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List of United States governors

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Party affiliation of current United States governors:   Democratic   New Progressive   Republican
Party affiliation of current United States governors:
  New Progressive

The following is a list of current governors of U.S. states and territories.

In the United States, a governor is the chief executive officer of a state or a territory. As of June 2019, 27 states have Republican governors and 23 states have Democratic governors. Additionally, three U.S. territories (American Samoa, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands) have Democratic governors, while one (the Northern Mariana Islands) has a Republican governor. Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced of Puerto Rico is registered with the New Progressive Party, but is affiliated with the Democratic Party.

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I’m Mr. Beat, and I’m running for governor of Kansas in 2018. Here’s Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey. At one time, he was one of the most popular governors in the United States. However, by the time he left office, his approval rating had dropped all the way down to 14%. (Chris Christie clip) Many in New Jersey say he is the worst governor in their state’s history. But what about the worst governors in other states? Based on my research, here are the 10 worst governors in American history that I could find. Oh, and before we get into this list, I didn’t include the governors who are currently in office or recently got out of office. What can I say? We are always biased to have hatred to more recent politicians. #10 Edwin Edwards Governor of Louisiana from 1972 to 1980, 1984 to 1988, and 1992 to 1996, serving 16 years total in office, or 5,784 days, the sixth-longest amount of time in office for any governor since the Constitution. Widely considered one of the most corrupt governors in American history, he actually got caught for racketeering, extortion, money laundering, mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy. He went to federal prison for eight years. He was unapologetic about receiving illegal campaign donations. He was accused of obstruction of justice and bribery. The only reason why Edwards is not higher up on my list is because is dedication to civil rights and protecting minorities and the poor. #9 Joel Aldrich Matteson Or MATTson. Both pronunciations are correct. I'll call him Mattyson because that's more fun. Oh Louisiana and Illinois. You both have a long history of electing corrupt and just, plain horrible governors. And Matteson is one of them. Governor of Illinois from 1853 to 1857, he actually had a few accomplishments during his tenure. This was when Illinois began public education, and Matteson oversaw a strong economy and the reduction of the state’s debt. However, after he got out of office people started to find out about his shadiness. You see, while in office, Matteson had found essentially IOU money in the form of scrips to pay for the Illinois and Michigan Canal. Even though scrips had already been cashed in, Matteson found out they could be used again due to poor record keeping. So he took a bunch of them for himself and cashed them in later on. They were like blank checks from the state. It was later estimated, that Matteson stole at least $5 million this way, adjusted for inflation. He would have probably stolen more if it weren’t for getting caught. So Matteson stole a bunch of taxpayer money. Oh yeah, and Abraham Lincoln hated him, too, so there’s that. #8 Peter Hardeman Burnett California’s first governor, and probably its worst. He was also the first California governor to resign, in office for just 14 months, from late 1849 to early 1851. He wanted the American West for whites only, supporting laws that banned blacks from living in Oregon when he lived up there and trying to get laws passed in California to ban blacks from living there after it became a state under his watch. He was also outspokenly racist toward Native Americans and Chinese immigrants. He pushed for heavy taxes on immigrants and for Indian removal. Oh, and he wanted the death penalty for theft. Peter, you were not a good start for California. #7 George Wallace Yeah, you’ve probably heard of George Wallace, he’s one of the most infamous in American history and ran for President several times. He was even in Forrest Gump. But if you want a great bio about him, I recommend this video by Connor Higgins. He’s most infamously known for the “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever” and racist stuff of his tenure, in which he embraced the KKK and basically argued that blacks and whites being in the same room was one of the worst things ever. He even freaking stood in front of a door to prevent black students from attending classes at the University of Alabama. But here’s the thing...he lost his first race for governor because he criticized the KKK and spoke out for African Americans. Later in life, after being paralyzed in an assassination attempt, he reversed his ways also by condemning his past racism. This just makes me assume he said whatever the majority of people wanted to hear in his state to get elected. George Wallace, were you racist or were you not? Ok yeah I think he truly was, though. He was so power hungry he got his wife elected after he couldn’t run for re-election due to term limit laws, and to do so, he hid her cancer diagnosis from her. She ended up dying less than 200 days after she took office. The bottom line is, George Wallace was as us vs. them as one could get. He knew how to divide Americans not only in Alabama, but across the country. Wallace would be higher up on this list if not for changing later in life, asking forgiveness from African Americans. "I was wrong. Those days are over, and they ought to be over." #6 Orval Faubus From one Southern racist governor to another, but at least this one has a cool name. Faubus was governor or Arkansas from 1955 to 1967. Now Faubus really just had one major decision that tainted his legacy Similar to Wallace, he was more about his political power, starting out more moderate when it came to civil rights issues, then all of sudden taking a firm pro-segregation stance after the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision. In 1957, he became internationally infamous in what is known as the Little Rock Crisis. After the federal government ordered racial desegregation, he was like, “nope,” sending the Arkansas National Guard to stop African Americans from attending Little Rock Central High School. President Eisenhower had to send in federal troops to escort them in. And then at the end of the year, the school shut down. What’s frustrating about Faubus is that he really didn’t seem that racist. He just stubbornly did the wrong thing fueled the hatred of blacks in the South. And he never apologized for it, like Wallace did. #5 Lilburn Boggs Governor of Missouri from 1836 to 1840 Boggs is best known for Missouri Executive Order 44, or as many Mormons call it, the “Extermination Order.” It was a response to the growing violence during what became known as the 1838 Mormon War, a series of clashes between Mormons and those they threatened in northeast Missouri. Governor Boggs issued the order to drive Mormons out of the state because of their “open and avowed defiance of the laws, and of having made war upon the people of this State.” He also added, “The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State if necessary for the public peace.” Geez, dude. And yep, it worked. The Mormons fled to the town of Nauvoo, Illinois. Other great stuff about Boggs. He wasted a bunch of taxpayer money building a new capitol. Oh, and he almost caused a war with Iowa Territory due to a border dispute. Actually, it was known as a war. The Honey War. Awwww, what a sweet name for a war. #4 Len Small Well, here we go. Another Illinois governor. In office during the Roaring Twenties, from 1921 to 1929. His corruption started long before he was governor, back when he was the Illinois Treasurer. He was charged with embezzling over a million dollars through money laundering, by “misplacing” state funds into a fake bank. He went to trial for it while he was governor, and despite there being pretty good evidence that he was guilty, got off scot-free. Coincidentally, eight of the jurors who said he was not guilty in his trial later got cushy state jobs, and so did the brothers of the judge in that case. Coincidence? In 1925, when the Illinois Supreme Court said that yep, Small was guilty and he had to pay back that $1 million after all, Small fought back with a legal team and forced his own state employees to help pay for his defense. Small pardoned or released more than 1000 convicted felons, including a dude who was convicted of kidnapping young girls and making them slaves in which they were forced to be prostitutes. Also, Small released a bootlegger who later became the leader of one of the most powerful bootlegging gangs in Chicago. Oh Lenny. I can’t make this stuff up, can I? #3 Wilson Lumpkin Another great name, another bad governor. He was in office for the lovely state of Georgia from 1831 to 1835. He thought his biggest accomplishment, you know, something he was most proud of, was the removal of the peaceful Cherokee Indians from north Georgia. Yep, he was proud of kicking the Cherokee off their land, which led to the Trail of Tears and eventual death of 4,000 people. Wow, Wilson. Just wow. Did I mention he went against the Supreme Court by kicking them out? Check out that decision, by the way, I have a video about that called Worcester v. Georgia. He encouraged white settlers to take their land while they were still there. And did I mention he was a big supporter of slavery? Of course he was. And speaking of slavery... For #2, it’s a tie. In fact, 28 governors all tie for #2 on this list. They are the 28 Southern governors who all agreed to secede from the Union and become leaders in the Confederate States of America during the Civil War. Here are their names. I’m not going to read them off for you, but all of them declared allegiance to the Confederacy in the name of preserving the institution of slavery. I’m not going to call them traitors, because they didn’t think they were traitors. But they were wrong, and in my opinion, they do not deserve to be honored. And this last one will likely surprise you… #1 Brigham Young If you’re one of his 1,000 direct descendants, I’m pretty sure you are going to be offended by what I’m about to say. And if you’re Mormon, well I talked trash about Boggs earlier so hopefully this evens out. In case you didn’t know, Brigham Young was governor of the Territory of Utah from 1851 to 1858. Governor? Dictator might be a better word. I mean, he had absolute power. And there was no separation of church and state, it was a theocracy. After he led his Mormon followers into what is now known as Utah, and before the Feds go involved, whatever he said went. He argued slavery was a “divine institution.” Yep, people forget Utah used to allow slavery. Ok, and obviously the polygamy thing. He had 55 wives, for crying out loud. After he couldn’t convert the local Native American population to the Church of Latter Day Saints, he basically ordered to kill them. Yep. Genocide. Ethnic cleansing. And under his watch, the Mountain Meadows Massacre happened. Just Google it. It’s horrific, and it caused him to step down as governor. When the federal government came to challenge him during the Utah War, Young declared marital law and told his followers they may have to burn down their homes, hide in the woods, and conduct guerilla warfare to defend their way of life. He maybe started out as a nice guy, but in the end I think the power corrupted him, as power tends to do. So that’s it. I’m sure that last one surprised you, probably because you didn’t realize how horrible Brigham Young was or maybe you didn't realize he was a governor for a short while. He does have tons of monuments out there celebrating him and even a university named after him that’s one of the biggest universities in the country. Before I go, I want to point out that I was fairly out of my comfort zone when researching for this video There are so many governors in American history. that it's really hard to keep track of them. Plus, there's a lot of really bad ones and a lot of governors that we don't know much about in the early years. So if there are any governors that I did not include, that I totally missed please let me know in the comments. I will not be offended. Just let it all out. I do have a list of honorable mentions. Or should I say "DIShonorable mentions." That I included in the description of this video. They didn't quite make the cut. But as far as I know, this is the only video out there about the worst governors in American history. And thank you to Ian for giving me the idea. This video is dedicated to him. And to his mom. Thank you to you both for your support on Patreon. It means so much. I'll be back with a new episode of Supreme Court Briefs next week. Thank you for watching. And there's just one more thing. I'm really not running for Kansas governor in 2018. I just made that up.


State governors

The current term ends in January of the given year for every state except for Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, New York and Kentucky, where the term ends in December of that year's election. The notation "(term limits)" after the year indicates that the current governor is ineligible to seek re-election in that year; the notation "(retiring)" indicates that the current governor has announced his or her intention not to seek re-election at the end of the term nor to run for another office.

  Democratic (23)   Republican (27)

State Portrait Governor Party Prior public experience Inauguration End of term Past governors
Portrait-Governor-Kay-Ivey (cropped).jpg
Kay Ivey
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Treasurer April 10, 2017 2023 List
Mike Dunleavy official photo (cropped).jpg
Mike Dunleavy
  Republican Alaska Senate December 3, 2018 2022 List
Doug Ducey by Gage Skidmore 13.jpg
Doug Ducey
  Republican Treasurer January 5, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Asa Hutchinson.jpg
Asa Hutchinson
  Republican Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Border & Transportation Security,
Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. House, U.S. Attorney
January 13, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Gavin Newsom official photo (cropped 2).jpg
Gavin Newsom   Democratic Lieutenant Governor, Mayor of San Francisco January 7, 2019 2023 List
Jared Polis official photo (cropped).jpg
Jared Polis   Democratic U.S. House, Colorado State Board of Education January 8, 2019 2023 List
Governor Ned Lamont of Connecticut, official portrait (cropped).jpg
Ned Lamont
  Democratic Greenwich Selectman January 9, 2019 2023 List
John C. Carney Jr. official portrait 112th Congress (cropped).jpg
John Carney
  Democratic U.S. House, Lieutenant Governor of Delaware January 17, 2017 2021 List
Ron DeSantis at CPAC 2017 (cropped).jpg
Ron DeSantis
  Republican U.S. House January 8, 2019 2023 List
David Perdue and Brian Kemp (cropped).jpg
Brian Kemp
  Republican Secretary of State, Georgia Senate January 14, 2019 2023 List
Governor David Ige (cropped 2).jpg
David Ige
  Democratic Hawaii Senate, Hawaii House December 1, 2014 2022 (term limits) List
Brad Little official photo (cropped).jpg
Brad Little
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Idaho Senate January 7, 2019 2023 List
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker.jpg
J. B. Pritzker
  Democratic No prior public experience January 14, 2019 2023 List
Governor Eric Holcomb 2018 State of the State Address (cropped).jpg
Eric Holcomb
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Chief of Staff to Senator Dan Coats, Chair of the Indiana Republican Party, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Indiana January 9, 2017 2021 List
Kim Reynolds by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Kim Reynolds
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Iowa Senate May 24, 2017 2023 List
Laura Kelly official photo (cropped).jpg
Laura Kelly
  Democratic Kansas Senate January 14, 2019 2023 List
Matt Bevin (cropped).jpg
Matt Bevin
  Republican No prior public experience December 8, 2015 2019 List
John Bel Edwards
John Bel Edwards
  Democratic Minority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives January 11, 2016 2020 List
Janet Mills in 2019.jpg
Janet Mills
  Democratic Maine Attorney General, Maine House January 2, 2019 2023 List
Larry Hogan 2018.jpg
Larry Hogan
  Republican Maryland Secretary of Appointments January 21, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Charlie Baker official photo (cropped).jpg
Charlie Baker
  Republican Swampscott Selectman, Massachusetts Secretary of Administration and Finance,
Massachusetts Secretary of Health and Human Services
January 8, 2015 2023 List
Gretchen Whitmer Portrait.jpg
Gretchen Whitmer   Democratic Michigan Senate, Michigan House January 1, 2019 2023 List
Tim Walz official photo (cropped 2).jpg
Tim Walz
  Democratic–Farmer–Labor U.S. House January 7, 2019 2023 List
Secretary Perry with Govt Phil Bryant KSS2455 (32743097363) (cropped).jpg
Phil Bryant
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Auditor, Mississippi House January 10, 2012 2020 (term limits) List
Mike Parson official photo (cropped).jpg
Mike Parson
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Missouri Senate, Missouri House of Representatives, Sheriff of Polk County June 1, 2018 2021 List
Steve Bullock by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Steve Bullock
  Democratic Attorney General January 7, 2013 2021 (term limits) List
Pete Ricketts by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg
Pete Ricketts
  Republican No prior public experience January 8, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Steve Sisolak (cropped).jpeg
Steve Sisolak   Democratic Clark County Commission, Nevada Board of Regents January 7, 2019 2023 List
Christopher T Sununu.jpg
Chris Sununu
  Republican New Hampshire Executive Council January 5, 2017 2021 List
Phil Murphy for Governor (cropped 2).jpg
Phil Murphy
  Democratic United States Ambassador, Finance Chair of the Democratic National Committee January 16, 2018 2022 List
Michelle Lujan Grisham official photo (cropped 2).jpg
Michelle Lujan Grisham   Democratic U.S. House, Secretary of Health of New Mexico January 1, 2019 2023 List
Andrew Cuomo 2017.jpg
Andrew Cuomo
  Democratic Attorney General, U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development January 1, 2011 2022[1] List
Gov. Roy Cooper.jpg
Roy Cooper
  Democratic Attorney General, North Carolina Senate, North Carolina House January 1, 2017 2021 List
Governor Doug Burgum (cropped).jpg
Doug Burgum
  Republican No prior public experience December 15, 2016 2020 List
Gov-Mike-DeWine (cropped).jpg
Mike DeWine
  Republican Attorney General, United States Senate, Lieutenant Governor, United States House of Representatives, Ohio Senate January 14, 2019 2023 List
Kevin Stitt.jpg
Kevin Stitt
  Republican No prior public experience January 14, 2019 2023 List
Kate Brown in 2017 (cropped).jpg
Kate Brown
  Democratic Secretary of State, Oregon Senate, Oregon House February 18, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Tom Wolf governor portrait 2019 (cropped).jpg
Tom Wolf
  Democratic Pennsylvania Secretary of Revenue January 20, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
RI Governor Gina Raimondo Bristol parade (cropped).jpg
Gina Raimondo
  Democratic General Treasurer January 6, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster (cropped).jpg
Henry McMaster
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Chair of the South Carolina Republican Party, U.S. Attorney January 24, 2017 2023 List
Kristi L. Noem (cropped).jpg
Kristi Noem   Republican U.S. House, South Dakota House January 5, 2019 2023 List
TN Governor Bill Lee 2019 May.jpg
Bill Lee
  Republican No prior public experience January 19, 2019 2023 List
Greg Abbott 2015.jpg
Greg Abbott
  Republican Attorney General, Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court January 20, 2015 2023 List
2013-05-23 Gary R Herbert.JPG
Gary Herbert
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Utah County Commissioner August 11, 2009 2021 (retiring) List
Phil Scott 2017 (cropped).jpg
Phil Scott
  Republican Lieutenant Governor, Vermont Senate January 5, 2017 2021 List
Governor Ralph Northam Gives Inaugural Address (39348612584) (cropped).jpg
Ralph Northam
  Democratic Lieutenant Governor, Virginia Senate January 13, 2018 2022 (term limits) List
Jay Inslee official portrait (cropped 2).jpg
Jay Inslee
  Democratic U.S. House, Washington House January 16, 2013 2021 List
Jim Justice 2017 InaugurationHighlights PB-63 (32366955776) (cropped).jpg
Jim Justice
[note 1]
No prior public experience January 16, 2017 2021 List
Tony Evers (cropped).jpg
Tony Evers
  Democratic Wisconsin Superintendent of Public Instruction January 7, 2019 2023 List
Mark Gordon of Wyoming.jpg
Mark Gordon   Republican Treasurer January 7, 2019 2023 List

Territory governors

The following hold the gubernatorial offices of the United States territories.

  Democratic (3)   Republican (1)   New Progressive (1)

Territory Portrait Governor Party Prior public experience Inauguration End of term Past Governors
Lolo Moliga by James Kneubuhl.jpg
Lolo Matalasi Moliga   Democratic
[note 2]
American Samoa Senate, American Samoa House of Representatives January 3, 2013 2021 (term limits) List
Lou Leon Guerrero in 2018.jpeg
Lou Leon Guerrero   Democratic Senator of the Guam Legislature January 7, 2019 2023 List
Ralph Torres.jpg
Ralph Torres   Republican Lieutenant Governor, Northern Mariana Islands Legislature December 29, 2015 2023 (term limits) List
Wanda Vázquez Garced   New Progressive Secretary of Justice of Puerto Rico August 7, 2019 2021 List
Albert Bryan with Del Plaskett and Doug Domenech cropped.jpg
Albert Bryan   Democratic Commissioner of V.I. Department of Labor January 7, 2019 2023 List

Federal district mayor

  Democratic (1)

Federal district Portrait Mayor Party Prior public experience Inauguration End of term Past Mayors
Muriel Bowser official photo (cropped).jpg
Muriel Bowser   Democratic Council of the District of Columbia January 2, 2015 2023 List

See also


  1. ^ Justice was elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican Party six months into his term.[2]
  2. ^ Officially, the governor of American Samoa is a non-partisan position, but officeholders do affiliate with political parties at the national level. Moliga was elected as an Independent, but switched to the Democratic Party in 2015.


  1. ^ NY gubernatorial terms begin at midnight New Year's Day.
  2. ^ "West Virginia Governor to Switch from Democrat to Republican". New York Times. August 3, 2017. Retrieved August 3, 2017.

External links

This page was last edited on 12 August 2019, at 17:50
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