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 Light Guv

Oct
14

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 10/14/10

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California: It looks like Jerry Brown bumbled his way through a non-apology at the third and last debate against Meg Whitman. He mishandled the required “I’m sorry” so badly when the ‘Meg is a whore’ thing came up that he’s got NOW demanding the staffer who uttered the words be fired.

Georgia: Mike Huckabee will be returning to Atlanta for an Oct 21 Nathan Deal fundraiser.

Illinois: The money spigot is turned on in the final weeks of the closely fought gubernatorial contest. Since Oct. 4, both Bill Brady and Pat Quinn have raised over $1.3 milllion, with huge influxes coming from Haley’s RGA gang ($585K) for Brady and the SEIU ($750K) for Quinn.

Illinois II: Democrats are nervous that disgraced former Light Guv nominee Scott Lee Cohen (who’s mounting an independent guber candidacy) could siphon off black voters because of the visibility of his Light Guv dance partner, Baxter Swilley a longtime Democratic activist who could attract enough votes to the Cohen ticket to tip the race to downstate Republican Bill Brady.

Massachusetts: When Paul Loscocco decided to give up his position as independent Tim Cahill’s Light Guv dance partner it looked like Charlie Baker (who Loscocco endorsed as he jumped ship) would be the primary beneficiary as it looked like the gubernatorial contest would come down to a two-candidate choice between Baker and Gov. Deval Patrick. The controversy that has ensued, however, seems to be taking a toll on Baker.  A Suffolk University poll shows 17% of voters less likely to support Baker and 19% less likely to vote for Cahill. Winner? Patrick.

Minnesota: Is Minnesota the frontline of the GOP’s civil war? With a relatively robust history of viable third party candidates, the GOP’s lurch to the right has provided an opportunity for Tom Horner – a former GOP legislator to mount a credible run for governor on the Independence Party line. He’s attracting a significant amount of support from former Republican officeholders whose public endorsements are meant to send a message to a rightward marching state GOP – ‘watch your middle.’

New Mexico: One of Republican guber nominee Susana Martinez’s biggest donations came from Clayton Williams Energy – an oil and gas company in Midland, TX. Clayton Williams once ran – and lost – a Texas gubernatorial race against Democrat Ann Richards – a campaign where he gained notoriety for his sexist sense of humor when he told a “joke” about rape. Seizing an opportunity, Democrat Diane Denish’s campaign demanded Martinez return the $15,000 donation. Martinez quickly redirected the $20,000 from Williams and his interests to a rape crisis center.

Rhode Island: In a development that threatens to derail Lincoln Chafee’s independent run for governor, the former US Senator’s campaign manager has resigned after acknowledging he received unemployment checks while he was on the campaign payroll. This comes after news Chafee’s Senate campaign had failed to pay taxes for five years.

South Carolina: Blogger Will Folks is back. Nikki Haley is “refusing to sign a sworn affidavit offering her version of the “truth” pertaining to a pair of claims that she had romantic encounters outside the bounds of her 13-year marriage.”

Texas: The spokeswoman for former gubernatorial candidate Debra Medina – who briefly made national headlines in a meteoric rise (and crash on Glenn Beck) during the GOP primary – is claiming Rick Perry has been ducking debates against Democrat Bill White because he fears Libertarian Kathie Glass, not the Democrat.

Aug
31

Guber Quick Hits, Tues 8/31/10

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Arkansas: Wealthy businessman (and GOP guber wannabe) Jim Keet has been dodged over the past week by tax questions. Among other offenses, he admitted to taking a property exemption to which he wasn’t entitled. But perhaps his biggest offense wasn’t the avoidance of taxes, but the way he blamed everyone else – including his wife – for the mistakes.

California: Now that she’s actually registered to vote, MegaBucks Whitman found herself in the Redwood City jury pool and spent Monday afternoon as a potential juror. I wasn’t aware that royalty were required to dirty themselves with such proletarian tasks.

Idaho: Incumbent Gov. Butch Otter is hammering Democratic challenger Keith Allred’s lack of government experience, despite the national anti-insider political climate.

Nebraska: Anne Boyle – a longtime stalwart of Nebraska Democratic politics (a dying breed, perhaps?) – has joined the Democratic gubernatorial ticket as Mike Meister’s Light Guv dance partner and she’s come out swinging at Gov. Dave Heineman as a bully who has threatened to punish people who don’t support his political agenda.

Rhode Island: A cornerstone of Republican Victor Moffitt’s guber bid is a proposal to build a half-billion dollar aquarium in the Ocean State.

South Carolina: Republican Nikki Haley received the endorsement of the Gun Owners of America in her guber race against Vincent Sheheen.

Texas: More evidence that the GOP is using immigration as a mid-term election issue to mobilize the base – after the White House said President Obama wouldn’t be available to meet with Gov. Rick Perry one-on-one to discuss border security issues, the governor declined an offer to meet with Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and the White House’s top border security adviser to discuss border security concerns. It’s easier to grandstand and score political points than it is to sit down and work on solutions, I guess.

Utah: In Mormon-dominated Utah, Democratic guber wannabe Peter Corroon’s Light Guv running mate Sheryl Allen – a Republican and a Mormon - is accusing fellow Mormon Gov. Gary Herbert of using religion as a wedge issue in the gubernatorial race against Corroon, a Catholic.

Aug
26

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 8/26/10

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Hawaii: Former Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann picked up the backing of two of his former colleagues as the mayors of Kauai and the Big Island endorsed his guber primary bid. His opponent, former US Rep. Neil Abercrombie also picked up the support of a former colleague, as former Rep. Ed Case endorsed him.

Illinois: Tea Party in Obama’s home town? Republican Bill Brady’s campaign manager is helping fund Tea Party groups across Illinois.

Michigan: GOP guber nominee Rick Snyder – a former board member of The Nature Conservancy – has come under fire from some environmental groups over his selection of Brian Calley as his Light Guv dance partner.

New Hampshire: Gov. John Lynch has amassed an impressive $1.3 million campaign fundraising haul, although more than a third ($500K) has come from a personal loan made to his own campaign. Republican John Stephen has raised just under $1 million. Both have over $700K in the bank for the final two months of the campaign, although Stephen does have a competitive primary to win first on September 14th.

Oklahoma: Guber wannabes Mary Fallin and Jari Askins have agreed to two October debates.

Rhode Island: Former GOP Senator Lincoln Chafee – now running for governor as an independent – picked up the support of the Rhode Island chapter of the National Educators Association. The endorsement follows the lead of the state’s other major teachers union, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals – which backed Chafee in July.

South Carolina: More than thirty Palmetto State mayors endorsed Democrat Vincent Sheheen’s gubernatorial campaign, saying he would better listen to the needs of local leaders than would his opponent, Nikki Haley.

Aug
19

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 8/19/10

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Arkansas: Republican guber wannabe Jim Keet raised a paltry $33K in July while incumbent Democratic Gov Mike Beebe raised $333K.

Colorado: Despite pressure from the GOP establishment to quit the guber contest, Dan “Middle Manager” Maes is staying put. He’s picked his Light Guv dance partner, former state legislator Tambor Williams.

New Mexico: Earlier this year, Diane Denish attacked GOP rival Susana Martinez  for plea bargaining with sex offenders. Now that a Democratic DA appears to have made a similar deal, Denish refuses to comment.

Oklahoma: Mary Fallin has a substantial fundraising lead over her Democratic rival Jari Askins. Nearly a third of the money Askins has raised has come from her own pocket.

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
09

IA: The GOP’s Uncivil Union

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This certainly wasn’t what Republican Terry Branstad hoped would happen when he picked Kim Reynolds as his Light Guv dance partner.

Republican lieutenant governor nominee Kim Reynolds saying Tuesday that she would be open to legalized civil unions for gay couples has drawn the ire of the very people she was sent out to court — evangelical voters.

Brought onto the campaign to bridge the schism between the GOP’s evangelical base and moderate establishment, Reynolds instead fell into the chasm and doesn’t seem to be able to crawl her way out from it. The social conservatives aren’t letting up in their public attacks on the Branstad/Reynolds ticket:

“It’s consistent with what we’ve seen out of the Branstad campaign all along,” Bryan English, a spokesman for the Iowa Family Policy Center, told the Quad-City Times’ Ed Tibbetts. “They’ve just failed to understand or adequately articulate the gravity of the issues they’re talking about.”

The IFPC endorsed Vander Plaats in the primary and has refused to endorse or assist Branstad in the fall campaign, primary due to his stance on social issues like same-sex marriage.

Continuing his line of attack from Wednesday, Christian radio host and Vander Plaats supporter Steve Deace said Thursday on his WHO-AM show that Reynolds’ answers show she’s a candidate of “positions and not convictions.” He called the interview a “complete meltdown.”

“And by the way, her positions are pretty good,” Deace said. “Her record in the state senate, private property rights aside, is pretty good. But the first time her worldview is challenged, and she has to go toe-to-toe with someone who has thought about their worldview but just came to a different conclusion, she does not have the moral conviction to withstand that scrutiny. And if you watch that video, she falls apart.”

The unanswered question at this point is whether this will entice Bob Vander Plaats to consider following through on his threat to launch an independent gubernatorial bid? An even larger question, how would national Republicans, especially those with 2012 presidential aspirations, react to a Vander Plaats candidacy?

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Jul
08

Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 7/8/10

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Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell “visibly squirmed” when asked which candidate he supported in Alaska’s GOP US Senate primary. Could he be afraid of incurring the Wrath of Palin if he voiced support for incumbent Lisa Murkowski over Sarah’s preferred candidate?

California: The political game of “chicken” that defines the dysfunctional Golden State’s annual budget stalemate has led to the state controller suing to block the governor from reducing every state employee’s pay to the federal minimum wage. Is it time for one of the guber wannabes to step up and offer a solution to this year’s installment of “The Waiting Game” or are they content to keep their fingers crossed that some magical elixir will wash away all the debt?

Florida: Multi-millionaire Rick Scott has filed a lawsuit against Florida’s campaign finance system’s “millionaire’s amendment” as a violation of his First Amendment right to free speech. The amendment, which kicks in if Scott spends over the $24.9  million cap for the primary, seems to be pretty expensive free speech, if you ask me.

Hawaii: The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reports a gay tourist boycott of the Aloha State may materialize in response to Gov. Linda Lingle’s veto of the civil unions bill.

Kentucky: PPP is out with an early look at Democrat Steve Beshear’s reelection chances. Voters appear apathetic about the governor’s job performance (38% approve, 35% disapprove, 26% with no opinion) and is in virtual dead heats against potential GOP challengers.

New York: Accidental Gov. David Paterson is praising Democratic Light Guv candidate Bob Duffy as an “outstanding choice” who would be a superb governor if he had to unexpectedly become the Empire State’s chief executive. But let’s be honest here, Paterson hasn’t set the expectations bar very high.

Ohio: Tonight’s the night of reckoning. LeBron decides whether he stays in Cleveland or abandons his hometown Cavaliers. If he leaves does that inflict a mortal wound on Republican John Kasich who dismissed the King’s importance? Or does Ted Strickland get blamed for not doing enough to keep LeBron home (maybe they could build a border fence or something?)

Oregon: The Independent Party of Oregon’s 55,000 members have begun receiving notices in the mail providing them information as to how to log on and participate in the state’s first primary election for a minor party.

Pennsylvania: Democratic nominee Dan Onorato is trumpeting an impressive $1 million raised over the past month.

Jul
07

Guber Quick Hits, Wed 7/7/10

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Colorado: The Denver Post editorializes against a trio of ballot questions that, if passed, could cripple Colorado’s state government.

Georgia: Wealthy businessman Ray Boyd, who attempted to run for the GOP guber nod (but was purged for refusing to take loyalty pledge) and then threw in the towel when he realized just how time consuming and expensive gathering all those signatures required of a third party candidate, has gotten most of his money back.

Maryland: Long-shot GOP candidate Brian Murphy (yes, Bob Ehrlich does have a primary to get through before he gets his shot at revenge) has selected his second Light Guv dance partner of the campaign. His first choice, clearly not a fan of lost causes, abandoned the ticket when Ehrlich made it clear he was running.

Minnesota: In the game of “I’ll show you mine if you’ll show me yours” DFL-endorsed guber hopeful Margaret Anderson Kelliher followed front-runner Mark Dayton in releasing her tax returns for public review. Will that force fellow DFLer Matt Entenza or Republican Tom Emmer to release theirs as well?

New York: Buffalo businessman Carl Paladino hasn’t given up in his gubernatorial quest. He’s still petitioning to appear on the GOP primary ballot but he’s also planning on appearing on the yet-to-be-formed Taxpayer party line in November.

Oklahoma: Jan Brewer continues her effort to dislodge Sarah as the GOP’s Queen Bee. She’s endorsing Okie Mama Grizzly Mary Fallin’s guber run, also, you betcha!

Tennessee: Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam – who probably could have financed his own gubernatorial run with his own bank account – has raised an intimidating $8.7 million from 12,000 individual donors for his campaign.

Utah: The debates about the debates is underway in the Beehive State. Gov. Gary Herbert proposed a series of eight forums, while Democrat Peter Corroon wants 22.

The GOP gubernatorial nominee Terry Branstad selected Sen. Kim Reynolds as his Lt. Governor running mate. It’s an interesting choice – she’s got a couple of DWIs in her distant past and has only been a state senator for two years.

Despite pressure from elements within the party to pick one of the two candidates he vanquished in the GOP primary, Rod Roberts and Bob Vander Plaats, Branstad bypassed both.

Vander Plaats has threatened to launch an independent candidacy if he wasn’t on the GOP ticket. Will he follow through on his threat?

During his announcement, Branstad tried to diffuse the internal tension and explain his choice.

“You’ll be happy to know there is no shortage of qualified candidates in Iowa Republicans who we can be very proud of who were considered for this position,” Branstad said.

Branstad noted Reynolds’ background as a veteran elected official in Clarke County, where she served four terms as treasurer. But he also mentioned the personal chemistry she and he have developed.

“I just thought the chemistry was really good, and I just think it’s really important to have a good personal relationship there too” Branstad said.

Video of Branstad’s announcement:

Categories : Iowa, Light Guv
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