|This issue was originally printed on green paper.|
On January 23, New Mexico Senator Cisco McSorley (D-Albuquerque) introduced Senate Joint Resolution 8, which would change the State Constitution to provide that general elections for all statewide state office would give voters a chance to indicate their first and second choices (and a third or fourth choice, if the voter wished). This is sometimes called "instant run-off" and sometimes called preference voting. If the voter's first choice placed last, then that voter's vote would be re-assigned to the second-choice candidate.
Preference voting was used in primaries in four or five states in the U.S. during the 1900's and 1910's decades, but it has never been used in U.S. statewide partisan general elections before. In fact, one of the reasons it took so long to introduce the bill, was that legislative staffers had no model law to copy.
Democrats control both Houses of the legislature, and the bill is believed to have some chance of passing because the presence of a strong Green Party in the state gives the Democrats a motive to support the idea. In 1994, Democrats lost the governorship because the Green Party polled 10% of the vote, and in 1997 Democrats lost a U.S. House seat from New Mexico because the Green candidate polled 17%. Of course, not every voter who votes "Green" would have voted Democratic if the Green had not been in the race, but most political observers feel that most Green voters would vote Democratic if there were no Green candidate.
If the bill passes, the voters would then vote on it in November.
Vermont also has a bill on the same subject, except that it would also apply to federal office. It is H 665, by Rep. Terry Bouricius (Prog.-Burlington), introduced Jan. 29. A similar bill will be introduced in Pennsylvania soon.
On January 29, Senator Steve Langford (D-LaGrange) introduced SB 551, which would permit a minor party to run candidates for all partisan office if it either submitted a petition signed by 1% of the number of registered voters, or if it had polled that number of votes in the last election. SB 551 is sponsored by Senator Steve Langford (D-LaGrange) and was introduced on January 29. Langford plans to run for Governor this year.
Several Libertarians testified for the bill. No one testified against it.
Current Georgia law permits such groups to be on the ballot automatically, but only for statewide office. The bill would expand that to all office. This would mean, for the first time since 1942, that minor parties could run candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives. Current law is so restrictive for this office, there have been no minor party candidates on the Georgia ballot for U.S. House since 1942 (the existing law was passed in 1943). Current law requires a petition signed by 5% of the number of registered voters for a minor party (qualified or not) to run for U.S. House of Representatives. This is such a large number of signatures that no group is ever able to complete such a petition (for example, for a minor party to ran against Congressman Newt Gingrich in 1998 under current law would require 23,129 signatures).
Somewhat similar bills were introduced in Georgia in 1989, 1991 and 1993, but none of them passed, because the Democratic legislative leadership didn't support them (the Democratic Party has controlled both houses of the legislature and the Governorship throughout the 20th century). This time, there is some reason to believe that the Democratic leadership will support the bill.
HB 1110, which creates a procedure for a group to become a qualified party before it has chosen any candidates, passed the House State Affairs Committee on January 26, and the Appropriations Committee on January 30. The bill is sponsored by Representative Ron Tupa (D-Boulder) and co-sponsored by Representatives Mark Paschall (R-Arvada) and Penn Pfiffner (R-Lakewood).
A group could qualify in any one of four ways: (1) submit 10,000 signatures on a petition by May 1; (2) have polled 5% for any statewide office at either of the last two elections (3) hold registration membership of at 1,000; or (4) have run ten candidates at the last election. Groups which met any of these would nominate by convention.
On January 29, the Utah House passed HB 75, which makes it illegal for two parties to jointly nominate the same candidate. The vote was 54-15. Utah has always permitted fusion in the past, but the practice had been virtually forgotten until 1996, when both the Libertarian Party and Independent Party jointly nominated a candidate for Attorney General. Also, one legislative candidate was jointly nominated by three minor parties.
If the Utah bill passes, the only states which will still permit fusion for all partisan office are California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, South Dakota, and Vermont (and in some of these states, fusion is possible only if a candidate wins one nomination in a primary by write-in votes). Arkansas banned fusion last year. In April 1997, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the U.S. Constitution does not protect the right of two parties to jointly nominate the same candidate.
On January 7, the Pennsylvania House State Government Committee heard four hours of testimony in favor of HB 1918 (by Rep. Todd Platts, R-York), which would dramatically ease ballot access for minor party and independent candidates. No one testified against the bill. The session was televised on Pennsylvania state government's cable-TV station.
Two representatives of each of these parties testified for the bill: Green, Reform, Libertarian, and U.S. Taxpayers. One of the speakers for the Reform Party was the party's national chair Russ Verney, who traveled from Texas for the hearing. The Democratic and Republican Parties were asked to testify, but they both refused.
The bill would lower the statewide minor party and independent candidate petition to one-tenth of 1% of the last vote cast; would lower the registration test for full qualified status from 15% to 1%; and set up a mid-level type of party which would be qualified for its own primary for statewide office and U.S. House, but not for legislative and local office (such parties could come into existence if they had polled 1% of the vote for any statewide race in either of the last three elections).
If the bill were enacted, the statewide petition would decrease from about 25,000 signatures, to only 4,000 signatures. Petitioning for U.S. House would also be easier, but there would be little change for state legislative and local candidates.
The House Committee still has not voted on the bill. From comments made by legislators at the hearing, it seems likely that the committee will revise the bill and pass it.
On February 23, the U.S. Supreme Court will announce whether it will hear Colorado's appeal in Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation, no. 97-930. This is the case in which the 10th circuit ruled that states cannot force petitioners to be registered voters.
Ballot access reform in Maryland has been defeated repeatedly throughout the 1990's decade, but this year it seems likely to succeed. There are three bills in the Senate and two bills in the House, all of which make substantial improvements. Some of the bills are officially supported by the Secretary of State.
A hearing on the House bills was held on February 3, and a hearing on the Senate bills was held on February 5. The Committees will probably vote next week (the House Committee is Commerce and Government Matters; Senate is Economic and Environmental Affairs). Speaking for the bills were representatives of the Reform, Libertarian, Green and Socialist Parties, and Alan Lichtman, professor of history at American University in Washington, D.C. No one testified against the bills.
SB 118 and HB 127 are general revisions of the election law, sponsored by the Secretary of State and his Commission to Revise the Election Code. They lower the statewide minor party and independent candidate petition from 3% of the number of registered voters to 1%.
SB 123 and HB 118 are also sponsored by the Secretary of State and his Commission. They contain additional improvements which are not included in the general revision bill. They lower the requirement for true qualified status from registration membership of 10%, to 1%. Also, they provide that if a new party submits a petition to qualify itself, it will be qualified for four years, not just two years. Finally, the bills lower the vote test from 3% to 1%. Unfortunately, these bills also raise the party petition from 10,000 signatures to 1% of the number of registered voters (about 27,000 signatures).
SB 27, the simplest bill, is sponsored by Senator Paul Pinsky. It lowers candidate petitions from 3% of the number of registered voters, to either 1% of the number of registered voters, or 20,000 signatures, whichever is lower.
On February 4, SB 413 was defeated in the New Hampshire Senate Public Affairs Committee by a vote of 3-2. It would have provided that petitions to place minor party candidates on the general election ballot could only list a single candidate. Thus, instead of a single petition bearing a candidate for President, U.S. Senator and Governor, an unqualified party would need to circulate three separate petitions.
In New Hampshire, committees only recommend that bills should pass or not pass. Now that the Committee has recommended that the bill not pass, it is unlikely that it will advance further, but it is technically possible.
Kentucky's legislature has already passed HB 64, which sets a "start" date for all minor party and independent candidate petitions. The Governor is expected to sign it soon. The bill makes it illegal to petition for one particular election, until the previous election has occurred. The Secretary of State sponsored the bill because he felt it was not proper for the Libertarian Party to circulate its presidential petition for the year 2000, during 1997. The validity of that petition is not affected by this bill, but in the future it won't be possible for such early petitioning to occur.
On February 3, the Senate Privileges and Elections Committee passed SB 316, by Senator Edward Schrock (R-Virginia Beach). It lowers the statewide petition for all candidates (those trying to get on a major party primary ballot, and those trying to get on the general election ballot as independent or minor party candidates) from one-half of 1% (about 16,000 signatures) to a flat 10,000 signatures. However, it also requires at least 400 signatures from each congressional district (current law requires 200 from each congressional district).
1. California: on January 12, AB 73 was defeated in the Assembly Elections Committee. It would have required paid petition and voter registration card circulators to obtain a permit with photos, to wear during circulation.
2. Iowa: House Joint Resolution 8 (by Representative Mike Cormack, R-Fort Dodge) would establish the initiative for state laws. However, it was introduced last year and has failed to make any progress.
3. Virginia: on February 3, the House Privileges and Election Committee held a hearing on Representative Vince Callahan's three bills to improve ballot access. The committee hasn't voted on them yet. The bills are HB 47, to create a petition procedure by which a new party can qualify itself; HB 48, to lower the vote test for party retention from 10% to 5%; and HB 49, to reduce the number of signatures for statewide minor party and independent candidates to 5,000 signatures.
4. Wyoming: the Secretary of State's election code revision, which makes it easier for a party to get on the ballot and to remain on the ballot, is SF 33. It will have a hearing in the next two weeks. The legislature convenes February 9.
1. California: The recent 9th circuit opinion upholding state legislative term limits has been appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Bates v Jones, 97-1173, filed January 12, 1998. The Court will probably announce in March or April whether it will hear the case. Last month that Court refused to suspend the term limits law, while the case is pending.
2. Colorado: on January 20, the State Supreme Court invalidated the 1996 initiative which provided that the words "Disregarded Voter Instruction on Term Limits" should be placed on the ballot next to the names of candidates who fail to support a constitutional amendment for congressional term limits. Morrissey v State of Colorado, 97SA3.
The decision was no great surprise to term limits supporters, who are no longer trying to pass similar laws by initiative. Similar laws had been struck down in Maine, Arkansas, and Oklahoma. Currently, congressional term limits activists are putting initiatives on the ballot which simply provide that ballot labels may be placed on the ballot (if the candidate desires), indicating that a candidate is pledged to personally observe a voluntary limit.
3. Oregon: The U.S. District Court decision of December 16, 1997, striking down state term limits on federal constitutional grounds, was withdrawn on December 29, 1997. Markham v Keisling, 97-6237-TC. The action was no surprise, since Oregon is in the 9th circuit and the 9th circuit had ruled two days after the Oregon decision had come down that the U.S. Constitution does not bar state term limits.
4. Washington: on January 8, the State Supreme Court ruled 6-2 that the state's term limits initiative for state legislators and executives violates the State Constitution. Gerberding v Munro, no. 65059-4. Washington's initiative law doesn't permit the voters to amend the state Constitution; it merely permits them to enact or repeal ordinary state laws. Therefore, the term limits initiative in this state, approved by the voters in 1992, did not amend the Constitution. The Court ruled that the State Constitution's list of qualifications is exclusive. The only qualification listed in the State Constitution is that state office-holders must be qualified voters residing in their district (or, in the case of executives, that they be qualified voters in the state).
The only other state in which state term limit statutes have been invalidated on State Constitutional grounds is Massachusetts.
HB 3068, the bill to let states use proportional representation to elect members of the U.S. House, recently gained the co-sponsorship of Congressmen Bernie Sanders (Indp.-Vt) and Mel Watt (D-N.C.).
1. Arkansas: On October 3, 1997, U.S. District Court Judge William Wilson (Clinton appointee) upheld an initiative which limits campaign contributions to legislative candidates to $100. Russell v Burris, 978 F Supp 1211. The ACLU is appealing. Judge Wilson said that Arkansas legislators customarily don't raise very much money for their re-election campaigns, so anyone who donates more than $100 could have undue influence with a legislator.
2. California: On January 6, 1998, U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence Karlton struck down an initiative which limits individual donations to legislative candidates to $250. California Prolife Council PAC v Scully, civ s96-1965 (e.d.). The state plans to appeal, although the state did not seek a stay in the meantime.
There will be a hearing in U.S. District Court in San Francisco on February 27, in National Committee of Reform Party v Democratic National Committee, c97-4048. This is the case in which the Reform Party argues that the federal law on public campaign funding is unconstitutional, partly because the formula discriminates against parties which polled over 5% of the vote but under 25%. The party argues that once the government has determined that a party has enough support to receive public funding, that funding must be equal for all such parties.
On October 6, 1997, U.S. District Court Judge Elaine Bucklo, a Clinton appointee, upheld Illinois law which says that no one may circulate a petition for a candidate unless the petitioner resides in that candidate's district. Krislov v Rednour, 980 F Supp 267 (n.d.). Plaintiffs did not appeal. If the U.S. Supreme Court hears Buckley v American Constitutional Law Foundation (see story above) and upholds it, decisions like this Illinois one could eventually be reversed.
1. California: plaintiffs in California Democratic Party v Jones, 97-17440, will file their brief in the 9th circuit on or before April 13. This is the case against the blanket primary law.
2. Colorado: on May 26 there will be a hearing in Libertarian Party of Colorado v Buckley, 96-K-1983, over state law which guarantees parties which poll 10% of the gubernatorial vote the best spot on the ballot.
3. Florida: on January 15, there was a hearing in the 11th circuit in Socialist Workers Party v Leahy, 97-4295, before Judges Stanley Marcus (Clinton appointee), R. Lanier Anderson (Carter) and Edward Carnes (Bush). The issue is a state law which requires unqualified parties to be bonded if they wish to place candidates on the ballot. The state acknowledges that the law is unconstitutional. Despite this admission, the U.S. District Court refused to strike down the law. The hearing in the 11th circuit went well for plaintiffs.
4. Hawaii: on January 16, the 9th circuit held a hearing in Bennett v Yoshina, 97-16408, before Judges Charles Wiggins, John Noonan and Wallace Tashima. The issue is whether due process was violated when the rules were changed on how votes are counted, after the election was over (specifically, do blank votes count when voters vote on whether to call a constitutional convention?). The judges' comments and questions make it likely that they will rule that nothing in the U.S. Constitution prevents the state from changing the rules after the election is over.
5. Maine: technically, the Green Party lawsuit to remain on the ballot hasn't lost yet in U.S. District Court. Although the magistrate ruled against the party on December 24, 1997, the judge hasn't yet approved that ruling.
6. New Jersey: although the 3rd circuit issued an injunction against the April petition deadline for non-presidential minor party and independent candidates last year, technically, that deadline still hasn't been declared unconstitutional. In the meantime, the state has agreed not to enforce the April deadline in 1998.
7. national cases (1): there will be a hearing in the U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit, on April 21, in Fulani v FEC, 97-1466, the case over whether Lenora Fulani must repay $117,269 in primary season matching funds from her 1992 presidential campaign. The judges are A. Raymond Randolph (Bush appointee) and Stephen Williams and Laurence Silberman (Reagan).
national case (2): on January 12, the 2nd circuit held in hearing in McCarthy v NBC, et al, 96-7822. This is a lawsuit for damages filed by former U.S. Senator Eugene McCarthy, stemming from his 1992 run for president in the Democratic primary, and his exclusion from certain televised candidate debates. The judges are Dennis Jacobs (Bush appointee), Fred Parker (Clinton) and Gregory Carmen (Reagan).
The coalition of nationally-organized minor parties, plus groups which are concerned with the treatment of minor parties, met in Washington, D.C. on December 14, 1997, and will meet again on March 8, 1998. The group still hasn't formally named itself, but has been known variously as COFOE (Coalition for Free & Open Elections), COFFE (Coalition for Free & Fair Elections), and the Ballot Access Coalition. The group held four meetings during 1997, all in the Washington, D.C. area. These meetings were originally initiated by Pat Cummings, a Reform Party activist in Maryland. Cummings can be reached at (301)-977-6004. Note: A ballot access coalition group known as COFOE long predates this new effort.
The group is still working to find a way to raise enough money to hire a professional lobbyist to lobby for HR 2477 and HR 2478, the Ron Paul bills to outlaw restrictive ballot access laws and to open the general election presidential debates.
John Moore and attorney Tom Newmark of the Natural Law Party volunteered to draft an application for a new tax-exempt educational foundation which will work for equal treatment for all candidates. The tentative name for the group will be the Fair Elections Commission.
Last month, the Federal Election Commission announced that digital images of campaign finance reports will soon be on its Website, for U.S. House candidates, political party filings, and presidential candidates. The address is http://www.fec.gov/
Washington, D.C. contains a little-known museum of world elections, called the F. Clifton White Resource Center, part of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). It is 1101 15th St. NW, phone (202)-828-8507. There are over 4,000 books, copies of electoral laws and constitutions from 160 nations, election results from around the world, voter registration materials, ballots, posters, videos, and periodicals.
Costa Rica held a presidential and congressional election on February 1. According to the February 1998 issue of Wired Magazine (page 64), a pilot project let voters in one community cast their ballots through the internet. If the experiment is judged to be successful, the 2002 election may be wholly run via the internet.
The number of large U.S. cities with partisan elections has been declining. Chicago's Mayoralty election next year will be its first-ever non-partisan election. Cleveland switched from partisan to non-partisan elections in the 1970's. And on December 29, 1997, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani proposed that his city switch to non-partisan elections.
Last year, the British Parliament named a Commission to study proportional representation. The Commission is expected to make its report by April 1998. If the report is acceptable, it is likely that a referendum will then be called to ask British voters if they wish to switch to proportional representation.
|FULL PARTY||CAND.||REFORM||LIB'T||NAT LAW||TAXPAYR||GREEN|
|Alaska||(reg.) 6,403||#2,453||0||already on||0||0||already on||June 1|
|Arizona||est. (reg.) 15,000||est #8,000||already on||already on||0||0||3,000||May 16|
|Arkansas||21,506||10,000||already on||0||0||0||0||May 4|
|California||(reg) 89,007||156,621||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Dec 31, '97|
|Colorado||no procedure||#1,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 14|
|Connecticut||no procedure||#7,500||0||0||0||already on||0||Aug 7|
|Delaware||est. (reg.) 200||4,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||20||Aug 22|
|D.C.||no procedure||#3,000||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 26|
|Georgia||38,113||#38,113||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jul 14|
|Hawaii||5,450||25||0||*4,000||*200||0||already on||Apr 2|
|Idaho||9,835||1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Aug 31|
|Illinois||no procedure||#25,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Indiana||no procedure||#29,822||0||already on||0||0||0||Jul 15|
|Iowa||no procedure||#1,500||already on||0||*200||0||0||Aug 14|
|Kansas||16,418||5,000||already on||already on||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Kentucky||no procedure||#5,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 11|
|Louisiana||est. (reg) 128,000||0||already on||400||10||10||50||Jul 1|
|Maine||30,288||#4,000||already on||0||0||*500||*500||Dec 12, '97|
|Maryland||(10,000)||est. 78,000||0||6,000||0||0||2,000||Aug 3|
|Massachusetts||est. (reg) 32,000||#10,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|Michigan||30,891||30,891||already on||already on||0||0||6,000||Jul 16|
|Minnesota||109,487||#2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Jun 1|
|Mississippi||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||Apr 3|
|Missouri||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||0||already on||0||Jul 27|
|Montana||16,039||#10,097||already on||already on||already on||0||0||Mar 12|
|Nebraska||5,741||2,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|Nevada||4,498||4,498||already on||already on||already on||already on||already on||Jul 9|
|New Hampshire||14,901||#3,000||0||*1,600||0||0||0||Aug 5|
|New Jersey||no procedure||#800||*100||*300||*50||0||0||July 27|
|New Mexico||(2,781)||14,029||already on||already on||0||0||already on||Apr 7|
|New York||no procedure||#15,000||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 18|
|North Carolina||51,324||est. 82,000||*250||already on||0||0||0||May 18|
|North Dakota||7,000||1,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Apr 3|
|Ohio||45,345||5,000||already on||0||*200||0||0||Jan 5|
|Oklahoma||60,336||0||already on||0||0||*5,000||0||Jun 1|
|Oregon||18,282||13,292||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Aug 25|
|Pennsylvania||no procedure||24,300||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Aug 3|
|Rhode Island||18,069||#1,000||already on||0||0||0||0||Aug 1|
|South Carolina||10,000||10,000||already on||already on||already on||already on||0||May 3|
|South Dakota||7,792||#3,117||0||already on||0||0||0||Apr 7|
|Texas||43,963||43,963||can't start||already on||too late||*can't start||too late||May 24|
|Utah||2,000||#300||already on||already on||already on||already on||550||Feb 15|
|Vermont||just be org.||#1,000||already on||already on||already on||0||already on||Sep 17|
|Virginia||no procedure||est. 15,500||0||0||0||0||0||in court|
|Washington||no procedure||#200||already on||can't start||can't start||can't start||can't start||Jul 3|
|West Virginia||no procedure||#5,957||0||already on||0||0||0||May 11|
|Wisconsin||10,000||#2,000||already on||already on||0||already on||already on||Jun 1|
|Wyoming||8,000||10,500||0||already on||0||0||300||Jun 1|
|TOTAL STATES ON||32||24||10||10||8|
"FULL PARTY REQ." means a new party can qualify before it names candidates; () means party must also do candidate petitions. #candidate procedure lets candidate use party label. "Deadline" refers to "full party procedure"; if state lacks one, it refers to candidate petition. * -- entry changed since last issue. Mississippi, New Jersey, Virginia, West Virginia have no statewide offices up in 1998, so for them, chart is for US House.
Alabama: State House, 82nd district, Jan. 20, 1998: Ford, Democrat, 68.92%; Robert Story, Republican, 30.00%; Sophocleus, Libertarian, 1.09% (the last regular election for this seat was in November, 1994; in that election the only candidate on the ballot was a Democrat).
California: Assembly, 46th district, Jan. 13, 1998: Cedillo, Democrat, 75.84%; Kim, Republican, 21.40%; Westerberg, Libertarian, 2.77% (the last regular election for this seat was in November, 1996; in that election the vote was Democratic 77.50%; Republican 22.50%).
There will also be a special congressional election in California on March 20, in the 22nd district, between a Democrat, Republican and Libertarian.
New York: Congress, 6th district, Feb. 3, 1998: Meeks, Democrat, 54.31%; Clark, independent, 12.66%; Waldon, Conservative, 11.80%; Waldon, Independence, 8.72%; Miller, Republican, 8.58%; Meeks, Liberal, 3.19%; Cronin, Right to Life, .73% (in November 1996, the vote in this district was Democratic 84.85%; Republican 11.54%; Conservative 1.87%; Independence 1.21%; Freedom .52%).
New York: Assembly, 46th district: Cohen, Democratic 69.10%; Kovac, Republican, 20.37%; Kovac, Conservative, 4.99%; Cohen, Independence, 2.95%; Cohen, Liberal, 2.59% (in November 1996 in this district the vote was Democratic 72.50%; Republican 20.21%; Conservative 5.10%; Liberal 2.19%).
Virginia: State Senate, 33rd district, Jan. 20, 1998: Mims, Republican, 61.78%; Brown, Democrat, 37.37%; Redpath, Libertarian, .85% (the last regular election for this seat was in November, 1995; in that election the vote was Democratic 54.97%; Republican 45.03%).
The last B.A.N. said the only unqualified party which filed a notice with the state of Texas, declaring an intention to qualify itself, was the Reform Party. The U.S. Taxpayers Party (known in Texas as the American Constitution Party) also filed the notice. B.A.N. regrets the error.
There will be only two candidates for Judge of the Court of Criminal Appeals, Place 3: a Republican and a Libertarian. This limited field virtually guarantees that the Libertarian Party of Texas will again poll 5% for that statewide race and thus retain its place on the ballot.
In U.S. House races, there will be Reform Party candidates in two districts (assuming the party's petition succeeds), U.S. Taxpayers Party candidates in two districts (again, assuming the party's petition succeeds) and Libertarian candidates in all districts in the state except Ron Paul's district.
Besides Illinois (see last B.A.N.), there are at least two other states with contested minor party primaries for Governor:
1. California: There will be contested gubernatorial primaries this year in both the Libertarian, and Peace & Freedom Parties. The two Libertarian contenders are Steve Kubby and Dick Boddie. The two Peace & Freedom competitors are Gloria LaRiva and Marcia Feinland. All four of these candidates are well known in their own parties, but are little known among the electorate as a whole. Yet, it is the electorate as a whole which will be choosing the gubernatorial nominees for these parties.
The other four qualified minor parties in California are Reform (which isn't fielding a gubernatorial candidate), Green (which is running former Democratic Congressman Dan Hamburg), Natural Law (which is running best-selling author and psychiatrist Harold Bloomfield), and American Independent (which is running Nathan Johnson).
2. New Mexico: the Green Party has a contested gubernatorial primary. The two candidates are Dan Pearlman and Sandra Nemeth. There is also a contested Green Party primary for U.S. House in the First District.
States in which it is too early to know whether there will be contested minor party primaries are Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.