Jerry Brown is projected to win the California gubernatorial race, joining his fellow Democrat, Sen. Barbara Boxer, in the apparent winners' circle.
On the other hand, the state's Proposition 19, which would have legalized recreational marijuana use, is projected to be defeated.
Outgoing Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a tweet congratulating Brown, who apparently defeated Republican candidate Meg Whitman to return to the governor's post he held in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
"Just called to congratulate @JerryBrown2010. Looking forward to Maria & me getting together w/ him & Anne to talk abt a smooth transition," Schwarzenegger wrote.
Boxer's projected win gave her a fourth term in the U.S. Senate.
White House drug policy director Gil Kerlikowske released a statement on Proposition 19's projected defeat.
"Today, Californians recognized that legalizing marijuana will not make our citizens healthier, solve California's budget crisis, or reduce drug related violence in Mexico," read the statement. "The Obama administration has been clear in its opposition to marijuana legalization because research shows that marijuana use is associated with voluntary treatment admissions for addiction, fatal drugged driving accidents, mental illness and emergency room admissions."
Boxer won decisively among women, pulling an estimated 56 percent compared to 39 percent for her opponent, Carly Fiorina, according to exit poll data. The senator also was helped by voters who had a favorable view of the Democratic Party. Only 39 percent viewed the Republicans favorably.
The gubernatorial race had been seen as a toss-up between the former CEO of eBay, Whitman, and the state Attorney General Brown.
Whitman made headlines for the money she spent -- more than $141 million -- making her campaign the most expensive self-financed campaign ever. Whitman said she'd be willing to spend as much as $160 million.
Brown, who polled slightly ahead of Whitman going into Election Day, found himself in hot water after one of his campaign staffers was caught on tape suggesting that they call Whitman a "whore" in a campaign ad.
Whitman spoke to ABC News just days before the election about the ugliness of the campaign.
"I've been called a Nazi. I've been called a whore. I've been called a liar," Whitman said. "And I think the reason is that Jerry Brown can't run on his record. His record as governor was terrible. His record in Oakland was terrible."
Boxer had been vying to keep her seat her Republican challenger, Fiorina, another former corporate CEO.
Fiorina was hospitalized last week after developing an infection related to her breast reconstruction, which she underwent as she battled breast cancer.
But just hours after she was released from the hospital, Fiorina, 56, criticized Boxer for having a record of voting against military appropriations on "many, many occasions." Calling Boxer a "career politician," Fiorina said her opponent needed to be held accountable for her legacy.
Fiorina was endorsed by a number of prominent Republican politicians, including Sen. John McCain of Arizona, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty. Former GOP vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin also endorsed Fiorina.
President Barack Obama and the first lady both made a last-minute push in support of Boxer, traveling to several campaign events in California.