Tuesday’s Election Wrap-Up
November 8, 2007
Tuesday’s election saw Democrats achieve narrow majorities in the Mississippi and Virginia Senates. Democrats also maintained a majority in both New Jersey chambers and the Mississippi House. Republicans remained in control of the Virginia House of Delegates. If these results hold, Democrats now control 23 state legislatures; Republicans control 14 statehouses, and 12 are split between the two parties.
Legislative races in Virginia, New Jersey and Mississippi took on added importance because the party that controls the statehouse will redraw their state’s congressional districts following the 2010 census.
Mississippi Republican governor Haley Barbour was reelected on Tuesday, while Kentucky incumbent Republican governor Ernie Fletcher lost. Factoring in legislative and executive control, Democrats now have the reigns of state government in 15 states, and Republicans control 10 states. In 24 states, power is divided between the two parties.
Voters in Oregon overwhelmingly decided to scale back a 2004 initiative that made the state a model for property-rights advocates. Ballot Measure 49 amends an existing law which required government officials to allow property owners to develop land or compensate the property owners if the land use regulations decrease the value of the property. The measures modifies the law’s intent by giving landowners the right to build a limited number of homes on their property as compensation for land use regulations imposed after they bought their property. It also prohibits subdivisions on high-value farmlands, forests and groundwater-restricted lands, and specifies that claimants may not use existing law to override zoning laws prohibiting commercial and industrial developments on land reserved for homes, farms and forests.
In Texas, voters approved a measure to amend their State Constitution to establish terms under which a landowner may repurchase real property previously acquired by a governmental entity through eminent domain.