State executive official elections, 2019

The first filing deadline for a 2019 gubernatorial election is just weeks away (we see you, Kentucky). What better time than now to provide a preview of the three states where voters will elect a governor this year.

Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi are the only states holding regularly scheduled elections for state executive positions in 2019. All three states will vote for governor and lieutenant governor, along with attorney general, secretary of state, agriculture commissioner, and treasurer offices. Other state executive positions up for election include auditor in Kentucky and Mississippi, insurance commissioner in Louisiana and Mississippi, and public service commissioner in Mississippi. In total, 23 executive positions are on the ballot. There were 303 state executive seats up for election across 43 states in 2018.

Two of the sitting governors, Matt Bevin (R) in Kentucky and John Bel Edwards (D) in Louisiana, are completing their first terms. Bevin announced in August 2018 that he plans to run for re-election. Edwards is seeking a second term. In Mississippi, Gov. Phil Bryant (R) was first elected in 2011 and re-elected in 2015. He is ineligible to run for re-election due to term limits.

Kentucky and Mississippi are currently Republican trifectas. Louisiana is a divided government – both chambers of the legislature have Republican majorities.

Following the 2018 election, there are 27 Republican governors and 23 Democratic governors across the United States. There were 36 governorships on the ballot in 2018, and there are another 11 up for election in 2020.

Of the 14 governor’s offices up for election across 2019 and 2020, nine are currently held by Republicans. Only one of those 14 elections have received a toss-up rating from Sabato’s Crystal Ball, however, and that is the Montana seat currently held by term-limited Gov. Steve Bullock (D) and up for election in 2020. The Cook Political Report did not identify any of the races as a toss-up; they rated the Montana race as Leans Democratic as of January 9, 2019.

The 2019 state executive filing deadlines are January 29 in Kentucky, March 1 in Mississippi, and August 8 in Louisiana. The primaries are on May 21 in Kentucky, August 6 in Mississippi, and October 12 in Louisiana. Mississippi will hold primary runoffs on August 27 if no primary candidate receives a simple majority of the vote. General elections will occur on November 5 in Kentucky and Mississippi and November 16 in Louisiana.

Ballotpedia has more here

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