Features

Climbing the hill

"Climbing the hill" Continued...

When Steve Chabot heads to Washington, D.C., in January, he'll know how to pack: The Ohio Republican served in the House for 14 years before a Democratic challenger ousted him in 2008. This year, Chabot ousted the ouster, re-taking the seat he lost to incumbent Democrat Steve Driehaus. The Democrat had painted Chabot as a Washington insider, but Chabot reminded voters of his conservative voting record and his 1993 Buick. His voting record included opposition to TARP funds and the auto bailout, and a consistent pro-life position. Chabot said after losing his reelection bid to Driehaus in 2008, he thought he would re-open his law firm and remain a private citizen. But Congress' passage of the $787 billion stimulus bill prompted Chabot to reconsider, especially after he watched Driehaus vote "yea."
Adam Kinzinger | Illinois-11

When Adam Kinzinger was growing up, his siblings called him "Mr. Mayor" because of his early interest in politics. The Republican won a spot on a county school board when he was 20. Kinzinger never became mayor of his native Bloomington, Ill., but the 32-year-old has deftly leapfrogged to a higher office: U.S. congressman. Kinzinger defeated Democratic Rep. Debbie Halvorson, a landslide winner in 2008. During his campaign, Kinzinger emphasized fiscal conservatism and fostering an economic environment that encourages growth for small business. The pro-life Susan B. Anthony List endorsed his candidacy. Kinzinger didn't mention social issues on his campaign website, but he did outline policy for Iraq and Afghanistan. He advocates increasing troop levels and refraining from publicizing a date for U.S. withdrawal. Kinzinger's interest in foreign policy comes by experience: The U.S. Air Force captain has deployed to Iraq three times.


Previously profiled

WORLD profiled some of the newly elected senators and congressmen during the campaign season, including:

Marco Rubio of Florida ("The challenger's challenge," Aug. 14), Dan Benishek of Michigan, Larry Bucshon of Indiana, Scott DesJarlais of Tennessee, and Scott Rigell of Virginia ("Rookie season," Sept. 25).
See WORLD's interactive national map for complete election results from across the country.

Red belt

The Republican wave also brings a batch of new governors to state capitals

By Jamie Dean

The so-called Rust Belt in the Midwest turned a deep shade of red on Election Day: The GOP recaptured the majority of the nation's governors' seats, including a number of posts in Midwest and industrial states. The victories are a boon for Republicans seeking an advantage in next year's redistricting process for congressional seats, and a bellwether for presidential politics in the swing states that comprise the politically coveted region.

Ohio GOP Chairman Kevin DeWine touted the national implications of Republican John Kasich's win over incumbent Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland in Ohio: "Today we kicked down Obama's firewall." Republicans clinched governors' victories in other Midwest and industrial states held by Democrats, including Michigan, Pennsylvania, Kansas, Wisconsin, and Iowa. In another swing state, Republican Rick Scott-a Tea Party favorite-narrowly defeated Democrat Alex Sink in the race for Florida governor.

Outside the Midwest, a trio of Republican women became their states' first female governors: Mary Fallin took Oklahoma and Susan Martinez won New Mexico. In South Carolina, Nikki Haley prevailed in a state that has never had a governor who wasn't a white male. Haley is also set to become the nation's second Indian-American governor.

Democrats did hold governors' seats in some key states, including Massachusetts and Colorado. The party also picked up Republican seats in at least two states: Hawaii and California. In California, Democrat Jerry Brown defeated Republican Meg Whitman after the GOP candidate spent $148 million of her personal fortune on the race.

States also decided on a bevy of high-profile ballot measures: Voters in California said no to legalizing the retail sale and possession of marijuana. Oklahomans voted to make English the state's official language. The state also approved measures prohibiting courts from considering Islamic law when deciding cases, and prohibiting laws that require citizens to purchase health insurance. In Colorado, voters overwhelmingly rejected a ballot measure that would have declared "personhood" for unborn children.

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