The Washington Post
Navigation Bar
Navigation Bar

Related Items
  • State of Play

  • Early Returns

  • Campaigns

    State of Play
    Alabama: James Starting Slow, with Opposition

    State Capital Strategies
    Friday, Feb. 6, 1998

    Slow fund-raising efforts and recent flaps with former allies could prompt the unpredictable Gov. Fob James (R) to change his plans for a reelection bid, Alabama insiders say. The day before James's State of the State address, Lt. Gov. Don Siegleman (D) pulled a headline-grabbing stunt, placing a tattered portable classroom in a parking lot adjacent to the Capitol. The mobile classroom – also known as a trailer – sported a large banner proclaiming, "This is the State of the State." The trailer, which Siegleman had moved at his own expense, was meant as a reference to Alabama's ever-increasing use of portable classrooms in public schools. The Alabama AFL-CIO owns the lot where it sat – a reminder of Siegleman's connection to labor.

    More State Political News From:
    Alaska | Arizona | Florida | Maryland | Massachusetts | New York
    North Carolina | Rhode Island | South Dakota | Washington | Wyoming

    Alaska: Murkowski for U.S. Senate

    AKSen. Frank Murkowski (R-Alaska), once considered a strong gubernatorial challenger, will seek re-election. Lt. Gov. Fran Ulmer (D) and state Sen. Loren Leman (R) publicly pondered campaigns for Murkowski's seat while Murkowski considered a run for governor. Leman reportedly is still considering a gubernatorial bid.

    Arizona: Symington Sentenced

    AZFormer Arizona Gov. Fife Symington (R) was sentenced on Feb. 2 to 30 months in prison plus five years probation for his 1997 fraud convictions. Symington will likely serve his time at Nellis Prison Camp, a minimum-security federal prison near Las Vegas. Symington is set to enter prison March 20, but his attorneys will try to keep him free on appellate bond. U.S. District Judge Roger Strand imposed the punishment. He also fined Symington $60,000, but U.S. Bankruptcy Judge George Nielsen Jr. will handle the decision regarding restitution at a Feb. 25 hearing.

    Florida: Logan's Influence a Worry

    FLFlorida's five black Democratic state senators, concerned that intraparty squabbling may damage the state Party and black candidates, asked Democratic Rep. Willie Logan to stop attacking state Democrats over his ouster as the party's House leader. Last month, Rep. Ann McKenzie (D) replaced Logan, the first black to be selected speaker designate, following charges that he was not advancing the party's agenda. The House Democratic Caucus' action triggered criticism from black Democratic legislators, black party supporters and the state NAACP. Sens. Matthew Meadows, James Hargrett, Betty Holzendorf, Daryl Jones and William Turner requested in a letter that Logan step down.

    Logan is rumored to have urged 23,000 black voters to cast their ballots against Rep. Steve Geller (D), the front-runner in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Ken Jenne (D), now Broward County sheriff. Geller helped lead the move for Logan's ouster. Democrats must keep the seat – and win four others – to regain control of the state Senate.

    Maryland: Young Probe Expanded

    MDA special prosecutor has initiated a criminal investigation of former state Sen. Larry Young (D), who was expelled from the legislature following charges that he used his state Senate office for personal gain. Other lawmakers have expressed alarm that the investigation would include their activities. After Young's expulsion, legislative leaders pledged to re-examine ethics laws, including rules governing lawmakers' relationships with lobbyists and businesses.

    Massachusetts: Flynn Running for Governor

    MAFormer Boston Mayor Raymond Flynn officially entered the field of Democratic gubernatorial hopefuls last week, joining Attorney General Scott Harshbarger (D) and former state Sen. Patricia McGovern (D). Flynn, who until recently was U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, is a self-described "political outsider," and this is his first statewide campaign. The state Ethics Commission slapped Flynn with the largest fine it ever imposed for financial irregularities, and he faces substantial legal debts as a result. Sources in Boston say they expect Flynn to return to his blue-collar Democratic base in an old campaign trademark – a station wagon that makes frequent strategic stops for stumping.

    New York: Ross Gets NOW Nod

    NYDemocratic activists have not yet lined up behind the possible gubernatorial bid of Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey Ross, a Republican-turned-Democrat, but the state chapter of the National Organization for Women offered its support last week. Ross has not officially announced whether she will run, but sources say she has been leaning toward running. Former state Transportation Commissioner James Larocca (D) and New York City Council Speaker Peter Vallone (D) have announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination.

    North Carolina: Status Quo Survives

    NCWith the passing of the Feb. 2 state candidate filing deadline, political observers in North Carolina can predict with some confidence that this fall's elections will not upset the status quo. Only half of the state's 12 races for Congress will be competitive, and the races for U.S. Senate, state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals appear to feature few surprises. In the state legislature, House Republicans boasting hefty war chests expect to slightly expand their slim lead. Democrats in the state Senate appear poised to build their lead in the chamber as well.

    Rhode Island: Dead Heat Without Moose

    RIA recent poll on the Rhode Island gubernatorial race shows a virtual dead heat between incumbent Gov. Lincoln Almond (R) and likely Democratic candidate Myrth York. Add Cool Moose Party candidate Robert Healey into the mix and the survey still shows a dead heat, but with York favored slightly. In that matchup, York got 37 percent, Almond 35 percent and Healy 9 percent. Nineteen percent of poll respondents were undecided. Almond's numbers were are lower than expected.

    South Dakota: Governor's Race Crowded

    SDAlthough Gov. William Janklow (R) has yet publicly announce his reelection plans, Attorney General Mark Barnett (R) recently said he'll run if Janklow doesn't. On the Democratic side, state Rep. Ron Volesky, a lawyer and perennial candidate, has filed candidacy papers but has not yet circulated the nominating petitions. Sources say Volesky just doesn't like Senate Democratic leader Bernie Hunhoff and may simply be dropping hints at a bid to irritate him. Hunhoff is considered a serious gubernatorial candidate.

    Washington: Gay marriages become issue

    WASocial conservatives are pressuring Washington state Republican leadership to enact action a bill banning gay marriages. State GOP chairman Dale Foreman has said he will add his voice to the lobbying effort, and even Democrats who have long such a measure are now ready to go along with it. Gov. Gary Locke (D) has said he will veto the bill, which he has said is unnecessary because current law does not recognize gay marriages.

    Wyoming: Hosting GOP leaders

    WYJackson, Wyo. will host the Republican National Committee Western Leadership Conference in September 1999. All Republican presidential candidates will attend the conference, which covers 13 western states, Guam and American Samoa.

    © Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

    Back to the top

    Navigation Bar
    Navigation Bar