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

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Guber Quick Hits, Sun 5/30/10

By · May, 30 2010

Arizona: In a move that took Attorney General Terry Goddard by surprise, the former Maricopa County Attorney publicly announced Goddard was not a target of an investigation into a 2006 plea agreement with former state Treasurer David Peterson. The former prosecutor wanted to remove any suspicion that may have been hanging over Goddard’s run for governor. Maricopa Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office refuted the statement, saying Goddard and other employees remained targets of the probe, which is now under review by the US Department of Justice’s Office of Public Integrity.

Connecticut: Dan Malloy, trailing Ned Lamont in the polls and unable to match the self-financing Greenwich millionaire’s deep pockets, has challenged his fellow Democrat to 17 debates. That’s one for every city or town that has daily newspaper in the Nutmeg State. That’s also more than one a week before the August 10th primary.

Hawaii: In perhaps the least surprising candidate announcement since last week when Andrew Cuomo jumped into the NY race, Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann finally made it official. He’s running for the Democratic guber nomination against old rival Neil Abercrombie.

Idaho: If Butch Otter’s underwhelming victory over perennial candidate Rex Rammell brought hope to Democrat Keith Allred’s campaign, the news that Rammell won’t support the incumbent in November must have them dreaming of an upset. Their impressive fundraising pace means they’ll have the ability to go toe-to-toe with Otter financially.

Maryland: Meet Bob Ehrlich’s version of Joe the Plumber, Steve Kolbe. Perhaps aware of just how silly this story is, the Ehrlich campaign sought to distance themselves from the story while embracing it at the same time.

With cooked up press events dominating all levels of politics, Ehrlich was quick to point out that his campaign did not “manufacture” this one. “This event just occurred,” he said. This is unscheduled politics.”

Michigan I: Rep. Pete Hoekstra lifted one of John McCain’s (failed) talking points from the 2008 presidential campaign.

Michigan II: GOP candidate Rick Snyder is on the campaign trail touting  his nerdy version of “tough love” to Michigan business groups. It’s the end of the world as they know it.

Minnesota: DFLer Matt Entenza is the final major party guber hopeful to make his Light Guv running mate selection. He’s shaking up the race by going outside the political sphere and naming former TV  news anchor Robyne Robinson as his political dance partner.

New Mexico: Susana Martinez has received substantial backing (to the tune of $450,000) from a Swift Boat funder and his wife.

South Carolina: In the unfolding Nikki Haley “He said, she said” saga it’s getting harder to believe she’s telling the whole truth. Blogger Chris Folks has released phone records showing 600 phone calls between the two. The most suspicious – late at night, with some lasting until dawn – occurred in the summer of ’07.

South Dakota: Tea Party candidate Gordon Howie and his wife have received over $300K in farm subsidies over the past fifteen years. What was that about the evils of big government? I could see how his Tea Party supporters might have overlooked his failure to pay nearly $60K in property taxes. Starving the beast is one thing. Suckling from it is quite another.

Tennessee: GOP guber hopeful Zach Wamp does his best Schwarzenegger impersonation, pumps up the testosterone, and warns Tennessee voters to not elect a “sissy wannabe as your next governor.”

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