It's election night in several key states

By Adrienne Vogt, Maureen Chowdhury, Leinz Vales, Josiah Ryan, Melissa Macaya, Meg Wagner and Melissa Mahtani, CNN

Updated 8:51 a.m. ET, November 3, 2021
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9:57 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

CNN Projection: Pittsburgh elects its first Black mayor

From CNN's Lauren Dezenski

(Keith Srakocic/AP)
(Keith Srakocic/AP)

Ed Gainey will be Pittsburgh’s first Black mayor, CNN projects.

Gainey, a Democrat, bested Republican Tony Moreno, a retired Pittsburgh police officer.

During the campaign, Gainey said he wanted to make Pittsburgh the country’s most “safe, affordable and diverse” city and touted police reform and affordable housing. He has represented Pittsburgh in the state legislature since 2013 and previously worked for Pittsburgh Mayors Luke Ravenstahl and Tom Murphy.

During an exchange over mayoral efforts to tackle violence in a recent debate, Gainey emphasized using a public health blueprint. 

“The reality is, if it was that simple, it would be solved already,” Gainey said. “This is a real-life situation, and we will deal with it."
9:43 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

John King on Virginia race: "Margins matter"

From CNN's John King / Written by CNN's Maureen Chowdhury

In comparison to the last Virginia governor's race, Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe is falling short in rural counties, while Republican candidate Glen Youngkin is making gains, said CNN's John King.

"Just one example, I just want to pop down here," King said while pointing to rural counties like Wythe County, Virginia. "You look at these smaller counties and think this doesn't matter. Every vote matters in a close race," he said, highlighting that Youngkin is performing stronger than the previous GOP candidate who ran for governor.

King added that while those gains wouldn't offset giant counties like Fairfax, Youngkin is outperforming McAuliffe in Chesterfield County, which was blue in previous elections.

"The margins matter. Glenn Youngkin is making up votes in places like this compared to four years ago, and so if the margins in the traditionally blue counties are smaller and then you are running it up in the red counties, you're putting yourself in play, and one more place I'm going to keep mentioning because this right now, it's huge," King said.

"If you look down here, this is the race four years ago. It's all blue," King continues, while pointing to the the Virginia Beach area.

"This is the presidential race in 2020. You got to click another button to get to presidential, it's all blue. So Glenn Youngkin has to flip some counties to change the map. There's no guarantee they will end up this way. We're still counting votes in some of these places," he explained.

10:45 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

CNN Projection: Francis Suarez wins re-election in Miami

From CNN's Rachel Janfaza

(Wilfredo Lee/AP)
(Wilfredo Lee/AP)

Mayor Francis Suarez will remain mayor of Miami, CNN projects. 

The Republican mayor won re-election, clinching his second term.

“Today we embark on a new chapter. A journey together to finish what we started. To create the most fair and successful city in our country. To create a model that can be scaled into an agenda for America, bringing prosperity and peace, not only to Miami but to this entire nation,” Suarez said at an “Election Day Celebration” Tuesday.

Suarez was expected to win on Tuesday and defeated a field of four other candidates.

During his first term in office, Suarez sought to bring a new era of technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to Miami and welcomed up-and-coming industries such as cryptocurrency in the city.

The GOP mayor has been critical of former President Trump and at odds with Florida’s GOP governor Ron DeSantis, especially when it comes to Covid-19 policies. Suarez in August said he wouldn’t oppose mask mandates in schools amid rising Covid-19 cases, despite DeSantis’ attempts to block mask mandates in the state.

In his speech Tuesday night, Suarez said “we’re not decreasing funding for our police, we’re increasing funding for our police,” “eliminating homelessness,” “taking care of our cultural facilities,” “giving every child an opportunity to succeed no matter where they’re born,” and “creating city charter schools.” 

He also talked about his vision to create a transit system, focus on climate and emphasized maintaining low taxes.

“We are going to do this by being united, not divided,” Suarez said. “We’re gonna do this by being humble. We’re gonna do this by working hard. We’re gonna do this by not caring who gets the credit and by ignoring the haters.”

9:24 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

Republican Youngkin is opening a big lead in Virginia governor's race 

(Patrick Semansky/AP)
(Patrick Semansky/AP)

With about 71% of the estimated vote in, Republican Glenn Youngkin is widening his lead over Democrat Terry McAuliffe in the Virginia governor's race.

Here is where things stand:

  • Youngkin: 54.3%
  • McAuliffe: 45%

The race remains too early to call. The contest in a state that has trended blue could offer clues about Democrats' uphill battle to maintain control of the US House and Senate in next year's midterm elections.

9:00 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

Polls are closing in New York City's mayoral race

Polls are closing in the New York City mayoral race. Eric Adams, who won the narrowest of contests to become the New York City Democrats' mayoral nominee, is seen as the lead contender. 

Adams, a former police captain, has sought to portray himself as a working class candidate. While he has been dismissive, and sometimes confrontational, with the party's left-wing activists, Adams has also — on issues like public safety, the centerpiece of his campaign — adopted some progressive ideas about prevention and early intervention.

CNN’s Eric Bradner, Gregory Krieg, Dan Merica and Maeve Reston contributed reporting to this post. 

8:42 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

"Heavy" turnout in Virginia, state elections commissioner says

From CNN's Sara Murray

Virginia Department of Elections Commissioner Christopher Piper described Election Day turnout as “heavy” and said a number of precincts experienced ballot shortages today.

When asked about turnout today, Piper – who is bald – quipped: “I stopped making predictions. I lost my hair as a result of it.”

He added: “We’ve seen heavy turnout.”

Piper said ballot shortages were among the “hiccups” that election officials encountered.

Some precincts in Appomattox, Floyd, Powhatan, Madison, Albemarle and Chesterfield counties required additional ballots. 

There were also unconfirmed reports of people being turned away or told to wait because they weren’t wearing masks. Piper said the department reiterated their standing guidance that no voter could be turned away from voting for not wearing a mask.  

Ultimately, Piper described a “particularly smooth day” of voting. 

“You can trust the process,” Piper said. “There are so many procedures and policies in place that ensure the security of the vote is paramount,” he explained.

8:38 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

More than 50% of the vote is in for the Virginia governor's race. Here's where things stand.

The Virginia governor's race is still too early to call as votes continue to come in.

With 56% of estimated votes in, here's where things stand:

  • Republican Glenn Youngkin: 55.5%
  • Democrat Terry McAuliffe: 43.9%

Why this race matters: The face-off is seen as a litmus test for what could come in the 2022 midterms. A win for McAuliffe would be a validation for President Biden and his agenda, while a win for Youngkin, who has tried to walk a fine line on handling support from former President Trump, would provide a jolt of momentum for Republicans and could provide Republicans running in competitive states with a roadmap for handling Trump.

8:53 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

Chalian: Early voting in Virginia governor's race may provide an "opportunity" for McAuliffe

From CNN's David Chalian/Written by CNN's Leinz Vales

As votes in the Virginia governor's race come in, CNN’s David Chalian said the percentage of early and absentee votes will grow before the end of election night and may favor the Democratic candidate.

“We think at the end of the day, when every vote is counted, 37% of the electorate will have voted early, that means 63% of the electorate will have voted on Election Day,” Chalian said.

“If indeed Terry McAuliffe is significantly outperforming Glenn Youngkin in early vote, as Democrats hope, that he was banking on that vote, that growth from the current 23% of the estimated 37%, is an opportunity for McAuliffe to try to make up and dig into some of this Youngkin lead," Chalian said.

It’s still too early to call a winner.

Watch Chalian's report:

8:26 p.m. ET, November 2, 2021

Biden called New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ahead of election

From CNN's MJ Lee

(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)
(Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images)

President Biden called New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy yesterday, according to a source familiar with the phone call.

The two men’s conversation — which took place in the middle of Biden’s foreign trip — is a sign of the President monitoring events back home closely.

Republican Jack Ciattarelli is taking on incumbent Democratic Gov. Murphy in the state's gubernatorial race.