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GOP governors in 3 key states retain seats | TribLIVE.com
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GOP governors in 3 key states retain seats

GovernorFloridaScottJPEG0ed76
Florida Governor Rick Scott, right, makes a point during his speech at a Monday morning, Nov. 3, 2014, campaign stop in Clearwater, Fla,. Scott was joined by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, left, at a campaign stop, part of Scott's bus tour. (AP Photo/Tampa Bay Times, Jim Damaske) TAMPA OUT; CITRUS COUNTY OUT; PORT CHARLOTTE OUT; BROOKSVILLE HERNANDO TODAY OUT : USA TODAY OUT

NEW YORK — Republican governors in Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin fended off Democratic challengers on Tuesday in three of the most disputed contests among three dozen races that revolved heavily around voters’ concerns about the uneven economic recovery.

Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker, the projected winner over Democrat Mary Burke, is a conservative Tea Party favorite considered to have presidential aspirations.

He survived a recall election in 2012, beating back a labor-backed effort to oust him from the governor’s office.

Walker supporters broke out into a cheer of “Four more years” when projections declaring him the winner were announced.

In Florida, Republican Gov. Rick Scott was the projected winner over Charlie Crist, a former Republican governor turned Democrat. Both Florida candidates struggled with low popularity during the contest that featured months of attack ads on both sides.

Crist’s last-minute attempt to extend voting by two hours in Broward County was denied by a judge Tuesday night in Crist’s unsuccessful effort to thwart Scott.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder prevailed over a Democratic political insider, former U.S. Rep. Mark Schauer, NBC projected.

The three big wins for Republican incumbents added to what shaped up to be a good night for Republicans across the country, with the party on the cusp of winning back control of the Senate.

Voters disgruntled over the uncertain economic recovery were showing an anti-incumbent sentiment, and several sitting governors struggled to defend their fiscal policies in their re-election bids.

Incumbents were locked in tight races in Connecticut, Alaska, Colorado, Kansas and Illinois.

In several races where outcomes were as expected, Republican Gov. Nikki Haley was the projected winner in South Carolina, Republican Gov. John Kasich was victorious in Ohio and Republican Gov. Bill Haslam won in Tennessee.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo was the projected winner in New York, and Republican Gov. Robert Bentley won in Alabama.

In Texas, Reuters/Ipsos projected Republican Greg Abbott, the state’s attorney general, defeated his Democratic opponent, state Senator Wendy Davis.

Nebraska Republican Pete Ricketts, a co-owner of the Chicago Cubs, won over Democrat Chuck Hassebrook.

As expected, Republican Gov. Mary Fallin was the projected winner in Oklahoma, as was sitting Republican Gov. Matt Mead in Wyoming.

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