governors

A remembrance: Richard L. Thornburgh (1932-2020)

As 2020 came to a close, we received word that former Pennsylvania Gov. Dick Thornburgh had passed away on Dec. 31. Obituaries in the New York TimesWashington Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, rightly focused on his tenure as U.S. Attorney General and his two terms as governor, including his handling of Three Mile Island shortly after becoming governor. But I would like to focus on his legacy as it relates to technology-based economic development (TBED) and as a person.

All incumbent governors reelected; only Montana sees party switch

After a historic election night, the winners of the gubernatorial elections in 11 states appear to have been chosen. Barring a dramatic swing in votes, all of the nine incumbent governors have been reelected to a second or third term. In Montana, Rep. Greg Gianforte (R) has flipped control of the governor’s seat, and in Utah, Spencer Cox (R) has defeated Chris Peterson (D). Many of the incumbent governors held strong approval ratings going into election night and won their voters’ approval for another term as the country tries to inch out of the pandemic and recover economically.

Policy positions of gubernatorial candidates in 11 states discussed

Eleven states are holding gubernatorial elections this year with nine incumbents seeking reelection, two of which are facing off against their lieutenant governor. Only one governor, Steve Bullock in Montana, is term-limited and unable to seek reelection. In Utah, Gov. Gary Herbert is stepping down from the position he has held for 10 years. While many of the races this year will reflect referendums on the current governor’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the candidates have announced their innovation and economic development initiatives.

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