Voters are casting ballots Tuesday for governor in the U.S. states of Virginia and New Jersey, two closely watched races ahead of next year’s midterm congressional elections.
In Virginia, Democrat Terry McAuliffe, who served as the state’s governor from 2014 to 2018, is facing Republican Glenn Youngkin, a political newcomer.
Both candidates held final campaign events Monday in the northern Virginia suburbs outside Washington. Youngkin told his supporters “the future of this country is going to be decided,” in Tuesday’s vote, while McAuliffe said “the stakes are huge.”
McAuliffe has seen his lead in opinion polls slide in recent months, just as approval ratings for Democratic President Joe Biden fell. Former President Donald Trump has supported Youngkin’s campaign, including calling in to a rally for the Republican Monday night.
In New Jersey, Governor Phil Murphy is seeking to become the first Democratic governor in the state to win reelection in 44 years as he faces a challenge from former state legislator Republican Jack Ciattarelli.
Democrats hold a narrow majority in the U.S. House of Representatives with all of the chamber’s 435 seats on the ballot in 2022.
There are currently three vacant seats in the House that must be filled before then.
Tuesday features special elections to fill the seats representing Ohio’s 11th and 15th congressional districts. There are also primary elections in the race to fill the seat in Florida’s 20th district ahead of a special election there in January.
Some information for this report came from the Associated Press and Reuters.