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


Archive for Show Me the Money

Chris Cillizza reports that the DNC is doing its damnedest to try and minimize the financial advantage the Republicans have amassed in outside money unleashed by the Supreme Court’s Citizen United case by transferring $1.8 million this month to each of the party’s congressional committees. Six states with competitive guber races also benefited from the DNC’s largess this month:

Ohio received a $500,000 transfer — the governor’s race is a major priority for both parties — while Wisconsin ($300,000), Minnesota ($250,000), New Hampshire ($250,000), Oregon ($233,000) and Maine ($200,000) also took in large DNC donations.

Interestingly, the DNC also dropped $100,000 in South Carolina, where party strategists believe they have a chance of upsetting state Rep.Nikki Haley (R) in the governor’s race. That sum was deemed insufficient by some Democrats in the Palmetto State.

In 2010, the DNC has transferred more than $1 million to Ohio ($1.3 million) and Florida ($1.26 million). Georgia is the third–largest recipient of DNC largess, taking in $750,000 so far this year — money aimed at strengthening the comeback bid of former Gov. Roy Barnes (D)

Categories : DNC, Show Me the Money
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Guber Quick Hits, Mon 9/6/10

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Alabama: Democratic gubernatorial wannabe Ron Sparks is raising eyebrows over his comments supporting the reelection of Republican Richard Shelby to the US Senate.

Hawaii: The gubernatorial contest is taking on a religious tone, as Hawaii GOP chairman Jonah Kaauwai asked local pastors to bar Democrat Mufi Hannemann from public appearances in their churches.

Idaho: Republicans in the state legislature are trying to minimize the role Democratic guber wannabe Keith Allred played in a 2006 property tax reform effort that resulted in most Idahoans paying lower property taxes. Are they worried that Allred could actually be a contender to upset incumbent Butch Otter?

Maryland: As Maryland voters begin early voting in next week’s primary, Bob Ehrlich’s campaign is pointing to a surge in fundraising during the most recent eighteen-day reporting period as evidence his candidacy is gaining momentum. Despite raising nearly $500K more than the incumbent O’Malley, the Democrat still holds a nearly 3-to-1 advantage in cash on hand.

Massachusetts: Charlie Baker is calling in the GOP heavy hitters to help raise money for his guber bid. Maverick (that’s a good thing in the Bay State, even if it caused him headaches in his reelection) John McCain and wonderboy and fellow Massachusetts politico Sen. Scott Brown are both headlining an Oct. 1 fundraiser in Boston.

Michigan: Former Gateway exec Rick Snyder poured $6 million of his own fortune into buying the GOP guber nod. His total spending of $7.6 million was roughly equal to what all the other campaigns spent combined.

Nevada: Bush’s Rasputin is riding to the GOP’s rescue in the Silver State, where Republicans keep finding ways to fumble their mid-term advantage to the Democrats. Can his infusion of cash and television ads push GOP to wins over the Reid mini-dynasty?

South Carolina: When it comes to the gubernatorial race, pro-choice voters don’t have a choice.

South Dakota: South Dakota politicians have a history of living life in the fast-lane – literally. Former Gov. Bill Janklow spent time in prison for vehicular manslaughter because he was driving too fast. This year’s crop of candidates include quite a few who like to push the pedal to the metal, including both guber contenders.

Wyoming: GOP guber nominee Matt Mead spent an eye-popping (by Wyoming standards, at least) $1.4 million to win the GOP primary.


DNC Places it’s Guber Markers

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According to Politico’s Morning Score, the DNC has dispersed funds to state committees to be used in “targeted governor’s races:”

The DNC made a new wave of cash transfers to other Democratic committees, giving $833,333 each to the DSCC and DCCC, as well as $400,000 to the Florida Democratic Party, $333,333 to the Pennsylvania Democratic Party and $100,000 to the Maryland Democratic Party, a Democratic official said. That’s a total of $2.5 million in outlays, with the state party donations targeted at the governor’s races in those states. The DNC’s cash disbursements so far come to $1.5 million for the DSCC, $1.5 million for the DCCC and $1.5 million to state committees.

That’s a pretty heavy investment in Alex Sink, whose political fortunes are rising as the circus formerly known as the RPOF disintegrates into leaderless chaos.

Holding onto the Keystone State Governor’s Mansion is critical to Democrats in the coming decade, as Pennsylvania’s redistricting could be as tumultuous as last time around.

As far as Maryland, is the party hoping that an early infusion of money for O’Malley can bolster him against Erhlich? They certainly don’t want to spend too much money here defending what would be an easy hold in practically any other year.


Guber Quick Hits, Sat 7/24/10

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Connecticut: Ted Kennedy, Jr is appearing in a campaign commercial supporting Ned Lamont’s gubernatorial bid.  He also received the backing of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus.

Michigan: With the August 3rd primaries rapidly approaching Michigan politicians are making their picks.  Detroit Mayor Dave Bing endorsed House Speaker Andy Dillon on the Democratic side while former Gov. William Milliken backed Rick Snyder in the crowded GOP field. Rep. Pete Hoekstra received the backing of the 90,000-member Teamsters union. Even ‘Joe the Plumber’ has weighed in on the GOP race, picking Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, who has also won the support of Michigan’s political GOP spouses.

Rhode Island: Frank Caprio’s guber campaign is calling in one of the Democratic Party’s biggest headliners, former President Bill Clinton. Caprio’s path to the Democratic nod was cleared recently when AG Patrick Lynch abandoned his bid but he still has a tough three candidate contest ahead against Republican John Robitaille and Independent Linc Chafee.

Tennessee: Guber wannabe Zach Wamp says that if the 2010 and 2012 congressional elections don’t go the right way, states may have to consider seceding from the union over healthcare mandates.

Wisconsin: A week ago, Democrat Tom Barrett was touting his 2010 fundraising haul as the best in state history. Turns out Republican rival Scott Walker is raking in the cash at a slightly faster pace. Walker’s $2.5 million bested Barrett’s $2.4M. The Democrat, who unlike Walker, has no significant primary opposition, can take comfort in the fact he’s got more money stashed in the bank.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/16/10

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Alabama: Defeated Dem guber wannabe (and soon to be former congresscritter) Artur Davis is praising GOP nominee Robert Bentley. Looks like he was serious about getting out of politics for good.

Arkansas: Incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe is the only Democrat cruising to re-election this November. He’s ahead in the polls and most of the media focus in the state has been on the US Senate race. He’s also got $2.7 million in the bank to fend off his Republican challenger Jim Keet.

Georgia: According to a new Mason Dixon poll, 50% of Georgians are willing to pay higher taxes to fund schools. Where is all that anti-tax fervor the media keeps telling us about?

Illinois: Gov. Pat Quinn is rolling back raises for senior staff after taking a beating from opponent Bill Brady over the issue.

Maine: The mystery about who was behind the primary eve robo-calls attacking eventual GOP winner Paul LePage has been solved.

New Hampshire: Anti-gay marriage activists brought their national bus tour to the Granite State, protesting Gov. John Lynch’s decision to sign marriage equality legislation last year. They’re hoping their chants of “Lynch Lied” can undercut the incumbent’s quest for an unprecedented fourth term.

Pennsylvania: Dan Onorato is slamming “Clueless Tom Corbett” at a new website ridiculing the Republican for his comments saying the long-term unemployed don’t want to work.

Vermont: Republican Lt. Gov Brian Dubie has the GOP primary field to himself and he’s taken the opportunity to stake out a significant fundraising lead over the five Democrats jostling for their party’s guber nod.

Wisconsin: Democrat Tom Barrett has over $2.9 million in the bank for his gubernatorial campaign. He’s going to need it, if a recent Badger Poll is accurate. He trails either of his potential GOP rivals by double digits, although huge numbers of voters remain undecided.


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.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 7/9/10

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Connecticut: Democrat Dannell Malloy quickly praised a Massachusetts federal judge’s ruling that the Defense of Marriage Act was unconstitutional. Will this become an issue in the gubernatorial contests throughout New England?

Connecticut II: Republican Michael Fedele should soon be rolling in publicly-financed campaign dough. Due to receive a public grant of nearly $2.2 million, he proclaims he’s ‘ready to rock‘ in the GOP primary against Tom Foley and Oz Griebel. But Foley has filed a lawsuit to prevent the state from transferring the funds.

Florida: In redistricting news, a Leon County judge struck Amendment 7 from Florida’s November ballot. The Republican-backed amendment had been called a “poison pill” that would’ve undermined the intent of Amendments 5 and 6 which seek to reform the way the Sunshine State draws it’s legislative and congressional districts. Incoming State Senate President Mike Haridopolos responded to the decision by saying if 7 was flawed, it must mean Amendments 5 & 6 are as well and should be removed from the ballot.

Hawaii: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann picked up the endorsement of one of Hawaii’s largest unions, the United Public Workers.

Massachusetts: Republican Charlie Baker’s gubernatorial campaign now has more money in the bank than either of his major rivals, Deval Patrick and Timothy Cahill, after Cahill spent more than $400K on campaign ads early this summer.

Minnesota: Tom Emmer’s campaign continues getting bashed over his ill-conceived proposal to cut waiters hourly wages.

Nebraska: Democrats are still searching for a gubernatorial candidate.

Texas: All the threads of evidence in the mystery about who provided the funding to get the Green Party certified on the Lone Star ballot point to Rick Perry’s camp. It turns out this might not be the first time Perry has employed this tactic.


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.


Guber Quick Hits, Thurs 6/17/10

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Alabama: Two former Robert Bentley campaign staffers who were ousted following their candidate’s surprise second-place finish in the GOP guber primary(and entry into a run-off with Bradley Byrne) are airing their frustrations publicly. Replaced by new hires with connections to Mike Huckabee wanted to ”express their principled con­cern that the Bentley campaign may be unduly influenced by forces outside Alabama — forces that do not necessarily have Dr. Bentley’s or Alabama’s best interests at heart.

Arkansas: Mike Beebe, who just might be the most secure incumbent governor in the nation facing reelection this year, isn’t taking any chances. He’s amassed a huge campaign warchest totaling $2.3 million after raising over $500K in May.

Georgia: The Georgia Association of Educators has decided to not make an endorsement in the Democratic gubernatorial contest. It’s a repudiation of front-runner Roy Barnes who has been trying to apologize to the state’s teachers since he launched his effort to regain his old office. Barnes’ surprise defeat to Sonny Perdue in 2002 was fueled in large part by the defection of educators from the Democratic base after Barnes tried to push through education reform unpopular with the teachers unions.

Maine: The wide open race for the Blaine House not only drew a sizable crowd of contenders, it’s already broken the record for most expensive gubernatorial contest in Maine history. Over $7.5 million has been spent by guber hopefuls in the primary, which is closing in on the total $8.6 million spent on the entire 2002 and 2006 contests combined.

Maine II: A week after primary day, all six vanquished GOP candidates came together on the footsteps of Waterville’s City Hall and pledged their support for party nominee Paul LePage.

Minnesota: As noted yesterday, the state’s AFL-CIO held a meeting Wednesday to discuss an endorsement in the guber contest. After “spirited debate” the organization which represents 300,000 workers in the state surprised observers by NOT endorsing any candidate at this point.

South Carolina: Former first lady Jenny Sanford will be campaigning alongside Nikki Haley in the closing days before next Tuesday’s GOP gubernatorial run-off against Rep. Gresham Barrett. Also tagging along with his 2012 dreams in tow – Mitt Romney.

Tennessee: At a recent forum all four guber hopefuls, including lone Democrat Mike McWherter, vowed to reduce the financial burden federal health care legislation will impose on the state if elected governor.


Buckeye State Dems Stockpile Cash

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Ohio Democrats are building a significant cash advantage over their GOP rivals in the critical swing state of Ohio. Gov Ted Strickland – whose poll numbers have weakened with the stagnating economy – is outpacing challenger John Kasich, raising $2.5 million to $516,000 during the most recent period. More importantly the Democrat maintains a 9-1 advantage in cash-on-hand. (h/t – Swing State Project)

Looking toward the 2011 reapportionment process, Democrats in the Ohio House of Representatives are also amassing campaign cash at a faster pace than the GOP, who lost control of the chamber after years of dominance in the 2008 election. If Democrats can maintain control of the House, Governor’s Mansion and win either the State Auditor or Secretary of State races next year, they will have a 3-2 majority on the Apportionment Board.

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