Governors: Eight States to Watch – April 2016 Update
Of the 12 states holding gubernatorial elections in 2016, as many as eight are likely to be competitive. Delaware, Oregon, Utah, and North Dakota are the only seats in which the incumbent party is expected to maintain control of the seat with ease.
The August 2nd primary ballot for Missouri governor is now finalized. Republicans have four candidates: former U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, retired Navy SEAL Eric Greitens, businessman John Brunner, and Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder. Democrats also have four candidates running; however, the party has coalesced around state Attorney General Chris Koster. This race is rated Tossup.
The race for Governor in New Hampshire is beginning to take shape after Governor Maggie Hassan announced she would run for Senate. The candidate filing deadline is not until June. Three Republicans and three Democrats have already announced their intentions to run. This race will likely become more crowded as June approaches. This race is rated Tossup.
West Virginia campaign finance laws do not require candidates to file frequently during non-election years. Fundraising numbers covering March 2015 through March 2016 were just released. Unopposed in the primary, Republican Bill Cole raised $1.06 million during the year and ended with $549,000 cash on hand. Three Democrats continue to fight for their party’s nomination. Democrat Jim Justice has loaned his campaign just shy of $2 million and raised $582,000, leaving him with $1.17 million cash on hand. Justice will face former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin, who has raised $286,000 and has only $151,000 cash on hand, and State Senate Minority Leader Jeff Kessler, who raised $153,000 with $73,000 cash on hand. The West Virginia primary is May 10th and the race is rated Tilt Republican.