MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tuesday was Election Day across the country, and pivotal Mid-South races came to a head.
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Polls closed at 7 p.m. in Tennessee and Mississippi. Shelby County reported smooth sailing despite some concerns over polling.
Highly anticipated races in the Volunteer State are the governor’s race and the senate race.
Republican Bill Lee beat Democrat Karl Dean for the governor’s spot. Lee was projected as the winner early.
Phil Bredesen (D) and Marsha Blackburn (R) were the top candidates for the senate seat. Blackburn was projected as the winner around 9 p.m., with Bredesen conceding around 9:10 p.m.
It was a clean sweep against all three of the referenda up for votes Tuesday in Memphis.
- Referendum #5676 – with 92 percent of the precincts reporting, the measure that would give the Mayor of Memphis and Memphis city council members a term limit of three terms has failed.
- Referendum # 5669 – if passed, would have repealed Instant Runoff Voting, but it also failed tonight.
- Referendum #5677 – it would basically have eliminated run-off elections, but it also failed.
There was a much different result in Arkansas with ballot measures, in particular the one that grants four casino licenses in that state. It appears to have passed, meaning Southland Greyhound Park will likely become a casino in the not-too-distant future.
Voters in Arkansas also appear to have voted in favor of a voter ID measure and to increase the minimum wage.
In Arkansas, Governor Asa Hutchinson has been elected to a second term, easily beating Democratic nominee Jared Henderson.
Hutchinson will be term-limited and required to leave the governor’s mansion in 2022.
The highly contested race in Mississippi is the senate race. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Mike Espy will go to a runoff in three weeks.
Tuesday night, WMC Action News 5 also spoke with state representatives Steve Cohen and David Kustoff, as well as Senator Brian Kelsey: