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This Election Isn’t Just About the Presidency: Control of 12 State Governorships Is Also at Stake

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Is Your State One of Them?

This year’s election contests aren’t just going to be a big day for the presidential race. There are numerous state and local officers up for election. Because we know just how important – perhaps even more so – these down-ballot races can be, we here at The New Civil rights Movement are breaking down the other races and what initiatives progressives should be paying attention to as they head to the ballot box on Tuesday. 

In this article we look at the 12 states that have governor races.

Keep in mind, Republican governors currently control 34 states and territories, Democratic governors only 18.

North Carolina 

There’s a good chance you know the names Pat McCrory and Roy Cooper.

McCrory is the incumbent, Republican governor who’s responsible for pushing and signing into law the horribly anti-LGBTQ (and more specifically, anti-trans) “bathroom bill” HB2 in one day. He’s lost his state hundreds of millions of dollars and recent polling puts him at a slight – not not major – disadvantage to his Democratic opponent, Roy Cooper.

Roy Cooper, for his part, has spoken against HB2 numerous times and has refused to defend it in court.  

Indiana

If there’s any good to come from a Donald Trump candidacy, it was his choice of Indiana’s governor as a running mate, which got Mike Pence out of the office. Pence is the guy who helped push through Indiana’s so-called “religious liberty”/RFRA bill that enabled discrimination against LGBTQ people, among others. He also used HIV-research money for converstion therapy programs and more than a few other hits to the LGBTQ community. Suffice it to say he’s no ally.

Running to replace him are Democrat John Gregg and Republican Eric Holcomb. Gregg has branded himself as the LGBTQ-friendly alternative to Holcomb, though even his own record of acceptance is a bit rocky. However, Holcomb has long been branded as a close ally of Pence’s and has aligned himself with Pence’s old conservative allies.

Missouri 

Republican Eric Greitens, a former Navy Seal, is on the ballot against Democrat Chris Koster, the sitting Missouri Attorney General. This past year Missouri debated a very far-reaching “religious freedom”/bathroom bill. Both candidates oppose that bill, but in very different ways. 

Greitens has said “people of faith are under attack in America” but also says bathroom access should be “handled by schools and families.” He has, however, repeated the oft-told lie that allowing transgender people to use the bathroom consistent with their gender identity would allow “grown men into little girls’ bathrooms.”

Koster, for his part, has been very vocal on his support for LGBTQ people and families. 

Delaware

Congressman John Carney (Democrat) and State Senator Colin Bonini (Republican) are vying for the business-centric state’s executive office. Carney endorsed marriage equality as a congressman back in 2013 while Bonini voted against it as a state legislator. The state is expected to remain solidly Democrat.

Montana 

Democrat Steve Bullock is seeking re-election and is challenged by Republican Greg Gianforte. Gianforte hasn’t been very vocal about LGBTQ rights but Buzzfeed’s Dominic Holden uncovered past lobby efforts against LGBTQ rights and his foundation has donated more than $1.1 million to organizations that oppose LGBTQ rights. The latest polls have Bullock just about 2 points ahead of Gianforte.

New Hampshire

Colin Van Ostern (Democrat), Chris Sununu (Republican) are joined by a libertarian and two independents in the race for governor. Van Ostern has been vocal in his support for LGBTQ rights while Sununu has been noticeably silent.

North Dakota

Marvin Nelson, the Democratic former state legislator, is one of the few candidates we’ve seen in any governor’s race to explicitly state they are anti-discrimination on their campaign website. His opponent, Republican businessman Doug Burgum, describes himself as a small-government conservative. He’s also made it a point to say he’s not running on social issues.

When discussing the oil pipeline at Standing Rock, Nelson expressed sympathy with the Sioux Tribe while Burgum said the issue has presented a new opportunity for “dialogue.”

Oregon 

Democrats have controlled the state since 1987 and it seems this cylce will be no exception. Kate Brown, the incumbment, became governor about a year ago when her predecessor resigned. She’s the first openly bisexual governor in the US and has put non-discrimination and equality at the center of her campaign. Her opponent, Republican Bud Pierce, has stayed notably silent on LGBTQ rights, but he was forced to apologize after an offensive gaffe during a discussion of domestic violence during a recent debate.

Utah

Republican incumbent Gary Herbert is currently polling at 63% against Democract Mike Weinholtz virtually guaranteeing that only something drastic could endanger his chances of a clear win on Tuesday. For what it’s worth, Weinholtz has been a vocal supporter of LGBTQ equality.

Vermont 

Both candidates, Sue Minter (D) and Phil Scott (R), have been noticeably silent on LGBTQ rights, though the state does have a legacy of equality and inclusion.

Washington

Jay Inslee, the current Democractic governor, is endorsed by numerous LGBTQ groups for his history of working for LGBTQ equality. His opponent, Republican Bill Bryant, has said LGBTQ people deserve protection from discrimination but inclusive bathroom laws “put the rights of one group over another.”  Inslee is currently polling at 50% against Bryant’s 40%. 

West Virginia

The race to be the next govenor of West Viriginia may well be the strangest in the nation. Democrat Jim Justice is a billionaire coal baron who “promises to shake up the establishment.” He’s self-funded his campaign to the tune of $2.2 million dollars, but none of that seems to matter as West Virginia is one of Trump’s strongest states. His opponent, Republican Bill Cole, is currently up 44% to Justice’s 33%.

Cole has gone on record saying he’s against marriage equality while Justice says “the Supreme Court’s decision should be respected,” though he’s “for religious freedom without government intervention”.

  

Coming Saturday: A look at some of the key US Senate races to watch.

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BREAKING NEWS

Watch Live: Attorney General Merrick Garland to Make a Statement This Afternoon

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Attorney General Merrick Garland will deliver a statement Thursday afternoon at 2;30 PM ET, the Dept. of Justice has announced.

The subject of his address was not included. A gunman threatened and attacked an FBI Field Office in Ohio earlier Thursday, and the far right and Republicans have been outraged over the execution of a search warrant by the FBI Monday at Mar-a-Lago, which resulted in the confiscation of classified materials and federal government property.

Watch live below.

DOJ website feed:

PBS News feed:


 

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BREAKING NEWS

Nearly Half the Country Supports FBI Mar-a-Lago Search – Only Republicans Are Opposed, New Poll Shows

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Americans on the right are so outraged the FBI, having probable cause and a federal judge’s signature on a legal and valid search warrant, showed up at Mar-a-Lago Monday to confiscate what we now know were between ten and 12 cartons of federal government property, including classified documents.

Trump supporters upon hearing the news almost immediately began calling for civil war, with right wing media including Fox News and other far right outlets reinforcing those attacks.

But a brand new poll just released finds that, as with most issues, Republicans stand alone in their opposition and outrage.

READ MORE: DOJ Served Trump With Grand Jury Subpoena for Classified Documents Months Before FBI Raid: Report

“Just about half of registered voters approve of the FBI search of Trump’s Florida compound,” reveals Politico’s Morning Consult polling, published Thursday afternoon.

Specifically, 49 percent of registered voters support the raid. 37 percent, slightly more than one-third, oppose it, and 13% don’t know.

But the political breakdown reveals what many would expect.

84% of Democrats support the FBI’s execution of the search warrant on the former president’s home.

READ MORE: Federal Appeals Court Rules House Can Have Trump’s Tax Returns – Committee Expects Them ‘Immediately’

47% of independents also support the raid, with just 33% opposed.

But a whopping 72% of Republicans are opposed to the FBI’s actions, and just 15% are in support.

The Morning Consult poll also finds that a “majority of voters believe Trump either ‘definitely’ or ‘probably’ broke the law while he was president.”

That includes 90% of Democrats, 59% of independents, and 24% of Republicans.

 

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Gunman Threatens and Tries to Break Into FBI Field Office in Ohio – Armed Suspect on the Loose: Reports

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An armed man tried to break into an FBI field office in Cincinnati, Ohio Thursday morning, and is still on the loose. Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers are in pursuit, according to the Wilmington News Journal.

“Troopers in Wilmington area in pursuit of man who tried to break into FBI building in Cincinnati,” the Journal adds.

“Unconfirmed reports say his [sic] now firing at police from a corn field,” reports NBC 15 News.

The “police pursuit and ongoing police situation in Clinton County has shut down two highways and prompted an area lockdown. It all started after a potential threat was made at a FBI building in Cincinnati,” WLTW reports. “Officials with the Cincinnati FBI field office confirmed the situation began after a potential threat was made at an FBI building in Cincinnati.”

The Ohio suspect’s motivation is unknown but the news comes just days after the FBI executed a search warrant on the Mar-a-Lago home of Donald Trump, drawing massive right wing outrage including calls for “civil war.”

UPDATE: 12:16 PM ET –
FBI Cincinnati confirms earlier reporting:
At approximately 9 AM this morning an armed subject attempted to breach the Visitor Screening Facility at #FBI Cincinnati. After an alarm and a response by FBI special agents, the subject fled north onto Interstate 71.”

This is a breaking news and developing story. Details may change. 

Image via Shutterstock

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