The Democratic gubernatorial grip in the Rocky Mountain states was broken, as Utah voters elected Republican Norm Bangerter for governor over former congressman Wayne Owens.
GOP incumbents were returned to their Senate seats in Colorado, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana.
Republicans picked up a congressional seat in Colorado, as former county prosecutor Michael Strang beat environmentalist W. Mitchell in a race for the Third District seat of retiring Democrat Ray Kogovsek. In Idaho, Republican Rep. George Hansen, convicted earlier this year of tax fraud, lost his seat by less than 70 votes to Democrat Richard Stallings. A recount is expected. A recount also is expected in Utah, to settle a close race in which Republican Lt. Gov. David Monson edged out Democrat Frances Farley by less than 150 votes for the seat being vacated by Republican Dan Marriott. There were no upsets in other congressional races in the region: All incumbents were returned to office.
Republicans came on with surprising force Tuesday in Texas, a traditional Democratic stronghold. Conservative Rep. Phil Gramm (R) soundly trounced liberal Democrat Lloyd Doggett for the Senate seat vacated by retiring GOP Sen. John Tower. Republicans picked up four House seats in Texas, giving them 10 to the Democrats' 17. There were no surprises in Oklahoma, but in a key race for Democrats, the House Budget committee chairman, Jim Jones of Tulsa, won reelection with less than a 5 percent margin.
New Mexican incumbents fended off all comers. But in Arizona, Tucson Republican Jim Kolbe beat freshman Rep. James McNulty (D).