Republicans, Democrats split governor races
LOUISVILLE, Ky (Reuters) - Kentucky's Democratic governor won re-election and Mississippi elected the Republican lieutenant governor to succeed popular Governor Haley Barbour in the two gubernatorial races decided on Tuesday.
With nearly 99 percent of the Kentucky's vote reported, Governor Steve Beshear had garnered 55.9 percent of the votes cast, according to the state board of elections website.
Beshear said his win reflected a desire among Kentucky voters to "avoid the partisan gridlock paralyzing Washington ... It's a mandate for compromise."
Beshear's chief rival in the race, Republican David Williams, attracted 35 percent of the vote.
"Unfortunately, as a candidate I was not as popular as I hoped I would be," said Williams, the president of the Kentucky Senate. He said he planned to meet with Beshear to "try to find some common ground to work on."
A third candidate in the race, Gatewood Galbraith, an attorney from Lexington, had 9.3 percent. Galbraith is a perennial candidate in Kentucky, having run five times.
In Tuesday's other gubernatorial race in Mississippi, Republican Phil Bryant easily beat Democrat Johnny DuPree to fill the seat vacated by Barbour.
Had DuPree won, the mayor of Hattiesburg would have been the first African-American to win statewide office in Mississippi in modern times.
(Additional reporting by Jacob Batte; Editing by James B. Kelleher)
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