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2018 Midterm Elections – what happened?

Written by ATSSA Vice President of Government Relations Nate Smith

On Nov. 6, 113 million Americans went to the polls to vote in federal, state, and local elections. This represents 49 percent of eligible voters.

After losing control of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election, Democrats regained control of that chamber, setting up a divided government scenario for at least the next two years. The current House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair, Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA), did not seek reelection, which set up a change of committee leadership regardless of the election outcome. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is nearly certain to become the next committee chair, starting in January. Additionally, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) will likely helm the Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

On the minority side, there is competition between Reps. Sam Graves (R-MO) and Jeff Denham (R-CA) to become the next full committee ranking member. This assumes Denham’s successful reelection, which has not yet been decided due to a very close electoral outcome.

On the other side of the Capitol, Republicans increased their majority in the U.S. Senate with victories in North Dakota, Indiana, and Missouri. As of this blog post, Florida is headed to a recount and may add to the Republican’s majority. Democrats picked up a seat in Nevada, while Arizona is still counting ballots. Unfortunately, ATSSA friend Rep. Lou Barletta (R-PA) was unsuccessful in his Senate campaign and will not be returning to Congress in 2019.

At the state level, Democrats picked up 7 Governors’ seats – in Maine, Illinois, New Mexico, Nevada, Wisconsin, Michigan and Kansas – setting up changes for those state departments of transportation leadership and possibly strategic goals. The Georgia governor’s race has not yet been decided.

Additionally, voters in many jurisdictions voted on transportation-specific ballot initiatives. In a win for our industry, California voters defeated Proposition 6, which would have repealed the state’s recently-enacted transportation funding law. In Colorado and Missouri, voters defeated initiatives to raise revenue for transportation projects.

Check out ATSSA’s chart of transportation ballot initiatives from across the country.

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