliffe in the neck-and-neck race shortly after midnight local time, with more than 95% of the vote counted.
The result puts pressure on US President Joe Biden’s Democratic Party, with an already narrow control of Congress ahead of next year’s midterm elections.
“Together we will change the trajectory of this commonwealth,” Youngkin told cheering supporters in a hotel ballroom in Chantilly, about 25 miles west of Washington.
Analysts suggested that one of the keys behind Youngkin’s victory was mobilizing suburban Republicans while also keeping former President Donald Trump at arm’s length, as he remains widely unpopular in Virgina. He also managed to tap into conservative fears about a perceived slide to the left in public schools without alienating more moderate voters.
Youngkin promised to immediately improve schools, saying, “there’s no time to waste. Our kids can’t wait. We work in real people time not government time.”
Meanwhile in New Jersey, the contest between incumbent Phil Murphy and Republican rival Jack Ciattarelli remained too close to call early on Wednesday. Biden carried the state by a 16% margin in last year’s presidential election, though Ciattarelli had distanced himself from Donald Trump during the campaign, relying on painting Murphy as out of touch.
Two of the US’ biggest cities also had key elections on Tuesday. In New York City, former police captain Eric Adams, a Democrat, won the election easily against Republican Curtis Silwa. Adams is only the second Black mayor in the city’s history.
Adams reached out to moderate Democratic voters outside progressive enclaves in Manhattan and Brooklyn, and during debates refused to engage with what he called Silwa’s “buffoonery” and attacks.
History was made in Boston, as city councilor Michelle Wu became the city’s first woman and Asian American to be elected to the top job.
“We are ready to become a Boston for everyone,” said Wu. Despite Massachusetts being known as a liberal bastion, Boston has some of the worst inequality and school segregation in the United States.
Wu will replace caretaker May Kim Janey, the city’s first Black and female mayor, who was appointed to the position when former city leader Marty Walsh became President Biden’s labor secretary in January.