Forty-three states have a lieutenant governor. Twenty-five states elect a Governor and Lt. Governor on the same ticket. In eighteen states, the Governor and Lt. Governor are elected on separate tickets. Illinois is one of those twenty-five states where a Governor and Lt. Governor are elected on the same ticket. In 2014, however, the state will implement a new law where candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor will run as a joint ticket in the primaries rather than as separate candidates as they do now.
Pre-2014 Governor/Lt. Governor Elections (Primary)
For Governor For Lt. Governor
Bill Davis Deborah Engels
Adam Jones Steven Mix
Rachel Smith John Thomas
Lee Williams Paulette Young
2014 Governor/Lt. Governor Elections (Primary)
For Governor-Lt. Governor
Bill Davis-Paulette Young
Adam Jones-John Thomas
Rachel Smith-Deborah Engels
Lee Williams-Steven Mix
Candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor sometimes run as an unofficial ticket in the primaries. For instance, Bill Davis may say that Paulette Young is his choice for a running mate, but ultimately the selection of the Governor and Lt. Governor is done separately and is decided by the voters. Therefore, Davis could end up with a nominee that was not necessarily his first pick. This was case in 2010 when Pat Quinn ran for Governor in Illinois.
Quinn won his gubernatorial primary, but primary voters chose the little-known Scott Lee Cohen as the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor. Cohen’s opponents in the Lt. Governor primary were members of the Illinois State Senate and State House. Cohen’s occupation? Cohen was a pawn broker from Chicago. It would also later come out that Cohen had a criminal record. Embarrassed Democrats scrambled for a solution. They met with Cohen, forced him to drop from the ticket, and found a replacement in Sheila Simon, daughter of the late US Senator Paul Simon.
To avoid any future embarrassment, state officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, passed a bill which would combine the Governor and Lt. Governor on the same primary ballot ticket. Quinn signed it into law.
Do you think that the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor should be separate in the primaries? Do you believe that the positions should be combined as a ticket in primary?