Larry J. Sabato, who is director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, is a respected national political analyst who publishes Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an informative look at campaigns and races around the country.
In the most recent issue Sabato takes a look at 2010 gubernatorial races and concludes that “There’s now no question that the gubernatorial turnover in November will be historic.” He estimates that Republicans will add six or seven states to the count of those states with Republican governors.
Kansas: Gov. Mark Parkinson (D), who succeeded Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) when she joined President Obama’s Cabinet as Health and Human Services secretary, has left his party high and dry. He refused to run in 2010, and to add insult to injury, he picked as his new lieutenant governor a Democrat who also pledged not to run. Despite a respectable Democratic candidate in Tom Holland, the election is all but over. Republicans will re-take the governor’s office with current U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback. This is a remarkable example of the governing political party imploding. The GOP can count this one as in the bag.
Sabato rates Kansas as a “solid Republican takeover.”
While Sabato describes Kansas Senator Tom Holland as “respectable,” if Holland was attempting to use his votes in the senate this year to establish a record that might appeal to moderates, he failed in that effort. In the Kansas Economic Freedom Index, Holland is the only senator who scored 0%, meaning that voted against economic freedom in all votes considered by this index.
While it may be that the Kansas Democratic party is imploding, it has done very well in placing its members in statewide office. Considering Kansas statewide elected offices, five of the six are held by Democrats, and none were elected to their current positions.
Governor Parkinson, while elected lieutenant governor in 2006, rose to his present position when Kathleen Sebelius resigned as governor to take a position in President Obama’s cabinet.
Lieutenant Governor Troy Findley was appointed by Parkinson to replace himself.
Secretary of State Chriss Biggs was appointed by Parkinson when Republican Ron Thornburgh resigned earlier this year.
Attorney General Stephen Six was appointed by Sebelius when the incumbent, a Republican-turned-Democrat resigned.
Treasurer Dennis McKinney was appointed by Sebelius to replace Republican Lynn Jenkins, who won election to the United States Congress.
On the Kansas Supreme Court, there are three Republicans and three Democrats, with one Justice being unaffiliated, according to a Kansas Liberty story. In 2005, an analysis by the Kansas Meadowlark had the breakdown as five Democrats and two Republicans.