Non-partisan U.S. Political News Reporting

Seven candidates tangle for three seats on Boise school board

Aug 29 2014

Two incumbents will face a financial analyst, a political consultant and a former candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives in the Boise School District Board of Trustees election on September 2, 2014. Another seat, up for election to a two-year term, is guaranteed to bring fresh blood to the board as two newcomers run to fill a vacancy.

At-large incumbents Nancy Gregory and Doug Park face challengers John Hruby, Anthony Shallat and Grant Walden for two six-year terms on the board. First elected in 2002, Gregory has held a position on the board for over a decade, but Park is relatively new, having been appointed in 2013. Challenger Hruby is not unfamiliar to the election process. A former candidate for the District 18B seat in the Idaho House of Representatives, Hruby lost to Brad Bolicek in the Republican primary on May 15, 2012. Though challenger Shallat hasn’t run for office before, he has worked under a number of political officials and has also served on the board of directors for the Idaho Civic Engagement Project.

It’s a race between an executive director and a senior vice president to fill the board’s vacant seat. Candidate Brian Cronin is a Harvard University graduate who has served in a number of different positions.

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JP Election Brief: Florida primary results are in; supreme court races are heating up

Aug 28 2014

 Two North Carolina candidates appointed, gaining election advantages

North Carolina: Governor Pat McCrory decided that he didn’t have to wait until the November election to, in a way, “cast his vote” in two North Carolina Supreme Court races. He did that by exercising his right to appoint judges to vacancies, quickly making two candidates incumbents. Mark Martin was appointed to serve as chief justice of the supreme court and Bob Hunter was appointed to replace Martin as an associate justice. Both candidates were already running for election to those seats and will now gain the advantage of being listed as an incumbent on the November ballots.[1]

Justice Mark Martin

On August 18, 2014, Gov. McCrory appointed Justice Mark Martin, a senior associate justice, to the chief justice position on the state’s supreme court. Martin is running for election to that position in November against Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Ola M. Lewis. His appointment is effective September 1, so he will have approximately one month of incumbency before the election.

Regarding Martin’s appointment, the governor stated:

Martin’s opponent, Judge Lewis, was not pleased. She said the appointment was “nothing more than pure politics in an effort to give my opponent an advantage—the upper hand—in the race.”[4] However, she still showed confidence in her chances, stating:

Martin was endorsed by the North Carolina Republican Party earlier in the year.

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Florida and Alabama elections lead to runoffs, school boards to welcome newcomers

Aug 27 2014

By: Abbey Smith and Lauren Dixon

Out of 116 school board seats up for general election in Florida on August 26, 2014, 31 remain undecided and will advance to a runoff election on November 4, 2014. More than half of those seats will be won by newcomers, since only 12 incumbents are moving on to the runoff election. Thirteen other incumbents were unseated in the general election. With the 26 open seats added to those victories by challengers, 27 out of the 36 Florida school districts that held elections will be welcoming newcomers onto their school boards. Two school districts, Hernando County and Volusia County, will welcome three newcomers to their school boards as two incumbents were unseated and one seat was open in each district. In contrast, two other school districts, Bay and Nassau County, canceled their elections due to lack of opposition.

One Alabama school district, Huntsville City Schools, also held elections on August 26, 2014. No incumbents ran for the three seats up for election. Beth Wilder defeated Richard V. Buchanan for the District 2 seat, and Walker McGinis defeated Kimberly Battle for the District 4 seat. The District 3 seat will be determined in a runoff election on October 7, 2014, as neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote.

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Scott and Crist to vie for vulnerable governor seat this fall: Florida state executive primary elections review

Aug 27 2014

By: Maresa Strano

TALLAHASSEE, Florida: On August 26, Florida voters faced three contested state executive primary fields and selected Democratic nominees for governor and attorney general as well as the Republican nominee for governor. With 99 percent of precincts reporting, the results show GOP incumbent Rick Scott and recently-converted Democrat Charlie Crist easily securing their respective parties’ nominations for governor, while George Sheldon overcame one opponent in the Democratic attorney general primary for the chance to challenge incumbent Pam Bondi (R) in the general election.[1]

The five state executive positions are up for election in 2014 in the state of Florida in 2014 – governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture and consumer services commissioner – are all held by Republicans, and each of the five incumbents are seeking re-election this cycle.

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a review of the August 26 primary elections in Florida, including the unofficial vote totals and a peek ahead at the upcoming general election lineups.

See also: Florida Gubernatorial and Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Republican incumbent Rick Scott is running for re-election. Under Article IV of the Florida Constitution, gubernatorial nominees are required to select running mates for the general election. Once designated, running mates are added below in order of “Governor/Lieutenant Governor.”

General election

Rick Scott/Carlos Lopez-Cantera – Incumbents Charlie Crist/Annette Taddeo-Goldstein[2] Adrian Wyllie/Greg Roe[3][4] (No Party Affiliation) Joe Allen[5] (No Party Affiliation) Glenn Burkett (No Party Affiliation) Farid Khavari[6] (Write-in) Piotr Blass (Write-in) Timothy Devine (Write-in) Vassilia Gazetas (Write-in) Kyle Gibson (Write-in) Emelia Harris (Write-in) Monroe Lee (Write-in) Clarence Riley[5] (Write-in) Keith Stegath (Write-in) Charles Tolbert

Lost in the Democratic primary

Nan Rich[7]

Lost in the Republican primary

Yinka Adeshina[5] Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder – Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce President[8]

Republican primary

Democratic primary

Florida Attorney General

See also: Florida attorney general election, 2014

Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi is running for re-election.

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Attorney General Horne and Schools Superintendent Huppenthal ousted: Arizona state executive primary elections review

Aug 27 2014

By: Maresa Strano

PHOENIX, AZ: On August 26, Arizona voters faced seven contested state executive primary fields, two of which resulted in the early elimination of incumbents. Attorney General Tom Horne and Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, both Republicans first elected to their posts in 2010, lost their bids for renomination yesterday, bringing the number of open state executive seats to a whopping seven.[1]

With five of the six remaining sitting officeholders either term-limited or not running for a second term in their current posts, incumbent State Mine Inspector Joe Hart will be the only executive incumbent to appear on the November election ballot.

Eight state executive positions are up for election in 2014 in the state of Arizona: governor, attorney general, secretary of state, state treasurer, state mine inspector, superintendent of public instruction and two seats on the state corporation commission. Republican primaries were held for all of the offices except state mine inspector. A single contested Democratic primary, for superintendent of public instruction, determined that David Garcia will represent the party on the November ballot against GOP nominee Diane Douglas, who unseated incumbent John Huppenthal.

Below, Ballotpedia has put together a review of the August 26 primary elections in Arizona, including the unofficial vote totals and a peek ahead at the upcoming general election lineups.

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Challenger running for two offices fails to win either: Vermont state executives primary 2014 review

Aug 27 2014

By: Garrett Fortin

Montpelier, Vermont: The 2014 Vermont primary elections were held on August 26, 2014. Democrats voted in two contested primaries, while Republicans had one primary contest.

Both opposed Democratic incumbents won re-nomination easily, with Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin and Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell defeating Brooke Paige, a Republican running in both Democratic primaries.[1] Three candidates contested the Republican primary for governor, with Scott Milne emerging the clear winner in the night’s most open race.

One Republican incumbent, Vermont Lieutenant Governor Phillip Scott, and three Democratic incumbents, Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos, Vermont Treasurer Elizabeth Pearce and Vermont Auditor Doug Hoffer, won re-nomination in unopposed primaries.

Below, Ballotpedia reviews the primary results and introduces the third-party and independent candidates who will be joining the primary contest winners in the November general election.

See also: Vermont Gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin defeated a single Democratic primary challenger, while Scott Milne overcame two candidates to win the Republican nomination.

Shumlin and Milne will be joined by Liberty Union Party candidate Pete Diamondstone in the general election.

Republican primary Democratic primary Vermont Lieutenant Governor See also: Vermont Lieutenant Gubernatorial election, 2014

Incumbent Lieutenant Governor Phillip Scott was unopposed in the primary. Scott will face two opponents in November: Dean Corren of the Vermont Progressive Party and Marina Brown of the Liberty Union Party.

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2014 elections review: Few competitive congressional primaries in Vermont and Arizona

Aug 27 2014

In a largely uneventful primary night, a few races remain too close to call as of Wednesday morning. In Vermont’s At-Large Republican primary, there are still outstanding votes to be counted and no winner has yet been declared. In Arizona’s 1st Congressional District, a Ballotpedia battleground district, the Republican primary remains tight this morning and has not been called. In Florida, only seven of the state’s incumbents faced any primary challenge yesterday, while the other 20 automatically advanced to the general election.[1]

See also: United States Senate elections, 2014

Oklahoma runoff

See also: United States Senate special election in Oklahoma, 2014

Oklahoma State Senator Constance Johnson and Jim Rogers were the highest vote recipients in the June 24 Democratic primary. Yesterday, they faced off in the runoff primary, and Johnson emerged as the winner.[2][3] Johnson will face Rep. James Lankford (R) and Independent candidate Mark Beard in the general election.

U.S. House

See also: United States House of Representatives elections, 2014


See also: United States House of Representatives elections in Arizona, 2014

Heading into the November 4 election, the Democratic Party holds five of the nine congressional seats from Arizona. Arizona is home to three battleground districts in 2014: District 1, District 2 and District 9.

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The Federal Vacancy Count 8/27/2014

Aug 27 2014

This week’s Federal Vacancy Count includes nominations, confirmations and vacancies from August 20, 2014, to August 26, 2014. Nominations, confirmations and vacancies occurring on August 26th will be reflected in the September 3rd report. The United States Senate continued its recess this week while last week President Barack Obama nominated two to the federal courts. A new vacancy occurred on the United States Court of International Trade. The vacancy warning level remained at blue this week after one new vacancy, two new nominations and no confirmations. The vacancy percentage rose to 6.7% and the total number of nominees waiting for confirmation rose to 29. The number of vacancies of Article III judges rose to 59 out of 874. A breakdown of the vacancies on each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies on the federal courts, see our Federal Court Vacancy Warning System.

New vacancies

Court of International Trade

Richard Eaton

New confirmations

There were no new confirmations this week.

New nominations

Court of International Trade

President Barack Obama on the nomination of Jeanne E. Davidson:

Jeanne E. Davidson

Northern District of California

President Barack Obama on the nomination of Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.:

Haywood Stirling Gilliam, Jr.
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Minimum wage increases among hot topics featured on 2014 ballots

Aug 27 2014

Brittany Clingen

Voters will be weighing in on some of the nation’s most contentious topics during the November 4, 2014, elections. Decisions made at the ballot box will establish important precedents and set the tone for future elections, based on which measures are approved and defeated. For further analyses and information on 2014 ballot measures, see this report.

The issue of raising the minimum wage has become a hotly contested topic at the local, state and federal levels. In the wake of Congress’ failure to increase the federal minimum wage, states have taken it upon themselves to do what Washington could not, with some raising the minimum wage via the state legislators and others turning to the voters. At least four state ballots will feature minimum wage increase questions in November. A fifth measure in Arkansas has the potential to go before voters, if enough of its signatures are certified.[1]

Certified measures:

Alaska Ballot Measure 3: Alaska has had a unique relationship with minimum wage rates over the years. It was the first state to adopt a minimum wage higher than that at the federal level. Furthermore, it maintained the highest minimum wage rate for more than 30 years after achieving statehood in 1959. However, the last time the minimum wage rose was in 2009 when the rate was increased from $7.15 to $7.25 per hour, in accordance with the federal minimum wage rate.
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State Legislative Tracker: Montana representative now running for U.S. Senate

Aug 25 2014

This week’s tracker includes a look at one Montana legislator’s unlikely run for U.S. Senate.

Last week, North Carolina adjourned its legislative session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

Montana: First-term Rep. Amanda Curtis (D) spent her first week on the campaign trail after she was selected to replace an incumbent U.S. Senator in the November election for his seat. John Walsh (D) recently ended his bid for re-election following accusations of plagiarism on a research paper he wrote as a graduate student at the U.S. Army War College. Walsh had faced a considerable challenge from U.S. Rep. Steve Daines (R), who has raised over $4 million for his campaign.[1] Republicans were quick to jump on Curtis’ progressive record, particularly her practice of video updates during the legislative session, releasing a compilation of statements from her YouTube channel shortly after her nomination. Curtis responded coolly to the GOP effort, calling her videos “the public record.”[2] One of Curtis’ videos received some notoriety last year when The Huffington Post reported that she strongly criticized 38 of her colleagues, all Republicans, for voting against a bill that struck down Montana’s anti-sodomy law, which had been ruled unconstitutional over 15 years earlier. In the video, Curtis told of having to prevent herself from striking fellow Rep.
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