Republicans have an opportunity to flip a governor’s mansion in Connecticut this November. Outgoing Governor Dan Malloy (D) has suffered poor approval ratings over the last two years and the state is currently navigating serious budgeting and economic woes under his leadership. Though he did not secure his party’s endorsement, Bob Stefanowski won the Republican primary yesterday with 29.31% of the vote. He supports eliminating the state’s income tax and corporate income tax, opposes the state’s toll system, and supports using bonds or private lenders for transportation improvements. He will face businessman Ned Lamont (D) in November. Lamont has campaigned on revitalizing the state’s transportation system and infrastructure, investing more in community colleges and technical schools, and raising the minimum wage to $15. William Tong (D) positioned himself as a progressive, ran an Anti-Trump campaign, and secured the Democratic primary for Attorney General.Republicans nominated Sue Hatfield. Democrats are expected to maintain control of the Office in the November.
While most competitive Democratic gubernatorial primaries have been between a left-leaning “establishment” candidate and an impassioned progressive, Minnesotans also had a third option in the form of a Democratic congressman from a heavily Republican, rural district who supports raising the minimum wage and once received an “A” rating from the NRA. Congressman Tim Walz (D) defeated both 12-year Attorney General incumbent, Lori Swanson and Medicare-For-All candidate Erin Murphy yesterday for the Democratic nomination. Jeff Johnson (R) positioned himself as the most conservative pick in the Republican primary and halted former Governor Tim Pawlenty’s political comeback. At present, the gubernatorial is considered a toss-up in November. Democrats chose former Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Keith Ellison as their nominee for the Office of Attorney General and Republicans selected attorney Doug Wardlow. Though the Congressman overwhelmingly won his primary, allegations of abuse will likely remain front and center over the next few weeks – perhaps even until November.
Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) is one step closer to re-election. While his popularity plummeted with members of his own party after signing gun safety legislation this session, he defeated his far-right challenger yesterday with 65.48% of the vote. Democrats chose Christine Hallquist to take on the Governor. If she wins, she would be the nation’s first openly transgender head of state. She is running on a platform that includes laying fiber optic cable statewide, raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour, and taxing marijuana.Republicans are expected to maintain control of the governor’s mansion. Attorney General T.J. Donovan (D) did not have a primary challenger and will face H. Brooke Paige (R) in November.
Wisconsin Democrats overwhelmingly chose the state’s Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Evers to take on Governor Scott Walker (R) in November. He’s running on increasing investments in early education, public schools, technical schools, and the UW system. Evers has pledged to eliminate the WEDC and expand Medicaid. If there were ever a year for the Democratic Party to take down the infamous governor, it is 2018. Candidate enthusiasm is high – eight (8) Democrats were in the race – and outside groups have targeted both the gubernatorial race and State Senate as potential flips. Governor Walker has amassed a campaign war chest and he knows to execute a win under challenging circumstances (see Election, Recall). At present, most ratings have the state as Leans Republican in the gubernatorial. Attorney General Brad Schimel (R) will face Josh Kaul (D) in November and is currently expected to win re-election.