Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Review Articles: North Dakota State Executive Officials

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December 13, 2012

By Jennifer Springer

Portal:State Executive Officials

Bismark, North Dakota: Seven state executive positions were up for election this year in the state of North Dakota:

Incumbents ran for re-election in the races for governor, lieutenant governor, treasurer, auditor and insurance commissioner. The incumbent superintendent of public instruction, Wayne Sanstead, who has held the office since 1985, and Tony Clark, the incumbent chair of the North Dakota Public Service Commission, did not running for re-election.[1][2]

In North Dakota, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected on a single ticket, and from the start, incumbent team Jack Dalrymple and Drew Wrigley have been considered shoe-ins for re-election in 2012. Yet the campaign season has not been devoid of drama. For some of the challengers who entered the race this year, early setbacks coupled with the likelihood of eventual defeat meant the road ended sooner than later. For others, like Roland Clifford Riemers and Paul Sorum, the prospect of further disappointment was not sufficient to end their pursuit of the governorship, and both paved alternate roads to the general election ballot.

In July, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem ruled that the "single ticket" stipulation applies to the primary election as well. The ruling effectively removed two presumptive candidates from the ballot for this year's general election.Libertarian candidates Roland Riemers and Richard Ames filed their joint candidacy with the North Dakota Secretary of State, but Ames' application was missing a page and deemed invalid. Riemers ran by himself in the primary election and received more than the requisite 300 votes to appear on the general election ballot, but before Secretary of State Al Jaeger certified the results of the primary, he sought an opinion from Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. According to the state constitution, the governor and lieutenant governor must be elected on a joint ballot. Stenehjem, citing the constitution and the North Dakota Century Code, ruled that Riemers' candidacy is invalid because there was no lieutenant governor candidate on the ballot with him.[3][4]

Only one set of challengers, Democrats Ryan Taylor and Ellen Chaffee, were tapped at their party's statewide nominating convention for the chance to unseat Dalrymple and Wrigley in November. Later on, however, two Independent pairs earned a place on the general election ballot. Roland Riemers, returning with a vengeance and a new running-mate, Anthony Johns, will get to advance after all, along with Independent nominated duo Paul Sorum & Michael Coachman (I).[5]

Incumbent treasurer Kelly Schmidt ran unopposed in the primary election and defeated Democrat Ross Mushik in the general election.[6][7]

Auditor Robert Peterson won re-election in 2012. He was unopposed in the primary election and defeated State Rep. Scot Kelsh (R) in the November general election.[8][7]

North Dakota Commissioner of Insurance Adam Hamm also won re-election in 2012. He was unopposed in the primary election and defeated Democrat Tom Potter in the general election.[9][7]

Kirsten Baesler won election as North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction in 2012. She won Republican Party support during the party's convention, where she defeated Rep. David Monson by a vote of 863-725.[10] Baesler defeated Max Laird and Tracy Potter in the primary on June 12, coming in first.[11] She defeated Potter in the general election on November 6, 2012.[7]

Randel Christmann won election to the North Dakota Public Service Commission in 2012.[12] He was unopposed in the June 12 Republican primary and defeated Brad Crabtree (D) and Joshua Voytek (L) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[9][7]

Here are the candidates who won election:[7]

Office Incumbent General Election Candidates 2014 Winner Partisan Switch?
Governor Jack Dalrymple
Dalrymple.jpg
Democratic PartyRyan Taylor
Republican PartyPeter Cooke
Independent Paul Sorum
IndependentRoland Riemers
Jack Dalrymple No
Lieutenant Governor Drew Wrigley
Drew Wrigley.jpg
Democratic Party Ellen Chaffee
Republican Party Drew Wrigley
Independent Anthony Johnson
IndependentMichael Coachman
Drew Wrigley No
Treasurer Kelly Schmidt
Kelly Schmidt.jpg
Democratic PartyRoss Mushik
Republican Party Kelly Schmidt
Kelly Schmidt No
Auditor Robert Peterson
Robert Peterson.jpg
Democratic PartyScot Kelsh
Republican PartyRobert Peterson
Robert Peterson No
Commissioner of Insurance Adam Hamm
Adam Hamm.jpg
Democratic PartyTom Potter
Republican PartyAdam Hamm
Adam Hamm No
Superintendent of Public Instruction Wayne Sanstead
Wayne Sanstead.JPG
IndependentKirsten Baesler
IndependentTracy Potter
Kirsten Baesler No
Public Service Commissioner Tony Clark
Tony Clark.jpg
Democratic Party Brad Crabtree
Republican PartyRandy Christmann
Libertarian PartyJoshua Voytek
Randy Christmann No


Official Results


[edit]

See also: North Dakota gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012
Governor/Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJack Dalrymple & Drew Wrigley Incumbent 63.1% 200,525
     Democratic Ryan Taylor & Ellen Chaffee 34.3% 109,048
     independent Paul Sorum & Michael Coachman 1.7% 5,356
     independent Roland Riemers & Anthony Johns 0.8% 2,618
Total Votes 317,547
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
North Dakota Commissioner of Insurance General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngAdam Hamm Incumbent 63.3% 192,031
     Democratic Tom Potter 36.7% 111,099
Total Votes 303,130
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
North Dakota Treasurer General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngKelly Schmidt Incumbent 65.9% 197,041
     Democratic Ross Mushik 34.1% 101,795
Total Votes 298,836
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
North Dakota State Auditor General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRobert Peterson Incumbent 62.6% 188,859
     Democratic Scot Kelsh 37.4% 112,803
Total Votes 301,662
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
North Dakota Superintendent of Public Instruction General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Nonpartisan Green check mark transparent.pngKirsten Baesler 55.1% 154,177
     Nonpartisan Tracy Potter 44.6% 124,807
     N/A Write-in 0.4% 1,069
Total Votes 280,053
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.

See also: North Dakota down ballot state executive elections, 2012
North Dakota Public Service Commission General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngRandy Christmann 54.6% 164,591
     Democratic Brad Crabtree 41.1% 123,978
     Libertarian Joshua Voytek 4.3% 13,098
Total Votes 301,667
Election Results via North Dakota Secretary of State.


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.[13]
  • 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.
  • From the gubernatorial perspective, after the November 2012 election, there are 30 Republican and 19 Democratic governors.[14] If the GOP had taken five governor seats from Democrats on November 6, that would have given the party 34 -- the most for Republicans since 1922. As of December 2012, the number of Democratic governors in the country is at its lowest since 2001.
2012 State Executive Election Partisan Breakdown
Party Before 2012 Election After 2012 Election Net Change
Democratic 51 50 -1
Republican 38 43 +5
Independent (Nonpartisan) 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 (Nonpartisan) 1 0 1
TOTALS 25 7 34

See also

North Dakota

References

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