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Election wrap-up: What you need to know about the November 8th state executive elections

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November 10, 2011

On November 8, there were 18 state executive offices up for election in two states: Kentucky and Mississippi.



Heading in to the election, the Republicans held 10 seats and the Democrats held 8 seats. The elections yielded no changes in the individual offices or in the overall partisan composition of the executive seats in the two states.

Partisan breakdown of state executives in Kentucky and Mississippi
No change with November 8, 2011 election
Party Governor Lt. Governor Attorney General Secretary of State Down ballot offices
1 1 2 1 3
1 1 0 1 7


The incumbent sought re-election in 11 (61.1%) of the state executive elections in Kentucky and Mississippi; 10 won re-election. Elaine Walker, the outgoing Kentucky Secretary of State, lost in the primary election. Of the 8 incumbents that did not seek re-election:

  • 3 ran for a different office
  • 3 were term-limited (one of whom is running for a different office)
  • 1 retired


  • In 3 (16.6%) of the 18 contests, there was only one major party candidate.
  • 7 (38.8%) of the races had at least one third-party or independent candidate.

Margins of victory


Incumbent: Republicans Phil Bryant (Governor of Mississippi) and Leonard Bentz (Mississippi Public Service Commission) won by 22 points in their respective elections. Democrat Jim Hood held on to his position as Attorney General of Kentucky by the same margin.

Open seat: Democrat Alison Grimer also won the race for Kentucky Secretary of State by 22 points.


Todd Hollenbach, in the race for Kentucky Treasurer, won by 2 points.

Campaign spending

The six campaigns with the highest total candidates expenditures are listed below.

Election Total Amount Spent
Governor/Lt. Governor of Kentucky $7,255,696.26
Governor of Mississippi $6,322,997.86
Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi $3,297,748.91
Mississippi Attorney General $1,806,882.11
Kentucky Attorney General $1,146,439.28
Mississippi Treasurer $604,769.08