Gubenatorial Outlook in 2006

The threads on House and Senate races have me thinking about the various Governorships that will be coming up in 2005 through 2007.  Here is a list of the races coming up.  Let's talk about them.
2005:
New Jersey: Codey (D)
Virginia: Warner (D) Term-limited, cannot run again

2006:
Alabama: Riley (R)
Alaska: Murkowski (R)
Arizona: Napolitano (D)
Arkansas: Huckabee (R)
California: Schwarzenegger (R)
Colorado: Owens (R) Term-limited, cannot run again
Connecticut: Rell (R)
Florida: Bush (R) Term-limited, cannot run again
Georgia: Perdue (R)
Hawaii: Lingle (R)
Idaho: Kempthorne (R)
Illinois: Blagojevich (D)
Iowa: Vilsack (D)
Kansas: Sebelius (D)
Maine: Baldacci (D)
Maryland: Ehrlich (R)
Massachusetts: Romney (R)
Michigan: Granholm (D)
Minnesota: Pawlenty (R)
Nebraska: Johanns (R)
Nevada: Guinn (R) Term-limited, cannot run again
New Hampshire: Lynch (D) 2-year term
New Mexico: Richardson (D)
New York: Pataki (R)
Ohio: Taft (R) Term-limited, cannot run again
Oklahoma: Henry (D)
Oregon: Kulongoski (D)
Pennsylvania: Rendell (D)
Rhode Island: Carcieri (R)
South Carolina: Sanford (R)
South Dakota: Rounds (R)
Tennessee: Bredesen (D)
Texas: Perry (R)
Vermont: Jim Douglas (R) 2-year term
Wisconsin: Doyle (D)
Wyoming: Freudenthal (D)

2007:
Kentucky: Fletcher (R)
Louisiana: Blanco (D) (next election Saturday 20 October 2007)
Mississippi: Barbour (R)

The only race I know anything about is the one in Florida... since I live in the Sunshine State.  For example... as many of you know Jeb is term-limited and cannot run again.  There are several prominent Republicans and Democrats that will likely throw their hats in the ring, but at this time no one that I know of has come forward.  I'll try to compile a list of the likely candidates.

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Comments

64 Comments

Vilsack's not running
Vilsack has said a million times he will not run for a third term.

Likely Democratic candidates include Lt. Gov Sally Pedersen and State Representative Ed Fallon (neither has declared, however).

Likely Republican candidates include U.S. Rep Jim Nussle (Iowa's 1st CD) and possibly lawyer/lobbyist Doug Gross, who lost badly to Vilsack in 2002. If Nussle gets in it could clear the decks, otherwise some Republicans in the state legislature will likely run.

Vilsack was the first Democrat elected governor of Iowa for 30 years. I would say the 2006 race leans Republican, especially if Nussle is the nominee.

by desmoinesdem 2004-11-15 07:31AM | 0 recs
Florida
I am hoping that Betty Castor runs for Gov in Florida. I think she could be unbeatable. She ran well ahead of Kerry, and nearly won, and ran a great campaign.
by Jerome Armstrong 2004-11-15 07:31AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
I agree that Betty would be a strong candidate, but I'm not sure that she'll run.  I met her daughter the other day and she said Betty was thinking about her future, but had no concrete plans for anything as of yet.
by samizdat 2004-11-15 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
Not sure Castor is a great gubernatorial candidate.  How about Jim Davis (Congressman from Tampa)?  Alex Panelas (Miami mayor)?
by Thirsty Gator 2004-11-15 05:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
Is it too soon for oCngressman Kendrick Meek to run? I know he's young, but he's had a high profile on big issues like homeland security, and I think voters might like his background as a highway patrol officer.
by slvn 2004-11-16 02:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
Here are his disadvantages in a state like Florida...

He has very little name recognition in the state.
He's black.
He's young.
He's never held statewide office.

Don't get me wrong...  he's smart and capable, but the reality is that he wouldn't make it past the primary.  Even if he did...  Crist would cream him.

--sam

by samizdat 2004-11-16 03:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Florida
You mean... Alex Pinellas, former Miami Mayor.  I wasn't paying close attention to the race, but a Republican is mayor-elect of Miami now.

Pinellas has a little bit of name recognition, but he'll be out of the spotlight for two years and I'm not sure that he'll click well with people beyond his South Florida base.

by samizdat 2004-11-16 03:15AM | 0 recs
Others
Oregon-- Kulongoski has done a great job, he'll easily be re-elected.

Vermont-- Now that D's control both the House and Senate, they can pin down some votes on Douglas, who talks a good game, but is all repug. Some veto's will line up a strong candidate mandate.

Ohio-- Springer, if he runs, cause I'll be working his campaign, lol. Also, Strickland might run. Blackwell is going to run for the R's rightwing lot, could be a big opportunity to winover the moderate Republicans.

California-- I hope Reiner runs, but D's are terrified by Arnold's high ratings.

Minnesota-- Pawlenty is weak, he could be knocked off; not sure by who though.

All in all, lots of races, should be the ones to watch in 2006.

by Jerome Armstrong 2004-11-15 07:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Others
Jer! Rey! Jer! Rey! Jer! Rey!

Ah, that would be fun.

Just make sure that you keep his hands off his checkbook.
 

by ignatzmouse 2004-11-15 08:39AM | 0 recs
Jerry
Still think he'd make a good presidential candidate... From Ohio, has executive experience, has an almost Clinton-esque ability to communicate with hoi poloi... In any event, I hope he does run for something, 'cause I think he'd be a lock. Reagan was a b-list movie actor, Ventura was a wrestler, Ahhh-nold needs no introduction. It's a mistake to rule out these novelty candidates, they seem to win elections, often against arguably more qualified challengers.
by lowearthorbital 2004-11-15 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerry
Ohio man here.  I can't wait for Jerry Springer to run for govenor.  I think it's exactly what we need in Ohio.

A charismatic new face.  He has lots of money and lots of name recognition.  Something most DEM candidates in Ohio suffer from.

Either that, or can we get Earl Bruce to be a Dem?

by pacified 2004-11-15 09:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerry
You Stupid Fool.  I can see the headlines.  Jerry Springer would become the face of the Democratic party and bring Democrats down everywhere.  Moral values weren't just about certain issues, as some clame, they were about personal morals, that Democrats have failed on(Republicans too, but not as well known by most thanks to the SCLM).  
by pdc90dem 2004-11-15 02:39PM | 0 recs
Re: Jerry
That's a little harsh, isn't it?   He's not going to be seen as the national point man of the Democratic party as the Governor of Ohio, that's just not how things work.  

We need all the help we can in Ohio since the Republicans have a virtual lock on all arms of State government and they've used it to effectively district themselves a permanent majority in the state house and senate.

If Jerry can break through by any means necessary I welcome his help.

I think you're worrying too much about Value Voters anyway.  I bet two-thirds of them watch Springer.  

by Zipsix 2004-11-16 05:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerry
Yes, I'm sorry, that was very harsh.  I do apologize, but that was my intial reaction.
by pdc90dem 2004-11-16 11:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Jerry
As well I also agree about the sheer hipocracy of many "values" voters, perhaps many of them do watch Jerry Springer.
by pdc90dem 2004-11-16 11:48AM | 0 recs
Jerry can't be President
Jerry can't be President since he was born in the UK.

I think a constitutional amendment to allow naturalized citizens to become President would be unlikely to pass... it might squeak through a Republican-controlled Congress thirsting for President Schwarzenegger, but I doubt it would get ratified by 38 states.

If it does happen there are many interesting candidates that come into play, like Jennifer Granholm. But for the time being she's doing great where she is.

by drewthaler 2004-11-15 01:02PM | 0 recs
Kulongoski
Has he really done a good job?  I've been out of the state for about two years now and degrudgingly gave him my vote as I was departing for NYC.  He ran a really lackluster campaign and nearly gave to governorship to Kevin Mannix due to his incompetence.

I guess I'm just bitter Kitzhaber had to step down due to term limits.

by hazletok 2004-11-15 10:12AM | 0 recs
Why don't we run an actor?
Ben Affleck is into politics. But if he ran the republicans would mock us for running an actor even though the governor is an acotr. The GOP knows no shame.
by skipper2379 2004-11-15 12:37PM | 0 recs
Can't Run
Warner can't run again in VA, the law limits him to one term. Benson can't run again in NH due to the fact that he um, just lost to John Lynch.
by NyNhDem 2004-11-15 07:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Can't Run
Oops... sorry about Benson.  I'll correct that.  I'll also add the note about Warner.

Thanks

by samizdat 2004-11-15 08:46AM | 0 recs
Romney faces an uphill battle
MA lost 13,000 rep. registration among voters since Romney got into office (doesn't sound like much, but there are fewer than 300,000 registered Reps in the whole state).

Also, MA lost 3 Rep. incumbents Nov 2 which was attributed to state hatred of Bush. And Romney's been tied pretty closely to Bush's coattails.

The biggest question is who emerges as the Dem. candidate. Lots of big names in the mix, but no clear leader yet.

by cfr 2004-11-15 07:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney faces an uphill battle
>The biggest question is who emerges as the Dem. candidate. Lots >of big names in the mix, but no clear leader yet.

Who have you heard? I'm not sure if O'Brien will run again, as she lost by about 106K, a difference of about 5 percent or so, the last time around.
Tolman, I think, will probably run again. Ditto Tom Birmingham. Not sure about Robert Reich or Grossman.
Also curious to see whether or not Jill Stein runs this time, as she was mighty easy on the eyes but helped pull votes away from O'Brien (and could probably do so again this time) and hoping Barbara Johnson runs again, because she brought the crazy like nobody's business. Like Admiral Stockdale in a wig with smoker's cough...

by lowearthorbital 2004-11-15 09:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney faces an uphill battle
Kerry should run for Govenor.
by pacified 2004-11-15 09:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney faces an uphill battle
Robert Reich, I hope

If not him...it will certainly be one of the boston congressmen

by JamesMA01 2004-11-15 10:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Romney faces an uphill battle
I covered one of the pre-primary debates in 2002, and found Reich not very impressive... I had read his book and thought it was pretty good but I didn't think he really held his own against the other candidates. Of course, Reich's about 5 foot tall, and the debate sponsors did him no favors in sticking him next to Tolman, who is 6'9", bald, and looks like he oughta have bolts in his neck.
I'd like to see Medford mayor Mike McGlynn make a run. It's a pipe dream, but he is qualified... head of the MMA for years, and a very personable politician. If nothing else, it would be entertaining to see a line item in the state budget for fireworks displays.
by lowearthorbital 2004-11-15 12:21PM | 0 recs
NY
I just read that Schumer won't run.  I guess that makes Spitzer the clear front runner.  Will he run?  Can he beat Pataki?

As a native New Yorker, I'd love to see my home state get bluer.

by nocloset 2004-11-15 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: NY
Being from NY, I agree entirely. I'm especially tired of Pataki shortchanging NYC. I think with a candidate like Spitzer who is very popular and pragmatic we can take down Pataki. We sure as hell have the votes to do it. Pataki's speech at the RNC was abysmal and his political personality is not exactly inspiring. The NY dem. party has been terrible at finding candidates for NYS governor and even worse at having them get their messages out. (Carl McCall?) With a great candidate and a fighter like Spitzer I think we can easily bring this home. If Pataki wants to continue his drive for the Repug nomination in '08 he should probably lose trying to unseat Hillary instead of being taken down in the gubernatorial race against Spitzer who could win big.
by NyNhDem 2004-11-15 08:15AM | 0 recs
Re: NY
didn't see this- and yes Spitzer is good- as I mentioned below he's tough- this party needs tough people like him in leadership roles. I mean is there anyone who this man has not put the fear of god into in the last few years?
by bruh21 2004-11-15 09:52AM | 0 recs
Re: NY
Eliot will be a great candidate!  Pataki has been a disaster for Upstate NY, as well as NYC.  He probbly won't run.  Why would he?  If he loses, he's done for the Pres. run in 2004.
by unionmark 2004-11-16 05:13AM | 0 recs
Re: NY
Spitzer is polling with a clear advantage over Pataki. Pataki has caved to every special interest, and he has badly shortchanged NYC. It is so bad that Bloomberg (a fellow repub with pataki) might lose simply for not telling off Pataki whenever he has the chance.

I can hardly imagine how he won before, but this appears to be the end of the line for him. Spitzer will (unless a disaster happens) cream him, and if he runs against Hillary he would lose just as bad. There's nowhere for him to go in 2006, except into retirement.

Also, if Bloomberg loses to Ferrer (maybe 60% likely, hard to say so early), then things just get that much worse for Pataki. An unpopular governor might have a chance if the mayor of NYC supports him, but with the mayor railing against him to half the voters in the state (NYC), it's over.

Bloomberg's primary problem isn't that he's too conservative, he isn't. He actually tried to get the Democratic nomination, but they didn't want him so he turned to the republicans, who took him because he's rich, that's just the sort of canidate they want. The real reason people don't like him is simply because he doesn't stand up to the national republicans. He should have told them where to stick it when they came to NYC for their convention, but he didn't, he fawned over Bush like a schoolgirl, and NYC won't tolerate that. Most of his policies are fairly reasonable, though perhaps he doesn't tax the rich quite as much as he should.

by vertigre 2005-03-13 10:23AM | 0 recs
Ehrlich, Rendell
Ehrlich should be in tough shape in Maryland.  Maryland's a pretty blue state, and he managed to win by 1) pretending to be moderate and 2) facing an utterly incompetent Townsend campaign.  This time, Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley and possibly Montgomery County executive Doug Duncan are likely to run.  I think whichever wins the primary (probably O'Malley) is highly likely to win the election.

My understanding wrt Pennsylvania is that Rendell should be pretty safe.  He's wildly popular here in Philly, but he seems to be generally pretty popular throughout the state.  I'd be surprised if anyone big ran against him.

by jlk7e 2004-11-15 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Ehrlich, Rendell
I am in MD and Ehrlich is going to get his butt handed to him.  A LOT of Dems thought Townsend was an idiot and hated former gov Glendening(D) because he was such a special interest jerk.  They thought a Repug would be good since we didn't have one since that crook Spiro Agnew was governor.  Low and behold, Ehrlich has caved to every special interest the Repugs hold dear.  MD is getting ready to go through deregulation of power next year for all consumers.  Business alright had to choose this year who would supply their gas and electric.  They are upset because the prices have gone up which have been passed along to us consumers.  CA blackout here we come!  The Baltimore Sun did a poll before Nov 2 to see who would win the gubernatorial race between Ehrlich and O'Malley.  Guess who won?  O'Malley and he hasn't even announced his intentions to run yet.  O'Malley just won re-election as mayor of Baltimore with 88% of the vote.  I can't wait!!!  MD is blue all the way.
by catholicdemocratmd 2004-11-15 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Ehrlich, Rendell
Yeah, that assessment of the Maryland situation sounds about right to me - it matches what the folks tell me, at least.
by jlk7e 2004-11-15 10:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Ehrlich, Rendell
What about Michael Steele? The GOP can't stop raving about him because he gace a good speech (if truth isn't a standard) at the GOP convention.
by skipper2379 2004-11-15 12:40PM | 0 recs
Re: Ehrlich, Rendell
Maybe the GOP like Michael Steele but the African Americans I know wouldn't vote for him if he were the last black man on earth.  Baltimore City is at least 70% black and they just re-elected O'Malley, a white Catholic Irish American from Montgomery County.  O'Malley won with 88% of the vote against a well-known African American city councilman.  Steele stands for everything that African Americans despise and they think he's an Uncle Tom as well.  Today, just being black doesn't guarantee you the black vote.  Just look at a lot of city mayors in the 90s, they were black but when crime and taxes went up, they were voted right out of office.
by catholicdemocratmd 2004-11-15 04:37PM | 0 recs
Good, Ehrlich makes me ill
I can't even stand him for two minutes annually, when he presents the winners vase after the Preakness.

I stil remember what a smug jerk he was in the debates with KKT, including a claim he was all but lynched during a debate at a predominantly African American college.

by jagakid 2004-11-15 04:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Good, Ehrlich makes me ill
I know how you feel!  All of these Repugs around me make me ill with their talk of values!  The only thing they value is their money.  My mom who is hard-cord Dem, said she couldn't vote for KKT.  Now, she is regretting it big time.
by catholicdemocratmd 2004-11-15 04:41PM | 0 recs
Ohio
Taft is term limited after two terms.  He's relatively unpopular with approval ratings as low as 40% last year.  

Because of this, and the poor economy in OH, the open seat is not a long-shot for the Dems.  I'd still say it leans R, but if our candidate is the better one, we might pull it off.

Three major candidates look to be facing off for the Republican nomination:

  1. Sec. of State Ken Blackwell - The notorious SOS who was for provisional ballots before he was against them.  A very conservative African-American, he has been the first AA to ever hold statewide office in Ohio.  He's come out as a strong conservative and is hoping the arch-conservatives of OH can put aside their racial bigotries to vote for him in the primary.  He's somewhat charismatic and could spell trouble for the Dems and state if nominated.
  2. Attorney General Jim Petro - Portraying himself as the more moderate choice against Blackwell, at least on social issues, Petro is coming out strongly for "cutting government waste" and reforming a "Depression-era" tax system in Ohio.
  3. State Auditor Betty Montgomery - Don't know much about her because she has been mostly standing aside while Blackwell & Petro have already fired the first shots at each other earlier this year.  She has been leading or tied with Blackwell in the early, early polls.

The Dems have a vast field of undeclared candidates:
  1. Rep. Ted Strickland - Represents the rural Applachian district along the Ohio River in eastern & southern Ohio.  What you would expect from a Dem in such an area, pro-coal, pro-union, etc.  May be able to connect with rural voters.  Undeclared candidate.
  2. Rep. Sherrod Brown - Popular Congressman from Northeast Ohio.  Seems to hold on to true Dem values rather than Republican-lite.  Has been expected to run for statewide office at some point, but he'd have to give up his safe seat.  Could be a strong candidate in the Cleveland area, but can he make the case statewide?  Undeclared.
  3. Mayor Mike Coleman - Popular mayor of Columbus, the state's largest city.  A pretty cautious politician, but did endorse Wes Clark in the primaries.  He will only run if he thinks he can win it.  May energize the black vote.  Undeclared.
Others:
Fmr. Cincinnati Mayor Jerry Springer - Uhh...last I saw, he had 70% disapproval ratings or so...
St. Sen. Eric Fingerhut - Did he run for Senate just to set up a Gov run?
Cincinnati Mayor Charlie Luken
Rep. Tim Ryan - younger Dem Rep from the heart of the rust belt.  May have eventual statewide ambitions, but is it too soon?
by asearchforreason 2004-11-15 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Ohio
I HEART Tim Ryan.

Coleman is OK, but does anyone know his name outside of Franklin County?  That seems to be the Dems biggest problems.  No name recognition and no money.

Jerry Springer has both of those things.  But as you say, if he has a 70% negative, that ain't good.

I'd like to see that polled again though.

by pacified 2004-11-15 09:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Ohio
He's the Springer poll.  Admittedly, it's 18 months old but I doubt Springer's popularity has changed much recently.  His unfavorable number is at 71%.  I don't think he can overcome that, but who knows.

http://www.ohio.com/mld/beaconjournal/news/state/5368977.htm

by asearchforreason 2004-11-15 01:26PM | 0 recs
OH governor's race
This article from the Cincinnati Enquirer covers some of the background of the early early governor's race.

I talked about this in this comment over on a dKos diary but I'll repeat some of it here.

I haven't heard anything to indicate that Sherrod Brown or Tim Ryan are seriously thinking about running. The only reason that I think they're on people's lists is because they're both great guys and great Dems. But as far as a state-wide governor's race goes, I think Ryan's too young and Brown may not have enough support outside of Cuyahoga County to do it. Coleman and Strickland would both be better choices just for geographic reasons.

It's interesting that you brought up Fingerhut. I hadn't considered him as a possibility, but he clearly is ambitious for higher office. I haven't gotten a feel for what he's thinking now. His loss this year wasn't as close as I think he was hoping it would be... a lot of Dems split their tickets and voted for Voinovich.

Regarding Springer, I'm just gonna quote myself:

Springer is an interesting and unpredictable potential wildcard in the OH governor's race. He hasn't said he's going to run, but the scuttlebutt is that he is thinking about it. (He was mayor of Cincinnati back in '77, and has been working the Dem establishment recently; he was named Dem of the Year for 2004 by the state party.)

I haven't really decided if I'm in favor of or against him on this yet -- he's a complicated guy, with some good points and some bad points, and I don't know what he might be like as governor. I do believe that he's firmly on "our" side philosophically, but the questions I have are about whether or not he's corrupt, whether he's savvy enough to be governor, whether he'd be a good choice for pulling Ohio out of its current Republican-generated mess, and whether he can overcome the high negatives generated by his eponymous show.

Just like Timothy Noah in this interesting article from July 2004, I've floated the idea of Springer for governor around to Dems that I know here in Ohio and they mostly don't like the idea of him running.

Granted, this is just based on his existing reputation. He hasn't begun his push yet, if there's a push to be made. He's actually extremely charismatic and a very persuasive speaker, and if he's able to work the media -- he's good at that to begin with, and his celebrity status will help -- then he might just be able to convince people.

Right now my money's still on Springer v. Blackwell. Blackwell isn't a lock, but he's probably the highest profile candidate for the GOP. Jerry's not a perfect candidate and those negatives are gonna be a problem... but:

  • he can probably finance himself
  • he has near 100% name recognition
  • he's popular in the state party
  • the media whores will like him for his celebrity status
  • he's charismatic enough to overcome a lot of those negatives once he starts his push.

If Springer decides to run, and it sure looks like he's going to, he'll probably walk away with the primary. If he decides not to run, Coleman is probably the best shot. He would probably be able to win both the Columbus and Cleveland metro areas, which might be enough on its own to get him the win.
by drewthaler 2004-11-15 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: OH governor's race
If the Ohio Dems nominate Springer then they've surely got a death wish.  Although from the past few election cycles, they certainly don't seem to know what they're doing.

I don't think there's anything to indicate that Coleman is going to run in 2006 as you say for Brown and Ryan.  Coleman is known for being relatively cautious and I don't see him running unless he is certain that there's a chance of victory.  I doubt he will be a sacrificial lamb like Fingerhut.  He might be a good choice, and a race between him and Blackwell would be interesting I think.  Who would the KKK types vote for (I believe we have the largest KKK population here)?  I can't imagine facing such a difficult choice.  Seriously, though that would be an interesting race.  It will hinge on whether Coleman could win over suburban moderates and conservative Dems in SE Ohio.

On that note, I still think Strickland is a potential winner, at least geographically.  I'm not sure how great of a communicator he is, but I guess we'll find out soon.

by asearchforreason 2004-11-15 01:32PM | 0 recs
CA
Alot of Democratic statewide officials, who would have been tripping over each other for the nomination had Davis served out his term, will be afraid of Arnold calling them "girly-men".  AG Lockyer, who was originally at the top of the list of Democrats to run in 2006, admitted voting for Arnold so he might have a tough time getting the nomination.  Treasurer Phil Angelides, termed out of his office like Lockyer, seems like a more likely candidate.  He is a deficit hawk with a spine, so he has something to run on, but the charisma gap would be huge, of course.
by CA Pol Junkie 2004-11-15 09:36AM | 0 recs
CO
I think Owens is termed out as governor of CO.  US Rep. Udall (D-Boulder) is a possible candidate.
by CA Pol Junkie 2004-11-15 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: CO
He is.  I haven't heard who's going to run; Udall, Rutt Bridges, and others have been mentioned as potential candidates.
by Tom 2004-11-15 11:58AM | 0 recs
AZ - Hayworth against Napolitano
We're hearing that Rep. J.D. Hayworth (shudder)will run for governor against Janet.  Omigod. He's the biggest Republican tool, but has great name recognition - he was originally a sportscaster on the Phoenix news.

Big money will be put into this race.  Napolitano has good approval ratings, but we know that the Republicans will find a way to tarnish that.

by Erin in Flagstaff 2004-11-15 09:42AM | 0 recs
Re: AZ - Hayworth against Napolitano
Hey, at least having Hayworth run for Gov will get him out of the House.  I've also seen Rep. Jeff Flake mentioned as a potential candidate since he's not running for reelection to the House in '06.

If Napolitano is popular she should win.  Arizona is not THAT Republican, is it?

by Tom 2004-11-15 12:00PM | 0 recs
Is that why Hayworth lost all the weight?
He still has the type of face that, well, isn't dramatically improved. A pig regardless of poundage, is what I'm trying to say.

I would be worried about that race if Hayworth runs. Napolitano barely snuck by in 2002 versus a mediocre Republican, not close to matching her projected margin from pre-electio polls.

by jagakid 2004-11-15 05:16PM | 0 recs
NY Dems: Spitzer or Schumer
I favor Spitzer- he's tough and has got a pair of steel (well you know)- and NY likes tough. This country needs tough Dems again.
by bruh21 2004-11-15 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: NY Dems: Spitzer or Schumer
I think Schumer announced recently that he won't be running for governor.

http://www.political-news.org

by news 2004-11-15 10:33AM | 0 recs
GA
...though GA seems safe for the Republicans, don't underestimate the rebel flaggers who helped to boot Roy Barnes... I'm starting to see a bunch of signs down here claiming "Sonny lied" on allowing voters to choose the state flag... Good God -- somebody get me out of here...

hank

by HKingsley 2004-11-15 11:40AM | 0 recs
Kentucky
Fletcher is vulnerable already.  He has only been here one year, almost had a teacher strike, and is spending millions on a "branding" contest, for a new state logo, while we have no budget.  I think Dr. Dan would be good, as he already has name recognition and is still in the State Senate I think(I think he ran for both).  Ben Chandler has already run against Fletcher and lost, but moved into Fletcher's Congressional seat, so I think he might stay put.  Attorney Gen Greg Stumbo has also been getting name recognition with the new KBI, so I think any of those might be possible.  
by Aeryl 2004-11-15 11:44AM | 0 recs
GA
Georgia is surprisingly going to be a good race. Sonny Perdue may get a primary challenger as he is not viewed as an effective Governor. He will face either Lt. Gov Mark Taylor or Secretary of State Cathy Cox who are headed for a knockdown primary. Cox would be the stronger candidate in my opinion
by OldDemocrat 2004-11-15 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: GA
Mark Taylor is a fund raising machine, rasied something like $1.7 mil this year for 2006.  He's also a bit more of a dynamic figure.  Cathy Cox is of course a woman and garnered more popular votes than Taylor, I'm told, in 2002.  I think on some level, the primary will be about what direction GA Dems are moving, and which candidate can better provide some vision and leadership, which we BADLY need.

I also think that on some level, Taylor represents the old southern democrat - he's definately a 'good ol boy' type, he's from South GA (Albany), etc.  Can't say for sure about his politics - has basically been the Democrats' voice against Perdue on things like the HOPE and Health Care.  I can assume he'd run on those traditionally Democratic grounds and would probably do a decent job with 'coat tails' effect in state legislative races.

Cathy Cox has gambled a little bit with using electronic voting (diebold card type) as her 'thing'.  She pushed it hard after the 2000 election, even faced a GOP push in 2004 to make them be paper-trail modified.  (Who'd have thunk it!)  I haven't followed her particular politics too much, can't say what else she'd run on.  Also, can't say exactly where she is from or her political history - you'll have to do some research.

Perdue I think got the 2002 election by rallying the old school racial stuff with the flag issue.  However, I'm not sure to what degree that will still be an issue in 2006.  Yes, the "Sonny Lied" signs have been up for about a year or two, and I think some people would vote for Taylor as a protest vote.  Perdue is seen as fairly ineffective as a Gov., but I think will be given a lot of (deserved) credit for getting the GOP in control of the state legislature finally.

The question will be what kind of things the GOP can get done this coming year.  I'm thinking a lot of people right now are NOT happy with what he's done to PeachCare and the University System of GA.  His budget cuts have seemed a bit excessive to me, and prolly others as well.  The HOPE scholarship thing kind of blew up in his face, as he made a big stink about it running out of money and then the lottery posted another record year.  The SAT part of it was also not hugely popular, and the Faith-based Initiative didn't move anywhere last year.  That may come back this year, but I'm not really sure.  It died kind of ugly, coming up for a vote in the (Dem controlled) House and getting whalloped.  Didn't even get all the GOP votes, I don't think.

I think in the end, this race will be about whether they Dem candidate can find a real voice to hammer Perdue and lead a Democratic vision of what GA should be.  Someone like Taylor could maybe hold on to the old Dems and the 'moral value' moderate types.  Cox could do really well if she finds a vision for GA that plays well.  Personally, I think Taylor is a bit more of a dynamic speaker and presence (and being the size he is doesn't hurt in that respect, I guess).

I also think that a possible wild card is transportation and development issues - Perdue has done jack all for Atlanta transportation, has hemmed and hawed on several commuter rail projects, been a huge proponent of 'more roads' issues, and backed a pro-development Gwinnett Co. Comm. (who lost handily).  There are a lot of NIMBY types who simply hate all the ex-urb, and could be persuaded to go after some smart growth speech, as long as they were convinced that the growth would be somewhere else.  Places like Snellville and maybe Canton(?) have tried to ban big boxes to some extent.  The recent dkos post about Montana got me excited about the possibilities of those issues working here.

Those are my thoughts on the GA race.  As you can guess, its something that I've been thinking about a lot recently.  Anyone else's thoughts?

by DreadPirateKing 2004-11-15 05:51PM | 0 recs
Re: GA
eh, sorry about all the typos.
by DreadPirateKing 2004-11-15 05:53PM | 0 recs
Texas
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (itchin' to run for the White House) is going to have competition in taking on Gov. Rick "Goodhair" Perry in the GOP primary.

Carole Keeton McClelland Rylander Strayhorn (Cougar Mellencamp), state comptroller and mother of W press secretary Scottie, has openly feuded with Perry over the budget and other nits she thought needed picking. She's had eyes on Austin longer than KBH has.

And outgoing Commerce Secretary Don Evans is also rumored to be lining up a run.

The Democrats have no shortage of qualified candidates (though none who have been on a statewide ballot) due to the DeLay-redistricting purge of Congressmen. Chris Bell, Jim Turner, Martin Frost, and Charlie Stenholm (but probably not Max Sandlin nor Nick Lampson) could all harbor gubernatorial aspirations; any of them could also run for KBH's vacant Senate seat, or Lieutenant Governor (where the real power in state government lies), or the comptroller slot being vacated by Strayhorn...

The primaries in both parties two years hence will be crowded and interesting.

by PDiddie 2004-11-15 02:58PM | 0 recs
NV
Republican incumbent Kenny Guinn is term-limited, and will be unable to run for re-election here in Nevada.

There are rumors about a couple of powerful Democratic state legislators running on the D side, and of NV-2 Congressman Jim Gibbons running for the Rs.

A good Democratic candidate can definately win, especially with an open seat.  Definately worth keeping an eye on.

by Satori 2004-11-15 03:47PM | 0 recs
I hope Las Vegas mayor Oscar Goodman will run
He is immensely popular, over 80% in several approval polls. The GOP would attack him based on a history as a mob lawyer, and many financial benefits toward his son and other family interests since Goodman has been mayor. Still, Oscar has remarkable name recognition, personality and therefore Teflon. He could pull a huge number out of Clark County that would be difficult for Gibbons or any Republican to overcome.

Supposedly, Goodman's wife does not want him to run for governor. That is exactly opposite to Gibbons, whose wife opposed a senate run versus Harry Reid in preference to a governors race in 2006. But Oscar Goodman has a huge ego and may not be able to resist an open race he can win.

State attorney general Lorriane Hunt may oppose Gibbons for the GOP nomination. She is even more disgusting than Gibbons. There has also been speculation Gibbons may be promoted to as high position in the House, perhaps head of the intelligence committee, and that would keep him out of the governors race in 2006.

by jagakid 2004-11-15 05:05PM | 0 recs
Florida
OK... here's the buzz in Florida

Republicans...

Charlie Crist, State Attorney General...  Crist has basically been running his campaign for Governor since he took office as AG by going after soft targets that are popular with voters (phone rate hikes, for example).

Tom Gallagher, State Insurance Commissioner...

Katherine Harris, House Rep...  I don't believe it, but there have been some reports that she may run.

Those are the three major players that seem to have put out feelers thus far, but I suspect there will be many more.

Democrats...
Betty Castor, she has not put out any feelers that I know, but her name recognition in the state is great.

Janet Reno, she's been quiet since her run in 2002.  I doubt we'll see her run in 2006.

Beyond Castor and Reno, unfortunately, the cast of characters is fairly thin.  

The Republicans own the state legislature by a wide margin.  I don't expect to see anyone from that group run for Governor.

Republicans also control many of the major municipal governments, but there are a few bright spots...  

Tampa Mayor, Pam Iorio
Orlando Mayor, Buddy Dyer (I don't expect a run from him)

There is also the possibility that one of our Dem Representatives might run, but I have no information on them.

In summary, unless a strong Dem candidate emerges...  we will likely see Charlie Crist in the governor's mansion.  As much as it pains me... this state is leaning Republican right now, if a Dem wants to win, he or she is going to have to start laying the groundwork yesterday.

by samizdat 2004-11-15 04:32PM | 0 recs
Virginia
The Virginia race will be a donnybrook.  Kilgore, the current Republican AG and likely nominee, is smart and nasty.  Kaine, the Democratic LG and almost certain nominee, is a pretty good politician, but somewhat untested.  He ran a very good campaign for the Democratic nomination, and his campaign for the LG position was pretty good but was mostly predicated on riding Warner's coat tails.  Kaine's natural base is Richmond where he was mayor.  This means that he can probably run up pretty good totals on the black vote in and around Richmond.  Also, his father in law is Linwood Holton, the former Republican governor of VA, who took a very strong stand on civil rights, which is still remembered in many quarters.  Kilgore comes from Southwestern VA, and this is worrying.  Warner won by carrying that region by a narrow margin and running up high totals in mostly black regions as well as Northern Virginia to offset the pasting any Dem will take in central VA.  If Southwest swings heavily for Kilgore it could sink Kaine.  Holton is from Southwest and campaigning on his part might help Kaine with the Southwest vote if he can campaign, but Holton's health is somewhat shaky.  Warner is currently the most popular politician in the state and you can bet he'll campaign heavily for Kaine.  Kaine is somewhat more liberal than Governor Warner, and this might be a problem, but he's taken pains to reposition himself.  If Warner can transfer even some of his popularity to Kaine; I'd say Kaine is the favorite, but if not it's Kilgore.
On the legislative end things look good for the Democrats.  The Republicans are still at war with one another over the Warner tax bill which the moderates supported and the conservatives did not.  The Republican leaders damaged their own a good bit, and while they've tried to mend fences various anti-tax groups are threatening the moderates with primary challenges.  Most of these guys come from districts that where Dems are at least competitive so bloody primaries could spell real trouble for the Republicans.
by slduncan79 2004-11-15 05:56PM | 0 recs
Alabama
Riley got off on the wrong foot with Republicans by trying to raise property taxes.  The state budget is a rolling disaster and many Democrats supported it, but the local Republicans campaigned against him on the issue and it was defeated.  He may face a challenge from Roy Moore of 10 Commandments fame.  So, depending on how things work out in the primaries, the Democrat could have a real shot here.  Riley won by a very small margin in 2002.
by Mooncat 2004-11-15 05:58PM | 0 recs
Maine
Maine should re-elect Baldacci(D) unless he is unable to push through sensible property tax relief in this upcoming legislative session.  

Other than raising money to defeat them, Baldacci has failed to have a meaningful reaction to THREE statewide referendums which divided the State over the last tweleve months regarding the crushing burden of property tax and the excessive spending by municipalities.  

The Republicans would have to come up with a pretty good candidate to defeat the former congressman and state legislator.  2002 Nominee Peter Cianchette is making noise again, but Democrats should be worried about Lumber Tzar Kevin Hancock (in the Olympia Snowe/Lincoln Chafee model of Republican).  Moreover, there are some rumors of intra-party challege from the left for Baldacci...

Even consideraing all of this, it would be difficult, from my perspective, for the Republicans to win back the governor's mansion.

by maineah Dem 2004-11-16 11:04AM | 0 recs
Nebraska
The current Gov. Johanns is running for senate against Ben Nelson.  Either, A) he'll run for gov. at the same time, which will strech him, or B) he'll leave an empty seat.  Mostly likely Don Stenberg, the secretary of state (or attorney general, I can't remember) will run as the republican candidate, but other names are out there.  

Democrats are planning on fighting this pretty hard, and it will help that we'll have a strong fight for Nelson at the same time.  The only well known candidate so far is Matt Conneally, he lost this year for congress in the NE 1st.  He didn't do too badly, but he did lose.  

by johnowens2 2004-11-16 03:46PM | 0 recs
Vermont
Vermont will be going Democratic in '06.

There were two problems with this years election.

First, in the last few weeks of the campaign, the Republican Governors Association (RGA) spent $300,000.  That doesn't seem like much in most states, but in Vermont, that's huge.  To top it off, they did this in defiance of Vermont law by not first registering as a PAC, claiming they talked to someone at the Secretary of State's office and were told they were allowed to.  

OK, given the margin, our loss can't be entirely blamed on that ad campaign.

Second, and more important, Douglas is incredibly effective at taking credit for what other people do while doing almost nothing himself.  The result is that he comes off, at worst, as innocuous.  I didn't get it until I met him in person for the first time, and I realized who he reminded me of,,, our Governor is none other then  Les Nessman, the newsman from WKRP in Cincinnati.  He's  your uncle who dresses well and behaves like a sophistacate despite being a complete failure.  Although he's done absolutely nothing to improve Vermont, he's done little harm in the short term that most people see, though in the long run, his policies are potentialy devistating.  I have to admit, it's hard to paint him as a bad guy, despite his total lack of charisma,,, he's sort of hard to hate if you don't seperate his ribbon-cuttings and press releases from his actual policies.  We didn't convince enough voters to look beyond the 30 second local news clips, and he won.

The good news is, he's inlikely to be running for re-election.  Word is that Jim Jeffords will not be seeking re-election, and Douglas will be seeking his seat.  Word also has it that he will be going against the beloved curmodgeon Bernie Sanders for that seat.

This leaves Lt. Governor Brian Dubie as the most likely (at this point, only viable) Republican candidate for Governor.  Dubie, we can beat, and, rest assured, we are already working on it.

by ohnofile 2004-11-16 05:31PM | 0 recs

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