The State Houses – What’s At Stake in 2010

Thirty-nine states will be electing a governor during the 2009-2010 election cycle. Of these, eighteen races will not include an incumbent and four incumbents who will be running were not elected to their current position. The recession and huge budget deficits threaten to undercut the power of incumbency for governors running for reelection.

The Current Line-Up


Deval Enters the Lion’s Den

By · Apr, 09 2010

Embattled Massachusetts Governor (what incumbent running for re-election isn’t endangered this year of the angry electorate?) Deval Patrick walked into the Right Wing echo chamber by appearing on conservative talk radio host Howie Carr’s Boston’s WRKO radio show.

Patrick, who is heard regularly on the Bay State’s radio airwaves with liberal hosts  Jim Braude and Margery Eagan and is facing a close three-way contest in November answered questions on removing toll booths on the Mass Pike and property tax relief, two pet concerns of frequent critic Carr.

Carr also opened with a frequent question he asks on the air and in his column in the Boston Herald: “Where’s my property tax cut?”

Patrick replied, “It’s coming.”

The governor noted he has tried many means to let cities and towns reduce their property tax burdens, including proposing to allow them to put their workers into the state insurance pool, letting them raise their meals and hotel taxes and proposing to give them a portion of the revenues from three casinos he proposed.

“The other tools we got; this one we didn’t,” he said, referring to the Legislature’s rejection of his casino plan.

Patrick, who’s got David Plouffe advising his re-elect effort probably won’t be alone in taking on critics as the campaign unfolds. Politico reports Patrick’s reelection is a top political priority for Team Obama.

the White House is looking to every weapon in its arsenal to help Patrick win a second term.

Patrick has been at the White House at least a half-dozen times in the past year, whether he’s lunching with senior adviser David Axelrod, dropping by the Oval Office for a chat or attending Obama’s first state dinner.

The Massachusetts governor is the only Democrat besides Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and party-switching Sen. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.) to get the president to headline a personal fundraiser for him more than a year before the November election. Obama’s former campaign manager, David Plouffe, has been consulting for Patrick’s 2010 bid since last spring, and Axelrod also has lent his expertise.

“We want to be as helpful as we can to him,” said Axelrod, who worked on the Massachusetts governor’s 2006 campaign.

Losing the governorship in the state on the vanguard of health care reform and the scene of this year’s most shocking political upset – the election of Scott Brown to Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat – could be a narrative-defining result heading into 2011.

The White House – with an eye on 2012 – will do anything to prevent another Bay State bombshell.

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