While the smoke is still clearing after last week’s midterm elections which have featured an array of nail-biter contests on the Federal level, the lack of much of a “wave” of election-driven change through state houses may end up leaving the ranks of state chief information officers (CIO) relatively stable in the months to come.

While state CIOs are generally seen as doing mostly non-partisan work, the practical truth is that when a state gets a new governor, the odds go way up that the new administration will also be looking for a new technology boss. By the same token, when the incumbent governor wins reelection or the party control doesn’t change, the outlook is better for the state CIO to remain in place.

Driving the likelihood of relative stability in the state CIO ranks are a few key numbers:

Out of 36 state governor races this year, only three resulted in changes in the party in control.    Notably, Maryland and Massachusetts flipped from Republican to Democratic governors, and Nevada went from Democratic to Republican.

In another six states, governors were term-limited, or did not seek reelection. Those include:

Tom Wolf, D-Pa.;

Doug Ducey, R-Ariz.;

Asa Hutchinson, R-Ark.;

David Ige, D-Hawaii;

Pete Ricketts, R-Neb.; and

Kate Brown, D-Ore.

In each of those states, however, party control did not change in the state house.

The bottom line: an expected big red wave in gubernatorial races never really materialized, cutting down on expected resulting CIO turnover.  In the six states listed above, CIOs there will have to wait out the new governor-elects’ appointment process.

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John Thomas Flynn
John Thomas Flynn
John Thomas Flynn serves as a senior advisor for government programs at MeriTalk. He was the first CIO for the both the State of California and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and was president of NASCIO.