This week, just like the Senate updates, had the expected candidates who were thought to run for Governor announce their intentions. What also happened this week was Hurricane Barry, so take care and be safe in the middle of the storm if you are dealing with it in any way. Also, like the other updates, there is a hefty amount of fundraising details to get through. With that said, let’s get to this week’s highlights:
1. West Virginia
Arguably the most speculative gubernatorial race in 2020 with the potential Joe Manchin run still hanging out there, recent fundraising totals have been announced. The first major trend is that a lot of candidates have loaned to their own campaigns. On the Republican side, Jim Justice has raised $57,650, Thrasher has raised $36,385, and Mike Folk has raised $16,035. On the Democratic side, Stephen Smith has raised $148,290 and Jody Murphy has raised $75. The Libertarian candidate, Erica Kolenich, has raised $990.
Robert Foster’s campaign, thought to be the longshot Republican candidate in the primaries, was recently criticized for not allowing a female reporter to come along alone for a multitude of hours. Some characterizations of this story were false, claiming that he wouldn’t let her come along period, where what he said was that if she brought her significant other or third-party along with her, she could do the interview. She refused to abide by that requirement outright. Foster attributes his decision to his Christian faith, (he is married). Given the controversy of “me-too” last year, the move to have a neutral third-party present also makes political sense. Bill Waller, Jr., also was criticized for following the “Billy Graham” rule. Supporters applaud the dedication to their marriage vows, while detractors claim sexism in those decisions. Recent fundraising totals were also released showing a familiar trend with Reeves and Hood at the top financially, with lower-tier Democrats struggling to make four and five digit fundraising goals.
3. North Carolina
Dan Forest and Roy Cooper, the presumptive Republican and Democratic candidates respectively, have both announced their campaigns for Governor of North Carolina. Cooper starts his campaign having raised $4.5 million dollars this year, while Forest’s official campaign kicks off next month.
I mentioned Hurricane Barry to wish well for the people currently trying to get through it, but also because of the political implications of the storm. While it’s horrible to monopolize off of the tragedy of a natural disaster, it’s worthy to note that politicians do it all the time. Bobby Jindal’s first gubernatorial victory came at the heels of the previous administration’s failure to remedy Louisiana’s suffering after Katrina. The devastation was so bad that Louisiana lost so much population that they lost a House seat, as well as having the New Orleans Saints play elsewhere until the stadium could be repaired. John Bel Edwards is aware of this fact, and will do anything to make sure his re-election bid is not hindered by poor executive action. The storm isn’t over yet, so it’s impossible to tell how public reception will go. If Edwards plays his cards right, the storm may bolster his re-election prospects.