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Updated 9:33 PM  |  November 7, 2018

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Video: Trump, members of Congress react to midterm results

On Nov. 7, President Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) reacted to midterm election results. Watch:

Democrat concedes in Alaska governor’s race
Alaska gubernatorial candidates Mike Dunleavy, left, a Republican, and Democrat Mark Begich, right, are shown before a debate Oct. 25 in Anchorage. (Mark Thiessen/AP)

Democrat Mark Begich conceded the Alaska governor’s race Wednesday to Republican Mike Dunleavy, the Associated Press reported, bringing an abrupt end to a campaign filled with mysterious twists.

As of Wednesday afternoon, Begich trailed Dunleavy by more than 20,000 votes with 98 percent of precincts reporting.

Until three weeks ago, the governor’s race had been a three-way contest between Begich, Dunleavy and incumbent Gov. Bill Walker (I).

In mid-October, however, Walker announced that his running mate, then-Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott, was resigning from office immediately because he had made “inappropriate comments.”

Neither Walker nor his office elaborated on what those comments were.

“Byron recently made inappropriate comments that do not reflect the sterling level of behavior required in his role as Lieutenant Governor,” Walker said in a statement at the time.

The statement included remarks from incoming Lt. Gov. Valerie Nurr’araaluk Davidson that hinted that the inappropriate comment had been about women.

“Alaskans deserve the highest standards of conduct by their elected officials. While I am deeply saddened by the resignation of Lt. Governor Byron Mallott, I am profoundly disappointed by his conduct,” Davidson stated. “Respect for women, and the dignity of all Alaskans, is our responsibility.”

Days after Mallott’s resignation, Walker abruptly ended his campaign, citing his dwindling chances of winning the three-way race.

“When I said I ran for governor to do the job, not make the decisions to keep the job, I meant exactly what I said,” Walker said in an Oct. 20 statement. “Absentee ballots have already been mailed, and Alaskans are already voting. In the time remaining, I believe we cannot win a three-way race.”

On his way out, Walker endorsed Begich, in the hopes of keeping the governorship out of Dunleavy’s hands.

It may have been too little too late. As of Wednesday afternoon, Walker had received about 2 percent of the vote. Dunleavy was leading Begich by 52.5 percent to 43.7 percent when Begich conceded the race.

Begich is a former U.S. senator and mayor of Anchorage. Dunleavy is a former Alaska state senator who resigned from his seat in January to enter the governor’s race.

Rep. Diana DeGette to run for House Democratic whip, challenging James Clyburn
Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.), left, speaks at a Washington Post Live event. (Andre Chung for The Washington Post)

Rep. Diana DeGette (Colo.) announced Wednesday that she is running for House Democratic whip, challenging Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.) for the No. 3 spot in House Democratic leadership.

“Our return to the majority was powered by women voters across the country, and we need to repay their trust by adding women to Democrats’ leadership team,” DeGette said in a statement announcing her bid. “As we add even more women to our ranks in Congress — largely because of Democratic candidates — our caucus should reflect this strength, including at the leadership table.”

Congress returns to Washington next week for its lame-duck session, but Democrats are not expected to hold their internal leadership elections until after Thanksgiving.

DeGette has served seven terms as House Democrats’ chief deputy whip. Clyburn, meanwhile, currently serves assistant Democratic leader, the title given to the No. 3 House Democratic spot when the party is in the minority.

The South Carolina Democrat, who previously served as House majority whip from 2007-2011, said Wednesday that he will formally announce his candidacy for the position soon.

Democrat O’Halleran holds on in Arizona 1st

Democratic Rep. Tom O’Halleran fended off a challenge from Republican Wendy Rogers in Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, which President Trump carried by one point in 2016.

O’Halleran cited his membership in the bipartisan House Freedom Caucus as evidence that he would work across the aisle, while Rogers played up her support for Trump in the northeast Arizona district where many rural voters supported the president in 2016. Her low-profile campaign made the race much more competitive than many Republicans expected.

Hoyer announces bid for House majority leader
House Minority Whip Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md). (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) announced Wednesday that he would seek to become House majority leader when Democrats take control of the chamber next year.

Hoyer, 79, previously held the same position when Democrats were last the majority party eight years ago. He currently serves as minority whip, the No. 2 position for Democrats behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), who is seeking to become speaker next year.

“I’ve heard from many of you that you want experienced leaders who will fight against President Trump’s worst policies, while being willing to work together where cooperation is possible on areas where we agree,” Hoyer said in a letter to his Democratic colleagues. “You want leaders who welcome new ideas and different ways of doing things, who will effectively advance our policy priorities, and who will convey an effective message to the American people. That is why I’m running for Majority Leader in the 116th Congress, and I look forward to serving the Caucus.”

Midterm election updates: Reaction and results

Democrats took the House, Republicans held the Senate, and key races around the country were still too close to call.

See races and results for your state:
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