Check out the website:  Look at the recent Political Notes and Len’s Letters on the website: 

June 15th  , 2024                 Len’s Political Note #650 Who Should I give money to?                             Part 4.         State Elections

2024                                      General Election


Finally, a word about the states.  Fewer states have state-wide elections during Presidential years.  North Carolina and Montana have slates of Democratic candidates worth supporting.  Democrats could do well in North Carolina and return to recent success in Montana.  Throughout, look carefully at races for governor, attorney general, supreme court  (Check out separate Notes about supreme court races; the most recent Political Note #646 about Texas).  There are fewer fraught Secretary of State races this year than in 2022, but several important attorney general races as well as judicial races.   How states are governed affects your life.

Begin, though, with the presidency.  It may be distant from our lives, but it can have a powerful presence.

The Presidency
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. 

There could be presidential election years where it did not matter whether or not you donated to the presidential campaign.  Not this year.

  • 2020 was relatively close. Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won: 51.3 – 46.8.  The electoral college was 306-232, but several states were close enough that the electoral college could have gone the other way.
  • As of 4/30/24, since 1/1/21, the Biden-Harris campaign had received $195 million. Open Secrets reports that outside organizations supporting that campaign had received $111 million. The Trump campaign had received $121 million. Open Secrets reports that outside organizations supporting that campaign had received $123 million.  Until we learn more officially about funds raised after Trump’s conviction, we can assume those figures are an accurate reflection of the relative financial strength of the two campaigns.
  • In May, an even number of polls showed Trump and Biden leading. Almost all of those leads were close. We will have to watch in June to see if there are enough polls to know whether there are changes after Trump’s conviction.
  • DONATE TO JOE BIDEN AND KAMALA HARRIS See Len’s Political Note #605

 North Carolina

North Carolina is a case study in gerrymandering and the differences between the Republicans and the Democrats.  In state-wide voting, Democrats and Republicans are nearly even, though Republicans have a slight edge.  Republicans were sufficiently successful after the 2010 Democratic debacle that they have come close to ensuring a permanent supermajority.  Republican legislative control plus a shift in the state supreme court after the legislature ended non-partisan judicial election leaves Democrats competing to avoid the Republican supermajority (see Len’s Political Note #639 on the NC state senate) and for statewide offices.  North Carolina has some scary state-wide candidates.


Attorney General Josh Stein (D) – The moderate son of a leftish attorney who was a leader in the first integrated law firm in the state.  Josh Stein would be North Carolina’s first Jewish governor.  DONATE. See Len’s Political Note #574

Lt. Governor Mark Robinson (R ) – A candidate at the extreme right of the Republican party.  He would be North Carolina’s first Black governor.


Lt. Governor. (elected separately in NC)

State Senator Rachel Hunt (D) – Daughter of Jim Hunt who served four terms as governor of North Carolina DONATE See Len’s Political Note #627

Political Consultant Hal Weatherman (R ) – a consultant to both extreme and less extreme Republicans nationally.

Attorney General

Congressman Jeff Jackson (D) – A rising Democratic star whose congressional district became unwinnable because of gerrymandering.  DONATE See Len’s Political Note #597

Congressman Dan Bishop (R) – Famous for North Carolina’s infamous bathroom bill that brought the large corporations to the side of the trans community.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

Attorney, Foundation Exec, and School Superintendent Maurice Green (D) – a distinguished African American attorney who moved from representing school districts to superintending a district to running a foundation that supports schools and other public services. DONATE See Len’s Political Note #628

Home Schooling advocate Michele Morrow (R ) – a leader in the home school movement.  She might abolish public schools if she could.

State Supreme Court

Incumbent Justice Allison Riggs (D) – an appointed incumbent, one of two Democrats on this seven member court.  She had a slight lead in the most recent poll. DONATE See Len’s Political Note #594

Appeals Court Judge Jefferson Griffin (R ) – described as an excellent example of a conservative judge.

Do not forget North Carolina’s one competitive federal race:

  • NC 01 Incumbent Don Davis (D) DONATE See Len’s Political Note #577



Montana is not as overwhelmingly Republican as it seems.  An incumbent Democrat is running for the US Senate.  Democrats have a shot at one of the two House seats. The previous governor was a Democrat. And there is nothing extreme about the State Supreme Court


Gun safety activist/gun former corporative executive Ryan Busse (D) – a former gun manufacturer who gradually saw the need for greater regulation. DONATE See Len’s Political Note #604

Incumbent Greg Gianforte (R ) – a hot-tempered former tech multi-millionaire who left New Jersey to make Montana his home.

Attorney General

The second of several interesting attorney general races, races that can create the political climate of a state. The Republican incumbent Austin Knudson has approached his job the way a bull might approach a china shop – rattling and breaking tea cups. Some of it is just participating in the culture wars ranging from opposing the teaching of critical race theory in Montana schools to explaining that Muslim immigrants cannot adapt to the US the way his Scandinavian ancestors did.  Now, however, the state attorney ethics office has filed 41 complaints against him for violating rules of professional conduct.  Ben Alke is a Democratic corporate attorney in Montana who began his career clerking in the state supreme court and has collaborated with progressive attorneys.

Attorney Ben Alke (D). DONATE

Probably: Incumbent Austin Knudson (R )

Secretary of State

Jesse James Mullen

Incumbent Republican Christi Jacobsen has defended legislative efforts to eliminate same day registration on election day and stricter voter ID requirements.  The restrictive laws were struck down as unconstitutional and are being appealed to the state supreme court. Jacobsen’s office is being sued for retaining business related duplicate filing fees.  Jesse James Mullen is running to protect Montana from the far right.

Newspaper Publisher Jesse James Mullen (D) DONATE

Incumbent Christi Jacobsen (R )

State Supreme Court

The party designations of candidates below have been in lower case because, for the most part, the Montana Supreme Court has been non-partisan.  Republican Judge Wilson, if elected, would be an exception to that.  In the non-partisan primary, Republican Cory Swanson led Democrat Jerry Lynch.  Democrat Katherine Bidegaray led Republican Dan Wilson.  I am marking Lynch and Bidegaray with lower case (ds) because, with the exception of Wilson, Montana has avoided judicial extremes.

For Chief Justice

Former magistrate for the US District Court Jerry Lynch (d) DONATE See Len’s Political Note #501

County Attorney Cory Swanson (r )

For Associate Justice

District Court Judge Katherine Bidegaray (d) DONATE See Len’s Political Note #501

County Judge Dan Wilson (R)

Often described as the most vulnerable incumbent Democratic US Senator, his chances of reelection to a fourth term have improved a little since the bullet in Tim Sheehy’s arm was found to be a product of an accident in a national park rather than a result of combat as multimillionaire Sheehy had reported.

Do not forget Montana’s two competitive federal races

  • US Senate Incumbent Jon Tester (D) DONATE See Len’s Political Note #550
  • MT 01 Ex Olympian and utility and energy attorney Monica Tranel (D) DONATE See Len’s Political Note #603

Missouri                    The primary is on August 6.  We don’t know the R nominees in some instances. Democrats persist despite Missouri’s Republican tilt.


Minority Leader Crystal Quade (D). DONATE

Probably: Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R )

Missouri is overwhelmingly Republican, but has been so scandal-ridden a Democratic candidate could have a chance.

Lt. Governor. (elected separately from the governor in Missouri)

State Rep Richard Brown (D) – a former teacher, union leader, and, in the legislature, an expert in public pension plans. DONATE

Numerous Republican candidates

Attorney General

Former Candidate Elad Gross (D) – Founder and head of a foundation that aims to help youth achieve their potential. DONATE. See Len’s Political Note #619

Probably: Incumbent Andrew Bailey as Attorney General, he has defended (not literally as his attorney) Donald Trump, sought to prevent efforts to restore the right to an abortion in Missouri, and unsuccessfully sought to restrict gender-affirming care for those in the transgender community.

Do not forget Missouri’s one competitive federal race

  • US Senate Marine veteran and international affairs expert Lucas Kunce (D)

Washington             Leans Democratic.  Some candidates are probable until the August 6 primary.     


Probable: Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) – chess master, baseball fan, and, as AG, opponent of Trump’s Muslim travel ban, proponent of same sex marriage rights.  DONATE. See Len’s Political Note #633

Probable: Ex Congressman Dave Reichert. (R) – had a career in law enforcement before running for Congress.


Lt. Governor

Probable: Incumbent Danny Hack (D). – formerly a businessman and streaming pioneer DONATE

Three Republican candidates

Attorney General

Probable State Sen. Manka Dhingra (D) – first Sikh state legislator in the country, advocate for physical and mental health care being universally available DONATE

Possible: City Attorney Ann Davison (R )

Pennsylvania          Has down ballot races, but elected its governor in 2022

 Attorney General

Former State auditor Eugene DePasquale (D) the only candidate from Western Pennsylvania, he won the primary unexpectedly and easily DONATE See Len’s Political Note #642

County District Attorney David Sunday (R ) who resisted pandemic mandated business closings and mask mandates.

State Auditor

State Rep Malcolm Kenyatta (D), grandson of a civil rights leader, community activist in Philadelphia, campaign manager for a city councilor, state rep, would be the first gay man elected to state wide office DONATE

Incumbent Timothy DeFoor was a special agent in the attorney general’s office, an internal auditor for the University of Pennsylvania’s Medical Center, and a county controller, he is the first person of color to be elected to statewide office in Pennsylvania.

State Treasurer

Former candidate Erin McClelland (D ) is a former substance abuse and mental health counselor who continued on to manage large programs.   DONATE

Incumbent Stacy Garrity (R ) a retired Reserves Colonel and Enduring Freedom veteran of the war in Iraq


Indiana                      Indiana is extremely unlikely to elect a Democratic governor.  How about a former Republican, now a Democrat?


Ex Supt of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (D)   Left the Republican Party disappointed that the state’s leadership was unwilling to commit to higher standards for schools. DONATE See Len’s Political Note #590

US Senator Mike Braun (R ). His recent Senate vote against considering a right to contraception can’t help him.  He supported Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.  He was a Democrat in an area of the state where, he claims, the Democrats were more conservative.

Do not forget Indiana’s potentially competitive federal race

  • US Senate African American Psychologist Valerie McCray DONATE

New Hampshire      I hate to do it, but I feel I have to wait for the primary, which is not until September 10.


Some additional races.


Delaware                  The primary is on September 3


                                    Lt. Gov Bethany Hall-Long (D)

                                    Probable House Minority Leader Mike Ramone (R )

                                    Delaware is overwhelmingly Democratic



North Dakota          


                                    State Sen Merrill Piepkorn (D)

                                    Probable Congresswoman Kelly Armstrong (R )

                                    North Dakota is overwhelmingly Republican

Utah   (6/25)              Governor

                                    State Rep Brian King (D)

                                    Probable Incumbent Spencer Cox (R )

                                    Utah is overwhelmingly Republican


West Virginia             Governor

                                    Mayor Steve Williams (D)

                                    State Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R )

                                    West Virginia is overwhelmingly Republican