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this page updated and corrected Sept. 27, 2018

Governors Races, 2017-18               

  • Starting balance Jan. 2018:  33R, 16D, 1I*.
  • 36 seats at stake in 2018:  9D, 26R, 1I. (plus 3 terr.)
  • 13 term-limited:  2D, 11R.
  • 23 eligible for re-election/election:  7D, 15R**1I.
  • 3 retirements:  2D, 1R.
  • 20 seeking re-election/election:  5D, 14R, 1I.
  • 1 defeated in primary: 1R.
  • Balance after Nov. 6, 2018:  tbd.

*Includes VA and NJ Nov. 7, 2017. 
**Four Republican governors are seeking election in their own right due to incumbent retirements: Nikki Haley (R-SC) resigned Jan. 24, 2017 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; succeeded by Lt. Gov. Henry McMaster (R).  Robert Bentley (R-AL) resigned April 10, 2017 amid scandal; succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey (R).  Terry Branstad (R-IA) May 24, 2017 to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China; succeeded by Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds (R).  Sam Brownback (R-KS) resigned effective Jan. 31, 2018 to serve as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom; succeeded by Lt. Gov. Jeff  Colyer (R).

CAMPAIGN LITERATURE


Primary
DEM. INCUMBENTS
REP. CHALLENGER
MORE
CA
June 5
Jerry Brown  ...term limited
Gavin Newsom
John Cox
n/a
CO
June 26
John Hickenlooper  ...term limited
Jared Polis
Walker Stapleton
Scott Helker (L)
Bill Hammons (UPA)
Paul Noel Fiorino (U)
CT
Aug. 14
Dan Malloy  ...retiring
Ned Lamont
Bob Stefanowski
Rod Hanscomb (L)
Mark Stewart Greenstein (I)
Oz Griebel (I)
HI
Aug. 11
David Ige
Andria Tupola
Jim Brewer (G)
Terrence Teruya (Non)
MN
Aug. 14
Mark Dayton  ...retiring
Tim Walz
Jeff Johnson
Chris Wright (Mar.)
Josh Welter (L)
NY
Sep. 13
Andrew Cuomo
Marc Molinaro
Howie Hawkins (G)
Larry Sharpe (L)
Jimmy McMillan (RTDH)
Stephanie Miner (SAM)
OR
May 15
Kate Brown
Knute Buehler Patrick Starnes (IP)
Nick Chen (L)
PA
May 15
Tom Wolf
Scott Wagner
Paul Glover (G)
Ken Krawchuk (L)
RI
Sep. 12
Gina Raimondo
Allan Fung
Anne Armstrong (Comp.)
Bill Gilbert (M)
Joe Trillo (I)


Primary
REP. INCUMBENTS DEM. CHALLENGER
MORE
AL
June 5
Kay Ivey
Walt Maddox
(two w/ins)
AZ
Aug. 28 Doug Ducey
David Garcia
Angel Torres (G)
AR
May 22
Asa Hutchinson
Jared Henderson
Mark West (L)
FL
Aug. 28
Rick Scott  ...term limited
Ron DeSantis
Andrew Gillum
Darcy Richardson (NPA)
Kyle "KC" Gibson (NPA)
Bruce Stanley (NPA)
GA
May 22
Nathan Deal  ...term limited
Primary runoff: July 24  Brian Kemp
(def. C.Cagle)
Stacey Abrams
Ted Metz (L)
Larry Odom (I)
ID
May 15
Butch Otter  ...retiring 
Brad Little
Paulette Jordan
Bev "Angel" Boeck (L)
IL
Mar. 20
Bruce Rauner
JB Pritzker
Sam McCann (I)
Kash Jackson (L)

IA
June 5
Kim Reynolds
Fred Hubbell
Jake Porter (L)
Gary Siegwarth (I)
KS
Aug. 7
Sam Brownback  ...term limited
Jeff Colyer
Kris Kobach 
Laura Kelly
Jeff Caldwell (L)
Rick Kloos (I)
Greg Orman (I)
ME
June 12
Paul LePage  ...term limited
Shawn Moody
Janet Mills
Terry Hayes (I)
Alan Caron (I)
MD
June 26
Larry Hogan
Ben Jealous
Ian Schlakman (G)
Shawn Quinn (L)
MA
Sep. 4
Charlie Baker
Jay Gonzalez

MI
Aug. 7
Rick Snyder  ...term limited
Bill Schuette
Gretchen Whitmer
Jennifer Kurland (G)
Bill Gelineau (L)
Keith Butkovich (NLP)
Todd Schleiger (USTP)
NE
May 15
Pete Ricketts
Bob Krist
n/a
NV
June 12
Brian Sandoval  ...term limited
Adam Laxalt
Steve Sisolak
Russell Best (IAP)
Jared Lord (L)
Ryan Bundy (I)
NH
Sep. 11
Chris Sununu
Molly Kelly
Jilletta Jarvis (L)
NM
June 5
Susana Martinez  ...term limited
Steve Pearce
Michelle Lujan Grisham
(w/in)
OH
May 8
John Kasich  ...term limited
Mike DeWine
Richard Cordray
C.Gadell-Newton (G)
Travis Irvine (L)
OK
June 26
Mary Fallin  ...term limited
Primary runoff: Aug. 28
Kevin Stitt
(def. Mick Cornett)
Drew Edmondson
Chris Powell (L)
SC
June 12
Henry McMaster
Primary runoff: June 26
(def. John Warren)
James Smith
n/a
SD
June 5
Dennis Daugaard  ...term limited
Kristi Noem
Billie Sutton
Kurt Evans (L) >
TN
Aug. 2
Bill Haslam  ...term limited
Bill Lee
Karl Dean
Mark CoonRippy Brown (I)
TX
Mar. 6
Greg Abbott
Primary runoff: May 22
Lupe Valdez (def. A.White)
Janis Richards (G)
Mark Tippetts (L)
VT
Aug. 14
Phil Scott
Christine Hallquist
Emily Peyton (LU)
Trevor Barlow (I)
Chris Ericson (I)
Charles Laramie (I)
WI
Aug. 14
Scott Walker
Tony Evers
Michael White (G)
Phil Anderson (L)
Arnie Enz (WI)
Maggie Turnbull (I)
WY
Aug. 21
Matt Mead  ...term limited
Mark Gordon
Mary Throne
Rex Rammell (C)


Primary
IND. INCUMBENT
DEM. CHALLENGER
REP. CHALLENGER
AK
Aug. 21
Bill Walker
Mark Begich
Mike Dunleavy
AND Billy Toien (L)                                       

Also

Primary
IND.
DEM.
REP.
CNMI

Juan Babauta/R.Sablan
Ralph D. G. Torres  inc.
GU
Aug. 25

Lou Leon Guerrero/J.Tenorio
Eddie Calvo  ...term limited
Ray Tenorio/T.Ada
USVI
Aug. 4
Ken Mapp/O.Potter (I)  inc. Albert Bryan Jr./T.Roach



Overview
Following West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice's switch to the Republican Party on Aug. 3, 2017, Democrats were at an all time low, holding just 15 governorships to 34 for Republicans and 1 Independent.  Democrats picked up New Jersey in the Nov. 2017 off-year elections.  In Nov. 2018 they will have ample opportunity to make further gains.  Of 36 seats at stake, Republicans hold 26, and half of those are open (12 term-limited and 1 retirement).
  Four Republican incumbents ascended to the governorship and are seeking election in their own right: Govs. Jeff Colyer (KS), Kay Ivey (AL), Kim Reynolds (IA) and Henry McMaster (SC). 

There were many interesting primaries.  On the Democratic side, all five incumbents seeking re-election appear likely to win; Gov. David Ige (HI) fended off perhaps the strongest challenge, from U.S. Rep. Coleen Hanabusa.  Crowded fields vied for the Democratic nomination in a number of states.  For example, in Maine and Maryland seven candidates were on the ballot and in Wisconsin eight candidates.  In California 12 of the 27 candidates on the ballot in the top-two primary were Democrats, although only six were seen as credible.  Texas saw a runoff on May 22; Lupe Valdes defeated Andrew White.  On the Republican side, the closest contest was the Aug. 7 primary in Kansas, where Secretary of State Kris Kobach (endorsed by Trump) narrowly defeated Gov. Jeff Colyer; Colyer conceded on Aug. 14.  There have been three runoffs.  Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (endorsed by Trump) defeated Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle in the July 24  runoff.  In South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster defeated John Warren on June 26, and in Oklahoma, businessman Kevin Stitt defeated Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett on Aug. 28.

Among the states where Democrats hope to achieve pickups are Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio and Wisconsin.  Republicans are eying pickups in Connecticut and Minnesota.  Democrats are running a diverse field of candidates including 11 women and one transgender candidate.  In Georgia former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams is seeking to become the first African American woman governor, in Florida Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum would be the first African American governor of the states, in Colorado Jared Polis is seeking to become the first openly gay man elected governor (Jim McGreevey in New Jersey came out as gay in 2004 after he was elected and Kate Brown, openly LGBT, was elected in Oregon in 2014), and in Vermont Christine Hallquist would be the first transgender governor.  The Republican field is rather more homogenous, including four women nominees.  Libertarians will have more than 20 candidates for governor on the ballot, and Greens about eight.  In addition to Gov. Bill Walker (I-AK) seeking re-election there are a number of other strong independent candidates including Greg Orman in Kansas, Stephanie Miner in New York, Terry Hayes in Maine and Oz Griebel in Connecticut.  The Illinois campaign looks like it will be the most expensive of the governors' races.

Links:  DGA  [Organization]   |  RGA  [Organization]
NGA   |   Center on the American Governor
Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball
The Cook Political Report

Gubernatorial Primary Dates

Mar.

May
June

Aug.
Sept.
20-IL

8-OH
15-ID
15-NE
15-OR
15-PA
22-AR
22-GA
22-TX
5-AL
5-CA
5-IA
5-NM
5-SD
12-ME
12-NV
12-SC
26-CO
26-MD
26-OK


2-TN
7-KS
7-MI
11-HI
14-CT
14-MN
14-VT
14-WI
21-AK
21-WY
28-AZ
28-FL
4-MA
11-NH
12-RI
13-NY
none in Apr., July.       
NCSL Primary Dates



2017 Governors
>

DEM.
REP.

NJ
June 6
Phil Murphy/
Sheila Oliver
Chris Christie  ...term limited
Kim Guadagno/
Carlos Rendo
G.Genovese (I)
P.Rohrman (L)
S.Kaper-Dale (G)
M.Riccardi (C)
V.Ross (I)

VA
June 13
Terry McAuliffe  ...term limited
Ralph Northam
Ed Gillespie
C.Hyra (L)

 

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