The Executive Summary: Wisconsin Superintendent easily wins re-election

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April 4, 2013

Edited by Greg Janetka

MADISON, Wisconsin: This edition of The Executive Summary features a recap of this week's state executive election in Wisconsin - the first to take place this year. We also look at the latest high profile state executive to resign, update you on the rest of the races across the country and test your historical knowledge of governors.

Wisconsin superintendent re-elected

There was only one state executive position up for election in 2013 in the state of Wisconsin - State Superintendent of Public Instruction.[1] Incumbent Tony Evers was first elected in April 2009 and won re-election to a second term against challenger Don Pridemore on April 2, 2013.[2] 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 had attracted considerable buzz in the lead-up to Tuesday's election, owing in large part to the controversial education proposals put forth by Gov. Scott Walker (R) in his recently unveiled 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"[3] political reporters.[4][5]

As results began rolling in, Evers took an early lead and never looked back. With 100% reporting, results show Evers won by 486,241 to 308,039 - a difference of 178,202 votes. This unofficial figure points to Evers' growth in popularity since his initial election to the post back in 2009. Then, he earned 439,248 votes and scored a roughly 15 percentage point victory over a different single challenger, Rose Fernandez. The results also indicated an increasingly engaged public as approximately 14,000 more votes were cast this year than in 2009.

Incumbent Tony Evers won re-election as Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction on April 2, 2013.

Below are the unofficial results of the superintendent race, current as of April 4, 2013:

  • 2013 General election:
Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction General Election, 2013
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngTony Evers Incumbent 61.2% 486,241
     Nonpartisan Don Pridemore 38.8% 308,039
Total Votes 794,280
Election Results via Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

Jennifer Carroll

Florida Lt. Governor's office temporarily closed

On March 12, 2013, Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll tendered a letter to Gov. Rick Scott: "Effective immediately, I hereby resign the Office of Lieutenant Governor of the State of Florida. It has been an honor to have served the State of Florida in this capacity," she wrote.[6]

Roughly two weeks after Carroll stepped down amid scandal,[7] the Tampa Bay Times reported that Gov. Scott has closed the doors to the office of the state Lieutenant Governor, a financially motivated[8] decision which leaves four chief staffers - Carroll's former chief of staff, an executive assistant, scheduler, and manager of a satellite office - out of a job. According to a spokeswoman for Gov. Scott, the office's closure is temporary, pending the end of the current legislative session. The session is scheduled to end May 3, at which time Scott will begin the search for a new lieutenant governor. As governor, Scott is statutorily authorized to appoint a replacement to serve in Carroll's stead until her term's Jan. 2015 expiration date.[9]

This year's budget for the Lieutenant Governor's office was set at $510,000. The money saved during the intervening months before Scott appoints someone to fill the vacancy left by Carroll's untimely departure is expected to provide some relief to the fiscally strained state.[10][8]

Lawrence Rebman

Missouri Director of Labor named as judge

On March 18, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) announced that he was appointing Lawrence G. Rebman, who had served as Missouri Director of Labor and Industrial Relations since January 2009, as a Workers' Compensation Administrative Law Judge in Kansas City. Nixon stated, "This move will enable Larry to continue serving the people of Missouri in an important position, while letting him return to his hometown. I greatly appreciate what he has accomplished as a public servant so far, and take satisfaction in knowing that record will continue."[11]

Julie Gibson, the current Director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development's Division of Workforce Development, has been named as the acting Director of Labor.

James Guthrie

Nevada superintendent resigns

James Guthrie resigned as Nevada Superintendent of Public Instruction on March 29, four days prior to what would have been his one year anniversary in office. Guthrie’s resignation letter was just three sentences long and offered no explanation for leaving office. In a later phone interview he stated, “All I can say is I’m resigning, effective immediately. I just cannot tell you (the reason)."[12]

Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) named deputy Superintendent Rorie Fitzpatrick to serve as the interim officeholder until a permanent replacement can be appointed. Guthrie took office on April 2, 2012. The appointment marked the first time a Governor filled the position. Previously, the state board of education had made the appointments.[13]

In announcing Guthrie’s resignation, Sandoval stated, “Dr. Guthrie moved to Nevada and helped the state transition from an elected to an appointed Superintendent. I thank him for his service to our great state and I wish him the best.”Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; refs with no content must have a name


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 Chris Christie No
Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno Ends.png Republican Yes Kim Guadagno No
Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell Ends.png Republican No Terry McAuliffe Yes
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Bill Bolling Ends.png Republican No Ralph Northam Yes
Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli Ends.png Republican No Mark Herring Yes
Superintendent of Wisconsin Tony Evers Grey.png Nonpartisan Yes Tony Evers No

There are three states with regularly scheduled state executive official elections in 2013 -- New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin. A total of six offices are up for election, one of which - Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction - has already been decided. 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 five races to watch in 2013.

Mark your calendar
May 17-18Virginia Republican Party holds statewide primary convention
June 4New Jersey primary election
June 11Virginia Democratic primary election
November 5General election in New Jersey and Virginia


Heading into the 2013 election, all three state executive offices up for election this year in Virginia are occupied by Republicans, and none are seeking re-election to their current posts. Term-limited Governor Bob McDonnell cannot run, and Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli is vying to replace to him. Cuccinelli secured the GOP nomination for governor, being the only member of his party to file by the convention’s Jan. 13th deadline.[14]

Lieutenant governor Bill Bolling (R) had also been in the race, but he suspended his campaign on November 28, 2012, citing his slim chances beating Cuccinelli, the tea party favorite, in the newly instated closed primary convention setting. The Republican party of Virginia switched their method for selecting certain statewide office nominees.[15] Effective in 2013, the party nominates its gubernatorial, lt. gubernatorial, and attorney general candidates via convention (that is, delegate vote) rather than statewide primary election. Although Bolling was explicit about ending his pursuit of a place on the Republican ticket last November, he waited until March 12, 2013 before completely ruling out the possibility of running as an Independent candidate instead.[16]

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. Meanwhile, 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.[17][18][19]

Like Cuccinelli, McAuliffe faces no primary contest. The two contenders will square off in the general election on November 5, 2013.[20]

Seven Republican candidates filed for Bolling’s lt. governor seat, while two entered the race to replace Cuccinelli as attorney general by the Jan. 13 convention filing deadline. On Mar. 28, the signature filing window came to a close for Democratic primary candidates seeking their party’s nomination for governor, lt. governor, and attorney general. Democratic primary candidates will compete in the taxpayer funded primary election on June 11, while the Republican nominee will be voted on by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 18. The following list of candidates for both the Republican primary convention and the Democratic primary election is official as of March 28, 2013:

Governor candidates:

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates

Lieutenant Governor candidates:

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates
  • Republican Party Corey Stewart - Chairman of the Prince William County Board of Supervisors
  • Republican Party Jeannemarie Devolites-Davis (former State Senator)[26]
  • Republican Party Susan Stimpson - Chairwoman of the Stafford County Board of Supervisors
  • Republican Party E.W. Jackson - Chesapeake minister, former U.S. Senate candidate.

Attorney General candidates:

Democratic candidates
  • Democratic Party Justin Fairfax - Former assistant U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia[28]
Republican candidates

New Jersey

Election rating

In November 2012, the New Jersey gubernatorial election was rated by the Washington Post as one of the top five races to watch in 2013.[30] Christie's high-wattage presence notwithstanding, the contest never rose to the level of excitement originally anticipated. This was due in part to the decision of former Newark Mayor Cory Booker to run for U.S. Senate rather than attempt to oust Christie in 2013. Booker had long been considered the Democratic front-runner and best hope to take on the juggernaut incumbent, until announcing his — ultimately successful — Senate bid, and leaving comparatively unknown Democrats on their own to face Christie, whose upward career trajectory and bipartisan appeal made him a formidable opponent in the election.[31]


Incumbent Republican Gov. Chris Christie and Democratic state Sen. Barbara Buono each faced a single challenger in the primary election on June 4, although neither presented a substantial challenge at the polls; Christie and Buono won their respective party nominations with roughly 90 percent of the vote.[32][33]

Former Atlantic City Councilman Seth Grossman was the sole Republican to brave a run against the popular first-term governor, whose profile rose following the response to Hurricane Sandy. Grossman's campaign criticized Christie for being overly moderate, while Buono's opponent Troy Webster, advisor 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.'" Grossman and Webster were endorsed by the weekly publication NJ Today.[34]

Selection of running mates

In New Jersey, gubernatorial candidates have 30 days to select a lieutenant gubernatorial running mate with whom to share their ticket in the general election. Immediately after launching his re-election campaign, Christie secured his running mate, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno. Buono, meanwhile, waited until July 29 to formally announce her choice of union leader Milly Silva, the executive vice president of 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, as her running mate.[35][36] The two-woman ticket went up against incumbent pairing Chris Christie and Kim Guadagno in addition to a number of third-party opponents in the general election contest that took place on November 5, 2013.


Christie was heavily favored to win re-election, with his campaign raising nearly double that of Buono's in the primary and maintaining a decisive double-digit advantage in the polls throughout the election season.[37][38] In the final week before the general election, Christie boasted a staggering 24.3-point average polling lead.[39] He also had bipartisan support, which was crucial in a state where Democrats outnumbered Republicans by over 700,000, according to party registration statistics provided by the New Jersey Department of State.[40]

Public financing

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 was $380,000.[41] 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.[42] 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 in to the program for the general election phase. Under the program, Christie became eligible for an additional $8 million, approximately. The terms also required him to participate in two debates with Buono before the general election.[42][43]

The following list of candidates is official as of the April 1, 2013 primary candidate filing deadline.

Democratic candidates
Republican candidates

252px-Question book-3.jpg How many governors have served as a member of a third party since 1900?

  • Answer: 20
Name Party State Term in office
Wally Hickel Alaska Independence Party Alaska December 3, 1990 – December 5, 1994
Hiram Johnson Progressive Party California 1911 – March 15, 1917
Lowell Weicker A Connecticut Party Connecticut January 9, 1991 – 1995
Charlie Crist Independent (elected as a Republican) Florida January 2, 2007 – January 4, 2011
Sidney Johnston Catts Prohibition Party Florida January 2, 1917 – January 4, 1921
James B. Longley Independent Maine January 2, 1975 – January 3, 1979
Hjalmar Petersen Farmer-Laborer Minnesota August 24, 1936 – January 4, 1937
Arne Carlson Independent Republican Minnesota January 7, 1991 – January 4, 1999
Elmer Austin Benson Farmer-Laborer Minnesota January 4, 1937 – January 2, 1939
Floyd B. Olson Farmer-Laborer Minnesota January 6, 1931 – August 22, 1936
Jesse Ventura Reform Party Minnesota January 8, 1999 - January 6, 2003
Robert Burns Smith Democratic-Populist Montana January 4, 1897 – January 7, 1901
William A. Poynter Populist Nebraska January 5, 1899 – January 3, 1901
Denver S. Dickerson Silver-Democratic Nevada May 22, 1908 – January 2, 1911
John Sparks Silver-Democratic Nevada January 5, 1903 – May 22, 1908
Reinhold Sadler Silver Party Nevada April 10, 1896 – January 5, 1903
Julius L. Meier Independent Oregon January 12, 1931 – January 14, 1935
Andrew E. Lee Fusion Party South Dakota January 1, 1897 - January 8, 1901
Phillip La Follette Progressive Party Wisconsin January 5, 1931 – January 2, 1933, January 7, 1935 – January 2, 1939
Lincoln Chafee Independent Rhode Island January 4, 2011 - Present


  1. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "2013 Spring Election" (dead link)
  2. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Wisconsin April 2 election results," accessed April 3, 2013
  3. The Republic, "GOP education superintendent candidate's campaign blacklists 5 Wisconsin reporters," March 17, 2013
  4. Walworth County Today, "Wisconsin superintendent candidates to debate," March 12, 2013 (dead link)
  5. WisPolitics, "Pridemore Campaign: Pridemore vows to eliminate DPI mascot policy," March 28, 2013
  6. Governing, "Florida Lt. Gov Resigns Amid Federal Probe," March 13, 2013
  7. Tia Mitchell, Miami Herald, "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns from post," March 13, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 The Tampa Bay Times, "Gov. Rick Scott shuts down lieutenant governor's office to save money," March 25, 2013
  9. Governing, "Scott Shuts Down Lt. Gov's Office to Save Money," March 26, 2013
  10. The New York Times, "In Reversal, Florida to Take Health Law’s Medicaid Expansion," February 20, 2013
  11. Office of Missouri Governor, "Gov. Nixon announces Labor Director Rebman as Administrative Law Judge for Kansas City," March 22, 2013
  12. Las Vegas Sun, "Nevada schools superintendent resigns, gives no reason," March 29, 2013
  13. Nevada News Bureau, "Gov. Brian Sandoval Names James Guthrie Of The George W. Bush Institute As New State School Chief," March 12, 2012
  14. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling says major announcement set for March 14," February 7, 2013 (dead link)
  15. The Washington Post, "GOP Fratricide in Virginia," December 1, 2012
  16. Washington Post, "Bill Bolling decides not to seek GOP nomination for VA governor," November 28, 2012
  17. The Collegian, "Obama victory could cost Democrats Virginia governorship," November 15, 2012
  18. NBC 12- Decision Virginia 2013, "Transportation battle creates awkward political triangle," March 26, 2013
  19. Washington Post, "Cuccinelli vs. McAuliffe: Virginia governor’s race holds the eyes of the nation," March 29, 2013
  20. Associated Press -, "Terry McAuliffe qualifies for Virginia June Democratic primary ballot," March 27, 2013
  21. Washington Post, "Aneesh Chopra to run for Virginia lieutenant governor," July 12, 2012
  22. The Washington Post, "Snyder raises $450,000 for lieutenant governor bid," January 15, 2013
  23. Washington Post, "Scott Lingamfelter announces run for lieutenant governor," June 28, 2012
  24. Washington Post, "Virginia Sen. Stephen Martin plans to run for lt. governor," June 20, 2012
  25. Village News Online, "State Senator Martin decides to run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia," June 27, 2012
  26. Washington Post, "Jeannemarie Devolites-David running for lieutenant governor," September 24, 2012
  27. The Washington Post, "Sen. Mark Herring to run for attorney general in 2013," July 24, 2012
  28. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named vulnerable
  29. Washington Post, "Del. Bell to run for Virginia attorney general," December 5, 2011
  30. Washington Post, "The 5 best races of 2013," November 30, 2012
  31. Public Policy Polling, "Christie in trouble for re-election," July 20, 2011
  32. NJToday, "Primary election results," accessed June 5, 2013
  33., "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  34. NJ Today, "EDITORIAL: Troy Webster For Governor," April 14, 2013
  35., "Barbara Buono picks union leader Milly Silva as running mate," July 25, 2013
  36., "Buono announces Milly Silva as her lieutenant governor pick," July 29, 2013
  37. PolitickerNJ, "Christie and Buono wrap yawner primary season," June 4, 2013
  38. NJ News 12, "Poll: Christie remains popular in NJ," accessed April 15, 2013
  39. RealClearPolitics, "New Jersey Governor - Christie vs. Buono," accessed November 3, 2013
  40. New Jersey Department of State Elections Division, "Statewide Voter Registration Summary," May 7, 2013
  41., "Sen. Buono raises almost $250K in first month of campaigning," January 2, 2013
  42. 42.0 42.1 The Star-Ledger, "Buono qualifies for public matching funds in N.J. governor's race," February 4, 2013
  43., "Christie campaign participating in public financing program," August 20, 2013
  44., "Democrat Barbara Buono running for governor in NJ," December 11, 2012
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 45.3 45.4 New Jersey State Board of Elections, "Primary candidate list for 2013 Governor," accessed April 4, 2014 (dead link)
  46. The Associated Press, "Governor Christie Announces Re-Election Bid," November 26, 2012