The Executive Summary: Utah's Greg Bell becomes fourth lieutenant governor to resign this year

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September 19, 2013

Edited by Greg Janetka

Welcome to the latest edition of The Executive Summary!

This week we highlight Utah Lieutenant Governor Greg Bell’s surprise resignation announcement and take a look at governor’s recent overseas jaunts. Meanwhile, Utah Attorney General John Swallow is cleared in a federal bribery investigation (but still faces multiple state-level investigations) and Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gets some good new in his bid for re-election. Plus we’ll run down the latest appointments and resignations along with 2013/14 election news, and test your knowledge of agriculture commissioners.

Utah Lieutenant Governor announces resignation

Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell

Gregory Bell (R), who has served as Lieutenant Governor of Utah since September 1, 2009, announced on Monday that he would be resigning the position to return to the private sector in order to be able to save money for retirement. Regarding the decision, 64-year-old Bell stated, “It really couldn’t have been a better job. It’s time for me to just move on to the next phase of my life.”[1]

While the lieutenant governor earns $105,000 a year plus benefits, Bell, a former real estate attorney, said the recession and difficult real estate market left him with numerous financial liabilities. Bell plans to remain in the position until a replacement is named by Gov. Gary Herbert and confirmed by the state Senate. Herbert’s deputy chief of staff Ally Isom said the governor is hoping to put forth a nominee in October or November.[2]

As of 2012, compensation for lieutenant governors ranged from $7,200 in Texas all the way up to $153,907 in Pennsylvania, with a national average of $93,892. Bell will be the fourth lieutenant governor to resign this year. Nebraska's Rick Sheehy (R) left following a scandal involving use of his state-issued mobile phone to make thousands of personal phone calls to women other than his wife over the previous four years.[3] Jennifer Carroll (R) resigned her position in Florida on March 13, after named as a subject of interest in her affiliation with Allied Veterans of the Worlds, who were found to be operating illegal gambling companies.[4] Finally, Tim Murray (D) of Massachusetts resigned his seat effective June 2, in order to lead the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce.[5]

Governors abroad

Watchdog group Integrity Florida recently criticized Gov. Rick Scott (R) for his overseas trips - since taking office in 2011, the governor has led nine overseas trade missions. His most recent was to the Paris Air Show in France, taking a delegation of 100 community, business and political representatives at a cost to taxpayers of $332,659. Enterprise Florida, the state’s marketing and business incentive organization, predicted an estimated $172 million in revenue from the trip, but did not provide details of where that would come from.[6]

While the cost/benefit debate of such trips is ongoing, Scott is certainly not alone in recent days. Governors Pat Quinn (D) of Illinois, Rick Snyder (R) of Michigan, Scott Walker (R) of Wisconsin and Terry Branstad (R) of Iowa were all in Japan last week for the 45th annual joint meeting between the Japan-Midwest U.S. and Midwest U.S.-Japan associations.[7] Branstad’s delegation went on to India, while Snyder headed to China. Branstad summed up the reasoning behind these trips, saying, “it’s important to plant these seeds, let them know what Iowa has to offer. You’ve got to take the long view of this.”[8]

Meanwhile, New England governors, including Maine’s Paul LePage (R), Vermont’s Peter Shumlin (D), Connecticut’s Dannel Malloy (D), Rhode Island’s Lincoln Chafee (D) and New Hampshire’s Maggie Hassan (D), headed to Canada last week to meet with Eastern Canadian premiers in Quebec. The conference, now in its 37th year, focused on energy issues.[9]

Last month, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal (R) led a delegation of some 40 government and business representatives to China and Japan,[10] while Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) spent a week in India.[11] California Governor Jerry Brown (D) made headlines earlier this year with a high-profile trip to China.[12]

[edit]

Utah Attorney General cleared in federal bribery investigation

Utah Attorney General John Swallow

John Swallow (R) has been plagued with controversies ever since he took office as Attorney General of Utah in January of this year. On September 12 the federal bribery investigation against him ended without any charges filed. The case first made headlines shortly after the November 2012 election when businessman Jeremy Johnson, who is accused of mail fraud, bank fraud and money laundering, claimed Swallow arranged a deal to pay Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to make the federal investigation on the matter disappear.[13]

On May 6, 2013, the U.S. Attorney's Office for Utah was removed from the case without providing a reason, leaving The Public Integrity Section of the Department of Justice to continue the investigation."[14] The agency did not offer any comment on their decision to end the case. Swallow responded to the news, saying, "I knew at the time that I hadn't done anything wrong. And now the people of Utah know that they can trust their attorney general."[15]

Several other investigations into Swallow remain pending. These include a probe of Swallow’s office by two county district attorneys, two complaints against Swallow under review by the Utah State Bar, an investigation into possible campaign law violations by the state elections office, and an investigation by an House committee.[16]

Pat Quinn’s lucky break

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn

Incumbent Governor of Illinois Pat Quinn’s re-election woes in 2014, have centered on the concern that he might fail to win the Democratic nomination in the primary. In a Democratic-trifecta state like Illinois, the threat from fellow members of his party -- namely, William "Bill" Daley, a past U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff and attorney general Lisa Madigan -- loomed large over the beleaguered governor.

By September 2013, however, Quinn has managed to dodge both challenger-bullets. First, Madigan, who had been expected to enter the primary race, announced that she would instead seek re-election to her current post.[17][18][19] Daley subsequently declared his bid, but then abruptly exited the race for reasons which he did not immediately specify. Daley cited an unanticipated "enormity" factor to the that drove the decision, telling reporters, "I've lost sleep ... and struggling over the last couple weeks over whether or not what's needed I can provide over a long period," he said. "It's not about a campaign of 6 months or 14 months. It really is about a minimum of 5 to nine years to begin to straighten out this state."[20]

Daley's withdrawal from the Democratic primary field marked a veritable coup for Quinn, whose bleak prospects for winning a second term stand to improve considerably in the absence of a strong primary challenge.[21] Indeed, Daley's early donor reports showed his promise as a campaigner. He raised $800,000 in the three week period bridging the exploratory and formal launch phases of his gubernatorial bid. The Associated Press called Daley "a member of Chicago's first political family,"[19] being the brother and son of two of Chicago's longest-reigning and most influential mayors.

Quinn is the fifth out of a total of forty-six previous Illinois lt. 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 next year.[22]

Candidates from the Republican end include state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. So far, polls have shown Rutherford as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination.[23]

Peter Michael

Interim Wyoming Attorney General permanently named to position

Peter Michael (R), who had been serving as the interim Attorney General of Wyoming since July 22, was officially appointed to the post on a permanent basis by Gov. Matt Mead (R) on September 5. The previous officeholder, Gregory Phillips, was confirmed for a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit on July 8, 2013. Michael previously served as deputy attorney general under Phillips.[24][25]

Mead said in a speech at the announcement that “Pete is an outstanding attorney, an outstanding individual and it has been a pleasure to work with him over the last two and a half years. I am pleased to have him as Wyoming’s next Attorney General.”[26]

Dan Sullivan

Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources resigns, probably to pursue U.S. Senate seat

On September 11, 2013, Alaska Commissioner of Natural Resources Daniel S. Sullivan announced his intention to step down from the commissioner's post. In his resignation letter to Gov. Parnell, Sullivan cited vague plans "to explore new opportunities and challenges in the next phase of my life."[27] Sullivan's decision amplified preexisting speculation that he is preparing to launch a campaign for U.S. Senate in 2014. Though he has been serving in a nonpartisan capacity for over two years, Sullivan's prospective run would be on the Republican ticket, targeting the seat now held by Democratic Sen. Mark Begich.[28] His resignation is effective September 24, 2013.

Sullivan was appointed commissioner by Governor Sean Parnell in December 2010. He was unanimously confirmed by the Alaska Legislature the following April.[29]

Before assuming the role of natural resources commissioner, Sullivan served as the Republican Attorney General of Alaska from June 2009 until December 2010. He was appointed attorney general in June 2009 by then-Governor Sarah Palin.[30] He resigned from his post in early-December 2010 after Gov. Parnell tapped him to head the state's Department of Natural Resources.[31][32]

In Alaska, the natural resources commissioner’s term is not fixed as he serves at the pleasure of the sitting governor.[33]

Margaret Cheney

State Representative named to Vermont Public Service Board

Democratic state legislator Margaret Cheney was named to the Vermont Public Service Board by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) on September 16, 2013. She will be resigning her seat in the House and starting in her new position on October 1, 2013.[34] Cheney, who has served Windsor-Orange 2 in the Vermont House of Representatives since 2007, will replace David Coen on the Board. Coen is retiring after serving 18 years in the position.[35]

See also: State executive official elections, 2013
State Executive Official Elections Results in 2013
Office Incumbent Incumbent Party Incumbent Running? 2013 Winner Partisan switch?
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie Ends.png Republican Yes Pending
Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno Ends.png Republican Yes Pending
Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell Ends.png Republican No Pending
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Bill Bolling Ends.png Republican No Pending
Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli Ends.png Republican No (running for governor) Pending
Superintendent of Wisconsin Tony Evers Grey.png Nonpartisan Yes Tony Evers No
Mark your calendar
DateEvent
November 5General election in New Jersey and Virginia


There are three states holding state executive official elections in 2013 -- New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin. A total of six officials will be elected. The attention-grabbing positions up for election are Governor of New Jersey and Governor of Virginia. Both made The Washington Post’s list of the top 5 races to watch in 2013.

Wisconsin

The first state executive election in 2013 took place in Wisconsin on April 2, 2013. Incumbent Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers won re-election to a second term against challenger Don Pridemore.[36] Evers, a career educator, handily defeated Don Pridemore, a Wisconsin State Assemblyman since 2005. Although the Superintendent of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan position, Evers is a Democrat and Pridemore is a Republican.

The race attracted considerable buzz in the lead-up to the election, owing in large part to the controversial education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his 2013-2015 budget plan, as well as Pridemore's penchant for provoking the media - with dramatic pronouncements about his campaign agenda or else by creating a blacklist of a number of "liberal"[37] political reporters.[38][39]

Evers received over 61% of the vote, equalling 487,030 votes. This figure points to Evers' growth in popularity since his initial election to the post back in 2009, when he won 439,248 votes and a roughly 15 percentage point victory over a different single challenger, Rose Fernandez.

Below are the official results of the superintendent race, certified by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board on April 23.[40]

Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Non-partisan Green check mark transparent.pngTony Evers Incumbent 61.1% 487,030
     Non-partisan Don Pridemore 38.7% 308,050
     Scattering Various 0.2% 1,431
Total Votes 796,511
Election Results via Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.

Virginia

Governor

Current Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell (R) is ineligible to run for re-election in 2013 because of term limits. The term limits Virginia imposes on its governors are more strict than any other state in the country: under the commonwealth's constitution, no governor may serve back-to-back terms. This means that McDonnell, unlike other governors in their first term, is ineligible to run for re-election until a full term has passed.

There are no such term limits on the attorney general, and many were surprised at current AG Ken Cuccinelli's (R) decision to run for governor rather than seek another term. If not for Cuccinelli, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling would have been the frontrunner for the Republican nomination to succeed McDonnell.[41] Due to the decision by the Republican Party of Virginia Virginia to change their candidate nomination method from open primary election to closed nominating convention starting in 2013, and "tea party darling" Cuccinelli's presence in the race, Bolling withdrew his bid for the GOP nod in November 2012. .[42][43] About the alternative of seeking re-election to his current post, Bolling stated that, “Under normal circumstances, I would be open to the possibility of running for another term as lieutenant governor, but I would not be interested in running on a statewide ticket with Mr. Cuccinelli.”[44] He later said he regretted dropping out of the race as early as he did.[45]

McDonnell had previously pledged his support for Bolling's candidacy- in part because Bolling refrained from challenging McDonnell for governor in 2009. After Bolling bowed out, McDonnell chose to endorse fellow Republican Cuccinelli for his successor, despite Cuccinelli's outspoken opposition to McDonnell's Transportation Initiative, which is considered to be the centerpiece of his gubernatorial legacy. Ironically, Cuccinelli's future general election opponent, former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe, has been equally outspoken on the issue, but as an advocate and defender of the outgoing governor's approach to amending the state's transportation funding policy.[46][47][48]

In response to the major party picks, the Libertarian Party held a special convention and nominated Robert Sarvis as the party's official gubernatorial candidate.[49]

Like Cuccinelli and Sarvis, McAuliffe faced no primary contest. As of September 2013, McAuliffe is comfortably leading Cuccinelli and Sarvis in polls and funds. Aggregated polling data show the Democratic nominee with an average edge of seven percentage points edge over Cuccinelli.[50] The most recent campaign finance reporting cycle ended with McAuliffe holding $5 million in cash on hand, nearly double the amount in Cuccinelli's warchest, and Sarvis trailing both with a reported $19,110 cash on hand.[51][52]

The three contenders will square off in the general election on November 5, 2013.[53]

On August 2, 2013, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA) revealed government documents implicating McAuliffe in a possible investment fraud being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (S.E.C.). Grassley's findings that McAuliffe received special treatment from a high-ranking immigration official further entrenched the candidate in the controversy surrounding Greentech Automotive, a failed electric car company which he founded. Due to its poor performance and its employment of Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother, who handled the company's capital and is thus the target of the investigation, the now well-publicized environmental venture marks a blemish on the McAuliffe-campaign platform: to reinvigorate the state's economy using his business knowledge and experience as a successful job creator. Developments linking McAuliffe to the suspected fraud has made that blemish more pronounced, though polls continue to disprove initial theories that it would severely threaten his chances of overtaking Cuccinelli in the November general election. Cuccinelli had been the beleaguered candidate of the pair up until the Greentech S.E.C. investigation scandal broke and opened McAuliffe up for criticism regarding his history of "mingling politics and business."[54] Still, the latest polls indicate the Democrat has not lost his edge.


Governor of Virginia: All candidates
Poll Terry McAuliffe (D) Ken Cuccinelli (R)Robert Sarvis (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Roanoke University Poll
(July 8-14, 2013)
31%37%5%27%+/-4.3525
Public Policy Polling
(July 11-14, 2013)
41%37%7%5%+/-4.0601
Emerson College Poll
(August 23-28, 2013)
45%35%10%11%+/-3.8653
League of Women Voters/Public Policy Polling
(August 27-28, 2013)
44%37%9%9%+/--500
Quinnipiac University Poll
(September 9-15, 2013)
44%41%7%6%+/-3.11,005
Harper Polling/Conservative Intel
(September 15-16, 2013)
42%37%10%11%+/-3.51779
AVERAGES 41.17% 37.33% 8% 11.5% +/-2.09 677.17
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


Governor of Virginia: Cuccinelli v. McAuliffe (June 2013 - present)
Poll Terry McAuliffe (D) Ken Cuccinelli (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports Poll
(June 5-6, 2013)
44%41%12%+/-3.01,000
Quinnipiac University Poll
(July 11-15, 2013)
43%39%16%+/-3.11,030
Quinnipiac University Poll
(August 14-19, 2013)
48%42%9%+/-2.91,129
Internal Poll
(August 13-18, 2013)
48%44%8%+/-4.0600
Rasmussen Reports
(September 3-4, 2013)
45%38%10%+/-3.0998
Purple Strategies Poll
(September 6-10, 2013)
43%38%19%+/-3.5800
AVERAGES 45.17% 40.33% 12.33% +/-3.25 926.17
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org
Governor of Virginia: Cuccinelli v. McAuliffe (February 2013 - May 2013)
Poll Terry McAuliffe (D) Ken Cuccinelli (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University
(Feb. 14-18, 2013)
38%38%21%+/-2.01,112
Roanoke College Poll
(April 8-14, 2013)
29%34%38%+/-3.9629
Washington Post (Registered Voters)
(April 29-May 2, 2013)
41%46%13%+/-4.0887
Washington Post (Likely Voters)
(April 29-May 2, 2013)
41%51%8%+/-5.0663
NBC News/Marist Poll
(April 28-May 2, 2013)
43%41%16%+/-3.01,095
Quinnipiac University
(May 8-13, 2013)
43%38%17%+/-2.71,286
Public Policy Polling
(May 24-26, 2013)
42%37%21%+/-3.8672
AVERAGES 39.57% 40.71% 19.14% +/-3.49 906.29
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Lieutenant Governor

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling (R) is not seeking re-election this year. Nine candidates filed to fill the imminently-open executive seat, including two Democrats and seven Republicans. State Sen. Ralph Northam defeated Aneesh Chopra for the Democratic Party's nomination for lieutenant governor in the June 11 primary election.[55] Northam's general election opponent is Republican E.W. Jackson. Jackson was nominated by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 17-18.[56]

Jackson's convention win marked the first time since Maurice Dawkins' nomination a quarter of a century ago that Virginia Republicans nominated an African-American for statewide office.[57] A minister at a non-denominational church and relatively new member of the Republican Party, Jackson edged out six primary opponents by emphasizing his commitment to hallmark conservative issues such as smaller government, gun rights and traditional family values. He appealed to the delegation with the promise, "We will not only win an election in November, we will open the hearts and minds of our people and save this commonwealth and save this country."[58]

Jackson was an unwelcome choice for the state's Republican establishment from the start, despite his post-convention promise, thanks to his refusal to divert from, or water down the rhetoric of, his "liberty agenda." The agenda contains the issues mentioned above, none of which are earth-shattering stances for a conservative; Jackson is anti-Obamacare, pro-Second Amendment and anti-federal overreach. His approach to delivering these messages, however, has raised more concerns - as well as eyebrows - from the party than was originally anticipated. In August, Jackson referred to the Democratic Party as the "anti-God party" because of its supportive position on same-sex marriage and abortion, cementing his reputation for being impermeable to warnings about how his often inflammatory rhetoric might alienate swing voters or more moderate Republican voters heading into the general election. Then on Sept. 4, The Washington Post reported that his independent streak also extends to his behind the scenes campaign style. Since securing the nomination in May, Jackson has not taken advantage of the Virginia Republican Party's massive pool of campaign resources. He has declined offers to utilize the party's voter databases and related logistical tools in addition to field office venues across the state- a "virtually unheard-of forfeiture of resources for a statewide candidate."[59]

On the Democratic end, Northam, a pediatric neurologist who was first elected to the state legislature's upper chamber in 2008, wants to win the lt. governor's office in order to restore Democratic control over the state senate. His campaign has also focused on improving education and creating jobs in energy efficiency, in addition to reversing the direction the Republican leadership has taken the state on women's health issues. "Their crusades to shut down reproductive health centers and to mandate costly and invasive medical procedures for women seeking abortions have embarrassed the Commonwealth, and have inserted government between doctors and their patients."[60][61]

The most recent campaign finance reporting cycle ended on Aug. 31, with Northam maintaining an ample fundraising lead over Jackson, to add to the consistent edge he has shown in the polls. Jackson's remarkable refusal to accept assistance from the Republican Party has no doubt hindered him from overtaking Northam in money and/or voter support. His proven difficulties adhering to the state board of elections' filing protocols, having twice needed to amend his documentation of loans or donations, likewise does not bode favorably for the GOP nominee heading into the home stretch of the campaign.[62][63]

Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
Poll Ralph Northam (D) E.W. Jackson (R)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Poll
(May 24-26, 2013)
35%29%36%+/-3.8672
Roanoke University Poll
(July 8-14, 2013)
30%28%41%+/-4.3525
Public Policy Poll
(July 11-14, 2013)
42%35%23%+/-4.0601
AVERAGES 35.67% 30.67% 33.33% +/-4.03 599.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org

Attorney General

In March 2013, Governing magazine rated Virginia's open attorney general seat as "vulnerable" heading into the 2013-2014 elections because incumbent Republican Ken Cuccinelli is not running for re-election.[64]

The race to replace Cuccinelli began at the primary nomination stage; both Republican convention and Democratic election candidates drew primary contests. On May 18, two "strong fiscal and social conservatives"[64] -- state Sen. Mark Obenshain and state Rep. Rob Bell -- competed for delegate votes at the Republican Party of Virginia's closed nominating convention, which Obenshain won.[65] The nominee's late father, GOP politician Richard Obenshain, died in a plane crash during his 1978 campaign for U.S. Senate. Obenshain will square off against state Sen. Mark Herring in the general election. Herring defeated former assistant U.S. Attorney for Virginia Justin Fairfax in the Democratic primary election, which took place on June 11, 2013.[66][64]


Attorney General of Virginia
Poll Mark Herring (D) Mark Obenshain (R)Not sureMargin of ErrorSample Size
Public Policy Poll
(May 24-28, 2013)
33%32%34%+/-3.8672
Roanoke University Poll
(July 8-14, 2013)
29%33%38%+/-4.3525
Public Policy Poll
(July 11-14, 2013)
38%36%25%+/-4.0601
AVERAGES 33.33% 33.67% 32.33% +/-4.03 599.33
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


New Jersey

General election

(gov & lt. gov running-mate listed together)

[67]

Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono faced one challenger each in the primary election on June 4, though ultimately neither presented much of a challenge. Both won their respective party nominations with roughly 90% of the vote.[81][82]

Former Atlantic City Councilman Seth Grossman was the sole Republican to brave a run against the popular first term governor, whose star has long been on the rise but turned meteoric in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Grossman's campaign criticized Christie for being overly moderate, while Buono's opponent Troy Webster, adviser to the mayor of East Orange, believed he was uniquely suited to making New Jersey friendlier to "the working poor and middle class families who have been literally 'thrown under the bus.'"[83] Grossman and Webster were endorsed by the weekly publication NJ Today.[84]

In New Jersey, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a lieutenant gubernatorial running mate to share the ticket with in the general election. Immediately after launching his re-election campaign, Christie secured his current Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno as his running mate, while Buono waited until July 29 to formally announce her choice of union leader Milly Silva as her running mate. Silva is the executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East.[85][86] The two-woman ticket will be up against incumbent Republican governor/lt. governor pair Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in addition to a number of third party opponents in the general election contest taking place November 5, 2013.

Christie is heavily favored to win re-election, with his campaign raising nearly double that of Buono's in the primary and maintaining a decisive lead in the polls up to the present.[87][88] He also has bipartisan support, which is crucial in a state where Democrats outnumber Republicans by over 700,000, according to party registration statistics provided by the New Jersey Department of State.[89]

Since 1977, New Jersey gubernatorial primary and general election candidates can qualify for a public funding program whereby candidates who raise a minimum amount of money are dispensed tax-generated funds, controlled by the state election law enforcement commission, in direct proportion to campaign donations given from the public. In 2013, the qualifying sum for primary gubernatorial candidates is $380,000.[90] The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections. On February 2, 2013, then-presumptive Democratic nominee Barbara Buono's campaign reported that it had surpassed the $380,000 mark.[91] By that time, Christie's campaign had already raised $2 million. Unlike in 2009, Christie declined to use matching funds in the 2013 primary, but he decided in August to opt into the program for the general election phase. Under the program, Christie is eligible for an additional $8 million, approximately. The terms also state that he must participate in two debates with Buono before Nov. 5.[91][92]

The New Jersey gubernatorial election was rated by the Washington Post as one of the top five races to watch in 2013.[93]

New Jersey Governor's Race 2013
Poll Barbara Buono (D) Chris Christie* (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Quinnipiac University Poll
April 19-22, 2013
26%58%13%+/-2.91,112
NBC News/Marist Poll
April 28-May 2, 2013
28%60%10%+/-3.01,080
Quinnipiac University Poll
July 2-7, 2013
29%61%7%+/-3.01,068
Quinnipiac University Poll
August 1-5, 2013
30%58%8%+/-2.22,042
Monmouth University/Asbury Park Press Poll
August 15-18, 2013
36%56%6%+/-3.5777
Farleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll
August 21-27, 2013
26%50%24%+/-3.7700
Rasmussen Reports Poll
September 10-11, 2013
32%58%8%+/-3.0999
Rutgers-Eagleton Poll
September 3-9, 2013
35%55%8%+/-4.1568
AVERAGES 30.25% 57% 10.5% +/-3.18 1,043.25
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to editor@ballotpedia.org


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
DateEvent
December 2Candidate filing deadline in Illinois (major parties)
December 9Candidate filing deadline in Texas (major parties)
January 28, 2014Candidate filing deadline in Kentucky (major parties)


Notable candidates

  • South Dakota Secretary of State Jason Gant (R) announced on September 11 that he would not be seeking a second term in office, saying he accomplished his goals and “was ready to start a new adventure.”[94] Since taking office in 2011 he has faced criticism from all sides - conservatives criticized him for endorsing Rep. Val Rausch over a sitting state senator in 2012, while both sides of the aisle said he mishandled nominating petitions in 2012. Additionally, a judge forced Gant to reprint voter guides, saying not enough was done to solicit opposition statements to a proposed constitutional amendment. State Sen. Shantel Krebs has said she plans to run for the Republicans in 2014.[95]
  • Iowa Senator Jack Hatch formally launched his bid for Governor of Iowa on September 16, becoming the third candidate - after Tyler Olson and Bob Krause - in the Democratic primary field. Hatch hopes to oust veteran Republican Gov. Terry Branstad in next year’s general election.[96][97][98]
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley announced her bid for the soon-to-be opened seat of governor this Monday, exactly one year before the state is scheduled to hold its primary election. Her entry into the 2014 gubernatorial race surprised nobody, even though it meant reneging on her April 2012 promise to run for a third term as AG.[99]
  • In May 2013, two months after stating his intention to run for a second term as Colorado Secretary of State, Republican Scott Gessler suspended his re-election campaign and formed an exploratory committee to allow him to begin raising money for a potential gubernatorial run, confirming rumors he had designs on replacing Democratic incumbent John Hickenlooper in the top office. Gessler finally announced his bid on September 17, 2013, becoming the third declared candidate in Republican primary race after former U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo and state Sen. Greg Brophy.[100]

Gus Douglass

252px-Question book-3 trans.png

Q. Who is the longest serving state Agriculture Commissioner in U.S. History?

Answer: In terms of total years served in the position, no one beats West Virginia’s Gus Douglass (D) who can count some 44 years as agriculture commissioner. He was first elected in 1964 and served until 1988 when he unsuccessfully ran for governor. Douglass was once again elected in 1992 and served until retiring in 2012.[101]

In terms of consecutive years in office, that title goes to Georgia’s Tommy Irvin (D). First appointed to the position in 1969, Irvin won election in 1970 and was returned to the office by voters nine more times. Retiring in 2011, he served nearly 42 consecutive years as agriculture commissioner.[102]

References

  1. HJNews, "Utah Lt. Gov. to resign, cites financial needs," September 16, 2013
  2. Deseret News, “Utah Lt. Gov. Greg Bell stepping down,” September 16, 2013
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