- Governor Mark Sanford (R-SC) chases his paramour to Argentina, making his soon-to-be-ex-wife a popular figure. She uses her political clout to help a long-shot Republican woman who emerges as the party’s nominee for governor, and suddenly becomes a national figure.
- Sarah Palin quits half-way through her first term as Alaska governor, and goes on to become a star of stage, screen, tabloids as well as the parent of a Dancing With the Stars celebrity.
- Obama Administration raids Governors mansions, which sets up opportunities for Republicans to win Arizona and Kansas from Democrats. Republican governorship in Arizona eventually leads to ruckus over state immigration law which injects itself back into the national debate.
- Illinois and New York governors resign due to scandal.
- Term limits creates unusual number of open seats in an already clogged 2010 election calendar.
- Republicans win 2009 races from Democrats in Virginia and New Jersey.
- Illinois Republican voters on Feb. 2nd select Bill Brady, a darkhorse by an infinitesimal margin, which was an open of highly competitive confused races still to come
- In Texas, an unknown tea party candidate (Debra Medina) holds her own in a debate against the veteran GOP governor Rick Perry and U. S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison. This should have warned pundits to pay attention to everyone in a race – because the voters were.
- The “ex-governors” decide to run to reclaim seats in CA, GA, IA, MD, OR.
- Independents declare in more than one state, setting up three-way contests which all but assure a few states will elect governors who don’t get a majority of the vote.
Continuing from our theme from last week of reflecting on the developments that combined to make up this awesome crazy cycle, lets take a look at the following developments that shaped the 2010 gubernatorial races.
There is a time for politics and a time for governing. The time for politics is over the time for governing is upon us.