Key Gubernatorial Results

November 08, 2000 11 min read

Delaware | Indiana | Missouri | Montana | New Hampshire | North Carolina |
North Dakota | Utah | Vermont | Washington | West Virginia

Winners indicated in red.

Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner, D Former State Rep. John Burris, R

Lt. Gov. Ruth Ann Minner (D)

Wants 90 percent of new state education dollars to go directly into classrooms, for purposes of putting reading specialists in every elementary school, adding more mathematics teachers in middle schools, and hiring more teachers in kindergarten through grade 3. Proposes paying for new programs before and after school, as well as on Saturdays and during summer. Also proposes increasing teacher pay and expanding scholarship programs for future teachers. Supports equalizing state funding for repairing and upgrading school buildings in poor and wealthy districts.

Former State Rep. John Burris (R)

Former state House majority leader under then-Gov. Pierre S. “Pete” du Pont IV proposes funding to reduce class sizes. Supports state’s recently passed Neighborhood Schools Act, aimed at shortening student bus rides to school. Proposes increased funding for on- and off-site alternative-learning programs for students with disciplinary or behavioral problems. Calls for early-childhood-intervention programs for at-risk children as well as improved access to child care for such children.

Gov. Frank O’Bannon, D U.S. Rep. David M. McIntosh, R

Gov. Frank O'Bannon (D)

Points to approval during his four-year tenure of new student academic standards and progress toward creating new state accountability system. Proposes additional spending next year for K-3 reading programs and middle school math programs, and also for teacher professional development on such topics as aligning instruction with standards and preparing for using technology to improve teaching and learning.

This member of education committee of U.S. House supports a state law that would authorize charter schools. Wants to reform state’s standardized-testing system by making exams shorter, administering tests in every grade instead of skipping some, making scores available in weeks instead of months, and making results more understandable to the public. Also proposes income-tax credit for teachers to help defray the costs of professional development.

State Treasurer Bob Holden, D U.S. Rep. Jim Talent, R

State Treasurer Bob Holden (D)

Opposes vouchers. Proposes instituting a $5,000 annual bonus for teachers who receive National Board for Professional Teaching Standards certification, and 10 percent annual salary bonus for board-certified educators who mentor other candidates. Wants to abolish social promotion and provide additional $70 million over four years for remedial programs. Hopes to reduce size of grades K-3 classes to student-to-teacher ratio of 17-to-1, down from 22-to-1. Would seek to increase the participation rate in Parents as Teachers program, which provides low-income families with information and skills to prepare children from birth to age 5 for school.

U.S. Rep. Jim Talent (R)

Supports vouchers for children in low-performing schools. Aims to streamline the way in which gaming money is allocated to state’s education fund. Wants to institute remedial reading program for 3rd graders. Would mandate phonics curriculum in grades K-2. Aims to track juvenile offenders’ records, remove violent or disruptive students from class, and begin intervention programs for troubled youths.

State Auditor Mark O’Keefe, D Lt. Gov. Judy Martz, R

State Auditor Mark O'Keefe

Wants to reduce class sizes in primary grades— from 30 to 25 pupils per class in grade 5, for example—and raise state’s share of education funding to 70 percent from its current level of 63 percent. Sees need for children to have high-speed Internet access in schools. Supports more professional development for teachers in implementing standards and using technology in their classrooms.

Lt. Gov. Judy Martz (R)

Proposes several changes aimed at recruiting and retaining high-quality teachers, including setting aside $1.5 million in next biennial budget to forgive student loans of teachers who work in high-shortage areas for seven years. Wants to give schools more flexibility to move money between accounts so they could increase teacher pay. Calls for supporting schools in implementing merit-pay plans, and increasing bonuses for teachers who receive certification from National Board for Professional Teaching Standards.

Gov. Jeanne Shaheen, D Former U.S. Sen. Gordon
Humphrey, R

Points to her efforts to forge a temporary solution to state’s school funding crisis. Favors establishing video lotteries at state’s four racetracks to provide more permanent source of new funding for schools. Has shied away from offering more comprehensive finance plan until commission she appointed to examine school funding proposals finishes work in December. Favors making schools more accountable for improving student performance.

Former U.S. Sen. Gordon Humphrey, R

Wants to address school finance woes by holding spending down and better managing state government. Would also push for constitutional amendment to keep wealthier towns from having to pay higher state property taxes to finance education. Also vows to be state’s first governor to get a charter school off the ground.

State Attorney General Michael F. Easley, D Former Mayor Richard Vinroot of Charlotte, R

State Attorney General Michael F. Easley (D)

Proposes an academic program for preschoolers to go along with state’s new early-childhood initiative, Smart Start, and would pay for it with a lottery. Would also spend some $200 million from that lottery to reduce class sizes in lower grades. Opposes vouchers, saying they would drain needed money from public schools. Wants school curriculum to include character education. Would require every local school board to review or develop—and strictly enforce—a dress code policy. Supports expanding and improving alternative disciplinary programs for seriously disruptive students.

Formery Mayor Richard Vinroot of Charlotte (R)

Proposes teacher pay raises based on merit and opposes teacher tenure. Supports competency testing for all public school teachers and regrets exemptions to existing testing requirements that have been allowed so far. Proposes Florida-style plan for giving public schools individual letter grades and providing state-financed vouchers to children attending failing schools. Wants homeschooling parents to benefit from any help for education costs available to other parents. Favors doing away with social promotion. Has suggested that state’s early-childhood initiative, Smart Start, be changed to one that emphasizes academic skills for disadvantaged preschoolers rather than more and better child care.

State Attorney General Heidi
Heitkamp, D
John H. Hoeven, R

State Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D)

Proposes action to retain classroom teachers by paying them annual 2 percent cost-of-living increases in addition to a $3,200 catch-up raise, for average salary increase of almost $4,000 over two years. Money for raises would come from state aid and be at discretion of local school boards. But plan would encourage boards to pay teachers more: Boards that put most of money into raises would be rewarded with matching funds from a $15.5 million fund paid for with tobacco-settlement money. Wants $500,000 “master teacher” pilot project that would form basis of statewide mentoring program for teachers. Favors state help to pay for additional professional development day for teachers each school year. Sets goal of at least one computer wired to Internet for each classroom within four years.

John H. Hoeven (R)

Former president and CEO of Bank of North Dakota proposes teacher salary increase of $3,500 over two years, paid for without relying on tobacco-settlement dollars and at discretion of local school boards. Wants to connect schools to Internet and would push for more discounts under federal E-rate program. Favors state funding for additional professional development day annually for teachers, targeted to technology training. Supports allowing teachers to continue to teach while drawing retirement benefits. Would assist schools in voluntary long-term planning by reimbursing cost of facilitators to work with parents, educators, and community members. Would push federal government to subsidize 40 percent of special education costs.

Former U.S. Rep. Bill Orton, D Gov. Michael O. Leavitt, R

Former U.S. Rep. Bill Orton (D)

Tax lawyer and former three-term congressman is mounting low-budget campaign against incumbent. Education plan calls for reducing class sizes by five students in every classroom in state. Also wants to increase average teacher salary to $45,000, but while extending their contracts from 186 to 200 days a year. Calls for districts to adopt standardized codes for student dress, grooming, and behavior. Argues that governor has failed to significantly raise achievement in eight years in office. Promises to serve only one term.

Gov. Michael O. Leavitt (R)

Popular chief executive has large war chest in seeking third four-year term. He points to education record that includes establishment of charter schools, higher spending, reduced class sizes, and extra money for schools with large numbers of disadvantaged students. Plans for a new term include oversight of new accountability measures being implemented by state board of education. Also calls for providing more money to replace outdated textbooks and further reduce class size to statewide average of 20 students from 21.4 today. Endorsed by Utah Education Association, the dominant statewide teachers’ union, despite some dissent from its members.

Gov. Howard Dean, D Former State Rep. Ruth Dwyer, R

Gov. Howard Dean (D)

Medical doctor and former lieutenant governor who succeeded to governorship upon predecessor’s death in 1991, Dean is seeking his fifth two-year term. Staunchly defends state’s controversial school finance overhaul, Act 60, taking heat from businesses and wealthy property owners who have seen their property taxes increase dramatically for past three years. Also has promoted initiatives on school safety, public school choice, and children’s health care.

Former State Rep. Ruth Dwyer (R)

Former legislator, local school board member, and farmer ran against Gov. Dean in 1998, but lost by wide margin. Calls for state charter school law along lines of Arizona, where schools are given 15-year contracts and much autonomy. Also wants to create a school choice plan allowing students to attend public, private, or religious schools at public expense. Continues to lobby against Act 60, and calls for more accountability for money distributed through that 1997 finance measure.

Gov. Gary Locke, D John Carlson, R

Gov. Gary Locke (D)

Touts four-year record of increasing state spending to add teachers, build and repair schools, help districts provide “extended” learning activities beyond regular school schedule, enhance school security, and create a “K-20" telecommunications network. Led effort that created college scholarships for low- and middle-income students who graduate in top 15 percent of their high school classes. Proposes paying exemplary teachers more to encourage other teachers to improve. Favors financial incentives and alternative routes to teacher certification to enlarge pool of prospective teachers. Supports Nov. 7 citizen initiatives that would permit creation of charter schools, direct state money to help districts lower class sizes or add extended learning activities, and guarantee teachers annual cost-of-living raises.

John Carlson (R)

Conservative activist and former radio talk-show host spearheaded campaign for 1998 citizen initiative that banned affirmative action in college admissions. Proposes hiring 4,000 teachers to relieve crowded classrooms, paid for by cutting jobs of 4,000 state employees. Favors implementing alternative certification to attract teachers from other occupations. Would increase teacher pay to keep pace with inflation, but would expect teachers to meet new performance criteria. Supports making it easier for teachers to remove disruptive students from classrooms. Charges that Gov. Locke has done nothing to reduce class sizes and failed to get teachers as large a pay hike as he had promised. Endorses Nov. 7 citizen initiative to allow charter schools, but opposes initiatives that would guarantee teacher pay raises and direct state money to districts to lower class size or add extended learning activities.

U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D Gov. Cecil Underwood, R

U.S. Rep. Bob Wise (D)

Would pay for college scholarship program approved by legislature last year that would provide grants to all students whose grades qualified them. Proposes development of a comprehensive labor-market information system available to education institutions and others. Wants to encourage greater local business and labor involvement in public schools, including establishment of apprenticeship and tech-prep programs. Advocates more instruction in foreign languages and cultures. Favors character education. Wants to strengthen vocational and entrepreneurial education and expand student apprenticeship programs.

Gov. Cecil Underwood (R)

As long as budget remains tight, would continue funding for need-based college scholarships, rather than grants to all students whose grades qualified them. Favors cutting-edge computer technology in schools, which he has supported with more computers in grades 7-12 and upgraded computers in elementary schools. Cites his initiatives for improving school safety, including establishment of a 24-hour school-violence “tip line” and training for 14,000 staff members in detecting warning signs of student violence. Disputes opponent’s claim that teacher pay raise of $2,268 over past three years is “modest,” pointing to state’s rank of fourth in nation for average teacher salary relative to its per capita income.