The Executive Summary: Term limits and reading the fine print
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Edited by Geoff Pallay
Jan Brewer: Those pesky term limits
With the 2012 elections in the rearview mirror, speculation about future gubernatorial races is already in full swing. Party operatives and political analysts have already begun whipping themselves into a frenzy over the question of who's going to run for their state's chief executive officer in 2013 and 2014, and current Arizona Governor Jan Brewer (R) is doing her best to keep her name in circulation as a potential candidate, despite being ineligible for re-election next term.
Since the Arizona Constitution does not provide for the position of Lieutenant Governor, Brewer (then- Arizona Secretary of State) was the first in line to succeed Democratic Governor Janet Napolitano when she resigned to become United States Secretary of Homeland Security on January 20, 2009. Brewer, a Republican, is Arizona's fourth female governor and the third consecutive female governor of the state. In the 2010 midterm election, she won election to a full term as governor.
Fast forward two years, and Brewer is exploring a bid for re-election in 2014, though she faces a potentially insurmountable roadblock. Based on most interpretations of the state constitution, Brewer is ineligible to run for re-election.
Arizona Constitution, Article 5 Section 1 Version 2
No member of the executive department shall hold that office for more than two consecutive terms. This limitation on the number of terms of consecutive service shall apply to terms of office beginning on or after January 1, 1993. No member of the executive department after serving the maximum number of terms, which shall include any part of a term served, may serve in the same office until out of office for no less than one full term.
Brewer - who, again, was originally appointed to the position in 2009 and subsequently elected one time in 2010 - is technically ineligible to seek re-election in 2014 under the state's rules governing term limits for executive officials.
Joe Kanefield, Brewer's former chief legal counsel, gave her the idea that she could circumvent the 1992 voter-approved proposition restricting governors to two consecutive terms, and he recently rehashed his case in an Arizona Republic piece. Kanefield's argument centers on the ballot measure provision about counting partial terms toward the maximum of two consecutive terms, without which Brewer would be indisputably eligible. He asserts that specific language "which shall include any part of a term served" was meant to prevent crafty politicians from resigning just short of their second term's expiration in order to stay in office. And since Brewer, short of "gaming the system," inherited the role automatically in 2009 per constitutional succession procedure, she ought to be able to run for re-election without violating the spirit of the law.
While Brewer has not officially thrown down the gauntlet yet, she has made several comments in the last month indicating a strong will to continue reigning past her current term's January 2015 expiration date. Of the possible bid for re-election, and accompanying term-limit hurdle, the 70-year-old governor told the Arizona Republic, "I haven't ruled it out, and I've been encouraged by people — legal scholars and other people — that it's probably something that I ought to pursue." As 2014 draws nearer and potential replacements launch campaigns for what they understand to be an open seat, Brewer will have to decide if the challenge is worth taking up to the Arizona Supreme Court. She would need a majority vote to enable her bid. Brewer appointed three of the five total justices.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction recount
Three weeks after the general election there is still one state executive race outstanding. All signs point to a recount in the battle for Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction. With 100 percent of unofficial results in, incumbent Denise Juneau (D) claimed victory over challenger Sandy Welch (R), but Welch refused to concede, saying she was considering a recount.
Secretary of State Linda McCulloch announced on November 27 that the state canvass of the 2012 General Election results was completed, with the final totals showing Juneau leading Welch by a difference of 0.476 percent, or 2,231 votes. According to state law that slim of a margin qualifies the race for a recount as long as Welch to files a petition requesting such action within five days of the canvas. Welch, who is lining up poll watchers to oversee ballot counting in each county, will be responsible for picking up the estimated $115,000 tab for the recount, but the state Republican Party has already said they would pay for the majority of the costs.
|Montana Superintendent of Public Instruction General Election, 2012|
|Democratic||Denise Juneau Incumbent||50.2%||235,397|
|Election Results via Montana Secretary of State.|
State executive officials who ran for Congress in 2012
During the 2012 election cycle, Ballotpedia counted 382 incumbents who ran for another office. We defined another office as situations such as a sitting state senator running for Congress, or a congressional member running for state executive office, etc. Included among this number were 9 state executive officials who ran for Congress. So, then, how did they do? Turns out not so great. Only one - Nebraska's Kevin Cramer - will be moving into a new office in the nation's capital.
7 state executive officials ran for the U.S. Senate:
- Attorney General of Maine William Schneider (R)
- Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin (R)
- Maine Secretary of State Charles Summers Jr. (R)
- Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock (R)
- Lieutenant Governor of Texas David Dewhurst (R)
- New Mexico State Auditor Hector Balderas (D)
- Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel (R)
Two state executive officials ran for the U.S. House:
Texas Secretary of State Resigned, Replacement Appointed
Effective November 23, 2012, Hope Andrade (R) is no longer the Texas Secretary of State. An official statement was posted on the secretary of state website last Tuesday after Andrade submitted her letter of resignation to Gov. Rick Perry, who appointed Andrade the first Latina secretary of state in Texas' history in July 2008. Before her appointment, Andrade was the chair of the Texas Transportation Commission. 
"I am truly humbled by the trust and confidence Governor Perry placed in me nearly four and a half years ago and will forever be grateful for the opportunity to represent Texas in this esteemed office, " she said of her tenure overseeing five elections and advising the governor on Mexican affairs during a critical period in the shaping of Mexican border policy.
Andrade's departure comes on the heels of a controversial attempt to purge the state's voter rolls of deceased Texans in preparation for the November general election. Enacted last year by the State Legislature to enhance the overall integrity of Texas' elections, the purge was met with skepticism, and in some cases hostility, by a number of county elections supervisors who worried that in the rush to implement the system, thousands of living, eligible Texas voters would end up mislabeled as dead and therefore disenfranchised. One of the approximately 76,000 voters sent notices requesting confirmation of life (or else have their registration cancelled) was Wayne Smith, a member of the Texas House of Representatives. As secretary of state, Andrade was responsible for administering the revamped voter roll clean up system.  At least two counties temporarily lost funding from the state for refusing to carry out her office's directives per the new law.
Perry noted her indelible place in the history books as a pioneer of Hispanic female leadership in Texas. "I'm thankful for her service and I'm proud to call her a friend," he said after accepting her resignation this week.
Less than one week later, Perry appointed San Antonio attorney and former Texas Public Safety Commission Board member John Steen as Texas' 108th Secretary of State. Steen took office this past Tuesday, November 27, 2012, anxious to don the myriad hats the role requires: state's chief elections officer, the governor's liaison on border and Mexican affairs, and chief protocol officer for state and international matters.
Tennessee Regulatory Authority
On November 8, 2012 members of the Tennessee Regulatory Authority selected Jim Allison as the new chairman of the redesigned authority. The TRA members also selected director Herbert H. Hilliard to serve as vice chairman of the authority. Allison and Hilliard were previously appointed as directors in July 2012 by Governor Bill Haslam (R), Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey (R) and House Speaker Beth Harwell (R). Allison succeeds TRA director Kenneth C. Hill who served as chairman from October 2011 to November 2012. The Tennessee Regulatory Authority is responsible for regulating utilities in Tennessee.
West Virginia Superintendent of Schools
Deputy State Superintendent Chuck Heinlien was selected to serve in an interim capacity as the West Virginia Superintendent of Schools, pending the State Board of Education's appointment of a permanent replacement. The previous Superintendent, Jorea Marple, was fired by the board on November 15, 2012 in an executive session. Because Marple was an at-will employee, the state Board of Education was not required to give a reason for her termination.
The President of the board, L. Wade Linger Jr., is expected to recommend Randolph County superintendent James Phares as the permanent replacement.
Vermont Insurance Commissioner
Vermont Insurance Commissioner Steve Kimbell announced his retirement one week after the election season came to an official close. Kimbell was appointed to lead the Department of Financial Regulation by Gov. Peter Shumlin (D) in January, 2011. Kimbell was disinclined to accept the position, but eventually agreed to serve a short, two-year stint as commissioner as a personal favor to Shumlin. "I'm 68-and-a-half, even though I might not look it. I have a wonderful 120 acres in Tunbridge that when I retired the first time I planned to raise sheep on … and I intend to resume that and support my wife on the home front. But I'm going to see this job through until Inauguration Day," Kimbell explained at a press conference during which Shumlin announced a variety of other shakeups in his administration, including the departure of his long-time chief of staff.
The recently re-elected governor appointed Susan Donegan as Kimbell's replacement. Donegan has served as deputy overseeing the insurance industry under Kimbell, and will take over the role on January 3, 2013 -- Inauguration day, as Kimbell said, when Shumlin officially begins his second term.
|Quick facts about Secretary of State|
The Secretary of State is a state level position in 47 of the 50 states. The position does not exist in Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah. In Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginia, the office is called the Secretary of the Commonwealth and differs only in name. The voters directly elect the secretary of state in 35 states. In the other 12, the secretary is appointed by either the Governor or the state legislature.
The duties of the position are generally administrative in nature, and no two states have identical responsibilities delegated to the secretary of state. Many are tasked with keeping state records, from registering businesses to recording the official acts of the Governor. The officeholder also often serves as the chief election official in their state, administering state elections and maintaining official election results. The commissioning and regulation of notaries public, keeping of the official state seal, and certification of official documents all typically fall under the purview of the secretary of state.
In 35 states, the position is popularly elected. The remaining 12 offices are filled by appointment: 9 by the Governor and 3 by the state legislature. Of the 35 elected to office, 20 are currently Republican and 15 are Democrat.
States (9) in which secretaries are appointed by the governor include:
States (3) in which secretaries are appointed by the state legislature include:
The longest-serving current secretary of state is New Hampshire's William Gardner (D). Gardner, a former member of the New Hampshire State Legislature, has served in the position since 1976. In New Hampshire the Legislature elects the secretary of state every two years. He is running for re-appointment this year, which will be decided on December 5 when legislators are sworn in. Gardner is known by some as "King Bill" due to his clout and determination to keep New Hampshire's presidential primary the first in the nation.
- Arizona Republic, "Kanefield: Constitution clears Brewer to pursue another term," November 15, 2012
- The Arizona Daily Sun, "Brewer on re-election: No Decision," November 14, 2012
- Politico, "Brewer may seek 3rd term as governor," November 12, 2012
- Great Falls Tribune, "Juneau unofficial winner; Welch not conceding defeat in close OPI race," November 14, 2012
- KXLH, "Welch will ask for recount in OPI race against Juneau," November 9, 2012
- KAJ18, "Board of canvassers certifies 2012 MT election results," November 28, 2012
- Great Falls Tribune, "Welch lines up watchers for OPI recount," November 27, 2012
- Texas Secretary of State, "Secretary of State Hope Andrade Submits Resignation," November 20, 2012
- Bloomberg News, "Texas Official Who Cut Dead From Voter Rolls Resigns," November 21, 2012
- ABC Local, "2nd big Texas county in standoff over voter purge," September 14, 2012
- Office of the Governor of Texas, "Press Release: Gov. Perry Names Steen Texas Secretary of State," November 27, 2012
- The American Statesman, "Steen named Texas Secretary of State," November 27, 2012
- Tennessee Regulatory Authority "New Chairman Allison Named" Accessed November 23, 2012
- Tennessee.gov "New Tennsese Regulatory Authority Takes Form" Accessed Novemebr 23, 2012
- The State Journal, "State Board of Education member 'appalled' at 'lack of transparency,'" November 16, 2012
- San Francisco Chronicle "Board fires W.Va. schools superintendent" Accessed November 23, 2012
- VT Digger, "Shumlin shuffles staff," November 13, 2012
- The Republic, "Post-election shakeup: Vermont governor announces 7 top staff changes," November 13, 2012
- Governor of Vermont Peter Shumlin, "Governor Shumlin announces second-term administration changes," accessed November 29, 2012
- Seacoast Online, "Not too early to start thinking about 2014," November 18, 2012
- Los Angeles Times, "Bill Gardner a New Hampshire institution," October 27, 2011