Sunday, October 31, 2010

What's the deal about State Legislator elections?

Elections are coming up and we all (at least I do) get excited about watching election night coverage. We have been hearing alot about the upcoming election. Television campaigns, radio spots, and print ads make us think the election is a life or death struggle.

When you go out and vote, I encourage everyone to pay careful attention to some of Election Day's wallflowers who are the most important candidates on the ballot. Governors along with U.S. House and Senate races are the flashy candidates with slick ads and numerous television spots. These races are the prom queens of the election season all deck out in their party's finest attire. The importance of these races pales when compared to the state legislature races.

Do you know anything about the candidates running for election in your state legislature? If you don't, it's okay... most people have no clue who represents them or even their positions on issues.

State legislative candidates are overwhelmed by the glamour of their cousins running for offices in the national legislative branch. I urge everyone to check out these forlorn state legislative elections which often get shoved into the background on Election Day. The truth of the matter is these elections are the key to your state's political future.

If you don't believe me, answer this one questions: "Who is in charge for redistricting for your state?" Answer: state legislatures.

The party that controls your state legislature controls how the U.S. House seats will be redrawn for the next ten years until the next census. Some states like Florida, Texas, Arizona, and California will likely gain seats. Others such as Pennsylvania, Illinois, New York and Ohio are poised to lose seats in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Whether your state is a winner or a loser, their state legislature will divide the state into districts to represent their new allocation. The shape and configuration of these new districts will be heavily influenced by the partisan composition of the state legislature.

Think of it this way... Texas is likely going to gain 3-4 new House seats. Since the state legislature is controlled by the Republican Party, who do you think those new seats are going to favor in the next election cycle?

There is serious swan potential in these ugly duckling state legislature races. No matter which party you root for, take some time and check out your candidates. They have the most powerful jobs on the entire ballot. The U.S. House races may have their glamour, but the state legislative races control jobs and party futures in your state.

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