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Which CIOs could be at risk in the midterm elections?

State CIOs are among the most influential voices in setting state-level IT policy. Their voice and vision can make or break a state’s position in the technology sector of government. As the United States approaches her Nov. 8 midterm elections, they have to deal with the reality that their positions are often tied to national politics, even in nonpartisan jobs.

The post of state CIO is usually appointed directly by the governor. In other words, the governor’s beliefs, politics, and networks can have a significant impact on who the state chooses to be in charge of her IT infrastructure.

Based on last 10 years of data collected by government technologyAbout a dozen state CIOs leave their jobs each year. On average, 75% of the state’s CIOs are still on the job after he’s a year out.

But that number drops significantly when states get new governors. Only his 40% of CIOs can “survive” a governorship change, and that number drops further to 31% when the governor’s seat changes party.

Some of these transitions are accidental, but they can also be the result of sharp political struggles.

Virginia’s 2022 gubernatorial election saw a political battle over the state’s cybersecurity efforts. It was overseen by Nelson Moe, who had been CIO for six years at the time. Within a week of Republican Glenn Youngkin taking over from Democrat Ralph Northam, Mo resigned and was replaced by former Kansas CITO Phil Whitmer. Witmer himself said he left the post within a month of taking office and was replaced by Robert He Osmond.

While it’s impossible to predict the political future of a country, we can make educated guesses as to which states are likely to face changes in political leadership after the midterm elections.

Maryland and Massachusetts top the list of potential changes in political power. Both East Coast states are facing a certain change of governor. Despite currently having Republican governors in two states, his political website FiveThirtyEight reports Democratic candidates won more than 99% of his mock elections based on aggregated polling data. doing. The Cook Political Report, a political analysis firm, gives both races a rating of “solid Democrats.”

The current CIO for Maryland is Michael Leahy, a position he has held since March 2017. Leahy is also past president of the National Association of State CIOs. His current CIO for Massachusetts is Curtis Wood, a role he has held since January 2019. Both men were appointed by the Republican Party.

The last time the governors of Maryland and Massachusetts switched parties, the state’s CIOs were replaced within a year.

Arizona and Oregon also guarantee governorship changes, but may or may not change political parties. Both FiveThirtyEight and Cook rate this two races of his as a “toss up” between his two contenders.

Three other states — Arkansas, Hawaii and Nebraska — are also guaranteed to change governors after this election. Given that FiveThirtyEight and Cook both rate “solid” elections as likely to be won by the same party as the current governor, both of these states have seen changes in party dominance. less likely to be seen.

There are 29 more elections, all of which are rated by FiveThirtyEight and CPR as at least leaning toward winning the incumbent. Ten of those 19 races are rated as ‘solid’ wins for the incumbent.

Andrew Adams

Andrew Adams government technologyHe holds a BA in Communications from the Illinois Institute of Technology and an MA in Public Relations Reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield.

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Ben Miller is Associate Editor of Data and Business for Government Technology. His reporting experience includes breaking news, business, community functions, and technical subjects. He holds a BA in Journalism from the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno and lives in Sacramento, California.

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