State Election RecapThis election cycle saw gubernatorial elections held in 36 states and 3 territories, with 31 incumbent Governors running for re-election.

There were no major shakeups or surprises on the gubernatorial side, with only three governorships changing parties. Two flips came in Maryland and Massachusetts, where Democrats Wes Moore and Maura Healey, respectively, replaced outgoing moderate Republican governors. The third flip came from Nevada, where outgoing Governor Steve Sisolak was unseated by Republican Joe Lombardo, a Las Vegas Sheriff. For now, they remain the only three flips on the governor map. But that can still change, as two races have not announced a winner yet: Alaska and Arizona.  

There were also several historic firsts this gubernatorial election. Maura Healey has been elected the first openly gay governor and the first woman to hold the seat in Massachusetts. In Maryland, Wes Moore will become the first black Governor of the state. Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders will be the first woman elected governor of Arkansas, winning the office her father previously held for over a decade. Republicans are now projected to control 25 governors’ mansions to Democrats’ 23.  

Mirroring the gubernatorial races, there proved to be no shocking upsets in the state legislature races. Looking at AEM target states for 2023, there were no flips in any of the state chambers. Instead, the races decided whether the parties would enjoy a supermajority.  

In Illinois, Democrats managed to easily maintain control of both statehouse chambers while making state history. In January, a record number ofDemocrats are set to be sworn in as state representatives in the Illinois House, giving Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch a supermajority. Aided by a newly drawn map of district boundaries, Welch’s Democrats say they racked up wins in as many as 77, and possibly 78, of the House’s 118 seats. Democrats also won a supermajority in the Senate, continuing Democrats rule of both chambers since 2003.  

The election in Kentucky also resulted in supermajority in the House. Two state House incumbent Democrats in south Louisville were defeated in Kentucky's election, as Republicans appear to have flipped a net five seats statewide to gain an even more dominant 80-seat supermajority in the chamber. Republicans also flipped one Senate seat where Democrats did not field a challenger, giving the party 31 seats in that chamber.

In Wisconsin, Republicans maintained control of both chambers, Wisconsin Democrats scored a major victory when they staved off Republican hopes to win supermajorities that would have allowed them to legislate without fear of vetoes by a Democratic governor. The Democrats remain a feeble minority in heavily gerrymandered Wisconsin, but they just managed to retain enough seats to prevent Republicans from the two-thirds majorities that could have overridden the vetoes that Gov. Tony Evers used frequently in his first term. 

While many of the state chambers remain highly partisan, AEM will continue to work with both sides of the aisle in every state to support pro-manufacturing policies. If you have any questions or would like to know more about the outcomes of state elections, please reach out to Stephanie See or Chelsea Jerominski at advocacy@aem.org.

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