ST. LOUIS (AP) - North Carolina voters elected their first Republican governor in two decades Tuesday, fanning the GOP's hope of broadening their party's hold on governor's mansions across the country.
The victory by former Charlotte Mayor Pat McCrory came two years after Republicans won six governors' offices in the midterm elections. Those victories gave the party 29 governorships to 20 for Democrats and one independent entering Tuesday's elections in which 11 gubernatorial races were to be decided.
When all the ballots are counted, Republicans could have as many as 33 governorships - the most since the 1920s and one more than they had in the 1990s.
McCrory defeated Democrat Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton to become North Carolina's first GOP chief executive since Jim Martin left office in early 1993. McCrory narrowly had lost his gubernatorial bid in 2008 to Democrat Beverly Perdue, who opted not to run this year.
Indiana voters went with Republican Mike Pence, a 12-year congressman who defeated Democrat John Gregg and Libertarian Rupert Boneham to succeed GOP Gov. Mitch Daniels, who is barred by state law from seeking a third term.
Democrat governors are leaving office in North Carolina, Montana, New Hampshire and Washington, raising Republican hopes that at least some of those offices can be flipped to the GOP.
But New Hampshire's governor's mansion remained under Democrat control Tuesday, as did those in Vermont, Delaware and West Virginia.
Chief executives of conservative North Dakota and Utah stayed in the Republican column with Tuesday's re-elections of popular incumbents.