What 2014 Gubernatorial Wins Mean for Small Business Owners

Date: November 14, 2014 Last Edit: September 07, 2016

Gubernatorial election results could mean positive changes for the small business community. Here’s why.

As the dust (and confetti) settled after the Nov. 4 midterm
elections, much of the coverage focused on congressional results: Voters gave
Republicans control of both the House and Senate for the first time in eight
years. Small business owners welcomed the news, hoping the new leadership can
move forward an economic agenda that will stimulate private sector growth.

But there was also good news for small business owners at
the state level. Twenty-three NFIB-endorsed candidates won their gubernatorial
race, including:

  • Rick Scott—Florida
  • Nathan Deal—Georgia
  • Bruce Rauner—Illinois
  • Larry Hogan—Maryland
  • Charlie Baker—Massachusetts
  • John Kasich—Ohio
  • Greg Abbott—Texas
  • Scott Walker—Wisconsin 

See what some of these candidates had to say about getting NFIB’s coveted endorsement in the video below >>

Over the past four years, states have followed two distinct
courses in response to the recession—and
the election results reflect the impact, says Steve Woods, NFIB’s senior vice president of state
public policy. On one course, in states that increased spending and raised
taxes on upper-income and small business taxpayers, many of the governors and
tax proponents lost. On the other course, in states that lowered taxes on
income and businesses, all of the governors were reelected and saw their
majorities in the legislature increase. 

These results could mean better years ahead for small
business owners, as more business-friendly polices—like Indiana’s
Right-to-Work law or Michigan’s repeal of its
onerous business tax—have been enacted
recently at the state level, far from the partisan gridlock of Washington, D.C.

Here’s
a look at what wins in three major gubernatorial races mean for small business
owners. 

Florida

Gov. Rick Scott, who has been in office since 2011, won
reelection over challenger Charlie Crist. Scott, a vocal advocate for small
business, has been praised for lowering unemployment compensation taxes,
cutting corporate income taxes for small businesses, trimming regulations and
paring down the state debt.

“In his first four years, Rick Scott established himself as
the best small business governor in the nation,” says Bill Herrle, NFIB’s
Florida executive director. “We’re excited to have the opportunity to
work with him for another four years.” 

Illinois

Businessman
Bruce Rauner unseated Gov. Pat Quinn, who’s been in office since 2009. Under
Quinn, Illinois’ ranking on key indicators has been
dismal: 48th in the union for business
, 48th
in job creation and 48th in economic outlook. Rauner ran on a
campaign to
“Bring Back
Illinois,” including
plans to roll back corporate and personal income tax rates and reform the EDGE
tax credit program. 

“Bruce Rauner is clearly the best choice for Illinois’ small businesses,” says
Kim Clarke Maisch, NFIB’s Illinois state director, adding
that Rauner understands that government mandates and high taxes make it
difficult for small businesses to grow and create jobs. “It’s time we had a governor who sees the
big picture, who understands what it takes to keep people working and to make
Illinois competitive again and build a strong economy.” 

Wisconsin

Gov. Scott Walker won reelection over challenger Mary Burke
with a plan that includes property tax relief, cutting income taxes and
streamlining regulations.

“Our economy has steadily improved under Gov. Walker’s leadership, and as a result, small
business owners have renewed confidence in our future,” says
Bill Smith, NFIB’s Wisconsin state director. “From
the moment he took office, Scott Walker made small business a top priority, and
the results for Wisconsin have been unmistakably positive. Gov. Walker hasn’t merely talked about small business
owners over the past four years. He has spent a remarkable amount of time
meeting with owners, visiting their locations and bringing them into his
administration as advisors on important policies.”

Related Content: News | Economy | Mag Wrapup | National | Taxes

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