Jack Markell, the head of the National Governors Association and the country’s only Jewish governor, faces a relatively easy path to re-election. The moderate Democrat faces Republican Jeff Cragg, a former insurance executive, who has criticized Markell for failing to bring enough jobs to Delaware and for spending his time campaigning outside the state.
Markell, whose campaign coffers are flush, touts his budget austerity and his efforts to bring more jobs to the state.
Even when Barack Obama carried Indiana in 2008, Republican Mitch Daniels had no problem securing re-election. Now the term-limited Daniels is heading to Purdue University, and Republican congressman Mike Pence hopes to replace him.
He faces Democrat John Gregg, a former speaker of the Indiana House, and Libertarian Rupert Boneham. Gregg wants to eliminate the state sales tax on gasoline, while Pence favors a 10 percent income tax instead. Pence is running far ahead in fundraising and polls.
Republican incumbent Gary Herbert avoided a primary by fending off several conservative challengers during this spring’s Republican caucuses and convention. Now he faces Democrat Peter Cooke, a former Army general, in November. Cooke has distanced himself from the national Democratic Party, announcing that he opposes same-sex marriage and abortion rights because of his Mormon faith.
Herbert, who first took office in 2009 when Jon Huntsman left to become the U.S. ambassador to China, has benefited from fellow Republican governors. The RGA paid for a pre-caucus poll for Herbert and gave $100,000 to the state party to boost turnout in the caucuses.
Incumbent Jack Dalrymple is running for a full four-year term after taking over for John Hoeven, who moved to the U.S. Senate two years ago. He faces the Democratic leader in the state Senate, Ryan Taylor.
Dalrymple has touted the state’s budget surpluses, which were fueled by an oil boom in the western part of the state, but Taylor says that, under Dalrymple, the state has been slow to provide housing and schools to the boom areas. The two also have dueling property tax relief plans.
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