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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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, 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, Tues 7/6/10

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Colorado: Denver Mayor (and Dem guber wannabe) John Hickenlooper had reserved $800K in television time for campaign advertising this fall announced today that he’s upped the ante, throwing in another $350K.

Georgia: What do you do if a judge decries you as an “abomination” as a lawyer? If you’re John Oxendine, you launch a career in politics.

Maryland: Former governor Bob Ehrlich made it official he wants his old job back.

Michigan: Opponents of the federal health care law failed to garner enough signatures to get an opt-out constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

Minnesota: Matt Entenza’s St. Paul campaign office has been burglarized for a second time.

Oklahoma: Other Sooner gubernatorial candidates are wondering, “Where’s Mary?” Rep. Mary Fallin, the presumed front-runner to succeed term-limited Gov. Brad Henry has been MIA from a series of major debates sponsored by The Oklahoma Academy.

South Carolina: Nikki Haley graces the cover of Newsweek and proclaims her “The New Face of the New South.”  Wonder if  Sarah’s jealous yet?

Tennessee: The Tea Party GOP Tango continues in Tennessee. Ron Ramsey, who started the “My List is Bigger Than Yours Contest” a week ago has responded to Bill Haslam’s return volley with a bigger, stronger, more improved list of Twenty Tea Party organizations who’ve endorsed Ramsey’s bid.

Wisconsin: NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg endorsed Tom Barrett’s gubernatorial bid.


Guber Quick Hits, Sat 6/19/10

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Arizona: Democrat Terry Goddard, who was recently named the Attorney General of the Year by the National Association of Attorneys General, is looking for a new campaign manager. Rodd McLeod is leaving the post at the end of Jun.

Colorado: With one-in-three Colorado voters saying they consider themselves part of the Tea Party movement, the Rocky Mountain State ranks as the top Tea Party state in the nation, according to Rasmussen.

Connecticut: Democratic guber hopefuls Ned Lamont and Dannell Malloy were quick to call for Hartford Mayor Eddie Perez’s resignation after he was found guilty on five of six charges in his corruption trial Friday. Perez, who supported Malloy’s guber bid in 2006 and had endorsed Lamont this year learned how quickly a convicted official gets thrown under the bus.

Georgia: Hoping to avoid negative publicity prior to the July 20th primary, GOP guber wannabe John Oxendine  may have temporarily dodged a bullet this week when a Fulton County judge blocked the State Ethics Commission from discussing a lawsuit on an investigation into insurance industry campaign contributions at their June 24th hearing. The two sides were given until July 2 to meet on the lawsuit by July 2. The Oxendine camp hopes the insurance companies effort to get the suit dismissed proves successful or they could be garnering negative headlines in the closing weeks of the primary contest.

Hawaii: Negative press coverage and criticism from other candidates about a Mufi Hannemann fundraiser in Pittsburgh, PA hosted by a former executive of a company hoping to sell railway cars to Honolulu’s proposed transit system has caused the campaign to announce it wouldn’t accept contributions from the event.

Oregon: Only a week after Democrats rejected a special legislative session to address Oregon’s huge budget deficit, they’re now saying it’s a real possibility as the reality of the deep cuts necessary to close the gap settles in.

Oregon II: The Independent Party of Oregon is planning to attempt a first-in-the-nation internet primary this summer.

South Carolina: Talking Points Memo has a round-up of the 2012 GOP presidential contenders’ courtship of gubernatorial candidates, especially Nikki Haley.

Tennessee: Rep. Zach Wamp doesn’t miss a chance to rail against “Obamacare” on the campaign trail as he runs for governor. But, when the GOP tried to force a vote to actually repeal the measure (in a motion to recommit) the Wampster was nowhere to be seen.

Wisconsin: Mark Neumann brings a gun to the airport as part of his effort to highlight what he sees as Scott Walker’s flip-flopping on concealed weapons.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 6/18/10

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Arkansas: Republican guber wannabe Jim Keet is trying to make his campaign against incumbent Mike Beebe a referendum on President Obama. In a radio ad, he calls the governor Obama’s “silent partner” who has refused to oppose the president even when his policies hurt the Arkansas economy.

Maryland: Bob Ehrlich will soon leave his controversial Saturday morning call-in radio gig, but he’s found an able (and supportive) replacement – his wife Kendall.

Maryland II: Republicans preach the mantra of “local control” until they don’t like the decisions made locally. Bob Ehrlich wants to create a system where local school boards could be overruled if they reject charter school applications.

Nevada: Democratic guber wannabe Rory Reid thinks the state’s education system can be adequately funded without raising taxes. The leaders of the state’s teachers unions disagree.

New York: Carl Paladino is using a web poll to determine the name of his third party effort he wants to add to New York’s ballot. It’s a brilliant way to build his list – and identify people who may be willing to provide the signatures necessary to get his party on the ballot.

Oklahoma: Mary Fallin has been added to Sarah Palin’s list of “mama grizzlies.

Tennessee: Knoxville Mayor Bill Haslam has raised $8 million for his guber bid, far out-pacing all other contenders.

Wisconsin: A coalition of Badger State Tea Party groups will not endorse either Republican guber candidate until after their Tea Party debate, scheduled for August 29th. Both Mark Neumann and Scott Walker plan to show up and beg for the nod.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 6/11/10

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California: When will it end? Another politician is using nazi references on the campaign trail. This time it’s Democrat Jerry Brown comparing Meg Whitman’s television blitz to Goebbel’s infamous Nazi propaganda machine. Come on, Jerry, really?

He didn’t stop himself there. He revealed a hint of sexism as he rambled on about her long-term goals. “She wants to be president. That’s her ambition, the first woman president. That’s what this is all about.”

Georgia: And the endorsements keep rolling in for former Governor Roy Barnes. The AJC’s Jim Galloway has a list of prominent Georgians backing Barnes, topped by yesterday’s coup – the support of DeKalb County DA, Gwen Keyes Fleming. Her backing is significant because of where she’s from (rival guber wannabe Thurbert Baker’s home turf) and what she represents (she’s the only African American female District Attorney in the state).

Texas: The Green Party has agreed to refrain from nominating candidates for statewide office until at least June 24 when a state court will hear a Democratic challenge of the legality of the third party’s petition drive. Democrats contend the gathering of the necessary signatures was an illegal “in-kind” donation made by a corporation with Republican ties. If the Greens do field a gubernatorial candidate, most observers believe Rick Perry is the beneficiary and could swing the election to the incumbent in a close contest.

Wisconsin: The Republican primary contest between Mark Neumann and Scott Walker has gotten nasty. Neumann’s camp is accusing Walker of running negative push polls, but a GOP insider who originally supported Neumann’s bid is urging him to end his campaign because he’s “aghast” at the accusations Neumann’s camp is making.

Wyoming: Democrat Leslie Petersen is actually using her party as an asset in deeply red Wyoming. At a recent forum on energy issues, Petersen sought to embrace the legacy of outgoing Democrat (and still popular) Gov. Dave Freudenthal and said she may have more of an opportunity to discuss energy and environmental issues with the federal government. “I think I could bring something to (disagreeing with federal agencies) that we might not get if we’re just solidly, solidly Republican,” Petersen said.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has his second ad running in his bid to replace fellow Democrat Jim Doyle as Wisconsin Governor. He’s promised to cut $1.1 billion in state spending to fix the Badger State’s budget gap.

What’s coming off the menu in a Barrett administration? “Cadillac” health care plans for felons, pension bonuses for elected officials and unnamed state agencies and departments are all mentioned.

He sits in a diner (aren’t politicians always in diner’s these days?) and urges people to go to his website ( for more details.

Categories : AdMonitor, Wisconsin
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Guber Quick Hits, Tues 5/25/10

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Alabama: Ron Sparks is touting an internal poll showing him in a tie with Artur Davis. Public polls have sh0wn him trailing throughout the campaign, although Research 2000 did find the race within single digits. That same poll did reveal Sparks as the stronger general election candidate against the possible Republican candidates.

California: When Steve Poizner is asked, “What can Brown do for you?” he can respond, “Plenty.”

Connecticut: Democrats emerged from their endorsing convention this week naming former Stamford Mayor Dan Malloy the party’s pick over Ned Lamont. The Hartford Courant reports the primary contest has already begun in earnest. Apparently, the candidates left the gathering without speaking to one another.

Florida: Acknowledging the reality that she couldn’t compete with AG Bill McCollum and billionaire Rick Scott’s financial resources, not to mention her lack of traction in polling, state Sen. Paula Dockerydropped her long-shot bid for the GOP gubernatorial nod.

New Mexico: After watching his party’s primary turn into a mudslinging free-for-all between guber wannabes Allen Weh and Susana Martinez, the state GOP chair took the unusual step of calling out Weh for being dishonest in his television ads against Martinez.

Rhode Island: looks at Lincoln Chafee’s chance of becoming the nation’s first independent governor elected since Jesse Ventura a dozen years ago.

South Carolina: While much of the focus in the Palmetto State has been on the salacious “he said, she said” scandal involving Nikki Haley, fellow Republican Gresham Barrett also has a developing scandal of his own. It may not be as sexy, but when politicians receive envelopes stuffed with $84,000 in cash, it’s not something voters look upon all that favorably.

Vermont: The state legislature’s recent vote to approve pursuing (by 122-5) basing F-35 fighter jets at Burlington International Airport could become a campaign issue, if the Progressive Party has anything to say about it. Not surprisingly, they’re opposed. Will they pull any of the four Democrats running for governor to the left?

Wisconsin: Mark Neumann is calling on fellow Republican Scott Walker to reimburse the county the expense of a worker who recently resigned because she was posting political comments while at work.  Walker, who recently returned $43,800 in illegal contributions, isn’t planning on paying, saying he wasn’t aware of the employee’s activities.


Guber Quick Hits, TGIF 5/21/10

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Alabama: With the June 1 primary rapidly approaching, Republican Robert Bentley has released an internal poll claiming the primary contest is tightly packed. Bradley Byrne leads with 27%, while Bentley, Tim James and Roy Moore are all jockeying for the all-important second place slot. It’s clear that none of the candidates is likely to reach the 50% threshold necessary to win outright, meaning a run-off between any of the four is possible.

Alabama II: The guber line has changed over at Doc’s Political Power. They’ve got both Dems falling on the list, although they’re not quite sure Artur Davis is a certainty to win the Dem nod any longer. On the GOP side, Tim James has made it a contest, powered by his nationally known wedge issue TeeVee ads.

Colorado: speculates about whether “Joe G” is a “straw man” candidate running to help Scott McInnis discredit Tea Party fave Dan Maes’ guber candidacy. Reportedly, there are robo-calls ripping into Maes and directing people to a web site, DanMaesCantWin.

Hawaii: Honolulu Mayor Mufi Hannemann still hasn’t made it official, but to dispel rumors he may be considering a run for Senate, a senior aide has confirmed he will be running for governor, as everyone has long expected. Mufi won’t resign his current office until July 20, the last day possible.

New York: The Empire State Dems gather in Rye next Tuesday and it’s still the “Waiting on Andrew Game.”

New York II: With Rick Lazio having already picked his Light Guv running mate, the chatter in NY GOP circles is all about who Steve will pick as his dance partner.

Oregon: The Democratic Party has a creatively named anti-Dudley website up called “,” complete with a post titled “The tallest candidate, the shortest answers.”

Pennsylvania: Vanquished Tea Party favorite Sam Rohrer, who garnered 31% of the GOP primary vote on Tuesday isn’t sure whether he will endorse the winner, Tom Corbett.

Wisconsin: Republican Scott Walker’s campaign is returning $43,800 in illegal campaign donations. That’s the amount a railroad executive reimbursed employees for the donations they made to Walker’s guber bid. He claims he didn’t know it was against the rules. Really?