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Gov. Sean Parnell cruises through primary, along with Mallott, French and Sullivan: Alaska state executive primary elections review

Alaska

By Maresa Strano

August 20, 2014 Election Review
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*Alaska Lieutenant Governor

JUNEAU, Alaska: On August 19, four state executive primaries were held in Alaska to decide the nominees for governor and lieutenant governor.

Republican incumbent Gov. Sean Parnell handily defeated three challengers for his party's nomination. Meanwhile, former Yukatat and Juneau mayor Byron Mallott, who currently serves as the executive director of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, won the Alaskan Independence-Democratic-Libertarian (or "ADL") primary race for the right to face Parnell in November.[1]

The open seat race to replace outgoing Republican Lt. Gov. Mead Treadwell also attracted a sufficient number of candidates to force Republican and ADL primaries. The contests ended with Republican Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan and Democratic state Sen. Hollis French emerging victorious from their respective fields.

All four state executive primary winners were nominated Tuesday by commanding majorities, ranging from 62 percent for French to 76 percent for Parnell, according to unofficial results provided by the State of Alaska Division of Elections. Their margins of victory were equally substantial, especially in Parnell's case. With 99 percent of precincts reporting as of Wednesday morning, a distance of nearly 60 percentage points separates Parnell from the next highest vote-getter, Russ Millette.[2]

Here are the unofficial vote totals from the August 19 gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial primary contests, as well as a peak at the upcoming general election lineups:



Wyoming state executive primary elections review: Narrow margin in secretary of state race prevents night of big wins

Wyoming
August 19, 2014 Election Review
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*Wyoming Governor
*Wyoming Secretary of State
*Wyoming Treasurer
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*Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction

By Garrett Fortin
Cheyenne, Wyoming: The 2014 Wyoming primary elections were held on August 19, 2014. Democrats had no contested state executive primaries, leaving all the action to the Republicans, who voted in four contests with a total of 12 candidates.

Two incumbent Republicans, Wyoming Secretary of State Max Maxfield and Superintendent Cindy Hill, were not seeking reelection in their current seats, leaving races for open seats that attracted several candidates. The other two incumbents, Governor Matt Mead and Treasurer Mark Gordon, ran in the primaries and won easily. Incumbent Republican Auditor Cynthia Cloud had no primary opponents.

Below, Ballotpedia reviews the primary results and introduces the third-party and independent candidates who will be joining the primary contest winners in the November general election.




Grand jury indicts Governor Rick Perry on abuse of official capacity, coercion charges

Texas

By Nick Katers

Austin, Texas: Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) was confronted by a challenge to his political future on Friday, as a grand jury indicted him on felony charges of abuse of official capacity and coercion of a public official. Accusers argue a violation of state laws, while Perry argues that his actions are within the governor's constitutional powers.

The charges originated in a battle between Perry and Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg (D) over funding for the county's Public Integrity Unit. Lehmberg was arrested in April 2013 for drunk driving, which drew the ire of the governor. She later pleaded guilty to drunk driving and served a 45-day sentence. The governor threatened to veto funding for the unit in the state's biennial budget unless Lehmberg stepped down from office. The district attorney refused to resign and Perry proceeded to block $7.5 million in funding for the county. The Public Integrity Unit is tasked with investigating government corruption in Travis County, including the state capital of Austin.[3]

The nonprofit group Texans for Public Justice filed a complaint on June 14, 2013, claiming that Perry broke state laws by demanding Lehmberg's resignation. The group's complaint argued that the governor "violated the Texas Penal Code by communicating offers and threats under which he would exercise his official discretion to veto the appropriation for the Public Integrity Unit unless District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg exercised her official discretion and resigned."[4] Special prosecutor Michael McCrum was appointed in August 2013 to investigate the charges and a grand jury convened in April 2014 to hear testimony.[5]

A debate has emerged in the aftermath of the indictment about the fine line between legal political maneuvering and abuse of power. Perry fought back against the charges on August 16, arguing that vetoing appropriations is within the governor's constitutional powers. He also suggested that his actions were intended to protect the rule of law in Texas. Support for the embattled governor came from fellow Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Former Obama administration adviser David Axelrod joined the discussion, arguing that "unless he was demonstrably trying to scrap the ethics unit for other than his stated reason, [the] Perry indictment seems pretty sketchy."[6]

Perry now faces a legal battle to fend off conviction on both charges, which would bring a maximum sentence of 109 years. He will report to the county jail for booking and fingerprinting before returning to work as governor. Perry is not seeking re-election as governor in 2014, but has been identified as a potential presidential candidate in 2016.

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