And the (gubernatorial) nominees are...
State Executive elections
| Kentucky • Louisiana |
Mississippi • West Virginia
|Gubernatorial • Lt. Governor |
Attorney General • Secretary of State
Down ballot offices: (KY, LA, MS)
|News • Calendar|
Two of 2011's four gubernatorial contests have now held primaries, narrowing the field substantially.
In West Virginia, holding a court-ordered special election before next fall's scheduled election, Acting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin held off five fellow Democrats to lock up the nomination. The Republican field was deeper still, with eight people vying for the job. Former Secretary of State Betty Ireland had been favored, though her lead in the last primary polls was slipping. The May 14, 2011 primary delivered a small upset, as businessman Bill Maloney, a political neophyte, notched up a convincing victory.
Several of the losers this time around in West Virginia have already filed to run as candidates in the 2012 regular election. However, either Tomblin or Maloney will now have the incumbent advantage. The race remains friendly to the Democrats, but Maloney's personal wealth and his ability to cinch the primary could be a foretaste. Tomblin, meanwhile, may have problems getting past the fact that his effort to serve as both the Senate President and the Acting Governor triggered the court battle that led to this year's special election.
Days later, Kentucky went to the polls to choose from a smaller field. Incumbent Steve Beshear is eligible for another term, which he wants. Democrats ensured he would have no primary. However, he is sharing the ticket with a new lieutenant gubernatorial candidate, former Louisville Mayor Jerry E. Abramson. The sitting lieutenant, Daniel Mongiardo, took himself out of the running last year in favor of a U.S. Senate run. Beshear is besting any GOP challenger in polls and has an impressive seven-figure sum is his warchest, every cent of which may be spent down in securing re-election.
The Republican race had three tickets. Jefferson County Clerk Barbara "Bobbie" Holsclaw and Bill Vermillion, Jr. trailed in polls and finished a distant third. Ahead of her was businessman Phil Moffett and state Representative Mike Harmon, who made an impressive surge from the last surveys to election day but still came up short. Winning the nomination was state Senator David Williams and Richie Farmer, a former Agriculture Commissioner. With nominations done, the race is predicted to be bruising, costly, and full of harsh words.
Looking ahead, Mississippi will cast ballots August 2, 2011. Haley Barbour is term limited and his Lieutenant Governor, Phil Bryant, is leading the pack who seek to replace him. Also on the slate are Tea Partier James Broadwater, and a trio of first-time candidates; Dave Dennis, Hudson Holliday, and Ron Williams. The Democrats hold West Virginia and Kentucky and are likely to retain those chairs. Mississippi is their only plausible chance to pick up a governorship in 2011, and their hopes are slim there. Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree is the only one with a significant political resume. Sharing the primary ticket with him are perennial candidate Bill Compton, attorney Bill Luckett, Jr., and Guy Dale Shaw.
Lastly is Louisiana, which holds it singular “Jungle Primary” at the end of October, and will not even close candidate filing until September. This may provide time for the Democrats to rally their number and shake out a willing nominee. To date, they have not put a challenger to juggernaut and Republican darling Bobby Jindal, the sitting Governor. Jindal's $9 million campaign account has also scared off any challengers in his own party. However, the primary will at least be held, as there is a hard-right independent candidate in the race. Under Louisiana's laws, if Jindal takes 50% plus one vote in the jungle, he will be the winner without going on to a November general election, a situation that most of the pundits are confidently predicting.
|Propositions •||Recall||• Law|
- Gubernatorial elections, 2011
- Governor of Kentucky
- Governor of Louisiana
- Governor of Mississippi
- Governor of Mississippi