Edited by Lauren Rodgers
This is the inaugural edition of The Executive Summary, a bi-monthly news report prepared by Ballotpedia’s team of state executive reporters. We will provide comprehensive coverage of everything related to the state executive offices, from elections and appointments to controversies and current events. With each edition, you’ll get the most important and relevant information about state executives across the country.
If you’re looking for information about governors, lieutenant governors, attorneys general, secretaries of state, auditors, state treasurers, controllers, insurance commissioners, superintendents of schools, mine inspectors, adjutants general, or commissioners of labor, agriculture, education, insurance, natural resources and public services, you’ve come to the right place. Ballotpedia’s state executive official project covers 749 offices. We are continually updating incumbent profiles and office overview pages to make sure you’re getting the most complete and accurate information possible.
Of all the offices we cover, 335 are popularly elected; the remaining 414 are appointed by either the governor or the state legislature. This year, 22 states are holding regularly-scheduled state executive official elections. In those elections, a total of 37 state executive seats and 57 down ballot seats are up for election. Wisconsin also held two special recall elections for Gov. Scott Walker and Lt. Gov Rebecca Kleefisch on June 6, 2012.
- 11 states have already held primary elections
- Candidate filing periods have closed in 7 other states
- In four states, no deadlines have passed (though there are two this week)
Upcoming key dates
|June 14||Vermont’s filing deadline|
|June 15||New Hampshire’s filing deadline|
|June 16||Indiana’s Democratic Party nominating convention|
|June 18||Campaign finance reports due for candidates in Utah|
- Iowa Director of Natural Resources: Former Republican legislator Chuck Gipp was named the new Iowa Director of Natural Resources by Gov. Terry Branstad (R) on May 31, 2012. The position was left open when Roger Lande, who had served since December 2010, announced he was retiring in order to spend more time at his home in Ontario, Canada. The Department of natural resources is responsible for oversight of the state parks, forests, and other resources.
- Oregon Superintendent of Schools: On June 4, Oregon Superintendent of Public Instruction Susan Castillo announced that she will resign at the end of the month, roughly two years before her term’s scheduled expiration.  Governor John Kitzhaber said he would appoint someone to the newly created post of deputy chief education officer to replace Castillo – who was most recently re-elected in 2010 – by July 1. For the last 150 years, the superintendent has been an independent, elected position. Then in 2011, as part of Gov. Kitzhaber’s reorganization of the entire state education system, a law was passed placing the superintendent’s office directly under the governor’s control, for the purpose of fostering “a more coordinated education system stretching from pre-kindergarten through graduate school.” The new law, which was not expected to take effect until Castillo’s term ended in 2014, transfers “responsibility for the state’s half-million students attending 1,200 public and charter schools” to the governor, who will appoint a deputy chief education officer to oversee the department in place of an elected superintendent.
In each report, beginning June 28th, we’ll feature one state executive office. Keep an eye out for the next edition, when we highlight public services commissioners. We’ll give you a rundown of what they do, how they’re chosen, how much they are paid (on average) and other interesting facts about the office.