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The Executive Summary: New appointed executives in Nebraska, Oklahoma

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February 21, 2013

Edited by Geoff Pallay

MADISON, Wisconsin: It's official: Nebraskans have a new lieutenant governor and those not paying close attention may confuse him with the current governor. On February 13, Gov. Dave Heineman (R) appointed former state senator Lavon Heidemann to fill the vacancy. Due to the similarity in their names, Heidemann joked that he's often mistaken for the governor. That role, however, is one he will not be holding. Gov. Heinemann insisted on appointing someone who would not run for governor in 2014, something Heidemann said he agreed to.[1]

Heidemann represented District 1 in the Nebraska State Senate from 2005 until 2013. He was unable to run for re-election due to term limits. Last November he was elected to a position on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's Board of Regents. Heidemann said that, while he regrets leaving the Board so soon after starting his term, he is "excited for this opportunity to serve the people of Nebraska."[2]

Until February 2, the lieutenant governor was Rick Sheehy, a Republican appointed in 2005 and elected in 2006 and 2010. Sheehy resigned his post as lieutenant governor on the heels of an investigative report from The World Herald that revealed he had abused his state-issued cell phone privileges by making thousands of personal phone calls to women over the previous four years. "I had trusted him and that trust was broken," Gov. Heineman explained at a press conference announcing Sheehy's resignation the morning of Feb. 2.[3]

Incumbent Gov. Heineman is barred by term limits from seeking re-election in 2014.[4] Heineman intended to enthusiastically back Sheehy as his successor until the scandal broke.[5] 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.[6] Other potential candidates include state Sen. Beau McCoy (R), state Treasurer Don Stenberg (R), state Auditor Mike Foley (R), and state Sen. Steve Lathrop (D).

Happenings

Federal healthcare exchanges

When Congress passed the Affordable Care Act in 2010, states were given three choices

  • Setting up their own health exchange
  • Leaving it up to the federal government
  • Creating a joint system.

The deadline for deciding came last Friday. The final breakdown is that 26 state health exchanges will be run by the federal government, 17 states and the District of Columbia will run their own exchange, while 7 states will share the responsibility with federal officials.

As was expected, there was a clear divide along party lines, with the majority of Republican-led states leaving it up to the feds and majority of Democratic-led states running their own. Not all states went that way, however. Four states with Republican governors - Nevada, Idaho, New Mexico and Utah - will be running their own exchange, while two states with Democratic governors - Missouri and Montana - passed on that option. Rhode Island, home to the nation's only Independent governor, will also run a health exchange.[7]

The seven states planning on a joint partnership exchange are: Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Illinois, Michigan, New Hampshire and West Virginia. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius stressed the fact that those states who opted out of a state-run or partnership exchange will have the choice to run their own in future years.[8]

Elections

2013

See also: State executive official elections, 2013
State Executive Official Elections Results in 2013
Office Incumbent Incumbent Party Incumbent Running? 2013 Winner Partisan switch?
Governor of New Jersey Chris Christie Ends.png Republican Yes Chris Christie No
Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey Kim Guadagno Ends.png Republican Yes Kim Guadagno No
Governor of Virginia Bob McDonnell Ends.png Republican No Terry McAuliffe Yes
Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Bill Bolling Ends.png Republican No Ralph Northam Yes
Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli Ends.png Republican No Mark Herring Yes
Superintendent of Wisconsin Tony Evers Grey.png Nonpartisan Yes Tony Evers No
Mark your calendar
DateEvent
March 13Voter registration opens in Wisconsin
March 28Filing deadline for primary candidates in Virginia
April 1Filing deadline for primary candidates in New Jersey
April 2Wisconsin holds general election
May 17-18Virginia Republican Party holds statewide primary convention

There are three states holding state executive official elections in 2013 -- New Jersey, Virginia and Wisconsin. A total of six officials will be elected. The attention-grabbing positions up for election are Governor of New Jersey and Governor of Virginia. Both made The Washington Post's list of the top 5 races to watch in 2013.

Wisconsin

The first state executive election in 2013 will take place in Wisconsin, incumbent Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers is running for re-election. Unlike previous elections where multiple challengers filed to run, Evers only had one challenger submit the necessary signatures required to appear on the ballot.[9][10] The filing deadline passed on January 2, 2013.[9] This negated the need for the scheduled February 19, 2013 primary election. The two will instead face off in the general election on April 2nd.[11]

Virginia

Heading into the 2013 election, all three state executive offices up for election this year in Virginia are occupied by Republicans, and none are running for re-election to their current posts. Term-limited Governor Bob McDonnell cannot run, and Attorney General of Virginia Ken Cuccinelli is vying to replace to him. Meanwhile, incumbent Bill Bolling decided to pursue the governorship rather than seek another term as Lt. Governor, only to find himself shunted aside by Cuccinelli and his party's decision to change the primary candidate selection format from election to convention. Cuccinelli secured the GOP nomination for governor, being the only member of his party to file by the convention's Jan. 13th deadline, leaving Bolling to explore an alternative track to the ballot, most likely as an Independent candidate. He is expected to make a formal announcement about his candidacy on March 14, 2013.[12] Seven Republican candidates filed for Bolling’s seat, while two entered the race to replace Cuccinelli as attorney general.

Democratic primary candidates have until March 28 to file their nominating petitions with the state board of elections. They will be elected at the taxpayer funded primary election on June 11, and the Republican nominee will be voted on by delegates of the Virginia Republican Party at the party-funded statewide primary convention on May 18. The following list of Republican primary convention candidates is official as of January 13, 2013:

Lieutenant Governor candidates

Attorney General candidates

New Jersey

One by one, names of potential Democratic candidates for New Jersey Governor have defected to a new list of names- supporters of presumptive nominee Barbara Buono, a state Senator and currently the only individual from her party to formalize a gubernatorial bid for the upcoming election. On February 2, 2013, Buono's campaign reported that it had surpassed the fundraising threshold to qualify for the public funding program whereby candidates who raise at least $380,000 can accept campaign funds from the state--controlled by the state election law enforcement commission--in amount proportionate to what the campaign receives directly from the public.[19] The purpose of the program is to lessen the influence of corporate contributions in elections;[20] candidates who choose to accept public funds may not spend more than $12.2 million on their gubernatorial campaigns, and the maximum amount of public (tax-generated) funds that any candidate may receive is $8.2 million.[21] New Jersey employs a two-to-one matching program for qualified contributions.

By the time Buono reached the qualifying mark, incumbent Chris Christie (R) had already raised $2 million for his re-election campaign. Unlike in 2009, Christie stated that he will not accept matching funds in the 2013 primary.[20] Despite Buono's expanding campaign coffer and list of endorsements, which now includes the Democratic Governors' Association, she faces what appears to be an uphill battle. The incumbency advantage aside, Christie's fundraising prowess and popularity--especially since Hurricane Sandy--among heavyweights from both major parties shield him against an upset in November.

Indeed, a Quinnipiac University Poll released February 20, 2013 reaffirmed Christie’s popularity with New Jersey voters post-Hurricane Sandy. At 74% job approval - "the highest of any New Jersey governor in 17 years of Quinnipiac University surveys" - and 71-23% believing that Christie deserves to win re-election in 2013, the governor is the clear favorite for the 2013 gubernatorial race.[22] According to the poll, Christie's strength is just one of Buono’s weaknesses heading into the primary election season. In a head-to-head match-up, respondents preferred Christie to Buono 62-25, a wide margin that the poll summary suggests is related to her anonymity: 83% of respondents said they did not know enough to form an opinion about Buono. Somewhat ominously for the Buono campaign, this figure indicates that her name recognition has diminished slightly since voters were last asked about her back in Jan. 2013.

Appointments

Kansas

The Kansas State Senate unanimously confirmed Lana Gordon as the state's Secretary of Labor on February 7. Gordon had been serving as interim secretary since September 2012 when Gov. Sam Brownback (R) asked Karin Brownlee to step down for undisclosed reasons.[23][24][25]

Brownlee said she did not leave the position voluntarily and did not sign a letter of resignation. "I think the governor and I measure performance in different ways. It's hard to understand," she stated.[26]

Gordon is a former Republican member of the Kansas House of Representatives. She represented District 52 from 2001 until her appointment to the department of labor by Gov. Brownback on September 20, 2012.[24]

Oklahoma

Glenn Coffee resigned the position of Oklahoma Secretary of State on January 31, 2013 in order to return to the private sector.[27] Michelle Day, who had been serving as Assistant Secretary of State since January 2011, was named as an interim replacement for Coffee.[28] On February 14, Gov. Mary Fallin (R) named Larry Parman as a permanent replacement. He will take office on March 1.[29]

Parman, an attorney, has been chief executive officer of Parman & Easterday since 1985. He has been a partner with Notch It Up Strategies, LLC since January 2008, and a partner with CEO Maestro since January 2006. He previously served as President of The Hawthorne Group from June 2001 to December 2003.[30]

Oklahoma is one of 12 states that appoint the position of Secretary of State.

This week in State Executive Trivia

252px-Question book-3.jpg Which state executive official won election in 2012 with the most votes; which was elected with the fewest votes?

There were 88 total "elections" on November 6, 2012. The race with the most votes to assume state executive office was Christi Craddick in the Texas Railroad Commissioner election.

The fewest votes received was Carolyn Kennedy Shearman, who garnered 35,889 votes in the New Mexico Public Education Commission District 9 race. Sherman ran unopposed. The candidate to receive the fewest votes in a competitive race was Kirk Bushman, who won a seat on the Montana Public Service Commission in a race with 89,972 votes cast.

References

  1. Omaha.com, "Choice of Heidemann for lieutenant governor called 'great pick'," February 14, 2013
  2. Daily Nebraskan, "Heineman selects Lavon Heidemann as new lieutenant governor," February 14, 2013
  3. The Lincoln Journal-Star, "Lt. Gov Rick Sheehy resigns," February 2, 2013
  4. World Herald-Bureau, "Mike Flood launches bid for governor's office in 2014," November 13, 2012
  5. Journal Star, "Sheehy says he will run for Nebraska governor in 2014," July 15, 2011
  6. National Review Online, "Charlie Janssen to run for Nebraska governor, February 19, 2013
  7. Washington Post, " It's official: The feds will run most Obamacare exchanges," February 18, 2013
  8. Reuters, "U.S. to operate 26 state health exchanges with little local help," February 19, 2013
  9. 9.0 9.1 Green Bay Press Gazette "State Superintendent Supreme Court Justice will face challenges" Accessed January 8, 2013
  10. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Candidate List-Spring 2013 Elections," accessed January 2, 2013
  11. WTAQ "State public school superintendent candidates take jabs at each other" Accessed January 8, 2013
  12. The Richmond Times-Dispatch, "Bolling says major announcement set for March 14," February 7, 2013
  13. The Washington Post, "Snyder raises $450,000 for lieutenant governor bid," January 15, 2013
  14. Washington Post, "Scott Lingamfelter announces run for lieutenant governor," June 28, 2012
  15. Washington Post, "Virginia Sen. Stephen Martin plans to run for lt. governor," June 20, 2012
  16. Village News Online, "State Senator Martin decides to run for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia," June 27, 2012
  17. Washington Post, "Jeannemarie Devolites-David running for lieutenant governor," September 24, 2012
  18. Washington Post, "Del. Bell to run for Virginia attorney general," December 5, 2011
  19. NJ.com, "Sen. Buono raises almost $250K in first month of campaigning," January 2, 2013
  20. 20.0 20.1 The Star-Ledger, "Buono qualifies for public matching funds in N.J. governor's race," February 4, 2013
  21. New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, "Press Release," June 19, 2012
  22. Quinnipiac University Poll, "NEW JERSEY GOV FLIES HIGH, BURIES UNKNOWN DEM, QUINNIPIAC UNIVERSITY POLL FINDS;CHRISTIE CLOSE TO CLINTON, LEADS CUOMO IN ’16 PRES RACE," released February 20, 2013
  23. Kansas City Infozine, "Governor Appoints Topekan State Labor Secretary," January 19, 2013
  24. 24.0 24.1 The Witchita Eagle, "Kansas governor ousts labor secretary," September 21, 2012
  25. KAKE, "Kansas Senate Confirms Governor's Labor Secretary," February 8, 2013
  26. Lawrence Journal World, "Kansas labor chief says governor fired her," September 20, 2012
  27. The Oklahoman, "Oklahoma secretary of state will step down," December 7, 2012
  28. Tulsa World, "Gov. Fallin names Michelle Day as interim secretary of state," February 1, 2013
  29. KTUL, "Governor Fallin Appoints New Secretary Of State," February 14, 2013
  30. LinkedIn, "Larry Parman," accessed February 15, 2013