Gubernatorial elections, 2014

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36 gubernatorial positions are up for election in 2014.

A total of four governors are term-limited and ineligible to run for re-election. They are:

  • Of those states holding gubernatorial elections in 2014, seven (AR, FL, IL, MA, ME, PA, and RI) are considered most likely to face partisan switch, according to polling figures and reports from The Washington Post, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, and Governing, current as of August 2013. The vulnerable governor seats are held by the following incumbents:[1][2][3]


See also: Alabama Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Alabama gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Robert J. Bentley (R) is running for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Alaska gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Sean Parnell (R) is running for re-election.[7] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Arizona Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Arizona gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Jan Brewer (R) is term-limited from seeking re-election in 2014. Reports from November 2012 indicated she was might try to run again anyway, believing the circumstances of her initial ascension to the office were grounds for a potential exemption from the law; Brewer was originally ascended to the position midterm in 2009 to fill a vacancy and was elected to a full term in 2010. Arizona constitution's rules governing gubernatorial term limits preclude any individual who has occupied the office during two consecutive terms from running for re-election, without specifying for the conditions of Brewer's incomplete first term.[8]


See also: Arkansas Gubernatorial election, 2014

Democratic incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe is ineligible for re-election in 2014 due to term limits, setting the stage for a highly competitive race. Over a year before the election, polling figures and ratings reports - from sources such as The Washington Post, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, Governing and Daily Kos - had already labeled Beebe's seat as a toss-up and cast Arkansas among the states most vulnerable to partisan switch in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle.[9][10][11][12]

In June 2012, term-limited Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) filed paperwork to start raising money for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.[13] McDaniel had been considered the Democratic frontrunner, but revelations that he had engaged in extra-martial relations with a Hot Springs attorney, Andi Davis,[14] whom he met around his 2010 re-election, ultimately proved too significant a publicity threat to his campaign. He dropped out of the race on January 25, 2013, explaining in an e-mail to supporters, "I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future."[15]

Despite announcing in December 2012 that he would not run for governor in 2014, former Congressman Mike Ross re-emerged as a potential candidate in the wake of McDaniel's exit from the race.[16][17][18] "Dustin McDaniel getting out of the race has left a huge void which clearly none of the other candidates are filling or I wouldn't be getting all these calls from every corner of the state...I'm humbled by that and I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the people of this state to at least reconsider my decision and I'm doing that," Ross said at U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-AR) re-election fundraiser in March 2013.[19] Ross officially launched his campaign on April 17, 2013. The only other declared Democratic candidate at the time of his announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, left the race in July when he found himself trailing Ross in fundraising and immediately threw his support behind Ross.[20]threw his support behind Ross upon his withdrawal from the race on July 29, 2013.[21]

Ross overtook Lynette "Doc" Bryant for the Democratic nomination in the May 20 primary election.[22] Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson defeated businessman Curtis Coleman in the Republican primary, earning the chance to win back office for their party.[20]

The Libertarian Party and the Green Party selected their candidates for governor by convention. Libertarian nominee Frank Gilbert and Green Party nominee Josh Drake will appear on the November 4 general election ballot with Ross and Hutchinson.[23][24][25]

Money in the race

On May 13, 2014, candidates were required to file pre-primary campaign finance reports detailing their fundraising and expenditures since April 1. Before winning their respective parties' nominations on May 20, Mike Ross (D) and Asa Hutchinson (R) both reported spending more than they took in over the previous month. Ross outraised Hutchinson $491,000 to $240,375, and Hutchinson outspent Ross by about $80,000. A large portion of each candidates' campaign expenditures went toward television advertisements. This was especially true for Hutchinson, who went $439,000 airing his ads across Arkansas-more than triple what Ross spent.[26]

Heading into the May 20 primaries, Ross reported having $2 million leftover, compared to Hutchinson's remaining balance of $904,000. Also on the GOP primary ballot is Curtis Coleman, who, unlike Ross' Democratic primary opponent Lynette Bryant, filed his campaign finance report by the May 13 deadline. Coleman raised $62,060 and spent $72,622 in April 2014, leaving him with $5,883 cash in hand.[27][26]


See also: California Gubernatorial election, 2014

The California gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Jerry Brown (D) is running for re-election.[28] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Colorado Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Colorado gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent John Hickenlooper (D) is running for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Connecticut gubernatorial election, 2014

The Connecticut gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Dan Malloy (D) is running for re-election, as Connecticut has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Florida gubernatorial election, 2014

Republican incumbent Rick Scott is seeking a second term as governor in 2014.

Sources such as Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Washington Post and Daily Kos have consistently rated Scott among the top five most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents facing re-election in 2014.[29][30][31][32]

In June 2013, ex-Florida Sen. Nan Rich became the first Democrat in the race, and has since been joined by a slew of other lesser-known hopefuls, mostly from third parties; There are currently over twenty active candidates gunning for Scott's job.[33] Among them is former governor and newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist, whose candidacy looms most ominously over Scott's re-election pursuit. [34][35][36]

Long affiliated with the Republican Party, Crist's first party switch occurred in 2010, when, after losing the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, he became an Independent as a way to preserve his candidacy into the general election. Crist's latest party makeover in the fall of 2013 was widely interpreted as a strategic maneuver aimed at helping him unseat Scott in 2014.[37]


See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2014

The Georgia gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Nathan Deal (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Hawaii gubernatorial election, 2014

Democratic incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie is seeking re-election in 2014. The first term chief executive is running on tenterhooks for his second term. With wavering approval numbers, key endorsement losses and the emergence of formidable challengers in both the primary and general election, Abercrombie's prospects heading into the August 9 primary are uncertain. In June, Real Clear Politics rated the race as a "Toss-Up."[38] Around the same time, the Cook Political Report gave the Hawaii Governor's race a "Solid Democratic" rating.[39]

Abercrombie will face a strong challenger in the August primary: State Sen. David Ige. A state lawmaker in Hawaii since 1986, Ige has represented district 16 in the state senate for nearly two decades and currently chairs the chamber's Ways and Means Committee. Ige's campaign has been endorsed by ex-governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi, both considered former allies of Abercrombie, as well as the Hawaii State Teachers Association (HSTA).[40][41]

The apparent defections of Cayetano and Ariyoshi could stem from Abercrombie's controversial decision in December 2012 to appoint his Lieutenant Governor, Brian E. Schatz (D), to fill the open Senate seat left by the death of veteran U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye (D). Abercrombie denied Inouye's deathbed wish that U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa be appointed to succeed him, tapping Schatz instead.[42][43] Abercrombie was required to appoint one of three individuals submitted by the state party of the incumbent, and Hanabusa - in addition to being Inouye's stated preference - had topped the list of early contenders, therefore the governor's call angered some members of the party.[44][45][46] After the announcement that she had been picked over for the Senate post, Hanabusa considered a bid to take on Abercrombie for re-election in 2014.[47][48] Although Hanabusa ultimately decided to pursue a full term in Inouye's seat in the 2014 election, there could be residual ill-will among some of Hawaii's Democratic elite toward Abercrombie as he approaches a possible second term.

In the months leading up to the June 3 candidate filing deadline, Abercrombie's campaign appeared to be in jeopardy. Despite securing the endorsement of fellow Democrat and Hawaii-native President Barack Obama, roughly half of the polls showed the incumbent trailing Ige in the Democratic primary.[49]

Even more alarming to Abercrombie is the candidacy of former Hawaii Lieutenant Governor and 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Duke Aiona. Aiona launched his second consecutive bid for the governor's office in early 2014. He hopes to stage a general election re-match with Abercrombie, who beat him four years ago this upcoming November. Recent polls have underscored the threat Aiona's presence in the race poses to Abercrombie's re-election chances.[49]

The last time a sitting Hawaii Governor ran for re-election and failed was in 1962.[50] Republican William Francis Quinn was Hawaii's first governor as well as its first and only lame duck governor. Quinn sought re-election in 1962, but voters went instead with his Democratic opponent, John Anthony Burns.


See also: Idaho gubernatorial election, 2014

The Idaho gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Butch Otter (R) is running for re-election, as Idaho has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2014

Race background

Current incumbent Pat Quinn, a Democrat who went from lieutenant governor to governor following Rod Blagojevich's 2009 impeachment, is facing re-election in 2014. Quinn ran for, and won, a full term in 2010 and is running for his second full four-year term. According to multiple outside ratings, Quinn is among the most vulnerable governors in the 2014 electoral cycle.[51]

Quinn's 2010 running-mate and first term incumbent Lt. Gov Sheila Simon (D) announced in February 2013 that she would not run for re-election in 2014. Simon said she wanted to seek a new office that would allow her to have a "greater impact," and later declared her candidacy for state comptroller.[52][53] Simon's thinly veiled swipe at the office's unsatisfactory "impact" potential was followed shortly thereafter by the Illinois House of Representatives' approval of a proposal seeking to eliminate the position of lieutenant governor altogether by constitutional amendment. In order for the measure to be passed, it must win approval of both the State Senate and Illinois voters. If the proposal is approved in a statewide public vote, the office will remain intact for one final term following the 2014 election.[54] Quinn said he wanted “a people person” to replace Simon, and ultimately settled on former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas.[55]

The 2014 electoral cycle marked the first time in Illinois history that candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor ran on a single ticket in the primary election phase. Spurred by the 2010 election fiasco when Democratic nominee for lt. governor Scott Lee Cohen had to drop out of the race after being arrested on charges of steroid use and domestic battery, the new joint ticket rule was enacted to support the notion of a critical governor-lieutenant governor partnership. In theory, allowing governor hopefuls to hand pick their running mates for the primary would induce the campaigns to "better define their priorities for voters and cover more ground as election season gets underway."[55]

As of July 2014, Illinois is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas. The biggest threat to Quinn winning re-election, then, was expected to have come courtesy of his fellow Democrats, namely William "Bill" Daley, a past U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff and attorney general Lisa Madigan. But by September 2013, Quinn had dodged both bullets: First, Madigan, who had been expected to enter the primary race, announced that she would instead seek re-election to her current post.[56][57][58] After brief consideration,[15] Daley, "a member of Chicago's first political family," for his relation to two of Chicago's longest-reigning mayors, abruptly withdrew his bid for the Democratic nomination after a promising first stretch.[58] His departure marked a veritable coup for Quinn, whose bleak re-election prospects improved considerably in the absence of a strong primary challenge.[59]

Quinn is the fifth out of a total of forty-six previous Illinois lieutenant governors to have succeeded to the governorship mid-term. As governor, Quinn has emphasized improving the state government's ethical standards and protecting public-sector labor unions. His tenure thus far has been marred by steep, deeply unpopular budget cuts and tax increases stemming from long-term state debt among other issues that have factored into his status among the least popular governors facing re-election in 2014.[60]

Primary review, cross-party vote phenomenon

On September 3, individuals aiming to qualify for a slot on the March 2014 primary ballot began gathering signatures. The filing period for major party primary candidates ended on December 2, 2013, with only one Democrat, Tio Hardiman, filing to go up against Quinn. Candidates from the Republican end included state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Early polls showed Rutherford as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, but Rauner rocketed ahead of the pack by November 2013 and maintained a 15-point average lead up to the March primary, which he won.[61]

A newcomer to politics, Rauner achieved the name recognition he needed to overcome his more established opponents with the help of massive campaign contributions totaling nearly $14 million, including $6 million of his own money, the highest amount a candidate has ever spent on his own primary campaign for governor in Illinois.[62][63]

Unofficial results from the March 18 primaries revealed some steep deviations from typical voting behaviors recorded in past elections. Based on the breakdown of votes in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries provided by the Chicago Tribune on election night, Ballot Access News analyzed what appeared to be a spectacularly low turnout of Democratic voters (438,112 votes) in the party's contested, albeit only nominally, primary. They detected that hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters must have taken advantage of the state's mixed-hybrid primary system to vote the Republican ballot instead of their own. Under Illinois' primary rules, voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.[64]

The mass cross-over by Democrats was linked to one specific issue highlighted in this year's GOP governor's race: government employee unions. Most of the Democrats who participated in the Republican primary did so in order to ensure Kirk Dillard, who has sided with the unions in the state senate, would lose to Bruce Rauner, who has promised to curtail union influence.[65]

In Illinois, the last time more votes were cast in the Republican than the Democratic gubernatorial primary was 1986; not since the 1940's have so few votes been cast in a Democratic gubernatorial primary election. Compared to the last five Illinois gubernatorial elections, there was no significant spike in Republican votes this year, indicating the trend reversal was caused by a tremendous drop in Democratic gubernatorial primary votes cast.[65]


See also: Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014

Race background

Republican incumbent Terry Branstad is running for re-election to a sixth non-consecutive term as governor in 2014. Branstad first held the office from 1983 to 1999, and reemerged after years in political retirement to take back the office in the 2010 gubernatorial election, becoming Iowa's longest serving governor as well as the longest serving governor in U.S. History.[66] Branstad easily defeated Tom Hoefling in the GOP primary election on June 3, 2014. Incumbent Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is also seeking re-election in 2014. This will be her second time sharing a ticket with Branstad.[67]

Before Branstad formally launched his campaign, polls showed him in excellent standing for winning re-election, with an average lead of 20 percentage points in hypothetical general election match-ups.[68] Branstad had looked considerably less secure around the time ex-Democratic challenger Tyler Olson entered the race back in July 2013, with only 43% of polled voters saying they believed the governor deserved to be re-elected and 54% answering that he has held office long enough, even though 51% approved of his performance. December's numbers from Quinnipiac University gave him a boost of eight percentage points in both approval and "deserves to be re-elected" categories.[69][70] As of mid-March, polled continued to show Branstad sitting comfortably at 63% job approval and Hatch trailing behind by 15 percentage points.[71]

By spring, a string of scandals inside the Branstad administration had caused a steep downturn in the incumbent's job approval and trust rating among Iowa voters. In a short space of time, Branstad was accused of using his office to commit or facilitate a variety of crimes and improprieties, such as: the wrongful firing of a state trooper who nabbed the governor for speeding, crooked dealings state judge, abuse in an Iowa juvenile home and giving hush-payments to fired state employees claiming to victims of political revenge. Amid the resulting storm of bad press directed at Branstad and his office, the governor maintained a policy of denying knowledge or involvement in these alleged transgressions. According to an April 22 Public Policy Poll for Progress Iowa, 83% of Iowa voters said they were either somewhat or very aware of the scandals and 56% indicated they were unconvinced by Branstad's official line of denial.[72] In addition, 30% of respondents said they thought Branstad should resign, with 36% believing he should stay and 34% responding "Not sure." Besides shedding voters' doubt on Branstad's honesty and integrity, these allegations have cost the jobs of numerous state department leaders, including the firing of Iowa's administrative department head, and prompted state lawmakers to call for an independent investigation, as of the poll's publication date.[72][73] Branstad closed out April leading Hatch 45-43, his smallest-ever edge, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the conservative-leaning Daily Caller.[74]

Democratic State Rep. Tyler Olson declared his candidacy for governor in July 2013 and was considered a strong contender for the party's nomination before withdrawing from the race in December of that year.[75] He decided to drop out following the announcement of his separation from wife Sarah Olson, who had been an instrumental part of his family-oriented campaign.[76][77] Olson's withdrawal was followed soon thereafter by former state Sen. Bob Krause's announcement he was shutting down his campaign. Their absences cleared the path for remaining Democratic hopeful Jack Hatch to face Branstad in the general election. Krause immediately gave Hatch his support, while Olson noticeably declined to endorse Hatch upon dropping out of the race.[75][78]

Branstad and Hatch will appear on the November general election ballot along with Libertarian candidate Lee Hieb.[79]


See also: Kansas gubernatorial election, 2014

The Kansas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Sam Brownback (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office. The race is considered to be very competitive, with early polls showing Democrat Paul Davis, the state House Minority Leader, with a small lead over the incumbent governor, Republican Sam Brownback. The Washington Post has also named Kansas as one of the top 15 gubernatorial races of 2014, declaring that "it's hard to ignore polls that show Gov. Sam Brownback's approval ratings well shy of 50%."[80] Brownback's approval ratings have hovered around 35% since January of 2012.[81]


See also: Maine gubernatorial election, 2014

Paul LePage is running for a second term as governor in 2014.[56][82] The often divisive Republican is widely considered one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents facing re-election this year. Sources ranging from Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Washington Post and Daily Kos have rated the 2014 Maine governor's race as a tossup.[83][84][85][86] In June 2013, after Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud launched his bid for the office, LePage briefly indicated interest in running for Michaud's seat in the U.S. House in 2014 as a way to avoid the risk of such a formidable challenge.[87][82] Though his threat of a congressional run amounted to nothing, LePage proved he is not impervious to the pessimism surrounding his re-election campaign.

On November 4, 2013, after establishing himself as the race's front-runner, Michaud disclosed in an op-ed column submitted to three of the state’s major news outlets that he is gay.[88] Michaud emphasized that his sexuality is irrelevant to his ability to perform as governor, if elected. He said he came out in response to "whisper campaigns" instigated by opponents in order to cast suspicion about his personal life.[89] The revelation puts Michaud in the running - alongside 2014 Maryland gubernatorial hopeful state Rep. Heather Mizeur - to become the first openly gay man or woman to be elected governor in the nation's history.


See also: Maryland gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Martin O'Malley (D) is prevented by term limits from seeking a third consecutive term in office.

Current incumbent Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown officially launched his 2014 gubernatorial campaign on May 10, 2013. If he wins, Brown will be the first lieutenant governor and first African-American to be elected governor of Maryland since the lieutenant governor's office was created in 1970.[90][91] O'Malley, with whom Brown shared winning tickets in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, supports Brown as his successor.[92] Brown's lieutenant gubernatorial running-mate is Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.[82] Immediately after formalizing their partnership for the 2014 campaign, the Brown-Ulman ticket received the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). A number of Cumming's congressional colleagues announced their support soon thereafter, as well as influential labor union branches of the SEIU.[93][94][95]

On July 17, 2013, another potentially history making candidate entered the Democratic primary field to give Brown some competition: Maryland House Delegate Heather Mizeur.[96] If victorious, Mizeur would have been the state's first female to hold the governor's office, as well as the country's first openly gay governor.[97] Current state attorney general Doug Gansler also sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. On Oct. 14, 2013, Gansler announced that he had selected Prince George County Delegate Jolene Ivey for his lieutenant gubernatorial running-mate. Keeping with the trailblazer theme established earlier by Brown and Mizeur to entice more progressive-leaning voters, the Gansler-Ivey ticket also carries the promise of setting an historical record, statewide and national. After joining Gansler's campaign, Ivey stated, "I am proud to be the first African-American woman to run for lieutenant governor, and when we win, to be the first Democratic African-American woman to be lieutenant governor in our nation's history."[98] Both Gansler and Mizeur lost in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014.


See also: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014

Current incumbent Deval Patrick, a Democrat first elected in 2006, is eligible to run for re-election in 2014. However, after winning re-election in 2010, Patrick stated that he would not seek a third term as governor in the 2014 election.[99][100]

The field of Democrats competing for their party's nomination in the primary, which is scheduled for September 16, 2014, has attracted individuals already serving in elected office. Treasurer Steven Grossman won the state Democratic convention on June 14, 2014, while Attorney General Martha Coakley came in second. Candidate Donald Berwick also secured a place on the primary ballot. Candidates Joe Avellone and Juliette Kayyem failed to achieve 15% of the convention backing to reach the primary ballot.[101][102] Coakley has been leading in all polls against Grossman, but did not win over the party itself. Analysts suspect Coakley leads based on higher name recognition. Party leaders are concerned she will not be able to win the general election. Grossman was the former chairman of the state and national Democratic parties.[103]

Daniel Wolf, a Republican state senator who announced his intentions to run early on, dropped out of the race after his campaign was suspended "indefinitely" since his Aug 2, 2013 disqualification by the Massachusetts Ethics Commission for being a stakeholder in an airline he previously founded, CapeAir. Since CapeAir is now a quasi-public agency whose board is controlled by the governor, the commission ruled Wolf's ties to be a violation of state conflict of interest prohibitions.[104][105] On September 19, the commission granted Wolf a second extension to his compliance deadline, beyond which he would be forced to resign his state senate seat and officially withdraw from the governor race.[106][107][108] The uncertainty about if and when he could resume campaigning resulted in Wolf's decision to officially withdraw from the race on October 21, 2013. [59][109][110][106] Wolf's withdrawal paved the way for a nasty executive vs. executive primary battle between Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Treasurer Steve Grossman.

Charlie Baker, a venture capitalist who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2010, again won his party's nomination at the convention on March 22, 2014. The other Republican challenger, Mark Fisher originally appeared to have narrowly missed an appearance on the primary ballot after failing to achieve 15% of the vote with just 14.765%, but after challenging the results in court the judge ruled that Fisher should be allowed to appear with Baker on the primary ballot.[111][112] The blank ballots that were cast at the convention were counted in the total, reducing the percentage that Fisher received just enough to push him off the ballot. Kirsten Hughes, the Massachusetts Republican party chairwoman, told the media after the convention that blanks should not count towards the total. She retracted that statement days later saying she misspoke.[113] Fisher still needs a total of 10,000 certified signatures to be included on the November ballot.[114][115]

Since the convention results were overturned, and Fisher is set up to make the primary ballot, Baker will have had to defend his more moderate views as a Republican, and work to distance himself from the Democratic candidates. Baker supports both abortion rights and gay marriage, a contrast to many views of his conservative Republican supporters.[116]


See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014

First term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is running for re-election in 2014. In December 2012, in the wake of his passage of a "right-to-work" law that provoked heavy rioting, particularly from unions, a Public Policy Poll showed the governor's chances of winning another term having severely diminished compared to a similar poll released the previous month. His net approval tumbled a net -28 points, with respondents preferring each of the poll's four hypothetical Democratic challengers over Snyder for 2014.[117][118]


See also: Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014

The Minnesota gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mark Dayton (D) is running for re-election.[119] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Nebraska gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.[120][121]. Heineman intended to enthusiastically back then-Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy, with whom he shared a winning ticket in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, as his successor, until[122]until Sheehy's resignation in Feb. 2012, causing a "deeply disappointed" Heineman to withdraw his support for his former second-in-command's campaign.[123] Days later, campaign donors reportedly began receiving refund checks in the mail, the final death knell for Sheehy’s foregone gubernatorial ambitions.[124]

With Sheehy, the previous front-runner, out of the running, other potential candidates emerged with renewed hope: A few weeks after Sheehy's resignation and subsequent withdrawal from the race, state Sen. Charlie Janssen declared his candidacy. Although he is a member of the nonpartisan of the Nebraska Legislature, Janssen is running for governor on the Republican ticket.[125]


See also: Nevada gubernatorial election, 2014

New Hampshire

See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2014

The New Hampshire gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) is eligible for re-election, as New Hampshire has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 2-year term in office.

New Mexico

See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2014

The New Mexico gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Susana Martinez (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

New York

See also: New York gubernatorial election, 2014

The New York gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Andrew Cuomo (D) is eligible for re-election, as New York has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2014

Kasich is running for re-election to a second term as governor in 2014.[56]

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan had been considered a strong potential Democratic candidate for the 2014 Ohio gubernatorial election, but ultimately opted against entering the race in March of 2013. He decided that challenging incumbent Gov. John Kasich (R) was not worth forfeiting his seat in the U.S. House, particularly in light of his reappointment to the influential Appropriations Committee in the 113th Congress.[126] [127][128]

Ballot access lawsuits

In late 2013, Ohio passed two laws that allegedly restrict minor parties' participation in the 2014 elections. The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed lawsuits against both laws, the outcomes of which could alter the candidate landscape of this race.[129]

Tea Party primary challenge

Ted Stevenot, an Ohio Tea Party leader, had planned to announce a primary challenge to incumbent Governor Kasich.[130] In early January 2014, however, Stevenot and his running mate, Brenda Mack, decided not to challenge Kasich.[131] In his prepared statement, Stevenot said that his running mate's financial history, which had been the subject of recent critical news coverage, was not part of his consideration to withdraw.[132]


See also: Oklahoma gubernatorial election, 2014

The Oklahoma gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mary Fallin (R) is eligible for re-election.


See also: Oregon gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent John Kitzhaber is running for his fourth term as Governor of Oregon. He stressed a renewed focus on tax changes and job creation aimed at reducing inequality in his fourth term.[133] Kitzhaber will face state Rep. and May 20 Republican primary winner Dennis Richardson in the general election.[134]


See also: Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2014

By the summer of 2013, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Governing had all rated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett as one of the most vulnerable governors facing re-election in 2014.[135] Their reports reflect the Republican governor's increasingly weak position heading into the 2014 election season, when his abysmal job approval ratings as well as state Democrats, rabid for an ousting after years under a Republican trifecta, will finally be put to the test.[136]

A July 2013 survey taken by Harper Polling showed that just under a quarter of state residents think Corbett deserves to be elected again in 2014.[137] Those results backed up earlier polling figures released by Quinnipiac University, which had him at 38 percent job approval and substantially behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in a hypothetical general election match up.[138] The Quinnipiac poll showed Schwartz beating Corbett by a whopping 10 points. Better odds, as it happens, than had been revealed in a similar survey conducted previously by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican-aligned firm.[139]

Back in April 2013, Schwartz was already looking especially threatening vis a vis Corbett's dismal popularity among female respondents, 54-27 percent of whom expressed opposition to Corbett’s re-election, a margin of 2 to 1.[140]

There are 36 states holding regularly scheduled gubernatorial elections in 2014 and there are 5-10 seats considered most likely to face partisan switch, Corbett among them. He recently moved into to the top slot on the Washington Post's "engangered" list, after having been in third place during the prior rating cycle.[141][142][143] Corbett's upgraded vulnerability status comes to bear on the heels of his failure to enact any of his three tent-pole policy initiatives during recently concluded spring legislative session. The timing also corresponded to a further swell of Democratic candidates entering the 2014 governor's race.

Several Democratic hopefuls - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, Hanger's predecessor Kate McGinty, Cumberland County minister Max Myers, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, York businessman Tom Wolf and State Treasurer Rob McCord - have formally launched 2014 campaigns for governor. Three other potential Democratic candidates have been mentioned in connection with the race: State rep. H. Scott Conklin, former state auditor and state senator Jack Wagner and county commission chairman Josh Shapiro.[144][125][145][146]

Republican primary

Two Republicans have also been mentioned as potential primary opponents of Governor Corbett: former radio announcer Tom Lineaweaver and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi.[147][148] Guzzardi filed for the Republican primary and initially survived a challenge to his campaign's signatures after the Republican Party of Pennsylvania tried to get him disqualified.[149] However, on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Guzzardi was ordered stricken from the ballot on a technicality. The majority on the court found that Guzzardi had failed to "meet a deadline for filing a statement of financial interests" with the State Ethics Commission and his campaign filing therefore "possessed a 'fatal defect.'"[150] Two justices dissented, citing the lower court's finding that Guzzardi had filed the proper forms with the Pennsylvania Department of State and had been told by an employee there that he did not need to also file with the State Ethics Board.[150][151]

I agree with the Commonwealth Court that what occurred here was a breakdown in the administrative process. To strike this candidate's name from the ballot is akin to denying candidates their right to appear on the ballot under circumstances where there was some accident or natural disaster preventing candidates from entering the filing office.[152]

—Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, In Re: Nom. Pet. of Robert Guzzardi Dissenting Statement

Rhode Island

See also: Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2014

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lincoln Chafee (D) was eligible but chose not to run for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

In October 2013, The Washington Post named the Democratic primary in the governor's race as one of the top 10 primaries of 2014.[153]

On May 30, 2013, the Republican-turned-Independent governor formalized his long-rumored intention to once again change his party affiliation, this time switching to Democrat.[154][155] Until officially joining the Democratic Party on May 30, 2013, Chafee was the country's only sitting Independent governor.[156] He endorsed former U.S. Senate colleague President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but the main reason Chafee cited for changing to a major party affiliation was the need to finance a competitive re-election campaign. "There is no independent governors association throwing money around ... but there is a Democratic Governors Association," he told The Associated Press in December 2012. Reaffirming his concerns, a report released by Governing in December 2012 named Chafee as one of five governors considered vulnerable to losing re-election in 2013-2014.[157]

Chafee was expected to seek re-election, but announced on September 4, 2013 that he would not seek a second term so that he could focus on governing instead. "I want to devote all my time, all my energy, to the task at hand," he stated.[158][6]

South Carolina

See also: South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Nikki Haley is running for re-election in 2014.[159] Republican state treasurer Curtis Loftis, Jr. considered challenging Haley for the party's nomination, but announced on January 25, 2013 that he would seek re-election to his current post as treasurer instead.[160] Without Loftis, the list of potential Republican primary candidates is still long, and includes two fellow officials from the executive branch: Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell and Attorney General Alan Wilson.

South Dakota

See also: South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2014

The South Dakota gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Dennis Daugaard (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Tennessee gubernatorial election, 2014

The Tennessee gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Bill Haslam (R) is running for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Texas gubernatorial election, 2014

The Texas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Rick Perry (R) is eligible for re-election, as Texas has no gubernatorial term limits, but announced on July 8, 2013 that he would not seek re-election.[161] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Vermont gubernatorial election, 2014

The Vermont gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Peter Shumlin (D) is eligible for re-election, as Vermont has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 2-year term in office.


See also: Wisconsin gubernatorial election, 2014

The Wisconsin gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Scott Walker (R) is running for re-election, as Wisconsin has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Wyoming gubernatorial election, 2014

On January 29, 2013, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill announced that she was considering a bid for Governor of Wyoming in 2014. Hill, a Republican, was prompted to enter the race after incumbent Matt Mead signed a bill that relegates the elected office of state superintendent of education to a ceremonial position, reassigning leadership over the Department of Education to an education director post, selected by gubernatorial appointment. Hill subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the constitutionality of the law.[162] She said her decision to run for governor was driven by the swell of public support she has received in response to the lawsuit.[163]

See also

Additional Reading


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