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While most eyes are on 2020, three states will be holding gubernatorial elections this fall. These elections will be interesting to watch as they are occuring in states have supported President Donald Trump in 2016, and therefore may be indicators of what we will see as he runs for re-election in 2020. Will those candidates act in a Trumpian manner? Will Trump campaign for, with, or against certain candidates? Who will get a tweet about them, and who won’t? Here are the three 2019 gubernatorial races to watch.
Kentucky is a solid red state, but the incumbent governor, Matt Bevin, is a real firebrand in the state. He’s got some strong supporters, and Trump’s support, but he’s also got a lot of people who want to see him ousted. His democratic challenger, Andy Beshear, is actually the son of the previous (Democratic) governor, Steve Beshear. Andy Beshear is currently the attorney general of the state. Will Bevin, a Trump-like candidate, prevail, or will a red state once again elect a blue governor? The election will be held on November 5, 2019.
In Mississippi, the Republican governor, Phil Bryant, is finishing up his second term and ineligible to run for a third because of term limits. Primary elections occurred in early August, so the Republican nominee with be Lt. Gov Tate Reeves. He will face the incumbent attorney general, Jim Hood. The state is likely to stay red, but if it goes blue, it would be a huge showing ahead of 2020 and maybe signal a big shift against Trump. The election will be held on November 5, 2019.
The only Democratic governor up for re-election this year, John Bel Edwards, is running for another term. He is expected to be challenged by Representative Ralph Abraham from across the aisle, but Louisiana has a “jungle primary” meaning they don’t separate their primary ballots by political party. Essentially, if one candidate receives more than 50% of the vote during this “primary” on October 12th, that candidate wins. If no candidate reaches that 50+% threshold, a general election is held on November 16th between the top two primary finishers. Louisiana is considered a potential pick-up for Republicans since the state legislature does lean to the right.