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The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Democrats sweep state elections ahead of 2024

Nationwide, Democrats had major successes when it came to abortion access and state leadership
Leo Woods

Voters across the United States cast their ballots on a number of matters, ranging from state legislators to constitutional amendments, Nov. 7, the final election day before the 2024 presidential primaries begin.

In Ohio, 56.6% of voters decided “yes” on Issue 1, a citizen-sponsored amendment to the state constitution that would grant guaranteed access to reproductive care including abortions, according to The New York Times. The measure was the only question on a ballot related to abortion on election day nationwide, according to the Associated Press

The amendment will effectively end the current abortion law in Ohio, which prohibits abortion once fetal cardiac activity can be detected with no exceptions for rape or incest, according to NPR. Ohio’s Republican Gov. Mike DeWine and the state’s GOP-led Congress opposed the amendment.

Also in Ohio, voters legalized recreational cannabis possession and use for people 21 and older with a 57% majority, The Times reported. The issue made Ohio the 24th state to legalize recreational cannabis for adults. The law will go into effect Dec. 7.

Tom Haren, spokesperson for the Coalition to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, said the results demonstrated that Ohio voters no longer thought of cannabis as a controversial issue. 

“Ohioans are being extremely clear on the future they want for our state: adult-use marijuana legal and regulated,” Haren said in an interview with AP.

Kentucky reelected Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear for a second term, defeating Republican nominee Daniel Cameron, the state attorney general, with 52.5% of the vote, The Times reported. 

Beshear won 29 of Kentucky’s 120 counties, according to AP. All but two were counties former President Donald Trump won in the 2020 election. Beshear won 23 counties in his initial win in 2019. His victory is the third time that Kentucky has voted for a governor two terms in a row.

Beshear’s popularity as a Democratic governor in a red state stemmed from his response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how he handled natural disasters, including historic flooding, devastating tornadoes and ice storms that have afflicted the state, according to NPR.

In a speech to a crowd of supporters, Beshear thanked the people of Kentucky and emphasized the importance of coming together for the benefit of all Kentuckians. He highlighted the economic successes Kentucky has had during his term and pledged to continue to push for better education access, job creation and to rebuild areas damaged by natural disasters.

“I stand here excited and optimistic about what we’re going to do these next four years together,” Beshear said.

Gabe Amo won the special election for Rhode Island’s 1st Congressional District seat and will be the first Black person to represent the state in Congress, according to NPR. 

Amo will serve the remainder of Rep. David Cicilline’s term, who stepped down in June to become president of the Rhode Island Foundation. He will be eligible for reelection in 2024.

In Virginia, Democrats maintained control of the state Senate and flipped the formerly GOP-majority House of Delegates. All 140 legislative seats were on the ballot. With a 21-19 majority in the Senate and 51-48 majority in the House, Democrats have enough power to push back against Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin, according to The Times.

Daniel McCaffery, a Democrat and judge on the Pennsylvania Superior Court, defeated Republican Carolyn Carluccio, a judge on the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas, in an election for a seat on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, The Times reported.

McCaffery will fill the vacant seat left by Justice Max Baer, who died in 2022.

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About the Contributor
Leo Woods, Photo Editor | he/him

Leo is a senior political science major with a minor in journalism from Clinton, Conn. He has photographed political events, protests, performing arts groups and documented Boston Pride for the People for the History Project. Outside of Suffolk, Leo is an avid Dungeons and Dragons player and podcast listener. After graduation, he plans on attending law school and working in politics.

Follow Leo on Twitter @leowoods108

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