Difference between revisions of "Gubernatorial elections, 2014"

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The '''Alabama gubernatorial election''' will take place on [[State executive official elections, 2014|November 4, 2014]]. Incumbent [[Robert J. Bentley]] (R) is eligible for re-election.  The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.
The '''Alabama gubernatorial election''' will take place on [[State executive official elections, 2014|November 4, 2014]]. Incumbent [[Robert J. Bentley]] (R) is eligible for re-election.  The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.
::''See also: [[Alaska gubernatorial election, 2014]]''
::''See also: [[Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014]]''
The '''Alaska gubernatorial election''' will take place on [[State executive official elections, 2014|November 4, 2014]]. Incumbent [[Sean Parnell]] (R) is eligible for re-election, but has not yet said if he intends to run.<ref>[http://juneauempire.com/state/2012-12-04/treadwell-no-interest-primary-against-parnell#.UMtyDHfv38R ''Juneau Empire,'' "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012] </ref> The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.
The '''Alaska gubernatorial election''' will take place on [[State executive official elections, 2014|November 4, 2014]]. Incumbent [[Sean Parnell]] (R) is eligible for re-election, but has not yet said if he intends to run.<ref>[http://juneauempire.com/state/2012-12-04/treadwell-no-interest-primary-against-parnell#.UMtyDHfv38R ''Juneau Empire,'' "Treadwell: 'No interest' in primary against Parnell," December 4, 2012] </ref> The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

Revision as of 16:27, 9 May 2014

State Executive Office Elections
Gubernatorial Elections
Lt. Governor Elections
Attorney General Elections
Secretary of State Elections
36 gubernatorial positions are up for election in 2014.

A total of four governors are term-limited and ineligible to run for re-election. They are:

  • Of those states holding gubernatorial elections in 2014, seven (AR, FL, IL, MA, ME, PA, and RI) are considered most likely to face partisan switch, according to polling figures and reports from The Washington Post, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, and Governing, current as of August 2013. The vulnerable governor seats are held by the following incumbents:[1][2][3]


See also: Alabama Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Alabama gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Robert J. Bentley (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Alaska Gubernatorial election, 2014

The Alaska gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Sean Parnell (R) is eligible for re-election, but has not yet said if he intends to run.[7] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Arizona gubernatorial election, 2014

The Arizona gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Jan Brewer (R) is term-limited from seeking re-election in 2014, although reports from November 2012 indicated she was exploring the possibility of running again anyway on grounds that her circumstances could warrant an exemption from the law. Brewer was originally appointed to the position in 2009 and has been elected one time since, in 2010. Arizona constitution's rules governing gubernatorial term limits preclude any individual who has occupied the office during two consecutive terms from running for re-election, without specifying for the conditions of Brewer's incomplete first term.[8]


See also: Arkansas gubernatorial election, 2014

Democratic incumbent Gov. Mike Beebe is ineligible for re-election in 2014 due to term limits, setting the stage for a highly competitive race. Over a year before the election, polling figures and ratings reports - from sources such as The Washington Post, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, Governing and Daily Kos - had already labeled Beebe's seat as a toss-up and cast Arkansas among the states most vulnerable to partisan switch in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle.[9][10][11][12]

In June 2012, term-limited Arkansas Attorney General Dustin McDaniel (D) filed paperwork to start raising money for his 2014 gubernatorial campaign.[13] McDaniel had been considered the Democratic frontrunner, but revelations that he had engaged in extra-martial relations with a Hot Springs attorney, Andi Davis,[14] whom he met around his 2010 re-election, ultimately proved too significant a publicity threat to his campaign. He dropped out of the race on January 25, 2013, explaining in an e-mail to supporters, "I had hoped that I could shape the 2014 gubernatorial debate with my vision for the future. Unfortunately, I am now convinced that if I run for Governor, this campaign would be about me personally, rather than Arkansas's future."[15]

Despite announcing in December 2012 that he would not run for governor in 2014, former Congressman Mike Ross re-emerged as a potential candidate in the wake of McDaniel's exit from the race.[16][17][18] "Dustin McDaniel getting out of the race has left a huge void which clearly none of the other candidates are filling or I wouldn't be getting all these calls from every corner of the state...I'm humbled by that and I feel a sense of duty and responsibility to the people of this state to at least reconsider my decision and I'm doing that," Ross said at U.S. Sen. Mark Pryor's (D-AR) re-election fundraiser in March 2013.[19] Ross officially launched his campaign on April 17, 2013. The only other declared Democratic candidate at the time of his announcement, Lieutenant Governor Bill Halter, left the race in July when he found himself trailing Ross in fundraising and immediately threw his support behind Ross.[20]threw his support behind Ross upon his withdrawal from the race on July 29, 2013.[21]

Ross overtook Lynette "Doc" Bryant for the Democratic nomination in the May 20 primary election.[22] Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson defeated businessman Curtis Coleman in the Republican primary, earning the chance to win back office for their party.[20]

The Libertarian Party and the Green Party selected their candidates for governor by convention. Libertarian nominee Frank Gilbert and Green Party nominee Josh Drake will appear on the November 4 general election ballot with Ross and Hutchinson.[23][24][25]

Money in the race

On May 13, 2014, candidates were required to file pre-primary campaign finance reports detailing their fundraising and expenditures since April 1. Before winning their respective parties' nominations on May 20, Mike Ross (D) and Asa Hutchinson (R) both reported spending more than they took in over the previous month. Ross outraised Hutchinson $491,000 to $240,375, and Hutchinson outspent Ross by about $80,000. A large portion of each candidates' campaign expenditures went toward television advertisements. This was especially true for Hutchinson, who went $439,000 airing his ads across Arkansas-more than triple what Ross spent.[26]

Heading into the May 20 primaries, Ross reported having $2 million leftover, compared to Hutchinson's remaining balance of $904,000. Also on the GOP primary ballot is Curtis Coleman, who, unlike Ross' Democratic primary opponent Lynette Bryant, filed his campaign finance report by the May 13 deadline. Coleman raised $62,060 and spent $72,622 in April 2014, leaving him with $5,883 cash in hand.[27][26]


See also: California gubernatorial election, 2014

The California gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Jerry Brown (D) is eligible for re-election and has filed a "Statement of Intention" to run for re-election as Governor of California in 2014.[28] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Colorado gubernatorial election, 2014

The Colorado gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent John Hickenlooper (D) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Connecticut gubernatorial election, 2014

The Connecticut gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Dan Malloy (D) is eligible for re-election, as Connecticut has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Florida gubernatorial election, 2014

Republican incumbent Rick Scott is seeking a second term as governor in 2014.

Sources such as Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Cook Political Report, The Washington Post and Daily Kos have rated Scott among the most vulnerable governors facing re-election in 2014.[29][30][31][32][33]

In June 2013, ex-Florida Sen. Nan Rich became the first Democratic candidate in the race. She was later joined by former Florida Gov. and newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist. Crist's candidacy looms heavy over Scott's re-election campaign, according to match-up and approval polls dating back as far as May 2012.[34][35][36]

Long affiliated with the Republican Party, Crist's first party switch occurred in 2010, when, after losing the Republican primary for U.S. Senate to Marco Rubio, he changed his registration to Independent as an alternative route to reaching the general election ballot. In the fall of 2013, Crist became a Democrat; This latest party makeover was widely interpreted as a strategic maneuver to help him unseat Scott in the 2014 governor's race.[37]

As the Crist story unfolded and media coverage about Scott's struggles increased, a slew of other lesser-known hopefuls began filing for the office, mainly as write-ins or with no party affiliation. By October 2013, there were over twenty potentials actively petitioning for a place on the primary and general election ballots.[38] When the filing window finally closed on June 20, 2014, the number had dropped to—a still crowded—eighteen qualified gubernatorial candidates. The Republican field settled to three, including Scott, while the Democratic field remained a head-to-head battle between Crist and Rich. Unopposed Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie earned a direct pass to the general election, along with nine write-ins and three candidates with no stated party preference.[39]

Under Article IV of the Florida Constitution, gubernatorial nominees are required to select running mates after the primary, though they are permitted to do so in advanced. Customs for selecting running mates vary across Florida's main political parties. For example, Crist was chided for breaking with party tradition when he announced Annette Taddeo-Goldstein as his lieutenant governor pick prior to the primary. "Because he’s been a life-long Republican, Charlie Crist might be excused for not knowing that Democrats typically don’t choose a running mate until they win the nomination," jabbed Nan Rich, his Democratic primary challenger, in a July campaign press release.[40]

Scott appointed Carlos Lopez-Cantera to replace resigned Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll in January 2014, over nine months after she resigned from office amid a public relations scandal. Since Lopez-Cantera's appointment occurred during a gubernatorial election year, his qualifications as a campaigner factored significantly into his selection. Scott and Carroll shared the ticket in 2010, so the governor was left with the responsibility of picking not only a new lieutenant governor to serve out Carroll's term, but also a new running mate for the 2014 election.

Scott and Crist handily secured their respective parties' nominations in the August 26 primary election.[41]

The governor and lieutenant governor will be elected on a joint ticket in the general election on November 4, 2014.


See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2014

The Georgia gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Nathan Deal (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Hawaii gubernatorial election, 2014

Democratic incumbent Gov. Neil Abercrombie ran unsuccessfully for re-election in 2014. The first term chief executive campaigned on tenterhooks for a possible second term before suffering a humiliating 36 point defeat by state Sen. David Ige in the August 9 Democratic primary election.[42][43]

Wavering approval numbers, key endorsement losses and the emergence of formidable challengers in both the primary and general election placed Abercrombie at the top of the list of most vulnerable seats in the 2014 gubernatorial election cycle. In the months leading up to the primary, inconsistent polling data and conflicting race projections thickened the air of uncertainty which hung over Abercrombie's re-election bid. Still, Ige's upset by a landslide 2-1 margin, despite outspending Ige 10-1, marked a stunning early elimination for the incumbent.[44][45][46] In the aftermath of the primary, Abercrombie attributed his defeat to his decision to call a special session to legalize gay marriage in November 2013. According to Abercrombie, Republican opponents of gay marriage took advantage of the Democratic Party's open primary to vote en masse for Ige, who happened to have supported Abercrombie's push for the measure in the legislature, because Abercrombie's absence in the general election paved the way for the GOP to reclaim the governor's seat in the general election and ultimately block the measure's progress.[47]

As far back as November 2013, several factors besides the gay marriage issue indicated Abercrombie could be at risk of losing re-election in 2014, beginning with long-time Hawaii lawmaker David Ige's entry into the Democratic primary race. Ige has been the state Sen. for district 16 since 1994 and currently serves as chair of the chamber's Ways and Means Committee. Abercrombie trailed Ige in each of the Democratic primary polls taken after the June 3 candidate filing deadline, including a Honolulu Civil Beat Poll of likely Democratic voters conducted by Merriman River Group about a week before the primary showing Ige leading 51-41 percent.[48][49] Despite having secured the endorsement of fellow Hawaii-native and Democratic President Barack Obama, more overall attention was paid to Ige's endorsements from ex-governors Ben Cayetano and George Ariyoshi, both influential Hawaii Democrats previously considered close allies of Abercrombie.[50][51]

The notable defections of Cayetano and Ariyoshi could have stemmed from Abercrombie's controversial December 2012 decision to appoint his then-Lieutenant Governor, Brian E. Schatz (D), to fill the open U.S. Senate seat left by the death of veteran Senator Daniel Inouye (D). For Abercrombie, tapping Schatz meant defying Inouye's deathbed wish that his successor be U.S. Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.[52][53] Abercrombie was required to appoint one of three individuals submitted by the state party of the incumbent, and Hanabusa—in addition to being Inouye's stated preference—had topped the list of early contenders, therefore the governor's call angered some members of the party.[54][55][56] After being picked over for the Senate post, Hanabusa threatened taking on Abercrombie for the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial primary nomination.[57][58] Although Hanabusa ultimately decided to pursue a full term in Inouye's seat in the 2014 election, a measure of residual ill-will toward Abercrombie may have existed among the state's Democratic elite and possibly affected his chances of winning a second term.

If Abercrombie had survived Ige's primary challenge, another threat would have awaited him in the second phase of the election in the form of ex-Hawaii Lieutenant Governor and 2010 Republican gubernatorial nominee Duke Aiona, who lost the office to Abercrombie four years ago this November. Aiona launched his second bid in early 2014 in hopes of staging a general election re-match with Abercrombie. Polls taken prior to Abercrombie's primary knockout reinforced expectations of a tight general election contest between the former foes.[48] On August 9, Aiona won the GOP nomination for the second consecutive cycle, earning 97 percent of the vote in a three-way race.[42]

The last time a sitting Hawaii Governor ran for re-election and failed was in 1962, when Republican William Francis Quinn, who, in addition to being Hawaii's first governor was also its first and only lame duck governor, until Abercrombie; Quinn was unseated in the 1962 general election by Democratic challenger John Anthony Burns. [59]


See also: Idaho gubernatorial election, 2014

The Idaho gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Butch Otter (R) is eligible for re-election, as Idaho has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2014

Race background

Current incumbent Pat Quinn, a Democrat who went from lieutenant governor to governor following Rod Blagojevich's 2009 impeachment, is facing re-election in 2014. Quinn ran for, and won, a full term in 2010 and is running for his second full four-year term. According to multiple outside ratings, Quinn is among the most vulnerable governors in the 2014 electoral cycle.[60]

Quinn's 2010 running-mate and first term incumbent Lt. Gov Sheila Simon (D) announced in February 2013 that she would not run for re-election in 2014. Simon said she wanted to seek a new office that would allow her to have a "greater impact," and later declared her candidacy for state comptroller.[61][62] Simon's thinly veiled swipe at the office's unsatisfactory "impact" potential was followed shortly thereafter by the Illinois House of Representatives' approval of a proposal seeking to eliminate the position of lieutenant governor altogether by constitutional amendment. In order for the measure to be passed, it must win approval of both the State Senate and Illinois voters. If the proposal is approved in a statewide public vote, the office will remain intact for one final term following the 2014 election.[63] Quinn said he wanted “a people person” to replace Simon, and ultimately settled on former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas.[64]

The 2014 electoral cycle marked the first time in Illinois history that candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor ran on a single ticket in the primary election phase. Spurred by the 2010 election fiasco when Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Scott Lee Cohen had to drop out of the race after being arrested on charges of steroid use and domestic battery, the new joint ticket rule was enacted to support the notion of a critical governor-lieutenant governor partnership. In theory, allowing governor hopefuls to handpick their running mates for the primary would induce the campaigns to "better define their priorities for voters and cover more ground as election season gets underway."[64]

As of September 2014, Illinois is one of 13 Democratic state government trifectas. In such a blue state, it was expected that Quinn's biggest threat in 2014 would come from a fellow Democrat; namely, from Democrats William "Bill" Daley, a past U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff and attorney general Lisa Madigan, both of whom were considered strong potential primary challengers. Quinn dodged both bullets, however, by September 2013. First Madigan dropped her long anticipated bid in June in order to seek another term as attorney general[65][66][67] After brief consideration,[15] Then in September, after a promising first stretch of campaigning, Daley abruptly ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination.[67] Called "a member of Chicago's first political family," for his relation to two of Chicago's longest-reigning mayors, Daley's departure in particular was a coup for Quinn, whose apparently bleak re-election prospects improved markedly in his absence.[68]

Quinn is the fifth out of a total of 46 previous Illinois lieutenant governors to have succeeded to the governorship mid-term. As governor, Quinn has emphasized improving the state government's ethical standards and protecting public-sector labor unions. His tenure thus far has been marred by steep, deeply unpopular budget cuts and tax increases stemming from long-term state debt among other issues that have factored into his status among the least popular governors facing re-election in 2014.[69]

Primary review, cross-party vote phenomenon

On September 3, individuals aiming to qualify for a slot on the March 2014 primary ballot began gathering signatures. The filing period for major party primary candidates ended on December 2, 2013, with only one Democrat, Tio Hardiman, filing to go up against Quinn. On the Republican end, candidates included state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Early polls showed Rutherford as the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, but Rauner rocketed ahead of the pack by November 2013 and maintained a 15-point average lead up to the March primary, which he won.[70]

A newcomer to politics, Rauner achieved the name recognition he needed to overcome his more established opponents with the help of massive campaign contributions totaling nearly $14 million, including $6 million of his own money—the highest amount a candidate has ever spent on his own primary campaign for governor in Illinois.[71][72]

Unofficial results from the March 18 primaries revealed some steep deviations from typical voting behaviors recorded in past elections. Based on the breakdown of votes in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries provided by the Chicago Tribune on election night, Ballot Access News analyzed what appeared to be a spectacularly low turnout of Democratic voters (438,112 votes) in the party's nominally contested primary. They detected that hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters must have taken advantage of the state's mixed-hybrid primary system to vote the Republican ballot instead of their own. Under Illinois' primary rules, voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.[73]

The mass cross-over by Democrats was linked to one specific issue highlighted in this year's GOP governor's race: government employee unions. Most of the Democrats who participated in the Republican primary did so in order to ensure Kirk Dillard, who has sided with the unions in the state senate, would lose to Bruce Rauner, who has promised to curtail union influence.[74]

In Illinois, the last time more votes were cast in the Republican than the Democratic gubernatorial primary was 1986; not since the 1940s have so few votes been cast in a Democratic gubernatorial primary election. Compared to the last five Illinois gubernatorial elections, there was no significant spike in Republican votes this year, indicating the trend reversal was caused by a tremendous drop in Democratic gubernatorial primary votes cast.[74]


See also: Iowa gubernatorial election, 2014

Race background

Republican incumbent Terry Branstad is running for re-election to a sixth non-consecutive term as governor in 2014. Branstad first held the governorship from 1983 to 1999, and then reemerged after years in political retirement to win back the office in the 2010 gubernatorial election. In January 2011, one week into his comeback term, Branstad became both Iowa's and the nation's longest serving governor.[75] Current Iowa Lieutenant Governor Kim Reynolds (R), who was Branstand's running mate in 2010, is also seeking re-election and will share the ticket with Branstad for the second time this November.[76]

Despite a troubling couple of months leading up to the June 2 primary, Branstad managed an easy victory over GOP challenger Tom Hoefling to secure the party's re-nomination.

Branstad and Hatch will appear on the November general election ballot along with third party candidates Lee Hieb (Libertarian), Jim Hennager (New Independent Party) and Jonathan Narcisse (Iowa Party) and their respective running mates.[77][78]

Polls, approval ratings

Before Branstad formally launched his campaign, polls showed him in excellent standing for winning re-election, with an average lead of 20 percentage points in hypothetical general election match-ups.[79] Branstad had looked considerably less secure around the time ex-Democratic challenger Tyler Olson entered the race back in July 2013, with only 43 percent of polled voters saying they believed the governor deserved to be re-elected and 54 percent answering that he has held office long enough, even though 51 percent approved of his performance. December's numbers from Quinnipiac University gave him a boost of eight percentage points in both approval and "deserves to be re-elected" categories.[80][81] As of mid-March, polled continued to show Branstad sitting comfortably at 63 percent job approval and Hatch trailing behind by 15 points.[82]

By spring, a string of scandals inside the Branstad administration had caused a steep downturn in the incumbent's job approval and trust rating among Iowa voters. In a short space of time, Branstad was accused of using his office to commit or facilitate a variety of crimes and improprieties, such as: the wrongful firing of a state trooper who nabbed the governor for speeding, crooked dealings with a state judge, abuse in an Iowa juvenile home and giving hush-payments to fired state employees claiming to victims of political revenge. Amid the resulting storm of bad press directed at Branstad and his office, the governor maintained a policy of denying knowledge or involvement in these alleged transgressions. According to an April 22 Public Policy Poll for Progress Iowa, 83 percent of Iowa voters said they were either somewhat or very aware of the scandals and 56 percent indicated they were unconvinced by Branstad's official line of denial.[83] In addition, 30 percent of respondents said they thought Branstad should resign, while the rest were split almost evenly between believing he should stay and "Not sure." As of April, besides shedding voters' doubt on Branstad's honesty and integrity, the allegations cost the jobs of numerous state department leaders and prompted state lawmakers to call for an independent investigation.[83][84] Branstad closed out the month leading Hatch 45-43, his smallest-ever edge, according to a poll conducted on behalf of the conservative-leaning Daily Caller.[85]

Candidate withdrawals

Democratic State Rep. Tyler Olson declared his candidacy for governor in July 2013 and was considered a strong contender for the party's nomination before withdrawing from the race in December.[86] He decided to drop out following the announcement of his separation from wife Sarah Olson, who had been an instrumental part of his family-oriented campaign.[87][88] Olson's withdrawal was followed soon thereafter by former state Sen. Bob Krause's announcement he was shutting down his campaign. Their absences cleared the path for remaining Democratic hopeful Jack Hatch to face Branstad in the general election. Krause immediately gave Hatch his support, while Olson noticeably declined to endorse Hatch upon dropping out of the race.[86][89]


See also: Kansas gubernatorial election, 2014

The Kansas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Sam Brownback (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office. The race is considered to be very competitive, with early polls showing Democrat Paul Davis, the state House Minority Leader, with a small lead over the incumbent governor, Republican Sam Brownback. The Washington Post has also named Kansas as one of the top 15 gubernatorial races of 2014, declaring that "it's hard to ignore polls that show Gov. Sam Brownback's approval ratings well shy of 50%."[90] Brownback's approval ratings have hovered around 35% since January of 2012.[91]


See also: Maine gubernatorial election, 2014

Paul LePage is running for a second term as governor in 2014.[65][92] The often divisive Republican is widely considered one of the most vulnerable gubernatorial incumbents facing re-election this year. Sources ranging from Governing, Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, The Washington Post and Daily Kos have rated the 2014 Maine governor's race as a tossup.[93][94][95][96] In June 2013, after Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud launched his bid for the office, LePage briefly indicated interest in running for Michaud's seat in the U.S. House in 2014 as a way to avoid the risk of such a formidable challenge.[97][92] Though his threat of a congressional run amounted to nothing, LePage proved he is not impervious to the pessimism surrounding his re-election campaign.

On November 4, 2013, after establishing himself as the race's front-runner, Michaud disclosed in an op-ed column submitted to three of the state’s major news outlets that he is gay.[98] Michaud emphasized that his sexuality is irrelevant to his ability to perform as governor, if elected. He said he came out in response to "whisper campaigns" instigated by opponents in order to cast suspicion about his personal life.[99] The revelation puts Michaud in the running to become the first openly gay man or woman to be elected governor in the nation's history.

Campaign finance decision in district court

An August 22 decision by U.S. District Court judge D. Brock Hornby regarding campaign finance limits in Maine could lead to more money in the gubernatorial race. Hornby ruled that a group of four donors to the campaign of independent candidate Eliot Cutler could go beyond a $1,500 per person limit on general election contributions for unaffiliated candidates. Democratic and Republican candidates in Maine enjoy a higher contribution limit because they can max out the individual donation limit in the primary and general election reporting periods. Both major-party candidates did not face primary challenges this year, though the individual limit reset after the statewide primary on June 10.[100]

Attorneys representing the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices defended the contribution limits, citing their ability to reduce corrupt practices. The state's attorneys also argued that supporters can use PACs to support their preferred candidates. Hornby dismissed these arguments, noting that the current limitation treats contributors differently based on their political leanings. The decision left open the question of whether all donors to Cutler could contribute $3,000 ahead of the general election, or if the ruling focused on the four plaintiffs. The donors who brought the original lawsuit will also pursue further action to enshrine Hornby's decision into state law.[100]

The Maine Ethics Commission voted unanimously on August 27 to not enforce the $1,500 limit for each election, opting instead for a $3,000 per individual limit for this election cycle. The board's decision only applies to the 2014 election, and the Maine State Legislature would need to act for similar changes in future elections.[101]


See also: Maryland gubernatorial election, 2014

Democratic nomination

Incumbent Martin O'Malley (D) was prevented by term limits from seeking a third consecutive term in office.

Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown officially launched his 2014 gubernatorial campaign on May 10, 2013. If he wins, Brown will be the first lieutenant governor (since the lieutenant governor's office was created in 1970) and first black candidate to be elected governor of Maryland.[102][103] O'Malley, with whom Brown shared winning tickets in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, supports Brown as his successor.[104] Brown's lieutenant gubernatorial running-mate is Howard County Executive Ken Ulman.[92] Immediately after formalizing their partnership for the 2014 campaign, the Brown-Ulman ticket received the endorsement of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). A number of Cumming's congressional colleagues announced their support soon thereafter, as well as influential branches of SEIU, a major labor union.[105][106][107]

On July 17, 2013, another potentially history-making candidate entered the Democratic primary field to give Brown some competition: Maryland House Delegate Heather Mizeur.[108] Mizeur would have been the first female Governor of Maryland, as well as the country's first openly gay governor, if she had won the general election.[109] Current state attorney general Doug Gansler also sought the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014. On Oct. 14, 2013, Gansler selected Prince George County Delegate Jolene Ivey as his lieutenant gubernatorial running-mate. Keeping with the trailblazer theme established earlier by Brown and Mizeur to entice more progressive-leaning voters, the Gansler-Ivey ticket also carried the promise of setting an historical record, statewide and national. After joining Gansler's campaign, Ivey stated, "I am proud to be the first African-American woman to run for lieutenant governor, and when we win, to be the first Democratic African-American woman to be lieutenant governor in our nation's history."[110] Both Gansler and Mizeur lost in the Democratic primary on June 24, 2014.

Republican nomination

The Republican ticket of Larry Hogan and Boyd Rutherford emerged from a field of four potential tickets after the June 24 primary. The winning ticket managed a 14-percent margin of victory over Harford County Executive David Craig and state Delegate Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio. Hogan and Rutherford are both former appointees of former Gov. Robert Ehrlich (R).[111]

Campaign issues

Change Maryland inquiry

Republican candidate Larry Hogan was the subject of a complaint to the Maryland State Board of Elections, related to potential assistance of the candidate by Change Maryland. The political communications group, which was created by Hogan in 2011, had been accused of conducting polls and providing resources during Hogan's exploration of a gubernatorial bid. The complaint was filed by David Craig and Ron George, who were defeated by Hogan in the Republican primary on June 24, 2014. The state board dismissed the complaint in July, determining that Hogan likely received assistance from Change Maryland but the board lacked oversight over candidates prior to official filings.[112]

The Maryland Democratic Party filed a new claim regarding Hogan's relationship with Change Maryland on July 24. This complaint alleged that the poll referenced in the earlier complaint cost $10,000, which represented an illegal in-kind contribution to Hogan. Hogan's campaign spokesman, Adam Dubitsky, countered that the Democratic complaint was an effort to distract from changing political fortunes for the party's candidate, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown.[113]

Super PAC accusations

The Maryland State Board of Elections received a complaint from Hogan on September 4, alleging coordination between Brown's campaign and a political action committee (PAC) called "One State, One Future." Hogan's filing cited a conflict of interest for Brown consultant Colleen Martin-Lauer, who also consulted with the union-funded PAC. The complaint also pointed to Susan Smith-Bauk, a consultant to lieutenant gubernatorial candidate Ken Ulman who also worked with "One State, One Future." Hogan's campaign manager, Steve Crim, argued at the time of filing that both consultants could not avoid coordination between their different employers based on the nature of their work.[114]

The state board issued guidelines in January 2014 that prohibited communication between super PACs, which can collect unlimited funds for the purpose of advocating a political position or candidates, and political campaigns. These guidelines prevent coordination over "advertising, messaging, strategy, polling, research, or allocation of resources." Hogan's complaint claimed that the Martin-Lauer example was a "blatant example of illegal coordination" because of overlapping interests in fundraising for the campaign and the super PAC. State election officials are investigating the complaint as of September 10, 2014.[114]

Campaign finance

Hogan reported three times more cash on hand than Brown in the campaign finance reporting period ending on August 19, 2014. Hogan had $2.4 million in cash on hand, compared to $760,000 for the Brown campaign. The disparity was due to Hogan's commitment to a publicly financed campaign, which meant a single payment of $2.6 million from the state's dedicated campaign finance fund. Hogan cannot raise additional money in the campaign, while Brown is capable of raising additional funds by not committing to public financing. Brown reported $1.5 million in contributions from June 9 through August 19.[115]


See also: Massachusetts gubernatorial election, 2014

Current incumbent Deval Patrick, a Democrat first elected in 2006, is eligible to run for re-election in 2014. However, after winning re-election in 2010, Patrick stated that he would not seek a third term as governor in the 2014 election.[116][117]

The field of Democrats competing for their party's nomination in the primary, which took place on September 9, 2014, attracted individuals already serving in elected office. Treasurer Steven Grossman won the state Democratic convention on June 14, 2014, while Attorney General Martha Coakley came in second. Candidate Donald Berwick also secured a place on the primary ballot. Candidates Joe Avellone and Juliette Kayyem failed to achieve 15 percent of the convention backing to reach the primary ballot.[118][119] Coakley was the leading candidate in all polls against Grossman, but did not win over the party itself. Analysts suspected Coakley was leading Grossman based on higher name recognition. Party leaders are concerned she will not be able to win the general election. Grossman was the former chairman of the state and national Democratic parties.[120]

Daniel Wolf, a Republican state senator who announced his intentions to run early on, dropped out of the race after his campaign was suspended "indefinitely" since his Aug 2, 2013 disqualification by the Massachusetts Ethics Commission for being a stakeholder in an airline he previously founded, CapeAir. Since CapeAir is now a quasi-public agency whose board is controlled by the governor, the commission ruled Wolf's ties to be a violation of state conflict of interest prohibitions.[121][122] On September 19, the commission granted Wolf a second extension to his compliance deadline, beyond which he would be forced to resign his state senate seat and officially withdraw from the governor race.[123][124][125] The uncertainty about if and when he could resume campaigning resulted in Wolf's decision to officially withdraw from the race on October 21, 2013. [68][126][127][123] Wolf's withdrawal paved the way for a nasty executive vs. executive primary battle between Attorney General Martha Coakley and State Treasurer Steve Grossman, which Coakley won by five percentage points.

Charlie Baker, a venture capitalist who was the Republican nominee for governor in 2010, again won his party's nomination at the convention on March 22, 2014. The other Republican challenger, Mark Fisher, originally appeared to have narrowly missed an appearance on the primary ballot after failing to achieve 15 percent of the vote with just 14.765 percent, but after challenging the results in court the judge ruled that Fisher should be allowed to appear with Baker on the primary ballot.[128][129] The blank ballots that were cast at the convention were counted in the total, reducing the percentage that Fisher received just enough to push him off the ballot. Kirsten Hughes, the Massachusetts Republican party chairwoman, told the media after the convention that blanks should not count towards the total. She retracted that statement days later saying she misspoke.[130][131][132] Baker defeated Fisher in the Republican primary on September 9, 2014.

Baker will have had to defend his more moderate views as a Republican in order to distance himself from Coakley. Baker supports both abortion rights and gay marriage, a contrast to many views of his conservative Republican supporters.[133]


See also: Michigan gubernatorial election, 2014

First term Republican Gov. Rick Snyder is running for re-election in 2014. In December 2012, in the wake of his passage of a "right-to-work" law that provoked heavy rioting, particularly from unions, a Public Policy Poll showed the governor's chances of winning another term having severely diminished compared to a similar poll released the previous month. His net approval tumbled a net -28 points, with respondents preferring each of the poll's four hypothetical Democratic challengers over Snyder for 2014.[134][135]


See also: Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2014

The Minnesota gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mark Dayton (D) is running for re-election.[136] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Nebraska gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Gov. Dave Heineman is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.[137][138]. Heineman intended to enthusiastically back then-Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy, with whom he shared a winning ticket in both the 2006 and 2010 elections, as his successor, until[139]until Sheehy's resignation in Feb. 2012, causing a "deeply disappointed" Heineman to withdraw his support for his former second-in-command's campaign.[140] Days later, campaign donors reportedly began receiving refund checks in the mail, the final death knell for Sheehy’s foregone gubernatorial ambitions.[141]

With Sheehy, the previous front-runner, out of the running, other potential candidates emerged with renewed hope: A few weeks after Sheehy's resignation and subsequent withdrawal from the race, state Sen. Charlie Janssen declared his candidacy. Although he is a member of the nonpartisan of the Nebraska Legislature, Janssen is running for governor on the Republican ticket.[142]


See also: Nevada gubernatorial election, 2014

New Hampshire

See also: New Hampshire gubernatorial election, 2014

The New Hampshire gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Maggie Hassan (D) is eligible for re-election, as New Hampshire has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 2-year term in office.

New Mexico

See also: New Mexico gubernatorial election, 2014

The New Mexico gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Susana Martinez (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

New York

See also: New York gubernatorial election, 2014

The New York gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Andrew Cuomo (D) is eligible for re-election, as New York has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Ohio gubernatorial election, 2014

Kasich has stated his intention to seek a second term as governor in 2014.[65]

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan had been considered a strong potential Democratic candidate for the 2014 Ohio gubernatorial election, but ultimately opted against entering the race in March of 2013. He decided that challenging incumbent Gov. John Kasich (R) was not worth forfeiting his seat in the U.S. House, particularly in light of his reappointment to the influential Appropriations Committee in the 113th Congress.[143] [144][145]

Ballot access lawsuits

In late 2013, Ohio passed two laws that allegedly restrict minor parties' participation in the 2014 elections. The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed lawsuits against both laws, the outcomes of which could alter the candidate landscape of this race.[146]

Tea Party primary challenge

Ted Stevenot, an Ohio Tea Party leader, had planned to announce a primary challenge to incumbent Governor Kasich.[147] In early January 2014, however, Stevenot and his running mate, Brenda Mack, decided not to challenge Kasich.[148] In his prepared statement, Stevenot said that his running mate's financial history, which had been the subject of recent critical news coverage, was not part of his consideration to withdraw.[149]


See also: Oklahoma gubernatorial election, 2014

The Oklahoma gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mary Fallin (R) is eligible for re-election.


See also: Oregon gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent John Kitzhaber is running for his fourth term as Governor of Oregon. He stressed a renewed focus on tax changes and job creation aimed at reducing inequality in his fourth term.[150]

His two Republican opponents, Oregon state representative Dennis Richardson and rancher Jon Justesen will face off in the May 20 primary. Though they have raised less money than Kitzhaber, whoever wins the primary may be boosted by the poor initial performance of Oregon's state-run health exchange.[151]


See also: Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2014

There are 36 states holding regularly scheduled gubernatorial elections in 2014 and there are 5-10 seats considered most likely to face partisan switch, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Corbett among them. He was moved into to the top slot on the Washington Post's "endangered" list, after having been in third place during the prior rating cycle.[152][153][154] Corbett's upgraded vulnerability status comes to bear on the heels of his failure to enact any of his three tent-pole policy initiatives during recently concluded spring legislative session. The timing also corresponded to a further swell of Democratic candidates entering the 2014 governor's race.

By the summer of 2013, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Governing had all rated Republican incumbent Tom Corbett as one of the most vulnerable governors facing re-election in 2014.[155] Their reports reflect the Republican governor's increasingly weak position heading into the 2014 election season, when his abysmal job approval ratings will finally be put to the test by state Democrats, fired-up for an ousting after years under a Republican trifecta.[156]

Early polling and candidates

A July 2013 survey taken by Harper Polling showed that just under a quarter of state residents thought Corbett deserves to be elected again in 2014.[157] Those results backed up earlier polling figures released by Quinnipiac University, which had him at 38 percent job approval and substantially behind Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz in a hypothetical general election match up.[158] The Quinnipiac poll showed Schwartz beating Corbett by a whopping 10 points. These were even better numbers than had been revealed in a similar survey conducted previously by Public Opinion Strategies, a Republican-aligned firm.[159]

Back in April 2013, Schwartz was already looking especially threatening due to Corbett's dismal popularity among female respondents, 54-27 percent of whom expressed opposition to Corbett’s re-election, a margin of 2 to 1.[160]

Several Democratic hopefuls - Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Secretary John Hanger, Hanger's predecessor Kate McGinty, Cumberland County minister Max Myers, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, York businessman Tom Wolf and State Treasurer Rob McCord - formally launched 2014 campaigns for governor. Three other potential Democratic candidates were mentioned in connection with the race: State rep. H. Scott Conklin, former state auditor and state senator Jack Wagner and county commission chairman Josh Shapiro.[161][142][162][163]

Republican primary

Two Republicans have also been mentioned as potential primary opponents of Governor Corbett: former radio announcer Tom Lineaweaver and conservative activist Bob Guzzardi.[164][165] Guzzardi filed for the Republican primary and initially survived a challenge to his campaign's signatures after the Republican Party of Pennsylvania tried to get him disqualified.[166] However, on appeal to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Guzzardi was ordered stricken from the ballot on a technicality. The majority on the court found that Guzzardi had failed to "meet a deadline for filing a statement of financial interests" with the State Ethics Commission and his campaign filing therefore "possessed a 'fatal defect.'"[167] Two justices dissented, citing the lower court's finding that Guzzardi had filed the proper forms with the Pennsylvania Department of State and had been told by an employee there that he did not need to also file with the State Ethics Board.[167][168]

I agree with the Commonwealth Court that what occurred here was a breakdown in the administrative process. To strike this candidate's name from the ballot is akin to denying candidates their right to appear on the ballot under circumstances where there was some accident or natural disaster preventing candidates from entering the filing office.[169]

—Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Max Baer, In Re: Nom. Pet. of Robert Guzzardi Dissenting Statement

Democratic primary

See also: Pennsylvania Gubernatorial election, 2014#Primary election results

Businessman Tom Wolf took the Democratic primary by storm, spending on early campaign ads and taking an early lead that proved unsurpassed by the other candidates. This was an upset for early favorite Allyson Schwartz, who finished a distant second.

Third party candidates

Green Party candidate Paul Glover and Libertarian Party candidate Ken Krawchuk failed to get on to the November general election ballot after failing to collect the 17,000 required signatures.[170] Referencing the perceived lack of options on the ballot that this produced, Republican-turned-Independent Tom Lineaweaver declared a write-in campaign.[171] Lineaweaver had previously been considered a possible Republican primary challenger to Corbett.

Rhode Island

See also: Rhode Island gubernatorial election, 2014

The Rhode Island gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Lincoln Chafee (D) was eligible but chose not to run for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.

In October 2013, The Washington Post named the Democratic primary in the governor's race as one of the top 10 primaries of 2014.[172]

On May 30, 2013, the Republican-turned-Independent governor formalized his long-rumored intention to once again change his party affiliation, this time switching to Democrat.[173][174] Until officially joining the Democratic Party on May 30, 2013, Chafee was the country's only sitting Independent governor.[175] He endorsed former U.S. Senate colleague President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but the main reason Chafee cited for changing to a major party affiliation was the need to finance a competitive re-election campaign. "There is no independent governors association throwing money around ... but there is a Democratic Governors Association," he told The Associated Press in December 2012. Reaffirming his concerns, a report released by Governing in December 2012 named Chafee as one of five governors considered vulnerable to losing re-election in 2013-2014.[176]

Chafee was expected to seek re-election, but announced on September 4, 2013 that he would not seek a second term so that he could focus on governing instead. "I want to devote all my time, all my energy, to the task at hand," he stated.[177][6]

South Carolina

See also: South Carolina gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Nikki Haley is running for re-election in 2014.[178] Republican state treasurer Curtis Loftis, Jr. considered challenging Haley for the party's nomination, but announced on January 25, 2013 that he would seek re-election to his current post as treasurer instead.[45] Without Loftis, the list of potential Republican primary candidates is still long, and includes two fellow officials from the executive branch: Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell and Attorney General Alan Wilson.

South Dakota

See also: South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2014

The South Dakota gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Dennis Daugaard (R) is eligible for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Tennessee gubernatorial election, 2014

The Tennessee gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Bill Haslam (R) is running for re-election. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Texas gubernatorial election, 2014

The Texas gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Rick Perry (R) is eligible for re-election, as Texas has no gubernatorial term limits, but announced on July 8, 2013 that he would not seek re-election.[179] The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Vermont gubernatorial election, 2014

The Vermont gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Peter Shumlin (D) is eligible for re-election, as Vermont has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 2-year term in office.


See also: Wisconsin gubernatorial election, 2014

The Wisconsin gubernatorial election will take place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Scott Walker (R) is eligible for re-election, as Wisconsin has no gubernatorial term limits. The winner of the election will serve a 4-year term in office.


See also: Wyoming gubernatorial election, 2014

On January 29, 2013, Wyoming Superintendent of Public Instruction Cindy Hill announced that she was considering a bid for Governor of Wyoming in 2014. Hill, a Republican, was prompted to enter the race after incumbent Matt Mead signed a bill that relegates the elected office of state superintendent of education to a ceremonial position, reassigning leadership over the Department of Education to an education director post, selected by gubernatorial appointment. Hill subsequently filed a lawsuit against the state challenging the constitutionality of the law.[180] She said her decision to run for governor was driven by the swell of public support she has received in response to the lawsuit.[181]

See Also

Additional Reading


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