March 2016 Governor Update

March 28th, 2016

Governors: Eight States to Watch – March 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 where the incumbent party is expected to hold control of the seat.

Governor Chart March 2016

Key Updates:

  • Governor Mike Pence will become the first Indiana Governor to run for reelection with a new running mate after the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Sue Ellspermann. Ellspermann’s resignation was widely rumored before it became official on February 29th. Pence had already tapped U.S. Senate candidate Eric Holcomb to fill the vacancy and join him on the ballot. Holcomb was sworn in March 3rd. This race is ranked as Leans Republican.
  • Republican gubernatorial candidate and Senate President Bill Cole scored a huge victory in West Virginia last month by passing right to work legislation. A recent poll from Orion Strategies shows businessman Jim Justice leading the three way Democratic primary race with 24 percent, followed by State Senator Jeff Kessler at 16 percent, former U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin at 14 percent, and 45 percent undecided. The race saw a shakeup March 3rd, when a coal mine owned by Jim Justice was raided by Tazewell County officials for failure to pay property taxes. Justice has yet to make a statement on the matter. This race is rated Tilt Republican.