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Democrat McAuliffe Elected Virginia Governor

Democrat Terry McAuliffe has won the Virginia governor's race, in a close victory over Tea Party conservative Ken Cuccinelli.

With 97 precincts reporting late Tuesday, McAuliffe edged out Cuccinelli 47 to 46 percent.

The only other U.S. state selecting a governor Tuesday, the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey, has chosen Republican and possible presidential contender Chris Christie.

Votes are still being counted, but exit polls give Christie a wide lead over his Democratic opponent, State Senator Barbara Buono. Christie has already given his victory speech, declaring himself "the luckiest guy in the world."

The popular Christie became a national figure when Superstorm Sandy devastated his state last year. He pleased liberals but angered conservatives when he became friendly with President Barack Obama in working to clean up storm damage.

Meanwhile New York City is getting its first Democratic mayor in more than 20 years. New York's public advocate Bill de Blasio won by a big margin over Republican Joe Lhota, who is a former chairman of the city's transportation authority. Three-term Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, is barred from a fourth term.

Voters in several other major cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Detroit, Houston and Miami, also elected mayors.



U.S. political analysts are looking for clues from Tuesday's results to help predict the outcome of next year's congressional elections, when all 435 seats in the House of Representatives and one-third of the nation's 100 Senate seats are up for grabs.

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 wheather to require genetically engineered food to be properly labeled.

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Volunteers with Kurdish peshmerga forces clash with Islamic State militants in the town of Daquq, south of Kirkuk, Sept. 30, 2014.

Photogallery Kurdish Forces in Iraq Advance Against IS Fighters

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