Big night for GOP

Cameron Smyth Commentary, Right Here Right Now

As much as the mainstream media will try to ignore the election results from Tuesday, it is undeniable that Republicans scored big, and in some cases historic, victories across the country.

In Kentucky, Matt Bevin’s 53 percent to 44 percent victory marks only the second time in 48 years that Republicans have won the Kentucky governor’s race.

If that wasn’t historic enough, Bevin’s lieutenant governor running mate, Jenean Hampton, is now the first African-American ever elected to statewide office in Kentucky. Both Bevin and Hampton have never held elective office.

Also riding the conservative wave, Republicans picked up four of the six additional statewide offices despite only holding one office going into Election Day.

A key result included defeating the state auditor, who was thought to be the Democrats’ top pick to challenge GOP Sen. Rand Paul next year.

Mississippi also had a big night Tuesday for Republicans. Gov. Phil Bryant cruised to re-election, along with victories in the races for lieutenant governor, attorney general, treasurer, secretary of state, agricultural commissioner and state auditor.

To further add to Democrats’ pain of the night, the House minority leader also lost his race to a Republican challenger.

Virginia completed the rough night for Democrats; despite aggressive campaigning by Democrat and longtime Clinton ally Gov. Terry McAuliffe and New York billionaire and former Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who donated heavily to Democrats in the hope of winning the Virginia Senate on a promise of more gun-control, Republicans easily retained control of the House and withstood several challenges to remain in control of the state Senate.

Bloomberg was hoping to capitalize on the tragic shooting of two Virginia TV reporters this summer and pumped millions into the race for two critical state Senate seats that still went to the Republicans.

The results continue two distressing trends for Democrats since Obama took office. The party will now hold just 17 governorships, down from 29 in 2008, and only one of those governors (McAuliffe) represents a southern state.

Even in San Francisco, the movement was made as a result of a conservative issue. Ross Mirakami, known as the “Sanctuary Sheriff,” who stridently defended the city’s sanctuary policy, was handily defeated by a former sheriff’s official who referred to the sheriff’s order barring the San Francisco jail from cooperating with immigration officials as “misguided.”

While several other local blunders contributed to Mirakami’s defeat, it is undeniable that his position on sanctuary cities played a role.

Locally, the good news continued for Republicans here in the Santa Clarita Valley. Although we had no valley-wide elections, voters in the Newhall County Water District and in two newly created voting areas for the William S. Hart Union High School District went to the polls and retained Republican majorities in both bodies.

Local attorney Dan Mortensen was re-elected to the water board and veteran Hart board member Steve Sturgeon won handily. Incumbent Gloria Mercado-Fortine was knocked out of office by longtime Canyon High School teacher and former Santa Clarita Parks Commissioner Linda Storli.

While Mercado-Fortine and Storli are both Republicans, Storli was the clear choice of local Republican leaders, garnering the endorsement of Congressman Steve Knight, state Senator Sharon Runner, and Assemblyman Scott Wilk, as well as members of the Santa Clarita City Council and other local elected office holders.

I realize we are still 12 months away from our national elections, and much can happen, but the results of this week make it tough to deny that Americans across the country are looking for something different — and that does not bode well for traditional politicians like Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Mike Huckabee.

With the Iowa caucuses less than 90 days away, it’s crunch time for the presidential candidates. Campaigns at all levels better find a way to understand and listen to the American people if they want to continue to serve us beyond 2016.