2018 Governor Races to watch
Primary: Aug. 21.
Candidates: Independent (and ex-Republican) Gov. Bill Walker wants a second term but is skipping the primary. Former Democratic U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, is running; so are several Republicans.
State of play: Walker’s low approval ratings make him vulnerable.
Stakes: Republicans believe they have a shot at a pickup here.
Primary: June 26.
Candidates: U.S. Rep. Jared Polis, a Democrat, will face two-time state Treasurer Walker Stapleton.
State of play: For the first time, unaffiliated voters cast primary ballots; Polis hopes to keep them in November. Population growth, health care and schools will be key issues.
Stakes: The state’s last GOP governor left office in 2007.
Primary: Aug. 14.
Candidates: Democrat Dannel Malloy could run again but isn’t. Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton won the GOP endorsement but faces a primary fight. So does 2010 gubernatorial candidate Ned Lamont, who was endorsed by Democrats.
State of play: GOP will have to heal internal rifts before Nov. 6.
Stakes: This is a top opportunity for Republicans to pick up a seat.
Primary: Aug. 28.
Candidates: Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and U.S. Rep. Don DeSantis lead the GOP candidates; President Trump endorsed DeSantis. Big Dem field includes Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.
State of play: Putnam leads DeSantis, setting up a test for Trump.
Stakes: Pros say it’s a tossup.
Primary: June 5.
Candidates: GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds, appointed last year, will face businessman and first-time candidate Fred Hubbell, who won the Democratic primary.
State of play: Democrats believe Reynolds is vulnerable; she’s taking aim at Hubbell’s wealth.
Stakes: Hubbell would restore state control of privatized Medicaid program.
Primary: Aug. 7.
Candidates: Former state Sen. Gretchen Whitmer is one of three Democrats running; Attorney General Bill Schuette leads the GOP field.
State of play: A Koch brothers-backed group is targeting Whitmer.
Stakes: Landscape in a key battleground will be clearer after Bernie Sanders, then Trump won here in 2016.
Primary: Aug. 14.
Candidates: The GOP endorsed Hennepin County Commissioner Jeff Johnson, who will face ex-Gov. Tim Pawlenty. The DFL backed state Rep. Erin Murphy; U.S. Rep. Tim Walz and Attorney General Lori Swanson are also running.
State of play: It’s anybody’s guess.
Stakes: Will the GOP take over state government?
Primary: June 12.
Candidates: Democrat Steve Sisolak, a county commissioner, and Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
State of play: Sisolak survived a bitter, costly primary. Laxalt could be boosted by his grandfather Paul, a former Nevada governor and U.S. senator.
Stakes: Nevada hasn’t had a Democratic governor since 1999.