The Executive Summary: Dust settles following the general election

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November 14, 2013

Edited by Greg Janetka

This edition of The Executive Summary features a wrap-up of last week’s elections, including the latest details in the race for Virginia Attorney General, which is all but destined for a recount. With this year’s handful of state executive races in the books, we can fully turn our attention to the 217 races taking place in 42 states next year. The first official candidates are currently turning in their papers in Texas, where filing began on Saturday. Meanwhile, new ballot access rules for third parties bring lawsuits in Ohio, North Dakota gets a new Tax Commissioner, and, as always, we’ve got a nugget of trivia for you.

2013 wrap-up

Four elections for five statewide positions took place in two states on November 5. Here’s a quick wrap-up as the dust continues to settle.

New Jersey Governor/Lt. Governor

In New Jersey voters overwhelmingly handed the Republican team of Gov. Chris Christie and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno a second term in office. With Christie’s re-election never in doubt, the main focus has not been on the 2013 race but rather on the 2016 Presidential race. While Christie has dismissed speculation on the race, a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released this week showed 59 percent New Jersey voters expect him to run, but only 36 percent said they believe his persona would be well-received nationally.[1] An NBC News poll released Tuesday asked Republicans and Republican leaners if they would vote for Christie or someone else in a primary - 32 percent said Christie with 31 percent saying someone else.[2] If he were to resign to run for the presidency he would be automatically suceeded by the little-known Guadagno.[3]

Virginia Governor

In what turned out to be a closer race than expected, Terry McAuliffe (D) defeated Ken Cuccinelli (R) by roughly 56,000 votes. Many Republicans were quick to blame the loss on Libertarian Robert Sarvis, who got some 146,000 votes. Exit polling, however, showed McAuliffe would have won even without Sarvis in the race.[4]

Throughout the campaign Politifact Virginia checked 27 statements made by the candidates in the race. The final totals, while perhaps not surprising to anyone who closely followed the negative campaign, were nonetheless noteworthy. Out of the 14 claims made by Cuccinelli that were checked, 10 were rated as Mostly False or worse. Similarly, 11 of the 13 claims made by McAuliffe that were checked rated Mostly False or worse. The only statement that received a True rating went to Cuccinelli back in January, when he said Virginia is the only state with a tradition of its attorneys general resigning when they run for governor. He made this pronouncement after saying he would not be stepping down as attorney general in order to run.[5]

Virginia Lieutenant Governor

To no one’s surprise, Democratic State Senator Ralph Northam easily defeated Republican E.W. Jackson in the race for the state’s number two spot.[6] Winning a surprise victory at the Virginia Republican convention, Jackson became known for his controversial comments, including anti-gay remarks.[7] Following his defeat, Jackson announced he will be reviving his organization Staying True to America’s National Destiny, also known as STAND. The group describes itself as “dedicated to preserving life, the traditional family and our Judeo-Christian history and values as the foundation of our Constitution and culture.”[8]

Virginia Attorney General

With provisional ballots from Fairfax County added to the vote totals yesterday, unofficial results in the race for Virginia Attorney General show Democrat Mark Herring with a 164 vote lead over Republican Mark Obenshain. Taking the lead, Herring declared victory in the race and named his transition team. Obenshain, however, did not concede and went on to name his own transition team. While a recount is expected, the losing candidate cannot call for one until the vote is certified by the State Board of Elections, which is scheduled to take place November 25. If Herring is ultimately declared the winner it would be the first time a Democrat has been elected to the office since 1989 and the first time Democrats would hold all five statewide offices since 1969.[9]

For full details on the race and the pending recount, see Virginia attorney general election, 2013.


Candidates begin filing in Texas

The first day of filing for candidates seeking statewide office in 2014 took place last Saturday in Texas with frontrunners Greg Abbott (R) and Wendy Davis (D) making their gubernatorial bids official by signing their applications and paying the $3,750 filing fee. Also filing in the race were Republicans Miriam Martinez and Lisa Fritsch, and Democrat Reynaldo "Ray" Madrigal. The filing period for the March 4, 2014 primary runs through December 9.[10][11] Third parties and Independents have until June 2014 to file while write-ins have until August 2014.[12]

The next state to start its filing period is Illinois. Candidates in the Land of Lincoln can begin filing on November 25.[13]

Ohio Libertarians sue over new ballot-access rules

On November 6 the Ohio State Legislature approved new ballot-access requirements for third-parties. It passed the House by a vote of 51-43 and the Senate 21-12, with Gov. John Kasich (R) signing it into law on within hours. Republicans, who rushed the bill through, argued it is an overdue replacement for the state’s minor-party law that was struck down by federal courts in 2006. Kevin Knedler, chairman of the Libertarian Party of Ohio, said the law appears to be aimed at keeping Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl off the ballot. He and other critics refer to the law as the “Kasich Re-election Protection Act.” Democrats criticized the bill for limiting ballot access.[14] They also called on Kasich to delay signing the bill so that it would not take effect for the 2014 filing deadline, thereby showing it wasn’t a partisan effort to help his re-election. Unhappy with Kasich’s performance, tea party supporters have threatened to back a third-party candidate.[15]

The state Libertarian Party filed suit over the rules on November 8, arguing they unconstitutionally block the party's access to the ballot in 2014 by preventing them from holding a 2014 party primary, stripping their party of recognition, and preventing their candidates from running. The state Green Party is also considering a lawsuit, as is a Green congressional candidate. The new rules dictate minor parties must collect 28,000 valid signatures by July 2014 to retain official recognition. Upon meeting the requirement they would submit a list of candidates to the state, rather than holding regular party primaries.[16]

New North Dakota Tax Commissioner named

On November 8, Gov. Jack Dalrymple (R) named Ryan Rauschenberger to lead the office of the North Dakota Tax Commissioner effective January 1, 2014.[17] He will take over from Cory Fong (R) who announced last month that he would be leaving at the end of the year to join Odney Advertising's public affairs division.[18]

North Dakota is the only state to have an elected tax commissioner. The position will be up in the November 2014 election.

See also: State executive official elections, 2014

Ballotpedia has counted and is currently tracking a total of 217 state executive positions in 42 states that will be on the ballot next year. That is more than double the number of positions that were elected in 2012, when 94 positions were elected. The eight states that are not holding executive official elections in 2014 are Kentucky, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Utah, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

The offices up for election include:

Mark your calendar
November 25Candidate filing begins in Illinois
December 2Candidate filing deadline in Illinois (major parties)
December 9Candidate filing deadline in Texas (major parties)

Notable candidates

  • Former Republican governor and newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist finally launched his long-anticipated bid to challenge incumbent Rick Scott on Nov. 4, 2013 - exactly one year prior to when the 2014 general election will take place.[19]
  • With historically low statewide approval ratings, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett (R) kicked off his re-election on November 6. He is running under the slogan of “Promises Kept.”[20][21] In April of this year The New York Times rated Corbett as the 5th most vulnerable governor in 2014 based on approval ratings.[22] Since then his approval woes have continued, with a recent poll from Franklin and Marshall College showing only 20 percent of voters think Corbett deserves a second term.[23]
  • With Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon running for Illinois Comptroller in 2014, Lt. Gov Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn had to find a new running-mate. Last week, he selected former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas to join his re-election campaign.
  • Former Georgia Senator Connie Stokes (D) had initially declared her candidacy for the office of Georgia Governor back in September 2013, but later withdrew her bid in deference to state Sen. Jason Carter (D), who entered the gubernatorial race on November 7, 2013.[24] Stokes promptly announced her intention to instead seek the 2014 Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor and endorsed Carter for governor.[25]
  • The Minnesota governor’s race earned another potentially serious competitor this week with 2010 gubernatorial candidate Marty Seifert announcing he will seek the GOP endorsement again in 2014.[26]

252px-Question book-3 trans.png

Q. How many times have major parties ran a dual-female ticket for governor and lieutenant governor in the general election?

Answer: Three

The first time two women ran in the general election on a major party ticket for governor and lieutenant governor was in Illinois in 1994. That year Democratic state comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch became the first woman nominated by a major party in the state to run for governor. She chose State Senator Penny Severns as her running mate. In a strong year for Republicans, the Netsch/Severns ticket lost, taking in only 34 percent of the vote. Following her death in March of this year from Lou Gehring’s disease at age 86, Jim Edgar, who won the governorship that year, said Netsch “was one of our state's most influential public officials, and she was likely the most influential woman in Illinois state government over the last 50 years."[27] During the 1994 campaign Severns was diagnosed with breast cancer, which ultimately took her life at age 46 in 2009. She had dropped out of the race for Illinois Secretary of State two days prior to her death.[28]

The second dual-female ticket took place in Kentucky in 2009 with the Republican team of public relations executive Peppy Martin for governor and Taylor County school board member Wanda Cornelius for lt. governor. They lost in a landslide to incumbent Paul E. Patton, the first governor eligible to run for a second consecutive term due to a change in the state’s constitution. In 2003 Martin made an unsuccessful bid for Kentucky Auditor of Public Accounts.[29]

The third instance took place this year in New Jersey where the ticket of State Sen. Barbara Buono and union executive Milly Silva lost in their challenge to Gov. Chris Christie’ s bid for a second term.[30] Buono was the first female Democratic nominee for governor in the state.[31]


  1., “N.J. voters say Chris Christie will run in 2016 but question how his persona will play, poll shows,” November 12, 2013
  2. Huffington Post, “ Poll Reveals Just How Divided Republicans Are over Chris Christie Running for President,” November 12, 2013
  3. North, “Kim Guadagno: The woman who could be governor,” November 3, 2013
  4. Washington Post, “Robert Sarvis didn’t cost Ken Cuccinelli the Virginia governor’s race,” November 7, 2013
  5. Politifact, “Cuccinelli and McAuliffe fared poorly on the Truth-O-Meter,” November 4, 2013
  6. NBC News, “ Democrat to win Lieutenant Governor’s race in Va.” November 5, 2013
  7. Huffington Post, “VA Election Results: Ralph Northam Beats E.W. Jackson in Lieutenant Governor’s Race,” November 5, 2013
  8. Daily Press, “E.W. Jackson to revive his advocacy group STAND,” November 8, 2013
  9. Times Dispatch, “Herring, Obenshain name transition teams,” November 13, 2013
  10. Star-Telegram, “ 2014 campaign now off and running in Texas,” November 9, 2013
  11. Texas Tribune, “ Candidates file for Governor,” November 9, 2013
  12. Politics1, “Texas,” accessed November 12, 2013
  13. Illinois State Board of Elections, “ 2014 Candidate Guide,” accessed November 12, 2013
  14. The Columbus Dispatch, “Kasich signs bill on ballot access for minor parties,” November 7, 2013
  15. The Republic, “ Libertarians in Ohio sue over constitutionality of new ballot access rules for third parties,” November 8, 2013
  16., “ Libertarians file legal challenge against Ohio’s new rules for minor political parties; Greens may follow suit,” November 8, 2013
  17. Bismarck Tribune, "Dalrymple appoints Rauschenberger as tax commissioner," November 8, 2013
  18. Bismarck Tribune, "Cory Fong leaving tax department," October 1, 2013
  19. The Sun Sentinel, "Charlie Christ Announces Candidacy For Florida's Governor, As A Democrat," November 4, 2014
  20. CBS Local, "Gov. Corbett Begins Tough Road of Re-Election Campaign," November 6, 2013
  21., "Corbett kicks off re-election campaign," November 7, 2013
  22. The New York Times, "Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014?," April 8, 2013
  23. CBS Local, "Corbett Will Seek A Second Term, Despite Terrible Approval Rating," November 6, 2013
  24. WABE 90.1FM, "Connie Stokes Steps Aside for Jason Carter; Will Run for Lt. Governor Instead," November 7, 2013
  25. Connie Stokes for Lieutenant Governor 2014 Official campaign website, "Homepage," accessed November 8, 2013
  26. Minn Post, "Marty Seifert will seek GOP endorsement for governor," November 12, 2013
  27. Chicago Tribune, “Dawn Clark Netsch: ‘Straight shooter’ was first Illinois woman to hold statewide office,” March 5, 2013
  28. CBS News, “Illinois State Sen. Severns Dies,” February 11, 2009
  29. Our Campaigns, “Martin, Josephine E. “Peppy”,” accessed November 13, 2013
  30. Center for American Women and Politics, “News from New Jersey: Two women top Democratic ticket for Governor in 2013,” July 30, 2013
  31. PolitickerNJ, “Barbara Buono’s Loss at the polls is still a victory for women,” November 13, 2013