State elections set stage for coming years

December 2020/January 2021

Keith Goble


Governor elections from Vermont to Washington were decided on Nov. 3.

In all, voters across the country cast their ballots for about 80% of the elected officials who make up federal and state government, as well as many local offices.

Understandably, many headlines in the mainstream national media focused on the presidential election and congressional races. However, voters made many other significant choices on their ballots.

Although federal rules govern much of the trucking industry, the power of the states has a major impact on professional drivers’ daily lives in terms of tolling, truck rules, taxes and fees.

Republicans make slight gain in governorships

Election Day saw voters in 11 states select governors. The chief executives have a far-reaching effect on government, including transportation funding for the foreseeable future.

Before Election Day, Republicans held a 26-24 edge among governors nationally. After, the GOP claimed a margin of 27-23.

Sitting Democratic governors in Delaware, North Carolina and Washington retained their offices. Incumbent Republican governors in Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Vermont and West Virginia were also victorious.

Additionally, new governors were elected in Montana and Utah. The Montana race was for an open seat due to a term limit. Elsewhere, Utah’s governor decided not to seek re-election.

Utah’s Gov.-elect Spencer Cox held on to the Republican Party’s gubernatorial control in the state. In Montana, Republican Greg Gianforte wrested control of the gubernatorial seat from Democrats.

Looking ahead

With this year’s elections concluded, both parties turn their attention to 2022. At that time, 36 states will elect governors. Of those, 20 states have Republicans in the executive suite and 16 states have Democrats leading state government.

In eight states, four Republicans and four Democrats are term-limited and cannot pursue another term.

GOP governors in 16 states can run for re-election and Democrats in 12 states can do the same. LL

TA Fleetguard
Keith Goble

Keith Goble has been covering trucking-related laws since 2000. His daily web reports, radio news and “OOIDA’s State Watch” in Land Line Magazine are the industry’s premier sources for information regarding state legislative affairs.