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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Archive for Kansas

Sep
17

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 9/17/10

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Alaska: Sarah Palin may find it less expensive to go moose hunting if Democrat Ethan Berkowitz becomes Alaska’s next governor. He’s proposing allowing Alaskans to buy lifetime hunting and fishing licenses.

Illinois: Former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar (who hasn’t always had kind words for his party’s current guber pick, Bill Brady) is planning on endorsing Brady against Democrat Pat Quinn.

Kansas: Following a rather informal debate in front of a live audience at the Kansas State Fair between Democrat Tom Holland and Republican Sen. Sam Brownback, it doesn’t seem another debate is in the cards.

Maryland: In a post-primary radio interview, GOP nominee Bob Ehrlich was less-than-gracious in his efforts to unify his base. Will his failure to acknowledge Tea Party fave Brian Murphy as an up-and-comer in the state GOP hurt him among the conservative base in November?

New York: Guber nominee Andrew Cuomo is one of the only Democrats who seems to be in cruise control for the general election. Despite being the heavy favorite, all is not calm in Gotham, as Cuomo is expressing some discomfort over his Democratic colleagues running for comptroller and attorney general.

Rhode Island: Frank Caprio continues his slide toward the right. He’s come out in support of extending all of the Bush tax cuts set to expire, regardless of income.

Tennessee: What would Tennessee politics be without a little Basil for flavor? We don’t have to find out because Basil Marceaux is running as a write-in!

Texas: Rick Perry – that fearless hunter of suburban coyotes – has been endorsed by the NRA.

Wisconsin: Badger State Republicans have fielded the largest field of candidates for the General Assembly in a generation. They’re contesting in 85 of 99 districts, the most since 1986.

Sep
12

Guber Quick Hits, Sun 9/12/10

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Alabama: Bradley Byrne – who at one point was the odds-on favorite to win the GOP guber primary before he was upset by Robert Bentley in a run-off – has become a partner at a law firm that he had come under fire for hiring while he served as Alabama’s two-year college Chancellor. He had been criticized over the $102, 395 the firm was paid to seek federal grants because the firm failed to land a single grant.

Arkansas: Gov. Mike Beebe is hosting a private fundraiser today with a roster of pro athletes with Arkansas ties, including LA Angels outfielder Tori Hunter and Atlanta Hawks Joe Johnston.

California: Meg Whitman is using a clip of former President Bill Clinton from a 1992 Democratic presidential debate in which candidate Clinton attacked rival Jerry Brown for raising taxes during his gubernatorial tenure. Despite the fact the state of California has declared Clinton’s statement untrue, Whitman’s camp won’t stop airing the ad.

Florida: Does Gov. Charlie Crist need Alex Sink to pull him to victory?

Kansas: From the “this isn’t a surprise file” – the largest government workers union in Kansas has endorsed Democrat Tom Holland’s guber run against Sen. Sam Brownback.

Maryland: The 2010 elections marked the debut of early voting in the Free State – and it was far from a resounding success. Less than 2% of the state’s eligible primary voters cast ballots during the early voting period.

Oregon: GOP guber nominee Chris Dudley is facing questions about whether he dodged Oregon income taxes during the 1990s when he played for the NBA’s Trail Blazers.

Pennsylvania: Democrat Dan Onorato is pushing for a state tax on the extraction of natural gas from Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale. He says Republican rival Tom Corbett’s opposition to the tax (and its much-needed revenue to help balance the budget) is because Corbett is doing the bidding of his energy industry backers.

South Carolina: Nikki Haley’s accounting skills – one of the foundations of her candidacy – continue to be called into question.

Utah: Democratic challenger Peter Corroon is accusing Gov. Gary Herbert of favoring big political donors in appointments and awarding of state contracts.

Sep
03

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 9/3/10

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Alaska: Democrat Ethan Berkowitz received the endorsement of Alaska’s AFL-CIO.

California: The defense attorney in a high-profile child molestation trial has excused GOP guber wannabe Meg Whitman from the jury pool. The trial – which could take up to a month – would’ve forced Whitman to essentially abandon the campaign trail in the closing weeks of her race against Jerry Brown.

California II: MegaBucks Whitman’s $100 million dollar primary campaign still wasn’t the most expensive California campaign, when measured by cost-per-vote. The $65 per vote was $5 short of Al Checchi’s failed 1998 Democratic gubernatorial primary run.

Colorado: Tom Tancredo’s insurgent candidacy has raised $200K since he first announced in July.

Florida: Hoping to put the contentious immigration issue on the back burner, Hispanic Republicans are urging Rick Scott to put job creation and the economy at the center of his general election strategy.

Kansas: Former Flroida Gov. Jeb Bush joined Sam Brownback on the campaign trail this week.

Maryland: What’s a long-time foe of early voting to do when he’s on the ballot and early voting gets underway? If you’re Bob Ehrlich, you (kinda) accept the new reality and urge supporters to join you in voting early. If you’re one of his opponents, you don’t miss the opportunity to point out the former governor’s hypocrisy.

Nevada: According the WaPo’s Fix, the enthusiasm gap seen favoring Republican candidates during the current election cycle is widest in the Silver State, where Brian Sandoval and Rory Reid are tied among registered voters but Sandoval holds a wide (50-39%) lead among likely voters.

Oregon: John Kitzhaber has been falling behind GOP challenger Chris Dudley in amassing large checks from campaign donors. Kitzhaber is trying to close the gap by gathering big checks from labor groups, including a $100,000 check from AFSCME.

South Carolina: Conservative stalwart Sen. Jim DeMint has released a web video that challenges GOP guber nominee Nikki Haley on school choice. One of her signature issues as a legislator has been expanding parental choice in education but she recently said it would not be a priority for her if she becomes governor, surprising many conservatives. Is DeMint trying to get her back on point?

Utah: Democratic challenger Peter Corroon is raising impressive sums for a Utah Democrat, but he’s spending it nearly as fast as he brings it in.

Aug
11

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 8/11/10

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Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell has temporarily suspended his election campaign in the aftermath of the plane crash that killed former Senator Ted Stevens.

California: GOP guber wannabe MegaBucks Whitman’s effort to woo critical Latino voters has sparked a feud among conservative talk radio hosts. LA radio talkers “John and Ken” have been highly critical of eMeg’s move to the middle on the contentious issue of immigration. Sacramento talk jockey Eric Hogue is denouncing his conservative colleagues for creating “a summer radio ratings stunt.”

Florida: Does Rick Scott prove the adage, ‘once a cheater, always a cheater?’ More allegations of overbilling Medicare surface in the closing weeks of the contentious GOP guber primary.

Iowa: The Hawkeye State guber contest between current Democratic Gov. Chet Culver and former Republican Gov. Terry Branstad will have a series of three head-to-head debates, according to the Branstad campaign.

Iowa II: Despite some social conservatives waving the white flag of surrender over same-sex marriage following federal Judge Vaughn Walker’s Prop 8 decision, vanquished guber wannabe Bob Vander Plaats is digging in and vowing an all-out effort to oust the three ‘activist justices’ who brought gay marriage to the Hawkeye State. Tim Pawlenty has jumped on the “dump the judges” bandwagon as he positions himself for a 2012 presidential run.

Kansas: Despite being shellacked by Sam Brownback in the GOP guber primary, crazy Joan Heffington vows to soldier on as a write-in candidate.  (8/10)

Massachusetts: Gov. Deval Patrick wants a series of eight debates between Labor Day and Election Day.

Pennsylvania: Proving that the Tea Party tempest may be a Pandora’s box the GOP may come to regret opening, the conservative supporters of Tea Party fave Sam Rohrer have launched a write-in effort for governor. GOP nominee Tom Corbett treated Rohrer as little more than a nuisance during the primary. Will the race between Corbett and Democrat Dan Onorato be tight enough that Rohrer’s effort could drain enough conservative support to tip the race?

Aug
05

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 8/5/10

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Colorado: Democratic guber wannabe John Hickenlooper made his Light Guv running mate choice this morning – CSU-Pueblo President Joseph Garcia, whose strongest selling point (aside from his Hispanic heritage) may be the fact that as a non-politician, he has no voting record for the opposition to run against.

Florida: Bill McCollum, who recent polls show in a topsy-turvy but tightening primary race with Rick Scott is calling in one of the biggest GOP guns in the Sunshine State – former Gov. Jeb Bush. Bush will join McCollum on a statewide fly-around on Monday, the first day of early voting.

Georgia: Mike Huckabee, who won the 2008 Georgia presidential primary contest, is endorsing Nathan Deal in the GOP guber run-off, putting him in the camp opposite one of Sarah Palin’s ‘Mama Grizzlys’ – Karen Handel.

Georgia II: Polls show a Palin endorsement a potential liability for candidates in November. But Sarah’s meddling in local races has also stirred up local opposition (first it was the conservative stalwart Manchester Union Leader telling Palin to butt out.  Now, it’s virtually the entire roster of state GOP legislators in Georgia lining up behind Nathan Deal against Palin’s pick, Karen Handel.

Kansas: Democratic guber nominee Tom Holland has challenged Republican Sam Brownback to a series of ten debates in the Sunflower State gubernatorial race, the same number of debates Brownback wanted when he challenged Sheila Frahm to during the 1996 US Senate campaign.

New Mexico: It’s debating the debates season, as Democrat Diane Denish has proposed a series of 8 debates with her Republican rival Susana Martinez.

Wisconsin: The Badger State’s GOP congresscritters Paul Ryan and Jim Sensenbrenner are lining up behind front-runner Scott Walker in his gubernatorial primary fight against former congresscritter Mark Neumann.


Jul
26

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/26/10

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Arizona: The Arizona Fraternal Order of Police has officially endorsed Jan Brewer’s GOP guber bid.

Florida: Rumors from the Sunshine State’s turbulent guber campaign trail have former candidate Paula Dockery joining Rick Scott’s ticket as his Light Guv dance partner.

Georgia: Add Roy Barnes to the growing list of Democratic guber wannabes who is avoiding public appearances with President Obama.

Georgia II: The National Rifle Association endorsed former Rep. Nathan Deal in his GOP guber run-off against one of Sarah Palin’s Mama Grizzlies, Karen Handel.

Kansas: Sen. Sam Brownback has raised over $2 million for his gubernatorial campaign.

Minnesota: DFL-endorsed guber wannabe Margaret Anderson Kelliher has reported raising just under $1 million during 2010. She’s got $385K in the bank for the primary contest’s closing days. Both Mark Dayton and Matt Entenza, the two other DFL candidates are self-funding their candidacies and are likely to each pour more than that into advertising and GOTV efforts.

South Carolina: Despite Democratic nominee Vincent Sheheen’s release of ten years worth of tax returns, Republican Nikki Haley wants to know more, charging that Sheheen is “still engaged in a smokescreen and keeping the public in the dark.”

Jul
20

Guber Quick Hits, Tues 7/20/10

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Iowa: GOP guber nominee Terry Branstad is setting a frantic fundraising pace, as he’s raised $2.1 million in six weeks, although at least $500K is from Uncle Haley’s RGA.  But Branstad isn’t the only Hawkeye feeling the national love. A full third of the money incumbent Gov. Chet Culver has raised since 2009 has come from the DGA.

Kansas: Sam Brownback is cruising to the Republican gubernatorial nomination according to a new Survey USA poll. The most surprising thing is that Joan Heffington is actually garnering almost 20% of GOP primary voters. It begs the question, “what’s the matter with Kansas?”

Kentucky: Bluegrass State voters won’t be electing a governor until 2011, but rumors are already circulating about potential GOP candidates who might take on Democratic incumbent Steve Beshear.

Maryland: Everyone who’s anyone in Maryland politics will be on the Eastern Shore Wednesday at the 34th annual J. Millard Crab & Clam Bake in Crisfield.

Michigan: GOP guber wannabe Pete Hoekstra is joining Michele Bachmann’s Tea Party caucus.

Minnesota: The state chapter of the National Organization for Women, which had earlier endorsed Matt Entenza in the DFL guber primary contest, decided to add Margaret Anderson Kelliher to their endorsement slate. It seems strange that if they had planned on multiple endorsements all along, why weren’t they announced at the same time?

Ohio: Gov. Ted Strickland picked up the support of the Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio in his reelection effort.

Texas: President Obama is planning a Lone Star State fundraising road trip to Houston and Austin. Gubernatorial candidate Bill White won’t be at his side, as his spokeswoman says the former Houston mayor’s schedule that week is “jam packed.”

Jul
18

Guber Quick Hits, Sun 7/18/10

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California: More than 1,000 nurses gathered outside GOP nominee MegaBucks Whitman’s house to protest “Queen Meg’s” campaign to buy the California Governor’s Mansion.

Georgia: Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed endorsed Democratic guber wannabe Roy Barnes going into the primary campaign’s final weekend.

Kansas: The Kansas National Education Association has endorsed Democratic wannabe Tom Holland’s gubernatorial bid.

Michigan: The Teamsters backed Pete Hoekstra in the GOP primary.

Nebraska: Cornhusker Dems have found their gubernatorial sacrificial lamb.

Ohio: Too unpopular to be of benefit on the campaign trail at home, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger left the state to attend a fundraiser for John Kasich.

Oregon: Democratic guber nominee John Kitzhaber picked up the endorsement of the Oregon Education Association this week.

Oregon II: GOP nominee Chris Dudley was already catching heat for ducking the traditional gubernatorial election’s opening debate at the Oregon Newspaper Publishers Association annual meeting. The temperature might be turned up even more now that it’s clear he wasn’t on a family vacation as he had claimed, but was in Aspen hobnobbing with Uncle Haley Barbour at an RGA retreat.

Rhode Island: The Moderate Party of Rhode Island’s Ken Block reports he’s been certified to appear on the ballot in November as the party’s first gubernatorial candidate.

Vermont: Underdog Matt Dunne’s campaign for Democratic guber nod is trying to tap into the youth vote with this video with young Vermonters talk about wanting to come home.

Jul
05

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/5/10

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Alabama: The state teachers union is questioning Bradley Byrne’s charitable foundation’s potentially illegal diversion of $200,000 to a Republican political operative.

Alaska: Someone up in the Last Frontier either has a sense of humor or hasn’t been paying attention to the anti-Obama rhetoric that spews from demagogue Glenn Beck every night.

Arizona: Jan Brewer’s latest outrageous claims about illegal immigration – that beheaded bodies are littering the desert – have been refuted by local law enforcement.

California: Democrat Jerry Brown wants voters to help him fix California’s “constipated” government.

Connecticut: Former GOP guber rivals Michael Fedele and Mark Boughton have combined their donor bases as part of their gubernatorial ticket to help qualify for public financing. They’re going to need it to catch up to uber-wealthy Greenwich businessman Tom Foley who holds big leads in most public polls.

Florida: After bashing each other for being the more pro-gay candidate, Bill McCollum scored the endorsement of the Florida Family Policy Council leader over rival Rick Scott.

Iowa: After flirting with mounting a primary challenge to Chet Culver, local publisher Jonathan Narcisse tells the Des Moines Register he’s back – and running as in independent this November.

Kansas: Gov. Mark Parkinson – a former state GOP chair and donor to Sam Brownback – has endorsed Democrat Tom Holland citing his proven track record of bipartisan accomplishment.

Nevada: It’s become a distinct possibility that Rory could lose the support of Nevada’s firefighters union to Republican Brian Sandoval.

New Hampshire: Republican guber nominee John Stephen cancelled the bikini-clad babes who were going to add some spice to a July 11th fundraiser after Democrats decried the event as an affront to women.

New Mexico: Will an all-Hispanic GOP gubernatorial ticket cause conservative Republican voters to abandon their party this November?

Oregon: Proving once again that cutting spending is more difficult than the rhetoric suggests, former Portland Trail Blazer Chris Dudley (and GOP guber wannabe) is lobbying Portland’s schools against cutting funding for PE.

Pennsylvania: GOP guber hopeful Tom Corbett is refusing a request by an environmental group to return a $3,000 donation from Anadarko Petroleum, one of the companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Tennessee: In a game of who’s got the biggest Tea Party guest list, GOP guber wannabes trade lists.  First, it was Ron Ramsey touting how many Tea Partiers thought he was cool. Not to be outdone, Bill Haslam rolled out his roster a few days later.

Wyoming: Elderly pitchman Wilfred Brimley has cut a radio ad endorsing GOP candidate Rita Meyer. Here’s the audio in which he praises Meyer as a staunch supporter of state’s rights and her promise “to do her utmost to keep the federal government out of our business and most of all, out of our wallets.”

Jun
26

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 6/26/10

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Alaska: Republican guber wannabe Bill Walker is requesting files for records related to the state’s natural gas pipeline open season, a huge economic issue dominating Alaskan politics. Walker believes Gov. Sean Parnell’s administration should be more transparent about the process, the outcome of which will affect Alaskans for generations to come.

Arizona: Just days after becoming a member of the NRA’s executive committee, GOP guber wannabe Buz Mills was passed over as the gun lobby endorsed incumbent Gov. Jan Brewer for re-election.

California: Big redistricting battle looms this fall, as Golden State voters will be asked to weigh in in two competing redistricting ballot initiatives. One seeks to expand 2008′s Proposition 11 to include congressional redistricting. The other seeks to undo the commission created by Prop 11.

Illinois: Scott Lee Cohen’s 133,000 signatures to get on the ballot as an independent guber wannabe may not be challenged by Pat Quinn or the Democrats, but two cases currently in the courts could kick him off the ballot prior to the September certification of the final ballot by the State Board of Elections.

Kansas: In a preemptive move dismissing a nod he probably had little chance of getting, Democrat Tom Holland has told the state Chamber of Commerce he doesn’t want their support, saying “The priorities and actions of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce have become highly partisan and detrimental to the development of our state’s economy.”

Maine: Independent candidate Eliot Cutler leads the pack of privately finance gubernatorial candidates having raised over $700,000.

New York: Rick Lazio wants the Empire State to say good-bye to Hollywood, or at least Dem plans to expand movie industry tax breaks.

Oregon: Bucking the trend of Attorneys General filing suit against the new health care legislation, the Beaver State’s AG wants to file an amicus brief in favor of the federal government’s position in the healthcare lawsuit.

South Carolina: The SC Chamber of Commerce endorsement of Democrat Vincent Sheheen is providing hope to Palmetto State Dems they might derail Nikki Haley.

Texas: Public Policy Polling shows Kay Bailey Hutchison’s approval dropping from 58% to 37% over the past 16 months. How much of that is due to the beating she took from Rick Perry during their gubernatorial primary contest and how much of that is simply the national wave of disgust at DC politicians is difficult to determine. But if she does change her mind (again) and decide to run for another Senate term, she may be in for a tough campaign.