Welcome Back to State Bytes - Your State Elections Podcast

State Bytes: A Stateside Podcast

State Bytes is back with its fourth season. Once again, we’ll be gaining insight from lobbyists in states holding elections this cycle. We'll be honing in on the issues candidates are running on and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the legislative session and the campaign season. And, we'll be giving you a first look at what could be coming down the pike for legislators in the 2021 session. Tune in below! (We're also on Apple Podcasts – subscribe today and never miss an episode!)



Nick Simonetta and Kristen Boilini of Pivotal Policy Consulting joined us October 2 to talk about the exciting state Senate and House races this cycle in Arizona. We also learn about Nick’s favorite sports teams and Kristen gives us a book recommendation to add to our lists!



Erin Niemela and Emily Pappas, of Niemela Pappas & Associates, sat down with us virtually October 9 to discuss the ballot measures Californians will decide this cycle and how the pandemic affected the state’s legislative session. Erin and Emily also give a shout-out to their new favorite bingeable tv show!



Jeremey Shepherd and Annie Early of Schreiber GR Group came on the pod October 9 to talk about the state’s absentee ballot situation and the types of issues state legislative candidates are running on. We also learn about Annie’s favorite sports team and Jeremey’s favorite Wisconsin-made food!



Former Statesider Glenn Oppel of Strategies 360 came on the pod October 8 to talk about the state’s highly competitive gubernatorial and attorney general races. Glenn also goes over what folks can expect next session. Then, we learn about what his favorite meal on earth is!


West Virginia

Jill Rice of Dinsmore sat down with us virtually on October 8 to discuss the gubernatorial and attorney races in her state. Jill also briefs us on the teachers’ activism that has taken place over the last couple of sessions and how that is affecting this election cycle. She recommends some more bingeable television options!



Justin Allen of Wright Lindsey Jennings joined us October 7 to talk all things Arkansas. We learn about how a congressional race is affecting several state races. Justin goes over the issues state candidates are focusing on this cycle. Then, we learn about Justin’s new favorite television show!



Brian Dempsey and Anna Lucey of Dempsey Lucey & Associates joined us October 7 to talk all things Massachusetts. We discuss the two ballot measures voters will decide and how the coronavirus pandemic has affected and will continue to affect the legislative session. Brian and Anna also share the television shows they’ve been binging recently!



We welcomed Jamie Feehan of Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer to the pod October 1 to discuss the state’s gubernatorial and attorney races. We get an education on how Vermont’s districts work and Jamie also breaks down what is likely to transpire during the next legislative session. We end the show learning about a new British crime drama!



Brad Alexander of Impact Public Affairs visited the pod September 30 to talk about the upcoming state House and Senate elections in the Peach State and the impact of specific retirements from the legislature. Brad also laments about his favorite football team!



Elizabeth Emerson of Goff Public came on the pod September 29 to talk about the state’s heavily targeted battle for the House and Senate. We discuss the issues candidates are running on and learn about her sports allegiances!



Jim Hedrick of H2 Government Relations sat down with us virtually on September 29 to talk about the state’s gubernatorial race and what might be in store for the Governor’s future. Jim also gives us some background on how the state’s legislative districts are comprised. We also learn about a new book to add to our lists!



Mike Saxl of MaineStreet Solutions came on the pod September 29 to give us the lay of the land in Maine – a state that has a highly contested U.S. Senate race that could affect down ballot races. He also breaks down what happened when the session abruptly drew to a close due to the pandemic and what will likely be on the docket in 2021. Mike then tells us what his last meal on earth would be! 


Rhode Island

Friend of the pod Lenny Lopes, of The Victor Group, sat down with us virtually on September 28. Lenny talks about recent shifts within the Democratic Party in Rhode Island and how that will continue to affect the work of the Legislature.



We welcomed Chris Lyon from Lewis, Longman and Walker to talk all things Florida on September 25. It’s another big election year for the Panhandle State and Chris leads a data-driven conversation about registered voter party breakdown and mail-in ballots. We learned about constitutional amendments that could drive voters to the polls. And, we got the scoop on the Governor’s new law and order proposals. Chris also starts a controversial conversation about burger joints!



Kim Robak of Mueller Robak LLC joined us September 24 to talk about turnout and enthusiasm and how these things could affect federal and state races this cycle. Kim gives us a primer on the state’s unique legislature -- the Unicameral. She also gives some recommendations for those of us that have already watched everything on our streaming lists!



Jason Kreizenbeck of Lobby Idaho joined us September 23 to talk about how the Legislature responded to the pandemic as well as some important retirements from the Legislature. Jason also shares his new favorite show to binge!



We chatted with Mike Bivens of Bivens & Associates September 23 to give us a lay of the land in the upcoming state house and senate races. Mike shares his thoughts on what’s coming down the pike for next legislative session and what his last meal on earth would be!



We welcomed Brian Grace from The Nexus Group September 23 to talk about one of the few gubernatorial races that is actually competitive this cycle. Brian also gives us an overview of the competitive races in the state house and state senate. He also gives a shout-out to his favorite quarantine television show!


New York

Wayne Lair Jr. of Statewide Public Affairs sat down with us virtually on September 22 talk about the outcomes of the Assembly and Senate primaries, the new make-up of leadership in the chambers, and how the coronavirus pandemic has effected New York state and New York City. Wayne also gives us a Netflix suggestion!


New Mexico

John Thompson, of John Thompson Consulting, joined us September 21 to talk about mail-in ballot procedures, the current budget short-fall, and the leadership vacuum created in the Roundhouse due to a handful of incumbents losing their primary races. He also shares his favorite quarantine recipe!



Mike Biberstine of Frost Brown Todd LLC came on the pod September 21 to talk about what issues are taking center stage in the gubernatorial race and how the attorney general race was shaken up after Republicans did not re-nominate the current Republican incumbent. Mike also tells us what his last meal on earth would be!



James McSpadden, Brett Robinson, and Seth Rott of MMR gave us an overview of Oklahoma politics on September 18. We learned about the dynamics of the legislative session during COVID and what issues are coming down the pike next year – including Medicaid expansion. And of course, we talked about the King!



Mike Triplett, owner of Triplett Enterprises, came on the pod September 15 to talk about the hotly contested House races. He thinks it will be an extremely late night on election day in Iowa. Mike also talks about the state’s unique redistricting commission.



Mike Cassidy from McGuire Woods joined us September 14 to talk about how turnout in a presidential year may endanger some state legislators, and how a big ballot measure could affect the election and the state’s budget for years to come. He also tries to choose a favorite Chicago sports team and describes what would be his last meal on earth.



We welcomed seasoned podcast host (check out The Political Life!) Jim O’Brien and his associate James Woulfe of The Connecticut Group onto the pod on September 2. They outline the angst by candidates about the changes that have been made the election schedule this cycle due to COVID and how different the Legislature may look next year. Jim and James throw out some of their favorite quarantine shows.



Paul Cosgrove of Tonkon Torp came on the pod September 2 to lend us some knowledge on Oregon politics. Paul explains how the winner of the state’s Secretary of State race could have a bigger impact on the state’s future could have than some may realize. He also introduces us to a new British crime show!



We chatted with Jason Wadaga of Kindsvatter Dalling & Associates on September 2 about all the attention Michigan has been receiving lately. Jason gives a shout-out to his favorite Netflix original!



Richard Perkins of The Perkins Co. joined us on August 31 to chat about all things Nevada. Richard gives us a lay of the land on the state legislative elections and the special sessions that have occurred due to the coronavirus pandemic. Richard also gives us his recommendations on television shows to binge.



In our first episode of the season, we sat down virtually on August 25 with Kekoa McClellan of The McClellan Group. We learned a lot about this blue-hued state – Kekoa also shared his favorite quarantine recipe with us!