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Election 2022: Gubernatorial campaigns reveal positions on innovation initiatives

October 27, 2022

Thirty-six states are holding gubernatorial elections this November, with voters in eight of those states (Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, Pennsylvania, and Oregon), choosing a new governor to replace a term-limited incumbent. In two states, Connecticut and Georgia, the incumbent is facing a re-match with their 2018 opponent, while in Alaska and Maine, the incumbent is being challenged by his/her predecessor, whom they defeated in 2018. Florida Gov. Ron De Santis is being challenged by former Gov. Charlie Crist, who previously switched his party affiliation from Republican to Democrat. In five states — Alabama, Arizona, Iowa, Michigan, and Oregon ­— women incumbent governors and opposing candidates are competing to either retain or gain the executive seat.

Many of the candidates have announced their innovation and economic development initiatives, and as we enter the final stretch of these gubernatorial races, the following are some of the candidates’ innovation-, economic- or workforce-related policies, positions and prior accomplishments.


Bill Walker (I)

Bill Walker served as Alaska’s 11th governor (2014-2018) as an Independent, and is seeking office again as an Independent candidate, and is focused on rebuilding the state’s economy by creating an economy of the future that involves renewable energy sources, and using the state’s Permanent Fund to assist in bringing needed fiscal stability to the state, which in turn will create jobs, help businesses grow, and prevent outmigration of young Alaskans from the state. Walker is seeking greater investments in education, including the University of Alaska System, and workforce development. The Walker campaign proposes to re-establish the Climate Change Action Leadership Team, and work towards implementing the action plan created by the team to combat climate change.


Katie Hobbs (D)

Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has a seven issue platform that includes a transition to a sustainable clean energy economy. Hobbs is advocating for establishing a Water and Energy Innovation Initiative, which would be tasked with securing the state’s water supply and advancing a clean energy economy in partnership with state agencies, businesses, underserved communities, and tribal communities. The initiative would also be tasked with diversifying the state’s energy infrastructure, and work towards being carbon-free energy by 2050. Additionally, the Hobb’s campaign seeks greater Investment in Minority Businesses by Expanding Access to Capital and Expanding Diversity in STEM Jobs.

Kari Lake (R)

Kari Lake is running as the Republican candidate to succeed Gov. Doug Ducey. Lake wants to position Arizona at the forefront of developing new technologies related to space manufacturing and exploration, including communications, computing, and medicine. If elected, she said she would work with lawmakers to ensure that Arizona attracts existing and startup firms in the fast-growing commercial space sector.


Chris Jones (D)

A nuclear engineer, ordained minister, and former executive director of the Arkansas Regional Innovation Hub, Chris Jones is campaigning on what he calls “spreading PB&J across the state—expanding preschool to all families, affordable broadband for every home, and economic development focused on creating high wage jobs.”  As part of his education platform, Jones is calling for Arkansans of all ages to have access to technical schools and workforce training programs and for the state to invest in scholarships to advance skilled career opportunities and good-wage pay for those students in such programs. He is advocating to elevate the state’s community college system and to provide low-to-no cost degrees and opportunities to create a highly skilled state workforce. As part of his broadband platform, he wants to provide universal access and affordability to broadband across the state, as well as broadband investments in businesses, infrastructure, and the state’s education system. In order to boost small businesses and entrepreneurship in Arkansas, Jones is calling for the review of state regulations and possible regulatory cuts or reforms to reduce unnecessary burdens; and, he seeks greater investments in infrastructure and manufacturing to provide financial stability for existing and future state businesses.


Gavin Newsom (D)

Gov. Gavin Newsom continues to focus on building an upward economy for the state of California. He advocates collaborating with the schools to advance three initiatives: (1) develop transformation maps for every cluster, industry and region of the state in order to prepare students for the jobs that exist, while developing relevant curriculum to meet current and future workforce and skills needs; (2) establish 500,000 apprenticeships by 2029 in order to create a new vocational pipeline of high-skilled workers and expansion of earn-and-learn apprenticeships and successful labor management programs in advanced manufacturing, energy, health, and info technology; and, (3) provide individual skill accounts for Californians seeking employment. Newsom has advocated development of a state bank that would expand access to capital for California's small businesses, and would be utilized to establish innovative micro-lending programs. The governor seeks to empower communities to participate in California's economic growth by aligning economic development initiatives within the Opportunity Zones program to meld public- and private-sector interests and to ensure they are investing together. Newsom has vowed to drive California's innovation by increasing the state's R&D, boosting manufacturing sectors, gearing workforce training toward demands and increasing exports, and catalyzing business startups and expansion through fostering regional and cluster-based collaborations, partnering with industry, academic institutions, and communities. Newsom also seeks to build economic opportunity through renewable energy. He advocates for the state to expand its R&D partnerships, strengthen its policies and programs, and continue to expand the use of clean energy technologies in order to grow jobs.

Brian Dahle (R)

A state lawmaker, Brian Dahle is advocating for the repeal of the state’s gas tax and rolling back regulations in order to make California more affordable to businesses, the workforce, and entrepreneurs. If elected governor, Dahle is committed to implementing a comprehensive water plan to address the state’s climate and drought issues. He is advocating for comprehensive career education for California’s students. He supports substantial investments in the state’s renewable energy goals, and seeks to rebuild California’s electricity infrastructure.


Heidi Ganahl (R)

A former member of the Board of Regents at the University of Colorado, Heidi Ganahl’s campaign for governor lists her priorities as: Safety, Freedom, Family, and Rural Colorado.  As part of those priorities, Ganahl seeks to remove or eliminate unnecessary regulations and create policies that focus on job creation; to create incentives for “smart” development and affordable housing; and, advocates for holding the state’s colleges and universities accountable for a student’s success. She promises to further develop and expand broadband access in Colorado’s gap or rural areas. Granahl is also advocating for the elimination of the state’s income tax.


Ron DeSantis (R)

Gov. Ron DeSantis, elected in 2018, is running for a second term. His campaign, Keep Florida Free, identifies eight priorities including: Education, EconomyEnvironment,. Since taking office, he has allocated $3.5 billion for workforce education and training initiatives and required an annual review of Career and Technical Education (CTE) courses to ensure that course offerings are aligned with market demands. DeSantis also created the Broadband Opportunity Program to expand broadband internet in rural and underserved areas, and has allocated $30 million to the Rural Infrastructure Fund, which encourages job creation and capital investment in rural economies.  The governor is committed to continuing and building upon these initiatives in a second term.

Charlie Crist (D)

Charlie Crist served as the 44th governor of Florida from 2007 to 2011. As part of his “Affordable Florida for All” plan, Crist is advocating for housing affordability, access to capital for small businesses, a $15 minimum wage, and expanding high-speed broadband and accessibility for all Floridians. He would expand solar energy, through a new goal (detailed in Crist’s Million Solar Roofs Plan) of putting Florida on a path to reach one million solar roofs — a jobs plan that will create and support tens of thousands of solar-related jobs in Florida, including manufacturing and installation.


Brian Kemp (R)

According to the Office of the Governor of Georgia website, Brian Kemp’s initiatives and priorities related to economic development and innovation include plans to develop a skilled workforce that will meet the needs of the current and future industries. Additionally, Kemp plans to expand Georgia’s role as a hub for global commerce. Kemp plans to strengthen rural Georgia by increasing rural broadband access to expand economic growth, educational opportunities, and access to healthcare.

Stacy Abrams (D)

Stacy Abrams, the Democrat gubernatorial nominee, has outlined a plan for economic mobility, focusing on economic development. Abrams plans to work with technical colleges, small businesses, and unions to create over 20,000 apprenticeships in building trades, construction, coding, and healthcare. Abrams also plans to revitalize rural Georgia by supporting equitable investments in broadband and affordable access. To do so, Abrams plans to work with the private sector and local communities to guarantee that underserved households have high-speed Internet access at an affordable price. Abrams also intends to invest in small businesses by developing partnerships with private lenders and Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) and supporting technical assistance and training programs that help business owners start, grow, and scale their businesses.


Josh Green (D)

Josh Green, Hawaii’s current lieutenant governor and a physician, is running to replace David Ige, who is term-limited. A Green administration would advocate for a living wage; offer every high school graduate in Hawaii a free community college education and provide job training so residents can gain valuable skills; and seek to create and grow jobs in healthcare, IT, green energy, and sustainable tourism to increase demand for high-wage skilled Hawaiians.


Brad Little (R)

Seeking a second term, Gov. Brad Little is campaigning on what his campaign describes as the accomplishments of his first term, including cuts or streamlining of Idaho regulations, and easing the burdens on small businesses and citizens; providing tax relief, stable budgeting, and education funding increases; and, investments in transportation, water, broadband, and agriculture.

Stephen Heidt (D)

A former teacher, Stephen Heidt’s campaign is focused on developing economic policies for Main Street and rural Idaho that represent the needs of working people, small businesses, and family farmers; and seeks to strengthen the state’s public education by making it fair and accessible for every student, and ensuring professional training is available and attainable without causing debt or having to drop out of the workforce.


J.B. Pritzker (D)

The Democrat Incumbent for Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, has made various investments in economic development, manufacturing, and innovation during his last term. According to his campaign website, one of Pritzker’s priorities is building for the future. To support this priority, he has launched the bipartisan Rebuild Illinois capital plan, positioned Illinois to drive manufacturing of electric vehicles using incentives, established two Manufacturing Training Academies, founded Connect Illinois to expand broadband internet access, and invested millions of dollars towards the Illinois Apprenticeship Program.

Darren Bailey (R)

Darren Bailey, the Republican gubernatorial candidate for Illinois, campaign website features a promise to reopen the economy and schools fully, attract new businesses, and fuel job creation in Illinois.


Kim Reynolds (R)

Gov. Kim Reynolds is seeking re-election, after winning her first full term in 2018; she was acting governor between 2017-2018 when she replaced the state's former governor. Reynolds’ continued top priorities remain job creation, cutting taxes, and investing in Iowa's public education.

Deidre DeJear (D)

An early social impact entrepreneur and small business owner, Deidre DeJear’s  main campaign platform is focused on the state’s public education and a number of social issues. She is advocating for greater investments in quality affordable childcare statewide, especially for rural and low-income communities; expanding access to early childhood education with at least 30 hours per week of universal Pre-K; and, reinvestment in trade programs (carpentry, electrical work, phlebotomy, cosmetology, etc.) in public schools to help prepare students for good-paying careers.


Laura Kelly (D)

Gov. Laura Kelly has positioned herself as a bipartisan moderate leader that is committed to working with both parties in continuing to balance the state’s budget, fully fund schools, grow the economy, and rebuild the state’s infrastructure. During her first term, Kelly’s campaign site says she  oversaw a number of new economic development projects involving a record of over $8.6 billion dollars of investment in new business initiatives and the creation and retention of over 41,000 jobs; and expanding efficient and reliable internet access to rural communities.

Derek Schmidt (R)

State Attorney General Derek Schmidt’s “Pro Work, Pro Jobs, Pro Economic Growth” platform prioritizes entrepreneurship; supports existing businesses; and, seeks to develop and expand the state’s workforce by building a climate of opportunity that encourages investment. As part of his “Pro Education” platform, he promises to fully fund K-12 public schools as required by the Kansas constitution, and provide Kansas’ students with opportunities to develop needed career skills, which assist the state and job creators with a larger and stronger workforce. Schmidt says he would strongly support post-secondary education, including the state’s public and private colleges and universities, and community colleges and technical schools. 


Janet Mills (D)

Gov. Janet Mills is running on a platform of environmental protection and investment in infrastructure. In 2019, Mills pledged Maine would become carbon-neutral by 2045, a commitment which she signed into law in 2019. Additionally, she has committed to more than doubling Maine’s clean energy jobs to 30,000 by 2030 and made investments in climate priorities through her biennial budget and the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan.

Paul LePage (R)

Former governor of Maine, Paul Le Page, said he implemented the largest tax cut in state history. To make Maine more competitive with New Hampshire which has no income tax, he would help phase out the state income tax, starting with retiree and pension taxes.


Wes Moore (D)

If elected, Wes Moore plans to recruit top talent to Maryland by leveraging and promoting remote work. Moore plans to set clear benchmarks for institutions of higher education and community colleges to produce 40,000 new STEM graduates each year and utilize incentives like tuition assistance and loan forgiveness to drive students into STEM programs and reward institutions for achieving their benchmarks. Additionally, Moore will develop public-private partnerships with industry leaders to fund STEM apprenticeships to ensure students can earn while they learn.

Daniel Cox (R)

Daniel Cox’s campaign says he would “work to reduce regulations, taxes and ensure retirees can retire in Maryland,” and promises his support for the Maryland economy through the reduction of work regulations to keep local businesses open.


Maura Healey (D)

Attorney General Maura Healey is proposing an agenda to prepare workers to participate in the clean energy economy by establishing a Climate Action and Innovation Leadership Council charged with making Massachusetts the optimal state to cultivate environmentally friendly businesses, as well as tripling the budget for the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) to spur clean tech job growth. She is looking to bring new resources to Massachusetts’ network of vocational and technical high schools, coordinating those assets with regional community colleges and industries to maximize their impact.

Geoff Diehl (R)

Former State Rep. Geoff Diehl’s campaign platform includes a blueprint that seeks to eliminate excise taxes on electric vehicles through 2030 (with municipal backfill), and says he would address shortfalls in the state Unemployment Insurance Fund without any rate increase for employers; e

nact the Baker tax cut proposals; restore a flat income tax for all citizens and businesses; and, create a new state “Jobs Boss” to focus specifically on attracting new companies to Massachusetts and growing jobs.


Tim Walz (D)

Gov. Tim Walz’s “Vision for One Minnesota,” builds upon his previous platform that invested in workers and small businesses by expanding access to training opportunities and community college programs to create good-paying jobs and a skilled workforce. During his first term, the Walz Administration established the Governor’s Council on Economic Expansion, which brought together 15 labor, business, philanthropic, and non-profit leaders from across the state to provide recommendations on expanding Minnesota’s economy, and to be fully implemented under a Walz second term.

Scott Jensen (R)

A Vision for Minnesota” — a seven-part plan — proposed by Scott Jensen lays out the priorities of a Jensen administration. He advocates for spending reductions and shrinking state government. Jensen has proposed eliminating the state’s income tax and eliminating the executive branch’s emergency powers.


Jim Pillen (R)

According to the Pillen Playbook, the gubernatorial candidate seeks to grow Nebraska’s state economy by attracting new investments and job opportunities to communities across the state, retaining the state’s talent and younger residents, and increase earnings through cutting taxes, eliminating red tape and unnecessary regulations. In order to retain state talent, Pillen is opposed to giving tax breaks to out-of-state businesses, and instead seeks to focus on growing already existing Nebraska businesses, farms, and ranches. Additionally, he advocates for greater investment in rural communities and infrastructure, improve on and provide reliable broadband to rural communities, expand rural workforce housing, and will work with rural employers to strengthen pathways like career academies, internships, apprenticeships, and scholarships.

Carol Blood (D)

A key issue in the Blood campaign is to provide and advance greater prosperity for all of Nebraska’s residents. As governor, Blood would plan to build generational wealth for the greater good of all, and  work to attract and retain the talent needed to do so through greater investments in infrastructure, broadband, and workforce. Blood advocates for a K-14 education model that allows all high school graduates up to two years of free community college, which would assist in developing a well-rounded and capable workforce.


Steve Sisolak (D)

Running for re-election, Gov. Steve Sisolak vows to keep Nevada a low-tax state, build a world-class workforce, support small businesses and tourism while expanding other industries, and ensure Nevada stays welcoming and inclusive to recruit new families and businesses. He would do this through continued investment in education and making community college and other workforce training programs free for more Nevadans by 2025; investments in small businesses, which will assist innovative start-ups, and providing early support for our entrepreneurs; and, the elimination of some regulations to help create and attract state businesses.

Joe Lombardo (R)

Among the key issues that Joe Lombardo is campaigning for is greater diversification of Nevada’s economy from gaming and tourism towards new industries like manufacturing and technology. For that sector transformation, he is calling for greater investment in building a skilled Nevada workforce by seeking more workforce development programs in the state’s public education system and partnering with the private sector to enhance existing programs. A Lombardo administration seeks to make Nevada a regional leader in skilled industries such as welding, robotics, and coding.

New Hampshire

Tom Sherman (D)

Doctor and State Sen. Tom Sherman is running as the Democratic candidate against Gov.  Chris Sununu. Sherman would expand investments in renewable energy sources and energy efficiency measures intended to lower long-term costs, protect the climate, and create new jobs for New Hampshire residents.

New Mexico 

Mark Ronchetti (R)

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti released a number of position papers and plans including an Economic Recovery and Inflation Relief Plan that calls for tax policy reforms and permanent tax cuts for New Mexico’s middle class and working families; and, provide all state residents with an Oil and Gas Annual Rebate (OGAR) – akin to Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend (PFD). Ronchetti also seeks to promote the state’s small businesses through additional tax relief such as the elimination of property taxes on equipment purchases and gross receipts taxes, while lowering the state’s business tax rate, including the exemption of micro businesses and sole proprietors from the gross receipts tax. As part of a workforce development strategy, he would expand youth apprenticeship programs, as well as explore new models that would allow high school students to enter the workforce in those targeted industries while earning their diploma, and would expand the state’s trade and vocational schools to better align with high schools and community college course offerings for those areas experiencing labor shortages and/or targeted industry growth sectors.

New York

Kathy Hochul (D)

Incumbent Gov. Kathy Hochul is an advocate for the Green CHIPS Act and has touted it to be a policy that will “make New York a hub for high tech manufacturing.” She is leading New York’s largest investment ($1 billion) in digital infrastructure through the ConnectALL Initiative, and has made the commitment to continue to invest in the state's infrastructure needs. Hochul has committed to accelerating $1.2 billion in middle-class tax cuts for 6 million New Yorkers, providing $100 million in relief for nearly 200,000 small businesses, and delivering $1 billion in property tax rebates for more than 2 million New York families.


Nan Whaley (D)

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley is running to replace Mike DeWine as governor of Ohio. Nan has signed on to the Marshall Plan for Middle America, a regional roadmap to drive equitable infrastructure development in the Ohio Valley, and is committed to ensuring that the clean energy jobs of the future are available all across Ohio, especially in Appalachia. Additionally, Whaley plans on prioritizing state investment in clean energy through JobsOhio, Third Frontier Commission, and the Department of Development.


Kevin Stitt (R)

Incumbent Gov. Kevin Stitt is seeking a second term. When elected in 2018, the governor described himself as a conservative outsider with a vision to make Oklahoma a top-10 state, and offered a five-pillar plan to reform the state's education system and expand economic prosperity. In a second term, Stitt is committed to building upon the successes during his first term, while continuing to provide fiscally conservative leadership and policies.

Joy Hofmeister (D)

As part of Joy Hofmeister’s “Better Jobs” platform, she is pledging to remove the restrictions on local governments’ ability to raise the minimum wage, noting that Oklahoma communities should be free to decide on local worker wages. She would invest in the state’s entrepreneurs. She advocates for career and technical education/training beginning as early as middle school, so young adults can graduate with real-world skills and opportunities. A Hofmeister administration would work with businesses and labor leaders to address Oklahoma’s labor shortages and align the state’s education programming with workforce needs.


Tina Kotek (D)

Tina Kotek’s campaign for governor prioritizes justice, equity, and opportunity. As governor, she pledges to improve access to training and education through community colleges and would grow state-certified pre-apprenticeship and apprenticeship programs, including greater investments in such program opportunities for women, veterans, and historically disadvantaged communities. Kotek would seek collaboration with local governments and business leaders to address and close the digital divide, while ensuring that every Oregonian has access to reliable and affordable broadband or high-speed internet.

Betsy Johnson (Unaffiliated/Independent)

As the Independent candidate for governor, Betsy Johnson said she would work to protect and grow the state’s businesses, including the manufacturing sector with regulatory and tax policies, as well as a business climate, that supports jobs, investment and growth. Johnson pledges to make Oregon more economically competitive, with taxes that are reasonable and fair; regulations that are restrained and responsible; energy that is affordable; housing that is available and affordable; and an education system that is ready to partner and innovate. 

Christine Drazan (R)

Republican candidate Christine Drazan’s platform, “Road Map for Oregon’s Future,” addresses the state’s business climate and concerns and pledges job growth, would cut taxes and regulations, and repeal Gov. Kate Brown’s cap-and-trade executive order.


Josh Shapiro (D)

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is campaigning on a platform of economic equity, expansion, and security. He is campaigning to further lower the state’s corporate net income tax and embrace Pennsylvania’s role as a natural gas producer while investing in green technology for the future. As governor, Shapiro promises to prioritize expanding access to quality, affordable broadband to rural communities and increase efforts to develop the commonwealth’s broadband infrastructure. He would provide technical assistance to local municipalities in their applications for the over $100 billion in federal funding available and ensure that the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority is fully staffed and ready to work.

Doug Mastriano (R)

State Sen. Doug Mastriano is running for governor on a platform of public safety and individual freedoms. He is looking to pull Pennsylvania out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and would encourage investments in the natural gas and coal industries, and lift regulations, taxes, and fees on these industries.

Rhode Island

Daniel McKee (D)

Gov. Daniel McKee’s re-election campaign  has committed to expanding the Wavemaker Fellowship program to encourage more students to earn their degree and enter the workforce in Rhode Island. The governor is also working to enhance the state job network Real Jobs RI with a $30 million boost to reduce barriers to employment and connect skilled workers with good-paying career opportunities, and investing $100 million towards “the blue economy” and life science industries.

South Carolina

Joe Cunningham (D)

The Democrat gubernatorial nominee in South Carolina, Joe Cunningham, supports eliminating the state income tax to make the state more competitive on a national level.

South Dakota 

Kristi Noem (R)

Incumbent Gov. Kristi Noem is seeking a second term. As part of her re-election campaign, she is advocating growing South Dakota’s workforce through: Investing in the South Dakota Freedom Scholarship, the first needs-based scholarship in South Dakota; expanding apprenticeship programs in South Dakota to assist in on-the-job training and skills development; and, bolstering the state’s technical colleges. Additionally, she continues to advocate for the investment in high-speed broadband connectivity state-wide for businesses and pursuing licensure reform. 

Jamie Smith (D)

South Dakota gubernatorial candidate Jamie Smith has a three-point economic plan that seeks greater investment in the state’s workforce; a more welcoming state that retains talent and invests more in attracting and growing innovative businesses and establishing South Dakota as a destination for high-paying jobs; and, seeks to develop a main street initiative that will reinvest and revitalize downtowns as a driver in economic growth. A Smith administration would support higher education, technical schools and job training programs in their development of the state’s workforce, as well as partner with local industries to prepare and transition South Dakotans into a skilled labor force.


Jason Martin (D)

Jason Martin’s campaign for governor is founded on his experience as an ICU doctor during the COVID-19 pandemic. His platform priorities focus on healthcare and pandemic rebound, as well as jobs and the economy, and the environment and green energy. A Martin administration would seek to attract more businesses and manufacturing to the state by improving Tennessee’s business climate through building a more inclusive workforce and by placing an emphasis on vocational training and the Tennessee College of Applied Technology system; in addition, Martin opposes the “right to work” amendment to the state constitution.


Greg Abbott (R)

Gov. Greg Abbott is seeking a third term after winning re-election to a second term in 2018. The governor’s new policy proposals, “Bicentennial Blueprint: Framing Our Future,” seek to build on his record. He pledges to continue to grow the state’s prosperity, jobs, and the workforce while reducing regulations and cutting taxes..

Beto O’Rourke (D)

Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke has identified 17 priority issues, including jobs, rural investment, and energy and environment. As part of his high-quality jobs platform, O’Rourke is advocating raising the state’s minimum wage and making Texas a right to organize state; pursuing an aggressive energy jobs plan that seek to create over 1 million high-skill, high-wage unions jobs in geothermal energy, offshore wind, hydrogen, and battery storage; and, expanding access to apprenticeships, career and technical education programs, and other job training opportunities in Texas’ most in-demand industries.


Phil Scott (R)

Phil Scott is running for a fourth term as governor. Scott seeks to continue to improve the coordination between the Department of Labor and key workforce development partners to support training opportunities, which will assist Vermonters to gain new skills for advancement in or securing good-paying jobs.

Brenda Siegel (D)

Brenda Siegel is a small business owner whose platform focuses on investing in green jobs, transforming the Vermont transportation system, and building green infrastructure. Seigel also hopes to support and strengthen the state’s education system by addressing systemic barriers in the state.


Tony Evers (D)

The Democrat Incumbent for Wisconsin, Tony Evers, has centered many of his previous programs around workforce development, manufacturing and innovation. According to Evers’ campaign website, he hopes to continue efforts in workforce development through a workforce innovation grant program, a worker advancement initiative, a worker connection program, and the Wisconsin Tomorrow Grant Program, to support small businesses. Evers also intends to explore ways to attract new workers to fill job openings throughout the state.

Tim Michels (R)

Tim Michels, the Republican gubernatorial nominee for Wisconsin, highlights his economic blueprint on his campaign website. This blueprint includes plans to reduce taxes, recruit out-of-state veterans with workforce incentives, streamline state occupational licensing laws, incentivize students to pursue training in high-demand fields like healthcare, engineering, and technology, expand high-speed broadband in rural areas, and increase investments in vocational technical training to enhance Wisconsin’s workforce.

Laura Lacy Graham wrote this story with contributions from Emily Chesser and Jonathan Dillon.

governors, elections, states