The Washington publication Politico reports independent candidates “are poised to run serious campaigns for governor in at least a half-dozen states, a development that threatens Democratic fortunes in some of the bluest and most progressive-minded states in the nation.” In New Jersey, polls suggest independent Chris Daggett, “a moderate former Republican who once worked as deputy chief of staff to Gov. Tom Kean,” is “carving a sizable portion of voters” away from Democratic incumbent Jon Corzine. Daggett said, “The level of distrust of both parties is very high. You’ve got an opportunity for an independent candidate to run a different kind of campaign.”
Politico also highlights the candidacies of State Treasurer Tim Cahill in Massachusetts and former U.S. senator Lincoln Chafee in Rhode Island. In addition, the article mentions the possible gubernatorial candidacies of businessman Peter Vigue in Maine, former U.S. senator Dean Barkley in Minnesota, and Anthony Pollina of the Progressive Party in Vermont. In 2008, Pollina finished second in the race for governor with 21.8 percent of the vote, leading the Democratic nominee by 257 votes in a race won by incumbent Republican Jim Douglas. Douglas will be retiring at the end of his current term.