State elections set stage for coming years

November 10, 2022

Keith Goble


Governor elections from Maine to Alaska were decided on Nov. 8.

In all, voters across the country cast their ballots for nearly 85% of the elected officials who make up federal and state government, as well as many local offices.

Understandably, most headlines in the mainstream national media focused on the congressional races following Election Day. 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, and taxes and fees.

Democrats appear to make slight gain in governorships

Election Day saw voters in 36 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 28-22 edge among governors nationally. Afterward, the GOP appears to claim a smaller margin.

Of the states voting for governor, the races in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Nebraska, Oregon and Pennsylvania were for open seats due to term limits. Elsewhere, the Massachusetts governor did not seek re-election.

Sitting Democratic governors in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin retained their offices. Incumbent Republican governors in Alabama, Alaska, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont and Wyoming were also victorious.

As of Thursday, the gubernatorial race in Nevada between the incumbent and the challenger remains too close to call.

New governors were elected in Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

Republicans in Arkansas and Nebraska held on to their party’s gubernatorial control. Likewise, Democrats kept the executive suite in Hawaii and Pennsylvania.

In Maryland and Massachusetts, Democrats wrested control of gubernatorial seats from Republicans.

Two days after Election Day, races to replace term-limited governors in Arizona and Oregon remain too close to call.

Looking ahead

With this year’s elections concluded, both parties turn their attention to 2024. At that time, 11 states will elect governors. Of those, eight states have Republicans in the executive suite and three states have Democrats leading state government.

In five states, two Democrats and three Republicans are term-limited and cannot pursue another term.

GOP governors in five states can run for re-election, and one Democrat can do the same. LL


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OOIDA’s Fighting for Truckers website helps professional truck drivers tell lawmakers what’s really happening on the country’s highways.

Lucas Oil

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.