• SSTI poll shows overwhelming support for innovation platform

    More than 90 percent of the electorate support expanded efforts to strengthen the key elements of a knowledge-driven economy. Members can sign up for a webinar on how the poll can inform your communications.

  • Become an SSTI Member

    As the most comprehensive resource available for those involved in technology-based economic development, SSTI offers the services that are needed to help build tech-based economies.  Learn more about membership...

  • Subscribe to the SSTI Weekly Digest

    Each week, the SSTI Weekly Digest delivers the latest breaking news and expert analysis of critical issues affecting the tech-based economic development community. Subscribe today!

Gubernatorial Candidates Make the Case for TBED

October 03, 2012

On November 6, in addition to the presidential election, eleven state and two territorial gubernatorial contests will be decided. Seven of these races (Delaware, Missouri, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Utah, Vermont, and West Virginia) include a sitting governor running for re-election, while the remaining six (American Samoa, Indiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Washington) are open races.

Of the races involving incumbents, four are a Democratic governors being challenged, while three sitting Republican governors are up for re-election — two of them for a full term after completing the terms of the previous governors who left for other positions.

Five of the open races are a contest for a seat being vacated by a Democrat, while only one is currently held by a Republican.

SSTI took a look at the TBED platforms of the candidates for governor.

Delaware

Jack Markell (D)
Gov. Jack Markell has pursued a multi-pronged approach to economic development that includes providing small businesses access to credit, creating tax incentives for businesses to hire Delawareans, expanding the research and job training facilities at the state's three major institutions of higher learning and providing grants to help unemployed workers acquire new skills or upgrade their current skills. During his first term, Gov. Markell established a statewide council to improve student preparedness in the areas of STEM education. He also established loan programs to attract and expand startup renewable energy companies in Delaware.

Jeff Cragg (R)
Delaware Businessman, Jeff Cragg's economic development plan is focused on removing regulations from small businesses to spur private investment by entrepreneurs and create jobs. He proposes to eliminate current loan programs for renewable energy companies and other green energy initiatives.

Indiana

Current Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels is prohibited from running for a consecutive third term. The open seat is being contested by John Gregg (D) and Mike Pence (R).

John Gregg (D)
John Gregg was the speaker of the Indiana House from 1996-2002 and interim president of Vincennes University. As governor, Gregg would focus on both traditional and high-tech manufacturing, implement a manufacturing re-shoring initiative and introduce a new job tax credit for small businesses. In addition, he would create a Governor's Office for Indiana Manufacturing, which would provide services and financial and technical access for manufacturers, particularly those in emerging technology such as renewable energy equipment, hybrid technologies and next-generation batteries.

Gregg also plans an Indiana Manufacturing Development Corporation, modeled after various other states, dedicated to university technology transfer and commercialization — again targeting advanced manufacturing. Additional support would come through a 10 percent tax credit for investments in new equipment and other factory upgrades to better utilize advanced technology.

Other measures include the expansion of finance, such as the establishment of the Hoosier Capital Access Partnership and an Indiana Research Commercialization Matching Grant Program, and matching state funds for corporation and federal grants, including NIH, NSF, and SBIR. Read Gregg's full plan, Hoosier Handshake...

Mike Pence (R)
Having represented eastern Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2003, Mike Pence currently is running for governor. He outlines his economic strategy in his Roadmap for Indiana.

The innovation section of his plan includes the creation of an Executive Innovation Network and the Indiana Applied Research Enterprise (IARE) to assist with commercialization of innovation resulting from research at universities and life science companies. IARE would be a private institution supported by private industry and charged with growing the research and innovation capacity of researchers in the state. IARE would focus on life sciences, specifically pharmaceuticals, health informatics and clinical research, global health, surgical instrumentation, and plant improvement.

The Executive Innovation Network would assist the IARE through targeting, capturing, and directing investment to the universities. This network would be led by appointees of the governor and would include business leaders, innovators, university leaders, and entrepreneurs. For more on Pence's Roadmap for Indiana read here...

Missouri

Jay Nixon (D)
Gov. Jay Nixon released a six point job-creation strategy focused on maintaining the state's credit rating by balancing the budget without raising taxes increasing, workforce training for the high-demand jobs of the future, investing in innovation, lowering taxes and increasing access to capital for small businesses; expanding exports by Missouri businesses and recruiting new employers and helping existing businesses expand. During his first term, Gov. Nixon launched several initiatives focused on manufacturing, science and technology (S&T) and workforce training. To support the states auto manufacturing industry, he worked to pass legislation to support Missouri's auto industry that is estimated to attract $1.4 billion in investments to Missouri and create 3,000 new jobs. To transform the state's S&T industries, Gov. Nixon signed legislation such as the Missouri Science and Innovation Reinvestment Act. The governor also increased funding for job training and launched initiatives such as Training for Tomorrow, Caring for Missourians and MoHealthWINS to prepare Missourians for high-demand fields. The governor's education policy is highlighted by several STEM initiatives including incentives for high school students who excel in advanced math and science courses. His energy platform is built upon making the state an innovation hub for next-generation energy technologies including nuclear and renewable energies.

Dave Spence (R)
The Business Plan for Missouri Jobs released by Dave Spence is focused on helping small businesses, reforming the state tax system that includes the elimination of 28 tax credits, modernizing the state's workforce and reducing regulations. He also promotes making Missouri a Right-to-Work state to spur manufacturing growth. Spence intends to have private sector leaders evaluate the Department of Economic Development and make recommendations for better management practices and possible restructuring. In his Back to Basics education reform proposal, Spence would reprioritize education in Missouri's budget and increase funding for job retraining programs such as technology training, vocational schools and community colleges.

Montana

Current Democratic Gov. Brian Schweitzer is ineligible to run for a third term within a sixteen year span, and therefore the open seat is being contested by Steve Bullock (D) and Rick Hill (R).

Steve Bullock (D)
Steve Bullock currently is the attorney general. The Bullock-Walsh Jobs Plan is in two parts — Creating Opportunities for Small Business and Building the Jobs of the Future Right Here.

Creating Opportunities for Small Business calls for an examination of small business incentives and the possible consolidation of economic development functions into one agency, and the creation of an executive-level small business ombudsman who would address small business needs and issues and provide technical assistance. The plan also would continue to expand the Montana Broadband Project, which is bringing high-speed internet across the state.

Jobs of the Future Right Here states Bullock's support of public-private partnerships for the continued research in biosciences, and the promotion of the Spectrum Laboratory at Montana State University for research in lasers and optics. In addition, Bullock will support development and growth of the software and computing industries.

The plan also calls for the "adequate support" of the Montana Board of Research and Commercialization and the expansion of the Montana BioScience Alliance and the SBIR Partnership Program, as well as providing state matching funds for federal SBIR and STTR grants. Bullock would promote incubators, specifically providing matching state grants of corporate funding for university incubators.

Rick Hill (R)
Rick Hill served as Montana's sole representative to the U.S. Congress from 1997-2001. Hill's job and economic plan does not include specifics on innovation or tech-based economic development.

New Hampshire

Two-term Democratic Gov. John Lynch, although eligible, decided not to run for another two-year term. Maggie Hassan (D) and Ovide Lamontagne (R) are running for the open seat.

Maggie Hassan (D)
Maggie Hassan is a former New Hampshire state senator. Her Innovate NH plan for jobs and the economy includes doubling the research and development tax credit for businesses creating new technologies, and would support increased commercialization from New Hampshire higher education institutions.

Ovide Lamontagne (R)
Ovide Lamontagne is a former lawyer who ran for governor in 1996 and for United States Senate in 2000, losing both times. Lamontagne's Prosperity Agenda would make the research and development tax credit permanent and streamline the application process. Other proposals focus on a jobs-creation tax credit for new employees in manufacturing and production along with other tax credits and extensions.

North Carolina

In January 2012, North Carolina's first-term Democratic Gov. Beverley Purdue announced that she would not seek re-election. Democratic Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton will face Republication nominee Pat McCrory, former mayor of Charlotte.

Walter Dalton (D)
Former Lieutenant Governor Walter Dalton provides a four-point job's plan that is intended to refocus and retool the state economy, recruit sustainable jobs and retrain its workforce. Dalton's plan includes 25 recommendations that include creating industry-specific recruitment teams, developing tools to identify high-growth firms and assist them, establishing more local and regional innovation hubs and an infrastructure bank, starting a biotech growth fund to support financing and research in the sector, developing a "Dollar$ for development" program to strengthen the state's research institutions and creating sector-specific employment and training centers. As governor, Dalton would develop a comprehensive energy plan that pursues both traditional and alternative energy resources. He also proposes to expand broadband across the state, especially to rural areas.

Pat McCrory (R)
Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory provides seven Principles for Fixing North Carolina's Broken Economy based upon leadership, responsiveness to business, a modern tax code, a comprehensive energy policy, vision for transportation and infrastructure, education reform and increased opportunities for key industries. In his plan, McCrory outlines agriculture and water supply/storages as key priority areas that he would provide financial support for research and development efforts. He also provides other specific policy recommendations that include reducing government regulation, reforming taxes and education reform. An "all-of-the-above" energy plan would provide financial support to grow the state's biofuels, clean coal, natural gas, solar, wind and nuclear energy industries.

North Dakota

Jack Dalrymple (R)
Gov. Jack Dalrymple previously was the lieutenant governor of North Dakota from 2000-2010 and was a representative to the North Dakota House of Representatives for 15 years prior. His campaign platform does not include tech- or innovation-based economic development.

Ryan Taylor (D)
Challenger Ryan Taylor is currently a North Dakota state senator and the minority leader of the Senate. Taylor does not include a mention of economic development as one of his priorities of his governorship.

Puerto Rico

Luis Fortuño (R)
Gov. Luis Fortuño released his 135 page Programa de Continuidad y Futuro (The Program for Continuity and Future 2013 to 2016) that includes initiatives to strengthen the private sector, reform the tax system, support innovation and entrepreneurship, spur technology development and rebuild the island's manufacturing sector. He also released his education platform intended to prepare the island's workforce to compete in the 21st century.

Alejandro García Padilla (D)
Alejandro Garcia Padilla does not provide an economic development plan or his position on economic development related issues on his campaign website.

Utah

Gary Herbert (R)
Previously Gov. Herbert was lieutenant governor under Huntsman. His economic plan would improve access to seed funding to assist with the creation of startups, and work to further invest in and develop areas where Utah is already a "global business leader" — life sciences, aviation and aerospace, and software and IT.

In early September, the governor announced strategies for the goal of making the Salt Lake City region a top-ten area for technology jobs and business by 2020. This new initiative, Prosperity2020, is composed of business leaders and emphasizes STEM education and the implementation of best practices from other states.

Peter Cooke (D)
Cooke is a former businessman, retired general from the Army Reserves, and Utah's director of economic development. Cooke's Utah1 Regional Jobs Project focuses on the capturing and growth of small businesses through enhanced funding of USTAR for the commercialization of innovation and promoting entrepreneurship.

Vermont

Peter Shumlin (D)
Gov. Shumlin is running for a second term as governor. His campaign site does not include a plan for high-tech economic development.

Randy Brock (R)
Challenger Randy Brock is a current Vermont state senator. On October 1, he outlined his economic development plan, 25 Ways to Spur Growth, which would establish a Department of Innovation, eliminate taxes on cloud computing, increase advocacy to capture international investment through the EB-5 program, and support private venture capital and seed stage funds. It also calls for creating a Business in a Box program, which would take business models and connect them with academic experience and the unemployed.

Washington

In June 2012, two-term Democratic Gov. Christine Gregoire announced that she would not run for a third-consecutive term. The open seat is being contested by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee and the Republican state attorney general Rob McKenna.

Jay Inslee (D)
Gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee would focus government economic development efforts on nine key industries and sectors including aerospace, clean energy, life sciences, information and communication technology and small business. The candidate proposes a jobs plan that would focus on high-tech small business, prioritize STEM education, invest in workforce development and develop initiatives to support the state's key industries. He also proposes establishing a new Office of Economic Competitiveness and Development within the governor's office to connect economic development, trade execution and policy development. According to his plan, many of these activities currently are not connected. Inslee's energy policy would focus on making the state a leader in green technology develop by supporting technology commercialization, attracting private investments, aligning tax incentives for energy startups and removing barriers to renewable energy deployment.

Rob McKenna (R)
Gubernatorial candidate Rob McKenna released a jobs white paper focused on regulation, tax and education reform to create jobs, increase investment and develop a 21st century workforce in Washington state. In his education platform, McKenna provides several proposals that include increasing funding for higher education, emphasizing STEM related fields (including establishing K-12 STEM focused schools), strengthening the state's community college system and preparing high school graduates for higher education and the 21st century workforce. He also proposes leveraging the state's renewable energy resources, including hydroelectric power, to encourage further expansion of high-tech manufacturing.

West Virginia

Earl Ray Tomblin (D)
The re-election campaign for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin is focused on four points — more jobs, lower taxes, energy and education. To spur job creation, the governor's efforts have focused on making changes in government that will help the private sector create jobs through public-private partnerships, lower taxes and fair and reasonable regulation. To make the state a leader in clean coal, the governor intends to invest in clean coal research, upgrades and technologies. He also intends to utilize state's natural gas reserves to create jobs and restart the state's manufacturing sector. His education plan is based upon four key points that include reducing dropout rates, increasing funding for vocational training, using technology in the classroom and increasing compensation for teachers.

Bill Maloney (R)
Bill Maloney released his Blueprint for a Brighter Future, a plan for creating jobs, cutting wasteful spending, reforming government and strengthening education and health care in West Virginia. To create jobs, Gov. Maloney would focus on reforming the tax system and encouraging private investment to make it easier to start/expand a business and attract new employers to the state. He also promised to make significant investments in educational resources to address the state's low education rankings. According to an article in the Charleston Daily Mail, Maloney proposes to eliminate a tax on business equipment.

Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Puerto Rico, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginiatech talkin govs, elections