State financial officers—what they are and why you should care

Welcome to the Friday, November 4, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. What you need to know about this year’s state financial officer elections
  2. All major party candidates in 45 battleground races completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey
  3. Connecticut voters to consider allowing in-person early voting

Chaz Nuttycombe, founder and director of CNalysis, joins the On the Ballot podcast to discuss forecasting the upcoming midterms and the state legislative elections to watch next week. Check out the episode here or wherever you get your podcasts!

What you need to know about this year’s state financial officer elections

Across the country, voters are gearing up to decide the control of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and state governments nationwide.

Beyond the usual high-profile races, let’s take a look at another set of important offices: state financial officers (SFOs).

In 2022, either directly or indirectly, voters will decide who controls 68 of the 105 state financial officerships nationwide (65%).

Different states have different names for these officials, but they all fall into three groups: treasurers, auditors, and controllers.

Broadly, these officials are responsible for things like auditing other government offices, managing payroll, and overseeing pensions.

In some states, certain SFOs are also responsible for investing state retirement and trust funds, meaning they get to decide where that public money goes.

In these states, one issue that comes into play is environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG). This is an investment approach where, before investing in a corporation, an investor considers the extent to which that corporation conforms to certain “environmental, social, and corporate” standards.

For example, an SFO might avoid investing in a fossil fuel company if they are concerned about climate change. Or they might make investment decisions based on whether a fund shares or promotes a particular social standard.

Voters will decide control of 32 SFOs responsible for investing either trust funds, retirement funds, or both. Democrats currently control 16 of these offices, Republicans control 15, and the partisan affiliation of one could not be determined.

Regarding all offices that could be affected this year—not just those with investment responsibilities—Democrats and Republicans both currently hold 33, and two positions are marked as other because they were bipartisan appointees.

Most SFOs are officially nonpartisan, but we can use the party of the appointing authority to estimate the appointed SFOs’ affiliations.

The way in which voters will affect the control of these offices varies by state, with some being directly elected and others being appointed. These SFOs fall into four categories:

  • Direct elections: voters will directly elect 50 SFOs this year. Fourteen are on the ballot in 2024.
  • Appointees with expiring terms: nine SFOs’ terms are set to expire in 2023 or 2024, with decision-making power for the next term falling to the governors and legislators elected on Nov. 8.
  • Contingent appointees: nine SFOs don’t have a term length, but instead serve at the pleasure of elected officials who are on the ballot this year. If an elected official loses or the office switches party control, their predecessor will get to decide whether to keep those SFOs or appoint new ones.
  • Other: four SFOs’ terms are contingent upon either a non-elected appointee or a multi-member board.

We will be following these races closely on Election Day and will share those results with you right here in the Brew after the votes come in. You can also use the link below to follow our coverage of the results.

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All major party candidates in 45 battleground races completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey

We’ve talked a lot about full houses this election cycle—races where every candidate has completed our Candidate Connection survey—but let’s look at some of the marquee races where all major party candidates have replied.

There are 45 battleground races nationwide where all major party candidates have completed the Candidate Connection survey.

These survey responses allow voters to hear directly from candidates about their key messages and what motivates them to run.

These 45 races represent 20% of the 225 federal, state executive, and state legislative elections where all major party candidates have completed our survey. Here’s a look at some of the highlights:

At the federal level, all major party candidates in Michigan’s 3rd and Pennsylvania’s 17th Congressional Districts have completed our survey. Click the links to view candidates’ responses.

  • Michigan’s 3rd: Hillary Scholten (D) faces John Gibbs (R), who defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Peter Meijer (R) in the Republican primary on Aug. 2. Three election forecasters rate this contest as Lean Democratic.
  • Pennsylvania’s 17th: Christopher Deluzio (D) and Jeremy Shaffer (R) are running in an open race. U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb (D) did not run for re-election and instead sought the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination. Three election forecasters rate this race as Toss-up.

We’ve received responses from all major party candidates in the following battleground state executive races:

  • Arizona Attorney General: Kris Mayes (D) and Abraham Hamadeh (R) are running in an open race. Incumbent Mark Brnovich (R) is term-limited. Arizona has had a Republican attorney general since 2011.
  • California Controller: Malia Cohen (D) and Lanhee Chen (R) are running in an open race. Incumbent Betty Yee (D) is term-limited. California has had a Democratic controller since 1975.
  • Iowa Secretary of State: Incumbent Paul Pate (R) faces Joel Miller (D). Pate was first elected in 2014, and was re-elected in 2018 with 53% of the vote. 

Both candidates running for seat 5 on the North Carolina Supreme Court also completed the survey:

The remaining 39 battleground races with full major party completion are taking place at the state legislative level. You can find those responses here.

Use the link below to learn more about Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, taken by over 5,000 candidates nationwide so far.

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Connecticut voters to consider allowing in-person early voting

Today is the 49th day of our 50 States in 50 Days series, and we’re featuring Connecticut, the Constitution State!

Week One: Pennsylvania, Indiana, South Dakota, Nebraska, North Dakota
Week Two: California, Georgia, Texas, Montana
Week Three: North Carolina, Virginia, New Mexico, Illinois, Idaho
Week Four: Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Minnesota, West Virginia
Week Five: Vermont, Nevada, Wyoming, Arizona, Ohio
Week Six: South Carolina, Iowa, Kansas, Oregon, Tennessee
Week Seven: Colorado, New Jersey, Washington, Alabama, Utah
Week Eight: Mississippi, Maryland, Rhode Island, Oklahoma, Maine
Week Nine: Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida
Week Ten: Missouri, Louisiana, New York

On the ballot in Connecticut

Connecticut voters will elect one U.S. Senator and five U.S. Representatives.

Six state executive offices are also up for election: governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, treasurer, and comptroller.

All 187 state legislative seats—36 in the Senate and 151 in the House—are on the ballot.

Connecticut has fusion voting, meaning candidates can run with multiple party affiliations. On the ballot, candidates are listed separately for each party whose label they are running under.

Redistricting highlights

The number of U.S. House districts in Connecticut remained the same at five following the 2020 census.

Congressional and state legislative elections will take place under new district lines following the census. Our side-by-side map comparison tool allows you to compare each district. Here’s an example of what Connecticut’s congressional map looked like before and after the 2020 census:

You can interact with our map comparison tools by visiting our Connecticut redistricting page here.

Partisan balance

  • Both of Connecticut’s U.S. Senators—Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy—are Democrats.
  • Democrats represent all five of the state’s U.S. House districts.
  • Connecticut has had a Democratic governor since 2011.
  • Democrats hold a 23-13 majority in the Senate and a 97-54 majority in the House.
  • With a Democratic governor and majorities in both legislative chambers, Connecticut is one of 14 Democratic trifectas, a status it has held since 2011.
  • In addition to the governor, Connecticut has a Democratic attorney general and secretary of state, making it one of 18 Democratic triplexes.

Seats contested by one major party

This year, 42 state legislative seats in Connecticut, or 23% of those up for election, do not have major party competition. When a candidate from only one of either major party runs for a state legislative seat, that party is all but guaranteed to win.

Democrats are running for 174 seats (93%). Thirteen seats (75) do not feature a Democratic candidate, meaning Republicans will likely win.

Republicans are running for 158 seats (84%). Twenty-nine seats (16%) do not feature a Republican candidate, meaning Democrats will likely win.

Key races

  • Governor: incumbent Ned Lamont (D) faces Bob Stefanowski (R) and Robert Hotaling (I), setting up, along with Georgia, one of the country’s two gubernatorial rematches. In 2018, Lamont defeated Stefanowski, 49% to 46%. Two election forecasters rate the election as Solid Democratic and one rates it as Likely Democratic.
  • U.S. House District 5: incumbent Jahana Hayes (D) faces George Logan (R). The 5th District’s borders were largely unchanged during redistricting, with President Joe Biden (D) defeating former President Donald Trump (R) under both pre- and post-redistricting lines 55% to 44%. Two election forecasters rate the election as Lean Democratic and one rates it as a Toss-up.

Ballot measures

One ballot measure is on the ballot this year:

  • Question 1 would amend the constitution, authorizing the Legislature to pass laws allowing for in-person early voting. Currently, Connecticut is one of four states that does not allow in-person early voting in some form. In 2014, voters defeated an amendment 52% to 48% that would have allowed early voting and removed restrictions on absentee voting. The 2022 amendment does not involve absentee voting.

Between 1985 and 2018, 13 measures appeared on statewide ballots. Voters approved 10 (77%) and defeated three (23%).


  • Polls are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.
  • Connecticut requires photo identification when voting. For more information, click here.
  • Connecticut does not allow early voting.
  • Certain voters are allowed to vote absentee/by-mail. The deadline to submit a completed ballot in person is Nov. 7. Election officials must receive ballots submitted by mail no later than the time polls close on Nov. 8.
  • The voter registration deadline passed on Nov. 1. Connecticut also allows same-day registration if voting in person on Election Day. Check the status of your registration here.

Want to learn more about the elections you’ll be voting in this year? Click here to use our Sample Ballot Lookup tool!

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