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 Utah


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.


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.


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.


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.


Guber Quick Hits, Sun 8/15/10

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California: The recent revelations about the scandalous salaries being earned in tiny and impoverished Bell, California have become another source of voter outrage at government waste. Both gubernatorial candidates have tried to spin the scandal to their own advantage. Now, the Orange County Register is revealing that AG Jerry Brown is entitled to a very generous annual pension – but no one is certain just how much.

Michigan: Sour grapes anyone? Pete Hoekstra is blaming his defeat in the GOP gubernatorial contest on Michigan Right to Life’s failure to endorse him and demanding that the anti-abortion organization’s director be fired.

Minnesota: Former Sen. Mark Dayton is rounding up the union support that went to defeated DFL rival Margaret Anderson Kelliher during the primary.

Oregon: “None of the above” was the winner in thirteen races decided in the Independent Party of Oregon’s online primary. The party seems to have a schizophrenic tendency to accompany it’s ‘throw the bums out’ mentality as they nominated former Gov. John Kitzhaber – a longtime health care reform advocate while simultaneously backing a congressional candidate who favors repealing the health care legislation and rejects Darwinism.

Pennsylvania: State Senator Anthony Williams – who set fundraising and spending records during the Democratic gubernatorial primary - endorsed nominee Dan Onorato who embraced some of Williams’  school voucher proposals. Will the well-heeled school choice backers who fueled Williams’ spending frenzy be as generous to Onorato?

Rhode Island: In the 3-way gubernatorial contest, union support is lining up behind the Democrat Frank Caprio. The latest to endorse the state treasurer is the 10,000 member Rhode Island chapter of the Laborers’ International Union of North America.

Utah: Despite hosting a meet-and-greet for Democratic guber nominee Peter Corroon and his GOP light guv running mate Sheryl Allen, former Republican Olene Walker won’t be endorsing any candidate in this year’s gubernatorial contest.


Guber Quick Hits, Sat 7/10/10

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Arizona: Wealthy GOP guber wannabe Bux Mills filed legal papers Friday to block efforts by Jan Brewer from soliciting private donations to support her campaign. He argues her previous acceptance of public funds requires her to remain within the parameters of Arizona campaign finance law.

Arizona II: State Treasurer Dean Martin “suspended” his GOP gubernatorial bid, saying a contested primary “would be a distraction” to solving the state’s problems. All I can say is it must’ve gotten really cold there in Jan Brewer’s shadow as she rose in the polls demagoguing the immigration issue.

Illinois: If both major party guber candidates don’t show up for a debate, why even bother?

Nevada: Way ahead in the polls, GOP guber nominee Brian Sandoval won’t debate Rory (the younger) until the fall.

New Mexico: Susana Martinez wants to end the state’s three-year-old medical marijuana program. (h/t New Mexico Independent)

Oregon: Republican nominee Chris Dudley continues his trailblazing in the fundraising race against Democratic nominee John Kitzhaber.

Utah: Gov. Gary Herbert will travel to DC next week to participate in a gathering sponsored by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop attacking the Obama Administration’s “War on Western Jobs.”

Wisconsin: Democratic guber wannabe Tom Barrett will undergo a third surgery on the hand he injured when he attempted to defend a woman and her baby granddaughter from attack last summer.


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.

Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon (and guber nominee) has a web ad up using Gov. Gary Herbert’s own words about “a lot of good news out there” on the economy against him.

Categories : AdMonitor, Utah
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Guber Quick Hits, Sun 6/20/10

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Alaska: Gov Sean Parnell is calling for federal compensation for Alaskans put out of work because of the federal moratorium on new offshore drilling.

Colorado: Despite a recent finding that the Rocky Mountain State was the top Tea Party state in America, the Colorado Republican Party has experienced a decline in registered voters.

Connecticut: In a blast from the Nutmeg State’s past, former Gov Lowell Weicker slammed state leaders for their ”insane fiscal practice” of borrowing to cover operating expenses and described Gov. Jodi Rell as “disinterested.”

Iowa: GOP guber nominee Terry Branstad is narrowing down his list of potential running mates. The Des Moines Register reports former Iowa State wrestling coach Jim Gibbons, who recently lost a congressional primary contest, is a new name being considered.

Michigan: Democratic Speaker Andy Dillon is taking some hits for hiring a Chicago ad firm to create his first guber TV ad, which touts his support for “hire Michigan first” legislation.

New Mexico: Republican guber nominee Susana Martinez has denied rumors circulating in the blogosphere that she’s the daughter of illegal immigrants.

Pennsylvania: Republican Tom Corbett’s lack of a serious primary challenge helps him start the general election campaign against Dan Onorato with a significant money advantage.

Utah: Democrat Peter Corroon is keeping pace with Accidental Governor Gary Herbert in the gubernatorial money race.

Vermont: Democrat Doug Racine received the backing of the Vermont State Employees Association. The VSEA doesn’t usually endorse in primaries but the public sector layoffs and pay cuts imposed during the current economic crisis led the union to make a choice in the crowded Democratic field.


Guber Quick Hits, Sat 6/5/10

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Alaska: Gov. Sean Parnell slashed $336 million from the 2011 legislative budget. Among the cuts was an expansion of the Denali Kid Care program because some of the funds would be used to pay for medically necessary abortions. Democratic gubernatorial challenger Ethan Berkowitz ramped up the campaign rhetoric criticizing Parnell’s decision. ”Real men don’t pick on kids,” Berkowitz said in a press release. “Sean Parnell’s coldhearted cut hurts real Alaskan children and families.”

Arizona: Homeland Security Secretary (and former AZ Governor) Janet Napolitano takes her successor to task for trying to “score political points” about border safety. Napolitano points out the data shows an increasingly secure border region and, without mentioning Gov. Jan Brewer by name, derides the GOP’s fear-mongering, concluding, “ Too often, lately, political bumper-sticker slogans are being presented as real solutions.”

California: Steve Poizner continues beefing up his anti-immigrant  street cred (although when he’s trailing by a 2-to-1 margin in the latest polls, what’s the point?) by announcing the backing of notorious Maricopa (AZ) County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Even if he manages to surprise everyone and upset MegaBucks, this endless stream of immigrant bashing has made him unelectable in November.

Maryland: Is it too early to be looking at a 2014 guber contest? Democratic Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler seems to be laying the groundwork for a future campaign as he runs for re-election as a champion of gay marriage.

New York: Andrew Cuomo will not submit his name for nomination by the Working Families Party this weekend amid reports that he’s tried strong-arm the minor party into putting placeholder candidates in the gubernatorial and attorney general races. A federal investigation into the Working Families campaign finances and Cuomo’s campaign promises to cut spending and hold the line on taxes clashes with the leftist coalition’s goal of expanding the size and scope of government.

Oregon: An official of the fastest-growing party in the Beaver State has been caught on tape saying any candidate who wants the Independent Party’s endorsement must donate to the party. Oops. Selling nominations is against state law.

Tennessee: Democrat Mike McWherter has launched his “Mike Works Tour” of the Volunteer State as part of his effort to attract some media attention from the high-profile Republican primary contest between Zach Wamp, Bill Haslam and Ron Ramsey.

Utah: The Beehive State’s lone Democratic congressman is making the case for electing Salt Lake Mayor Peter Corroon as the next governor. Citing his fears that a GOP-led legislature and governor will target him out of a congressional seat in the redistricting process he’s urging voters that electing Corroon is their best safeguard against a looming partisan gerrymander.