Posted by: jamesvw | May 17, 2011

Election 2011: A Primer to This Year’s Races

Election 2011: A Primer to this Year’s Races

State Edition

Because I couldn’t stay away for too long

Here are some of the races that are coming up this year

KentuckyMississippiLouisianaWest Virginia (Oct. 3)New JerseyVirginiaNorthern Mariana IslandsMaine


Primary – May 17 – State Voting Information

**Updated to reflect primary results**

Incumbent Democratic Governor Steve Beshear and his newly chosen Lieutenant Governor, the former Mayor of Louisville Jerry Abramson, will face David Williams, the State Senate President who is joined on the ticket by Richie Farmer, the State Agriculture Commissioner.

Secretary of State Elaine Walker has been defeated by Allison Lundergan Grimes, who will face Bill Johnson who narrowly defeated Hilda Legg to be the Republican nominee.

Democrat Jack Conway, coming off his loss in the 2010 Senate race, will face Todd P’Pool, a Hopkins County attorney in the fall for Attorney General.

The incumbent Democratic Treasurer Todd Hollenbach faces K.C. Crosbie, a councilwoman from Lexington-Fayette Urban County.

State Auditor Crit Luallen is term-limited out of his position. Trying to replace him are Adam Edelen, the Democratic nominee and John Kemper who defeated State Rep. Addia Wuchner in the primary.

The race for Agriculture Commissioner is open as the incumbent is a lieutenant governor candidate. The victor in the primary was Bob Farmer, a motivational speaker. State Rep. James Comer is the Republican nominee.

Kentucky has a partisan split legislature. Democrats control the House, 58-42 while Republicans control the Senate, 22-15 with 1 independent.


Primary – August 2 – State Voting Information

State Senate Races

Haley Barbour, incumbent governor who was linked to a presidential run until nixing these rumors in April, is term-limited from running again. Waiting in the wings is lieutenant governor Phil Bryant. He will have to defeat four other Republicans to get to the general election – minister James Broadwater, Dave Dennis, Pear River Supervisor Hudson Holliday, and Ron Williams. Four Democrats are running – Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree, teacher Bill Compton, Bill Luckett and Guy Dale Shaw.

No Democrat is running for Lieutenant Governor or Secretary of State. In the former, which is an open seat, Billy Hewes, the State Senate President and State Treasurer Tate Reeves will square off for this seat, often seen as a stepping stone to the governor’s mansion. The incumbent Secretary of State, Delbert Hosemann Jr. is being challenged by Ricky Dombrowski, a Gulf City Councilman.

The lone Democrat holding statewide office is Attorney General Jim Hood who will face Steve Simpson in the general election in November. Republican State Auditor Stacey Pickering faces no Democratic opposition in November.

Three Republicans are hoping to replace the outgoing State Treasurer. Lynn Finch, the State Personnel Board Executive Director, Lucien Smith, a Barbour aide, and Lee Yancy, a State Senator will be squaring off to face Democrat Connie Moran, the mayor of Ocean Springs.

Likewise, in the open seat for State Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner, three Republicans and one Democrat are standing for election. Republican State Reps. Cindy Hyde-Smith and Dannie Reed, along with Max Phillips, a farmer and frequent candidate are vying to face Democrat Joel Gill, an alderman in Pickens township.

Last in this long list of statewide races is the State Insurance Commissioner. Incumbent Republican Mike Chaney will face Democrat and former State Rep. Louis Fondren.

Democrats hold the majority in the State House, 72-50 while Republicans control the Senate, 27-25


Primary – October 22 – State Voting Information

Incumbent Republican Governor Bobby Jindal will be seeking a second term and will face a yet unannounced Democrat in November.

Few Democrats have filed for the other races, but a couple of Republican primaries should be interesting down ballot. Attorney General James Caldwell, who recently switched from the Democratic Party, will face former New Orleans Congressman Joseph Cao. Republican Secretary of State Tom Schedler will face State Rep. Walker Hines in the primary and then the winner will face Democrat Caroline Fayard.

In the Legislature, Republicans control the State House by a 52-49 margin with 4 independents as well. The Senate is also narrowly Republican, with a 20-19 split.

West Virginia

Primary – May 14 – State Voting Information

General Election – October 4

In a special election to replace now-Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat, primary voters have made their decisions. Democrats selected Earl Ray Tomblin, the acting governor and former Senate President. Republicans chose Bill Maloney, a mining businessman.

New Jersey

Primary – June 7 – State Voting Information

There will be legislative elections in New Jersey with a primary for all 120 seats. Democrats control the State House 47-33 and the Senate 24-16.

Sports Betting Ballot Question – There will also be a statewide ballot question in November. A yes vote will legalize sports betting in the state while a no vote will make no change in state law. To learn more about this ballot question, click here


Primary – August 23 – State Voting Information

Virginia will have legislative elections in all of its districts. Currently, Republicans control the State House 59-39 with 2 independents and Democrats control the Senate 22-18

Northern Mariana Islands

Territory Voting Information

The oft-forgotten American territory will hold its legislative elections this year as well. Currently, the breakdown in this politically strange territory is 9 Republicans, 7 from the Covenant Party and 4 Independents in the State House and 4 Republicans, 3 Independents, 1 Democrat and 1 Convent member in the Senate.

However, this year the Convent and Republican parties has decided to merge, changing the makeup of the new legislature to come.

To learn more about the Northern Mariana Islands’ history and politics, I recommend this link


State Voting Information

Two gambling ballot questions will be on the ballot in Maine.

The first would allow slot machine facilities in the state, while the second would create a second Racino in the state, in Washington County.

To learn more about these bills, click here and here.


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