I. In Focus This Week
Off to the races
Twenty-four top elections jobs up for grabs
With the first voters of the 2014 mid-term election cycle already heading to the polls; with secretaries of state garnering more national attention than ever before; and with state legislatures expanding and limiting the right to vote across the country, 24 states will elect a top election official this year.
In 13 of those 24 states, the incumbent is seeking re-election, but in 11 states voters are guaranteed a new top election official.
Those 11 states are Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, Rhode Island and South Dakota. Some of the 11 secretaries are term-limited or retiring, while others are seeking higher office including governor and the U.S. Senate.
This is most up-to-date list of candidates who have announced they will be seek their state’s top elections spot. This course is all subject to change as filing deadlines come and go and as candidates drop out and drop in.
Electionline will keep a close eye on all the races as they happen and provide you with a more in-depth look at all the candidates in advance of the November 4 election.
Alabama — currently there are three Republicans and one Democrat running for the seat in Alabama. The winner of the November election will take over for Jim Bennett (R) who was appointed to complete the term vacated by Beth Chapman when she chose to resign to enter the private sector. The Republican candidates are Reese McKinney, a former county probate judge in Montgomery; John Merrill, a state representative; and Jim Perdue, a Crenshaw County probate judge. Lula Albert-Kaigler is the lone Democrat. Filing Deadline: February 7. Primary: June 3
Alaska — Mead Treadwell (R), the current lieutenant governor is running for U.S. Senate. Seeking to replace Treadwell are Republicans Lesil McGuire, a state senator and Dan Sullivan, mayor of Anchorage. On the Democratic side of the ticket are State Sen. Hollis French and Bob Williams, a teacher. Filing Deadline: June 2. Primary: August 19.
Arizona — Ken Bennett (R) is the incumbent secretary of state and has announced his intention to run for governor. Currently seeking to fill the seat for secretary are Republicans Wil Cardon, an investment fund manager and State Sen. Michele Reagan. On the Democratic side Chris Campas, former vice chair of the state Democratic Party has announced he is running. Filing Deadline: May 28. Primary August 26.
Arkansas — incumbent Secretary of State Mark Martin (R) filed paperwork this week to see re-election. With the filing deadline approaching, no one else has filed to run against Martin in the primary. On the Democratic side, Susan Inman, chair of the state election commission will seek the nomination. Filing Deadline: March 3. Primary: May 20.
California — incumbent Secretary of State Debra Bowen (D) is term limited and cannot seek re-election. With a week to go to the filing deadline, there are currently three Democrats, a Republican, a Green and an Independent seeking to replace her. For the Democrats it’s Derek Cressman, a political reform activist, State Sen. Alex Padilla and State Sen. Leland Yee. Pete Peterson (R), a think-tank executive; David Curtis (GP), an architect and Dan Schnur (I), an educator are the other three candidates. Filing Deadline: March 7. Primary: June 3.
Colorado — incumbent Secretary of State Scott Gessler (R) is seeking the governor’s position. Looking to replace Gessler is Democrat Joe Neguse, a University of Colorado regent and Republican Wayne Williams, El Paso County clerk. Filing Deadline: March 31. Primary: June 24.
Connecticut — at press time, incumbent Secretary of State Denise Merrill (D) faces no opposition in the Nutmeg State’s primary. On the Republican side of the ticket, the only candidate so far is Peter Lumaj, an attorney. Filing Deadline: June 10. Primary: August 12.
Georgia — currently incumbent Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) is the only candidate seeking the top elections job in the Peach State. Filing Deadline: March 7. Primary: May 20.
Idaho — three-term Secretary of State Ben Ysursa (R) is retiring at the end of his term. Seeking to replace him are four Republicans and one Democrat. The Republicans are: Lawerence Denney, the former state house speaker, Evan Frasure, a former state senator, Phil McGrane, Ada County chief deputy clerk and Mitch Toryanski, another former state senator. For the Democrats it’s State. Rep. Holli High Woodings. Filing Deadline: March 14. Primary: May 20.
Indiana — incumbent Secretary of State Connie Lawson (R) is seeking her first full term as secretary. Lawson was appointed to replace former Secretary Charlie White after he was indicted for voter fraud. For the Democrats it’s long-time Marion County Clerk Beth White. Filing Deadline: February 7. Primary: May 6.
Iowa — in early January, incumbent Secretary of State Matt Schultz announced he candidacy for U.S. Congress leaving the secretary’s seat open. Currently there is no Republican candidate. For the Democrats it’s Brad Anderson, a political consultant and for the Libertarians it’s Jake Porter, a Libertarian National Committeeman. Filing Deadline: March 14. Primary: June 3.
Kansas — incumbent Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R) will face one of two Democratic challengers (at this time) in August. The challengers are Randy Rolston, a businessman and Jean Schodorf, a former state senator. Filing Deadline: June 2. Primary: August 5.
Massachusetts — longtime incumbent Bill Galvin (D) will seek a fifth term as secretary of the commonwealth. On the Republican side Dave D’Arcangelo is currently the only announced candidate. Filing Deadline: June 3. Primary: September 9.
Michigan — in Michigan, candidates for the state's top elections position are nominated through a party convention process and not a primary election. Currently the only announced candidate for secretary of state is the incumbent Ruth Johnson (R).
Minnesota — incumbent Secretary of State Mark Ritchie will retire at the end of his term. Currently there are three DFL candidates and one Republican candidate seeking to replace him. The DFL candidates are: former Minneapolis Alderman Dick Franson, State Rep. Debra Hilstrom, and State Rep. Steve Simon. Dennis Nguyen, an investment banker and attorney is the announced Republican. Filing Deadline: June 3. Primary: August 12.
Nebraska — with the filing deadline fast approaching, incumbent Secretary of State John A. Gale (R) is the only candidate seeking the state’s top elections spot. Gale has served in the position since 2000. Filing Deadline: March 3. Primary: May 13.
Nevada — current Secretary of State Ross Miller is a candidate for attorney general. So far, two candidates have announced their intentions to run for his seat. Kate Marshall (D), the current state treasurer and State Senate Minority Whip Barbara Cegavske (R). Filing Deadline: March 14. Primary: June 10.
New Mexico — incumbent Secretary of State Dianna Duran is currently the only announced candidate on the Republican side of the ticket. The Democrats also only have one announced candidate, Bernalillo County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver. Filing Deadline: March 11. Primary: June 3.
North Dakota — at press time longtime Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R) has announced that he will seek a seventh term. Roland Riemers (Libertarian) is the only other currently announced candidate. Filing Deadline: April 7. Primary: June 10.
Ohio — there are only two candidates running for secretary of state in the Buckeye State. Incumbent Jon Husted (R) will face off against State Senate Minority Whip Nina Turner (D) in November. Filing Deadline: February 5. Primary: May 6.
Rhode Island — incumbent Secretary of State Ralph Mollis (D) has announced he will be a candidate for lieutenant governor and currently there are two candidates seeking to replace him. Guillaume de Ramel (D) is a businessman and was a candidate in 2006 and Nellie Gorbea (D), a former deputy secretary of state from 2002 to 2006. Filing Deadline: June 25. Primary: September 9.
South Dakota — incumbent Secretary of State Jason Gant (R) announced that he will not seek re-election in 2014. So far, those seeking to replace him are Republican Shantel Krebs, the state senate minority whip and Libertarian Ken Santema, a blogger and computer network project manager. Filing Deadline: March 25. Primary: June 3.
Vermont — with the filing deadline still months away, so far only incumbent Secretary of State Jim Condos (D) is a known candidate for the top elections job. Filing Deadline: June 12. Primary: August 26.
Wyoming — longtime incumbent Secretary of State Max Maxfield (R) has announced that he will seek re-election in 2014. So far the only known candidate also seeking the top elections spot is Jennifer Young for the Constitution Party. Filing Deadline: May 30. Primary: August. 19.
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