Democrat Terry McAuliffe has won the Virginia governor's race, while Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie won re-election Tuesday in voting being watched as an indicator of voter sentiment before next year's midterm Congressional polls.
In New Jersey, Christie held on to the governorship with more than 50 percent of the vote, drawing support from Democrats and independents. His broad, bipartisan appeal has fed speculation about Christie seeking the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
U.S. President Barack Obama has telephoned congratulations to Christie, who won support from both liberals and conservatives.
Former Democratic Party leader McAuliffe eked out a narrow victory over conservative Ken Cuccinelli, whom analysts say may have been hurt by the fact his following is more far-right than moderate.
Another key race was in New York, where voters elected Bill de Blasio to be the city's first Democrat mayor since 1989. He succeeds Republican turned independent Michael Bloomberg.
U.S. political analysts are looking for clues from Tuesday's results to help predict the outcome of next year's Congressional polls when all members of the House of Representatives and one-third of the Senate are up for re-election.
Voters in several other major cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Houston and Miami, also elected mayors Tuesday.
Americans also voted on a variety of ballot initiatives Tuesday.
In the western state of Colorado, which legalized recreational marijuana last year, voters approved a measure to impose a 25 percent tax on the drug. The money would go toward regulating the marijuana industry and building schools.
Voters in the state of Washington were asked whether to require genetically engineered food to be labeled.
In Waterville, Maine, Democrat Jennifer Johnson won a city post over her husband, Republican David Johnson. They say they ran against each other to emphasize the importance of public service and to show Democrats and Republicans can get along.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.