Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Review Articles: Central Regional State Executive Officials

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December 13, 2012

By Jennifer Springer and Maresa Strano

Portal:State Executive Officials

MADISON, Wisconsin: It's an off-year for gubernatorial elections in Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Texas, which means the region had all eyes fixed on the state executive races for public service commissioners, corporation commissioners, public utilities commissioners and railroad commissioners.

Seven of the eight state executive incumbents up for election ran and won in the general election on November 6, 2012. The only incumbent who did not seek re-election was Buddy Garcia (R) of the Texas Railroad Commission.[1] Christi Craddick (R) will succeed him as commissioner, having been elected to a six-year term in the general election.[2]

Incumbent Texas railroad commissioner Barry Smitherman (R) was elected to a full six year term on November 6, 2012. Smitherman was originally appointed to serve out the remaining two years of the term left by commissioner of Michael Williams, who resigned to run for Congress.[2]

Nebraska public service commission incumbents Frank Landis (R) and Tim Schram (R) ran unopposed in both the primary and general elections.[3]

For Oklahoma's short-term corporation commission seat, Patrice Douglas was elected to fill out the remainder of her predecessor's term, expiring in 2015. She faced neither primary nor general election opposition and won election to the remainder of her term.

For Oklahoma's full-term corporation commission seat, incumbent Bob Anthony won the June 26th primary and faced no Democratic challenger in the November 6 general election, winning re-election.[4]

Both of the incumbents who sought election in 2012 to the South Dakota Public Utilities Commission were successful. Chris Nelson (R) defeated Nick Nemec (D), and Kristie Fiegen (R) overtook Matt McGovern (D) and Russel Clarke (L) to win the general election on November 6, 2012.[5]

(See official vote totals below)

National picture

States with 2012 executive elections

There were 94 total seats up for election across 22 states this year, including 11 Governors, 9 Lt. Governors, 10 Attorneys General, 7 Secretaries of State and 57 down ballot seats.

  • Before the election, 51 of these offices were held by Democrats, 38 were held by Republicans, and the remaining 4 positions were held by non partisan or Independent officers . After the election, Democrats hold 49 (net loss of 2 seats), Republicans 42 (net gain of 4 seats), and Independents/non partisans only 1 (loss of 3).
  • Of the 69 incumbents who ran for election in 2012, 7 were defeated-6 Democrat and 1 Republican. Democratic Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction Denise Juneau narrowly escaped that fate, having had to wait for her challenger to cancel a self-financed recount on December 11, 2012 before being named the official winner.[6]
  • Out of 25 total open seats, 13 were won by Democrats, 11 went to Republican, and 1 went to an Independent (nonpartisan) candidate. In all, there are 34 new state executives as a result of the election. That number could become 35 if the Montana recount results show Juneau's challenger, Republican Sandy Welch, is the winner.
2012 State Executive Election Partisan Breakdown
Party Before 2012 Election After 2012 Election Net Change
Democratic 51 50 -1
Republican 38 43 +5
Independent (Non-partisan) 4 1 -3
TOTALS 931 vacant 94
2012 State Executive Election Analysis
Party Open Seat Winners Defeated Incumbents New State Executives
Democratic 13 6 15
Republican 11 1 18
Independent (Non-partisan) 1 0 1
TOTALS 25 7 34

Official results


[edit]

Nebraska
See also: Nebraska down ballot state executive elections, 2012
Nebraska Public Service Commission District 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngFrank Landis Incumbent 100% 114,019
Total Votes 114,019
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.


Nebraska Public Service Commission District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTim Schram Incumbent 100% 127,390
Total Votes 127,390
Election Results via Nebraska Secretary of State.


Oklahoma
See also: Oklahoma down ballot state executive elections, 2012
Oklahoma Corporation Commission Short-term seat General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngPatrice Douglas Incumbent 100%% 0
Total Votes 0
Election Results via Oklahoma State Board of Elections.


South Dakota
See also: South Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Seat 1 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChris Nelson Incumbent 67% 226,508
     Democratic Nick Nemec 33% 111,405
Total Votes 337,913
Election Results via South Dakota Secretary of State.


South Dakota Public Utilities Commission Seat 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Matt McGovern 40.4% 140,443
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKristie Fiegen Incumbent 53.9% 187,383
     Libertarian Russell Clarke 5.7% 19,696
Total Votes 347,522
Election Results via South Dakota Secretary of State.


Texas
See also: Texas down ballot state executive elections, 2012
Texas Railroad Commissioner 2 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngChristi Craddick 56.2% 4,336,499
     Democratic Dale Henry 39.6% 3,057,733
     Libertarian Vivekananda Wall 2.2% 173,001
     Green Chris Kennedy 2% 153,664
Total Votes 7,720,897
Election Results via Texas Secretary of State.


Texas Railroad Commissioner 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBarry Smitherman Incumbent 73.8% 4,537,625
     Libertarian Jaime Perez 18.3% 1,127,074
     Green Josh Wendel 7.9% 486,485
Total Votes 6,151,184
Election Results via Texas Secretary of State.


See also

References

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