California voters yesterday ended for the moment the often spectacular political career of Democratic Gov. Edmund G. (Jerry) Brown Jr. by choosing Pete Wilson, San Diego's Republican mayor, for a key U.S. Senate seat.
According to network projections, Thomas Bradley, Democratic mayor of Los Angeles, lost his bid to become the nation's first elected black governor as state Attorney General George Deukmejian scored an upset.
The Republican sweep at the top of the California ticket and reelection of Republican Gov. Victor G. Atiyeh in Oregon provided welcome news for the GOP after a string of Democratic victories in the West, including the defeat of New Mexico Republican Sen. Harrison H. Schmitt, a former astronaut.
Democrat Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico's attorney general, defeated Schmitt and weakened Republican control of the Senate after charging Schmitt with a lackluster record in Washington. A favorite slogan of Bingaman's supporters was: "What on earth has Schmitt done?"
As expected, Democratic Colorado Gov. Richard D. Lamm was reelected easily.
Two Arizona Democrats, Gov. Bruce Babbitt and Sen. Dennis DeConcini, won reelection, as did Wyoming's Democratic Gov. Ed Herschler.
In Nevada, state Attorney General Richard Bryan beat incumbent Republican Gov. Robert List after sharply criticizing his failure to protect the usually tourist-rich state from the ravages of the national recession.
Democratic Sen. Howard W. Cannon, with 23 years in Congress, was in a much tighter race with former state senator Chic Hecht.
Public opinion polls had shown the West, with a weak labor movement and relatively small minority groups, as the strongest Reagan Republican area in the country, giving the president a 57 percent approval rating in the most recent Washington Post-ABC News poll.
This pro-Reagan sentiment seemed to overwhelm even strong Democratic challenges in some states.
In Utah, Republican Sen. Orrin G. Hatch defeated Salt Lake City Mayor Ted Wilson, even though Wilson had launched the sort of campaign that worked for Democrats such as Bingaman.
Wilson emphasized his support for the local jobless and made well-timed allegations that his opponent was ineffectual and out-of-touch in Washington, while he soft-pedaled criticism of the still-popular Reagan. But Utah gave Reagan his greatest victory in 1980 with nearly 73 percent of the vote, and Hatch's strong loyalty to the president paid off.
In neighboring Wyoming, Republican Sen. Malcolm Wallop defeated another strong Democratic challenger, Rodger McDaniel, after Wallop also campaigned heavily on his Reagan ties.
In Alaska's gubernatorial race, Republican Thomas A. Fink was making a last-minute run at Democrat William Sheffield. Sheffield opposed a ballot proposition, very popular in cities such as Fairbanks, to loosen state restrictions on hunting in the bush.
Heavy voter turnout throughout the West seemed to help some Democrats, but Brown's well-organized and aggressive campaign to snatch the Senate seat vacated by retiring Republican S.I. Hayakawa sank under the heavy load of his negative ratings in the polls.
Voters were unwilling to forgive him for flip-flopping on issues such as property tax relief and for his long absences from the state during presidential campaigns in 1976 and 1980. Wilson attacked Brown relentlessly and emphasized his own successful record as mayor of the state's second-largest city.
Bradley, on the other hand, led in polls until the very end, pointing to his nine years as mayor of booming Los Angeles.
Deukmejian hit hard on the crime issue, insisting he would appoint tougher judges. Deukmejian's campaign manager resigned after a controversial statement that Deukmejian would win if he was only five percentage points behind in the polls, roughly the margin of the last few days of the campaign, because of a hidden anti-black vote. CALIFORNIA
The victories by Wilson and Deukmejian in the nation's most populous state gave Republicans a great emotional lift.
Everyone expected the Senate race between Brown, 44, one of the nation's most flexible and ambitious politicians, and Wilson, 49, one of the Republican Party's few big-city mayors, to become a bitter and expensive affair. It was, with Brown overcoming an early Wilson lead through sharp attacks on the Republican's controversial support of voluntary Social Security and election of federal judges.
Everyone expected the California gubernatorial race between Deukmejian, 54, a quiet, crime-conscious state attorney general, and Bradley, 64, who is admired by Republican businessmen, to be bland and issue-oriented. It was anything but.
Deukmejian tried to cut into Bradley's substantial lead in the polls by linking him with his unpopular fellow Democrat, Brown, and suggesting that his reduction of the Los Angeles police force led to more crime.
Bradley maintained his usual calm demeanor even when some polls showed him only three percentage points ahead in the last week. In televised debates, he emphasized the 200,000 new jobs that had come to Los Angeles during his tenure as mayor and attempted to put some distance between himself and the peripatetic Brown with the slogan: "He doesn't make a lot of noise. He just gets things done."
Wilson and Deukmejian heavily emphasized what they called Brown's weak and vacillating administration in Sacramento. They hit particularly hard on Brown's appointment of appellate court judges who had thrown out or weakened cases against suspected rapists and murderers on procedural and constitutional grounds.
Fear of crime appeared to influence the California election as much as the sour economy, with Republicans asking voters to reject three new Brown-appointed state supreme court justices. Two of the three were losing in early returns, an unprecedented negative vote on what usually have been routine voter confirmations.
A state initiative recommending a nuclear weapons freeze was losing narrowly in early returns and also divided the candidates. One veteran House member, Rep. Don H. Clausen, led Democratic state assemblyman Douglas H. Bosco despite attacks by nuclear freeze advocates and a slump in the forest industry central to his district.
Democratic Rep. Phillip Burton, a redistricting mastermind and liberal House leader, defeated popular and liberal Republican state Sen. Milton Marks in San Francisco. Republican Rep. John H. Rousselot was losing to Rep. Matthew G. (Marty) Martinez in a heavily Hispanic district after Rousselot's seat was redistricted into oblivion.
Veteran Rep. Glenn M. Anderson, 69, in early returns was beating back a challenge from Republican Brian Lungren, 28, brother of Rep. Dan Lungren. Democratic Rep. Tom Lantos, 54, won a very expensive race against former Rep. Bill Royer (R). NEW MEXICO
Bingaman, 39, a mainstream Democrat embraced by organized labor and environmentalists, ousted freshman Sen. Schmitt, 47, for whom President Reagan campaigned last Friday in what was viewed as a last-minute rescue mission.
Democrats also appeared to have maintained their hold on the statehouse, with NBC projecting former attorney general Toney Anaya, a liberal, the winner.
The Bingaman victory cost Reagan one of his most loyal supporters--Schmitt backed the president on 84 percent of all roll-call votes in 1981--and broke the GOP monopoly on New Mexico's congressional delegation. Democratic businessman Bill Richardson, 34, also had a solid lead in the race for a new House seat.
Republican Rep. Manuel Lujan Jr., 54, was declared a winner by Associated Press after a strong challenge from state Treasurer Jan Alan Hartke, son of former Indiana senator Vance Hartke.
Anaya led conservative Republican John Irick, 58, a former state senator who backed the death penalty and right-to-work laws. COLORADO
Democratic Gov. Lamm, who held a 2-to-1 polling edge, won a third term, defeating former state house speaker John Fuhr, a veterinarian.
Of six congressional races, the two that sparked the most interest were between Republican incumbent Ken Kramer and Tom Cronin and between Republican Apollo 13 astronaut Jack Swigert and Aurora City Council member Steve Hogan for the seat representing the Denver suburbs of Aurora and Lakewood in the new 6th District.
Swigert, who revealed in mid-campaign that he has bone cancer, defeated Hogan by about 2-to-1. With more than 20 percent of the vote in, Kramer was an apparent winner.
Close races and initiatives would probably not be decided until today because of the slow way that new voting machines in Denver and Boulder were counting votes. WYOMING
Democratic Gov. Herschler, 63, won an unprecedented third term, while Sen. Wallop and fellow Republican Rep. Dick Cheney won decisively in the strongly Republican state.
Herschler, a folksy and popular lawyer-rancher, defeated former state house speaker Warren A. Morton (R), 58, a millionaire oilman, despite an 11th-hour uproar about news reports that a state contractor was pressured into contributing to Herschler's campaign.
Wallop, 49, benefiting from an enormous campaign war chest and a last-minute campaign appearance by Reagan, won a second term, overcoming a heated and surprisingly strong challenge from former state senator McDaniel, 34, who portrayed Wallop as a puppet of the president.
"I think Wyoming generally approves of what Reagan has done," Wallop said, calling his victory an endorsement of the president.
Cheney, 41, Wyoming's lone congressman and a rising GOP House star, cruised to a third term. MONTANA
Incumbent Democratic Sen. John Melcher won a second term, defeating Republican Larry Williams. The latest private polls had given Melcher a four-point edge.
Williams had led Melcher, but Melcher bounced back in the last few weeks with a strong counterattack. Reagan's recent visit to Montana apparently neither helped nor hurt Williams.
Both incumbent congressmen appeared safe in the latest polls, although Republican Ron Marlenee faced a stiffer challenge from farmer-rancher Howard Lyman than Democrat Pat Williams did from John Birch Society member Bob Davies. Marlenee was pulling away, even though most of the early returns were from Lyman's strongholds. NEVADA
Gov. List, 46, lost to Bryan, 45, to add another Democrat to the roll of governors. But Cannon, 70, was trailing Hecht, 53, after Cannon's bruising primary against Rep. Jim Santini, which he won with less than 50 percent of the vote.
In the race for the state's new, second House seat, Republican Barbara Vucanovich appeared close to victory over Democrat Mary Gojack, while Democrat Harry Reid won the other seat. UTAH
Hatch, 48, who outspent Wilson 3 to 1, won easily, and Republicans seemed likely to win all three House seats. ARIZONA
Democratic Gov. Babbitt won a second term against state Senate President Leo Corbet, whose campaign raised half of the $1.2 million raised by Babbitt.
Incumbent Democratic Sen. DeConcini won a second term, defeating state Rep. Peter Dunn.
The same poll in The Arizona Republic that showed Babbitt leading by better than 2-to-1 showed DeConcini almost as far ahead of Dunn. DeConcini spent more than $2 million, three times what Dunn raised.
The real action in five congressional races was in the new 5th District, where Democrat Jim McNulty, a member of the Arizona Board of Regents, led Republican state Sen. Jim Kolbe by four percentage points in early returns. OREGON
Atiyeh, 59, was reelected after weathering a barrage of attacks for Oregon's slumping economy from Democrat Ted Kulongoski, 41, a former state senator. But early returns left key congressional races in doubt.
Freshman Republican Rep. Denny Smith, 44, was running even with liberal Democratic challenger Ruth McFarland, 57, in his redrawn district, and Republican state Sen. Bob Smith, 51, a favorite to win a new congressional seat, was comfortably ahead of former Democratic National Committeewoman Larryann Willis.
In the Portland area, four-term Rep. Les AuCoin (D), 39, held a narrow lead over conservative Republican Bill Moshofsky, a former timber company executive who blamed the ills of his industry on environmental protections backed by AuCoin and other Democrats.
In Eugene, with 20 percent of the votes counted, maverick four-term Rep. James Weaver (D), 55, took a decisive lead over moderate Ross Anthony (R), 36, an economics professor and former Peace Corps volunteer who sought to paint the combative Weaver as an extremist. Weaver was supported by environmentalists; Anthony by business groups. WASHINGTON
The state's best-known politician, Democratic Sen. Henry M. Jackson, easily won a sixth term, swamping Seattle attorney Doug Jewett. The latest statewide poll had given Jackson 75 percent of the vote. Jewett's campaign was $60,000 in debt and more than $2 million behind Jackson's in contributions.
The state's five Democratic and two Republican congressional incumbents are favored. Spokane's Rep. Thomas S. Foley, the House Majority Whip, defeated Dr. John Sonneland, who lost to Foley by less than two percentage points in 1980.
The only close congressional race is in the new 8th District in suburban Seattle and favors Republican state legislator Rodney Chandler over Mercer Island Mayor Beth Bland. IDAHO
ABC projected a Republican upset in the governor's race, with Lt. Gov. Phil Batt, 55, ousting Democratic Gov. John Evans, 57, after a campaign that focused largely on Evans' problems with the state budget and his alliance with labor.
The state's two Republican congressmen, Larry E. Craig, 37, and George Hansen, 52, held solid leads with about half of the votes counted.
Hansen beat back a strong Democratic challenge from history professor Richard Stallings, while Craig, a favorite of the state's silver industry, held off Larry LaRocco, 36, an aide to former Democratic senator Frank Church. HAWAII
Freshman Democratic Sen. Spark M. Matsunaga, 66, won easily over retired Republican businessman Clarence J. Brown, 64, who spent very little money in what appeared from the start to be a lost cause.
Democratic Gov. George Ariyoshi, 56, a low-key fiscal conservative, completed the Democratic sweep with a win over a divided opposition -- Republican state Sen. D.G. Anderson, 52, and Independent-Democrat Frank F. Fasi, a former mayor of Honolulu. The two Democratic House incumbents won. ALASKA
Sheffield held his narrow lead in the polls over Fink by virtue of the presence of Libertarian candidate Dick Randolph.Rep. Don Young (R), 49, easily beat Democrat Dave Carlson, 43.