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11 Governor's Seats Up for Election

October 25, 1996

While most of the attention has been focused on the presidential election and the fight for control of the Congress, eleven states will also be electing governors on November 5. Four of those races are for open seats where the governor has either decided not to seek reelection or is prohibited from running again.

The states with gubernatorial elections are:

Delaware -Tom Carper, the Democrat incumbent, is facing Janet Rzewnicki, the Republican State Treasurer. Carper has been elected to various offices nine times and has not lost once in the last 20 years. No poll results were available.

Indiana - Frank O'Bannon, the Democrat Lieutenant Governor, is running against Stephen Goldsmith, the Republican mayor of Indianapolis. A poll in early October showed the race a dead heat with O'Bannon receiving 45% of the vote and Goldsmith 44%. The current governor, Democrat Evan Bayh, can not run for a third term.

Missouri - The incumbent governor, Democrat Mel Carnahan, is opposed in his bid for a second term by the Republican State Auditor, Margaret Kelly. A poll in early October showed Carnahan with 59% and Kelly 26%.

Montana - The incumbent Republican governor, Marc Racicot, is seeking re-election to his second term. His Democrat opponent died of an apparent heart attack on Wednesday. Party officials will name a replacement on Monday.

New Hampshire - Due to Gov. Merrill's decision not to seek re-election, New Hampshire has an open seat. Democrat State Senator Jeanne Shaheen led Ovide Lamontagne, the Republican Chairman of the State Board of Education, 51% to 38% in a late September poll.

North Carolina - Democrat Governor Jim Hunt, seeking his fourth term as governor, is opposed by Republican State Senator Robin Hayes. In a mid-September poll, Hunt had 58% of the vote while Hayes had 32%.

North Dakota - Republican Governor Edward Schaefer is running for re-election against Democrat State Representative Lee Kaldor. No recent poll figures were available.

Utah - Republican Governor Michael Leavitt is opposed in his re-election bid by Democrat Jim Bradley, a former Salt Lake County Commissioner. An early September poll found Leavitt with 74% of the vote and Bradley with 9%.

Vermont - Democrat Governor Howard Dean is seeking re-election against Republican businessman, John Gropper. In a late September poll, Dean led with 63% against Gropper's 22%.

Washington - The incumbent governor, Democrat Mike Lowry, chose not to run for re-election. Democrat Gary Locke, the King County Executive, led Republican Ellen Craswell, a former state senator, in a mid-October poll with 53% to 34%.

West Virginia - With Democrat Governor Gaston Caperton ineligible to seek a third term, West Virginia has the fourth open seat. Former Republican Governor Cecil Underwood (his last term was in the late 1950s) is running against Democrat Charlotte Pritt, a former state senator. In a mid-October poll, Underwood led Pritt with 48% to 43%.

All poll figures are taken from the politicsnow web site, sponsored by ABC News, Newsweek, and the National Journal. The site can be reached at: www.politicsnow.com