By Stacy M. Brown
Originally appeared in NNPA
As Election Night turned slowly into Wednesday morning, the U.S. House and Senate balance of power remained a tossup after tens of millions of votes were counted nationwide.
And while crucial races like the Georgia Senate race between Republican Herschel Walker and Democratic Incumbent Sen. Raphael Warnock remained too close to call, the red wave many political watchers and several mainstream media outlets predicted hadn’t developed.
In the House, where power is likely to change hands, one Democrat, Virginia Rep. Elaine Luria, lost her seat. However, Ohio GOP Rep. Steve Chabot also lost his House seat.
Some House seats that most predicted as easy Republican prey like Democratic Reps. Abigail Spanberger of Virginia, and Chris Pappas in New Hampshire, were retained. On Wednesday morning, Republicans were assured of 207 House seats to 188 for Democrats. A party needs 218 seats to control the chamber.
With Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman defeating Republican Mehmet Oz for the Pennsylvania Senate seat, Democrats currently hold a 48-47 seat advantage in their efforts to retain control.
As it’s been the past two years, Democrats need 50 seats to control that chamber because Vice President Kamala Harris acts as the tiebreaker.
However, the race to represent Georgia in the Senate remains surprisingly close. Warnock awakened on Wednesday in a statistical dead heat with Walker, each at 49% of the vote with 96% of precincts counted.
Approximately 18,000 votes separate the candidates. If neither candidate wins 50% of the vote, they will square off on Dec. 6 in a runoff.
The Wisconsin Senate race between Republican Incumbent Ron Johnson and Democrat Mandela Barnes, a Black man, was too close to call. Johnson held a slight advantage Wednesday morning with about 32,000 more votes or 50.6% to 49.4%. However, most of the remaining ballots are GOP strongholds.
Meanwhile, Senate races in Arizona and Nevada will determine the Senate majority, and both outcomes aren’t expected for several days.
Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, held a 52% to 45.8% lead over Blake Masters, a Republican, Wednesday morning with 66% of the votes counted.
Republican Adam Laxalt holds a 49.9% to 47.2% lead over Democratic Incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto in the Nevada Senate race.
Wes Moore counted among the 21 Democrats to win gubernatorial elections, making history as the first African American to win election to governor in Maryland. Stacey Abrams conceded the Georgia governor’s race to incumbent Republican Brian Kemp in a rematch of their controversial and bitter 2018 contest.
“Tonight, I am doing clearly what is the responsible thing. I am suspending my campaign for governor,” Abrams said following her loss. “I may no longer be seeking the office of governor, but I will never stop doing everything in my power to make sure the people in Georgia have a voice.
“While I may not have crossed the finish line, that doesn’t mean I won’t stop running for a better Georgia,” she added. “Even though my fight – our fight – for the governor’s mansion came up short, I’m pretty tall.”
Two of the nation’s most controversial governors, Greg Abbot (R-Texas), and Ron DeSantis (R-Florida), easily won re-election. Abbot defeated Beto O’Rourke, while DeSantis beat Charlie Crist.
Democratic Rep. Val Demings lost her bid for the U.S. Senate against GOP Incumbent Marco Rubio.
However, Florida voters made history by electing Maxwell Frost in the race to represent Florida’s 10th Congressional District.
The 25-year-old Afro-Cuban becomes the first member of Generation Z elected to serve in the U.S. House.
“History was made tonight,” Frost tweeted. “We made history for Floridians, Gen Z, and everyone who believes we deserve a better future.”
In Pennsylvania, Austin Davis, a 32-year-old state lawyer, became the first African American elected to lieutenant governor in the Keystone State. It’s the highest position any African American has held in Pennsylvania.
“I am deeply mindful that this is my opportunity, but it’s not an opportunity I paid for,” Davis said. “It was paid by the sweat equity and work of people who came before me. It is my responsibility to view it as while I may be the first, I’m not the last and that I blaze a trail for other minority candidates to follow in my footsteps.”
Also, Summer Lee won the race in the 12th Congressional district, becoming the first African American woman elected to Congress from Pennsylvania.
In Los Angeles, former Congressional Black Caucus Chair Karen Bass remains hopeful in her quest for mayor.
At press time, Bass trailed billionaire developer Rick Caruso by less than 1,500 votes – a 50.19% to 49.81% margin.
Bass hopes to become the first Black woman to hold that job.
Voters in California, Michigan, and Vermont codified abortion rights in those states. A ballot measure to do the same in Kentucky proved too close to call as of Wednesday morning.