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 Ohio

Oct
16

Guber Quick Hits, Sat 10/16/10

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California: Sarah Palin is in the Golden State this weekend on a campaign swing to mobilize the already rabidly over-excited conservative base. Notable in their absence are the two women at the top of the California GOP ticket. With a recent Field Poll showing two-thirds of California voters would be less inclined to vote for a Palin-endorsed candidate, both eMeg Whitman and Carly Fiorina have found someplace better to be at her side.

California II: On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Jerry Brown had no hesitation about embracing one of his party’s biggest headliners – and an old rival. Former President Bill Clinton and Brown didn’t exactly embrace one another at a UCLA rally Friday night, but they did talk about their accomplishments and long history of fighting for Democratic ideals.

Florida: Back in 1997 when the FBI was conducting its investigation into the massive Medicare fraud at Rick Scott’s Columbia/HCA hospital chain, Scott himself was sued by the Florida State Board of Administration accusing Scott and others of insider trading and of profiting from a culture of corruption. The state’s suit never came to trial because it was shelved in favor of a larger federal case that resulted in a record $1.7 billion in fines against the company.  The questions about whether Scott knew about the pervasive fraud going on under his nose (how could he not?) were never answered. It’s stunning that this is the man the Republicans nominated to govern a state whose elderly electorate is so dependent on Medicare.

Georgia: How’s this for chutzpah? Former Congressman Nathan Deal is defending his use of federal staff and resources for his own personal gain as “constituent services.”

Illinois: The path to victory for both Democrat Pat Quinn and Republican Bill Brady travels through the suburban ‘collar’ counties outside Chicago. More than 40% of the state’s voters reside in the region, which is home base to neither the downstate Brady or the Chicagoan Quinn. But with little more than two weeks remaining until election day, neither candidate has spent much time in the critical swing region.

New Mexico: Bill Clinton – who’s campaigning around the country as if it’s his and not Barack Obama’s legacy at stake – hit the campaign trail for guber wannabe Diane Denish. At a rally in northern New Mexico, the former president tried to shore up Denish’s lagging support among the state’s critical (and normally Democratic) Hispanic population by echoing the Denish campaign’s message that Martinez is a tool of Texan political interests.

New York: It appears that when it comes to the bottom line, there isn’t a religious or moral conviction that Carl Paladino won’t toss aside in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

Ohio: Democrat Ted Strickland is banking on using the early voting data to help them identify and mobilize their less enthusiastic base, but the Wall Street Journal reports that early voting patterns in Democratic Cuyahoga and Republican Warren Counties are looking similar to those seen in 2008. Could the ‘enthusiasm gap’ we’ve heard so much about over the past nine months be smaller than the media has led us to believe?

Pennsylvania: Democrat Dan Onorato won the backing of Education Voters of Pennsylvania, a nonpartisan, non-profit public-education advocacy group.

South Carolina: The RGA is running ads in the Haley-Sheheen gubernatorial contest. Either Haley and Rupert’s gang over at the RGA simply has so much money they don’t know what to do with, or they’re worried about Nikki Haley’s frontunner status in the Palmetto State guber contest isn’t as solid as one would expect in such a GOP-friendly election year in a deeply Republican state.

Aug
27

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 8/27/10

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Alaska: While GOP Senator Lisa Murkowski’s shocking primary loss (pending absentee ballots) dominated Alaska political news, Gov. Sean Parnell cruised to a primary victory under the radar. Unhappy with the results, Bill Walker, one of his vanquished opponents, is considering a write-in candidacy.

Idaho: Democratic guber challenger Keith Allred has made Butch Otter’s education funding cuts a central focus of his candidacy, arguing that Otter overstated the severity of the state’s budget problems in making severe cuts. New numbers showing Idaho in better-than-anticipated revenue numbers appear to validate his view.

Maine: Democratic guber wannabe Libby Mitchell has withdrawn from two candidate forums, citing the omission of two unenrolled candidates – Shawn Moody and Kevin Scott. The first of those forums, a discussion about cross-border issues facing the state, went on without her Thursday.

Michigan: Detroit Mayor Dave Bing endorsed his fellow mayor and Democrat Virg Bernero’s guber bid.

Ohio: Gov. Ted Strickland is getting help from an unusual source for most Democrats. The Buckeye Firearms Association has sent a bus out on the campaign trail touting their support of Strickland’s reelection bid against Republican John Kasich.

Texas: Bill White has been practically frothing at the mouth to take on Rick Perry in a Lone Star debate but the incumbent has been setting preconditions (and running out the calendar) so it comes as no surprise that White accepted an invite from Texas media outlets while the incumbent declined.

Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert’s 39-year-old son has been accused of stalking and harassing a the younger sister of a woman he was once charged with stalking and assaulting in 2005.

Vermont: The three-way photo finish in the Democratic primary is heading to a recount, as Peter Shumlin edged out Doug Racine by a razor-thin margin of 197 votes. Deb Markowitz finished in third – less than 700 votes behind Shumlin.

After weeks of ceding the Buckeye State airwaves to Republican John Kasich, Gov. Ted Strickland is up on the air with an ad that continues the line of attack that voters will probably see through November 2nd.

Categories : AdMonitor, Ohio
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Aug
17

Guber Quick Hits, Tues 8/17/10

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California: MegaBucks Whitman must be wishing everyone was so easy to buy. Last March, just two days after donating $10,000 to the ‘independent’ Small Business Action Committee the organization endorsed her gubernatorial bid. They’re now airing ‘issue advocacy’ ads attacking her Democratic rival, AG Jerry Brown.

Florida: As the Republicans continue tearing each other down in the bitter last weeks of the gubernatorial primary, Democrat Alex Sink picks former guber candidate Rod Smith as her Light Guv dance partner.

Florida II: Rick Scott may be way behind eMeg’s level of personal investment in her gubernatorial quest, but he’s doing his best to buy the Sunshine State’s GOP guber nod. He’s planning on spending $3.7 million on ads in the primary’s final week.

Maryland: Newcomer Brian Murphy’s fundraising totals  - Sarah Palin’s surprising pick in the Maryland GOP guber primary – trail the two guber heavyweights Republican Bob Erhlich and Democrat Martin O’Malley by a nearly 10-to-1 margin. But he tells the WaPo he’s right on track to upset Ehrlich in the September 14th primary.

Ohio: GOP guber candidate John Kasich – a wealthy man from his days at Lehman Brothers – also pulled in an impressive $50,000 annual income during his seven years as a “presidential fellow” at his alma mater, Ohio State University. Fifty grand may not seem like a huge sum to many, but considering that since 2002, Kasich has worked between one to four days a month – making each day on campus worth $4,000 to Ohio taxpayers.

Pennsylvania: John Krupa,  a self-proclaimed Tea Party gubernatorial candidate has dropped his bid after the state GOP successfully challenged the validity of his signatures. The Keystone State is one of a handful (the others being New Jersey, Florida and Michigan) where Republicans have accused Democrats of pushing bogus Tea Party candidates to lure voters away from the GOP.

Texas: Tea Party fave Debra Medina’s surprising (yet brief) surge in the GOP guber primary last spring was fueled by the potent libertarian streak  that lurks beneath the surface of Lone Star State politics. Following in Medina’s footsteps,  Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Kathie Glass is traversing the state hoping to turn tap into the Tea Party anti-government energy.

Jul
30

Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/30/10

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Florida: President Obama will be headlining an August 18th fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party at Miami Beach’s Fontainebleau Hotel. Unlike in Georgia where Democratic guber nominee Roy Barnes is keeping his distance from the president when he’s in Atlanta this Monday, Alex Sink will be on the stage with the president, who will be in South Florida after spending some vacay time with the First Family on the Gulf Coast.

Kentucky: Democrat Steve Beshear has his first Republican challenger of the 2011 campaign. Louisville businessman Phil Moffett is hoping to win Tea Party support and is a ardent supporter of charter schools.

Nevada: Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman, who once toyed with running for governor as an independent himself, has chosen to remain silent about whether he supports Republican Brian Sandoval or Democrat Rory (the younger) Reid for governor, despite endorsing Harry (the Elder) Reid in the state’s mega-wattage Senate race.

Ohio: Gov. Ted Strickland is another Democrat embracing the president on the campaign trail, as he will be appearing with the president when he delivers a speech on the economy and headlines an August 18th fundraiser.

Wisconsin: GOP guber wannabes Scott Walker and Mark Neumann will be meeting in at least two debates in August before the September primary.

Republican John Kasich’s first ad in the Ohio guber contest reveals just how successful the Democrats’ effort to frame the campaign’s narrative around Kasich’s Wall Street ties.

For Ted Strickland to win re-election, Democrats have to divert attention from the lingering economic hangover from the recession’s devastation to Ohio’s manufacturing base.  Strategically, they want to shift the blame for continuing high unemployment to the GOP. Republicans handed them a perfect foil in John Kasich, a former congressman who made a fortune at defunct Lehman Brothers.

They’ve been bashing Kasich for months as one of the Masters of the Universe who profited while putting into motion the dangerous practices that crashed the financial system.

Now, Kasich responds.  The fact that he had to says volumes about how successful the Dems have been about establishing the narrative.

Categories : AdMonitor, Ohio
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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
12

Guber Quick Hits, Mon 7/12/10

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Alabama: Mike Huckabee has lent his voice to Robert Bentley’s run-off effort, recording a robo-call going out over the campaign’s final weekend.

Florida: It looks like the fight to reform the redistricting process in Florida might end up before the state’s Supreme Court.

New Mexico: Susana Martinez’ campaign spokesman had a really bad day Sunday. He got arrested for DWI early in the morning and was fired as a result before the end of the day. Martinez really had no choice. In campaign ads earlier this summer, Democratic opponent Diane Denish had accused the Ana Dona County DA of cutting deals with DWI offenders.

New York: Republican Rick Lazio is offering to share his tax returns if opponent Andrew Cuomo shows his, too.

Ohio: Following last month’s endorsement by the powerful NRA, Democrat Ted Strickland picked up the support of the Buckeye Firearms Association in his campaign against former US Rep. John Kasich.

Pennsylvania: Democrat Dan Onorato will be calling in one of the party’s biggest weapons, former President Bill Clinton, to campaign on his behalf. Clinton’s presence was credited with helping Dems win the special election to replace the late John Murtha.

South Carolina: Despite a spike in out-of-state donations to Nikki Haley’s gubernatorial campaign after Sarah Palin’s endorsement, the Republican nominee still trails Democrat Vincent Sheheen in the money race.

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.