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2018 Gubernatorial Results

Posted at 8:30 pm November 7, 2018, in 2018 Elections


2018 resultsThirty-six states held gubernatorial elections on Tuesday, and while Republicans will continue to control a majority of the nation’s governorships, Democrats made serious inroads into the Republican edge.

Going into the election, Republicans held 33 governorships, while Democrats held only 16. The governor of Alaska—Bill Walker—was an Independent. The Republicans picked up that Alaska seat when Mike Dunleavy (R) defeated former Senator Mark Begich (D); Walker dropped out of the race weeks ago.

That was the only governorship Republicans would pick up, however, while Democrats won in seven key states: Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, and Wisconsin. Illinois and Wisconsin were particularly notable, as Democrats J.B. Pritzker (IL) and Tony Evers (WI) defeated incumbent governors, Bruce Rauner and Scott Walker respectively.

Republicans did hold onto governorships in a number of closely-watched states, most notably in Ohio, where Mike DeWine (R) comfortably defeated Richard Cordray (D), in Florida where Ron DeSantis (R) held off Andrew Gillum (D), and in Georgia, where Brian Kemp (R) edged Stacey Abrams (D).

Based on these results, Republicans will control 27 governorships in 2019 while Democrats will control 23.

It was also a good night for women running for governor. A record 16 women were major party nominees. Nine of the  women won: Kay Ivey (R-AL; incumbent), Kim Reynolds (R-IA; incumbent); Laura Kelly (D-KS); Janet Mills (D-ME); Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI); Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM); Kate Brown (D-OR; incumbent); Gina Raimondo (D-RI; incumbent), and Kristi Noem (R-SD). When all nine are sworn in, they will tie a record set in 2004 (then tied in 2007) for most women concurrently serving as governor. If Stacey Abrams (D-GA) is able to force a run-off and win, she would become the record-setting tenth. Mills, Noem, and Reynolds are the first women to be elected governor in their respective states; while Reynolds was an incumbent, she succeeded to the governorship when former Governor Terry Branstad (R) resigned to become ambassador to China. Reynolds ran for a full term in 2018 and won, becoming the first woman elected governor of Iowa.

In another historic first, Jared Polis (D-CO) became the first out gay male candidate to be elected governor in U.S. history; Kate Brown (D-OR), who is bisexual, was reelected in Oregon. There were three African-American and two Native-American candidates in this year’s races, but all were unsuccessful.


Full 2018 Results:

State Incumbent New Governor
Alabama Kay Ivey (R) Kay Ivey (R)
Alaska Bill Walker (I)* Mike Dunleavy (R)
Arizona Doug Ducey (R) Doug Ducey (R)
Arkansas Asa Hutchinson (R) Asa Hutchinson (R)
California Jerry Brown (D) Gavin Newsom (D)
Colorado John Hickenlooper (D) Jared Polis (D)
Connecticut Dannel Malloy (D) Ned Lamont (D)
Florida Rick Scott (R) Ron DeSantis (R)
Georgia Nathan Deal (R) Brian Kemp (R)
Hawaii David Ige (D) David Ige (D)
Idaho Butch Otter (R) Brad Little (R)
Illinois Bruce Rauner (R)** J.B. Pritzker (D)
Iowa Kim Reynolds (R) Kim Reynolds (R)
Kansas Jeff Colyer (R)*** Laura Kelly (D)
Maine Paul LePage (R) Janet Mills (D)
Maryland Larry Hogan (R) Larry Hogan (R)
Massachusetts Charlie Baker (R) Charlie Baker (R)
Michigan Rick Snyder (R) Gretchen Whitmer (D)
Minnesota Mark Dayton (D) Tim Walz (D)
Nebraska Pete Ricketts (R) Pete Ricketts (R)
Nevada Brian Sandoval (R) Stephen Sisolak (D)
New Hampshire Chris Sununu (R) Chris Sununu (R)
New Mexico Susana Martinez (R) Michelle Lujan Grisham (D)
New York Andrew Cuomo (D) Andrew Cuomo (D)
Ohio John Kasich (R) Mike DeWine (R)
Oklahoma Mary Fallin (R) Kevin Stitt (R)
Oregon Kate Brown (D) Kate Brown (D)
Pennsylvania Tom Wolf (D) Tom Wolf (D)
Rhode Island Gina Raimondo (D) Gina Raimondo (D)
South Carolina Henry McMaster (R) Henry McMaster (R)
South Dakota Dennis Daugaard (R) Kristi Noem (R)
Tennessee Bill Haslam (R) Bill Lee (R)
Texas Greg Abbott (R) Greg Abbott (R)
Vermont Phil Scott (R) Phil Scott (R)
Wisconsin Scott Walker (R)** tony Evers (D)
Wyoming Matt Mead (R) Mark Gordon (R)

*Walker initially ran for reelection but withdrew from the race on October 19, 2018.
**Rauner and Walker ran for reelection and were defeated.
***Colyer lost his primary race to Kris Kobach (R), who went on to lose to Kelly.