List of Governors of Arizona
|Governor of Arizona|
|Residence||No official residence|
|Term length||Four years, can succeed self once; eligible again after 4-year respite|
|Inaugural holder||George W. P. Hunt|
|Formation||February 14, 1912|
The Governor of Arizona is the head of the executive branch of Arizona's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Arizona Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.
Twenty-two people have served as governor over 26 distinct terms. All of the repeat governors were in the state's earliest years, when George W. P. Hunt and Thomas Edward Campbell alternated as governor for 17 years and, after a two-year gap, Hunt served another term. One governor was successfully impeached, Evan Mecham, and one resigned upon being convicted of a felony, Fife Symington III. The longest-serving governor was Hunt, who was elected seven times and served just under fourteen years. The longest single stint was Bruce Babbitt's, who was elected to two 4-year terms after succeeding to the office following the death of his predecessor, serving nearly nine years total. Wesley Bolin had the shortest term, dying less than five months after succeeding into office. Four governors were actually born in Arizona: Thomas Edward Campbell, Sidney Preston Osborn, Rose Mofford, and Bruce Babbitt. Arizona has had four female governors, the most in the United States, and is also the only state in which female governors have served in a consecutive order. Because of a string of death in office, resignations, and an impeachment, Arizona has not had a governor whose term began and ended because of "normal" election circumstances since Jack Williams left office in 1975.
In Tucson between April 2 and April 5, 1860, a convention of settlers from the southern half of New Mexico Territory drafted a constitution for a provisional Arizona Territory, three years before the United States would create such a territory. This proposed territory consisted of the part of New Mexico Territory south of 33° 40' N. On April 2, they elected a governor, Lewis Owings. The provisional territory was to exist until such time as an official territory was created, but that proposal was rejected by the U.S. Congress at the time.
On March 16, 1861, soon before the American Civil War broke out, a convention in Mesilla voted that the provisional territory secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America. Lewis Owings remained as territorial governor.
The Confederacy took ownership of the territory on August 1, 1861, when forces led by Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor won decisive control of the territory, and Baylor proclaimed himself governor. The territory was organized on February 14, 1862. On March 20, 1862, Baylor issued an order to kill all the adult Apache and take their children into slavery. When Confederate President Jefferson Davis learned of this order, he strongly disapproved and demanded an explanation. Baylor wrote a letter December 29, 1862, to justify his decision, and after this was received, Davis relieved Baylor of his post and commission, calling his letter an "avowal of an infamous crime." By that time, the government of Confederate Arizona was in exile in San Antonio, Texas, as the territory had been effectively lost to Union forces in July 1862; no new governor was appointed.
Governors of the Territory of Arizona
- For the period before Arizona Territory was formed, see the list of Governors of New Mexico Territory.
Arizona Territory was formed on February 24, 1863 from New Mexico Territory, remaining a territory for 49 years. On January 18, 1867, the northwestern corner of the territory was transferred to the state of Nevada.
John A. Gurley was appointed by President of the United States Abraham Lincoln to be the first governor of the territory, but he died on August 19, 1863, before he could arrive in the territory. John Noble Goodwin was appointed in his place.
|Governor||Took office[a]||Left office[b]||Appointed by||Notes|
|Goodwin, John NobleJohn Noble Goodwin||December 29, 1863||March 4, 1865||Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln||[c][d]|
|McCormick, Richard C.Richard C. McCormick||July 9, 1866||March 4, 1869||Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson||[d]|
|Safford, Anson P.K.Anson P.K. Safford||July 9, 1869||April 5, 1877||Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant|
|Hoyt, John PhiloJohn Philo Hoyt||May 30, 1877||June 12, 1878||Hayes, Rutherford B.Rutherford B. Hayes|
|Frémont, John C.John C. Frémont||October 6, 1878||October 11, 1881||Hayes, Rutherford B.Rutherford B. Hayes||[e][f]|
|Tritle, Frederick AugustusFrederick Augustus Tritle||March 8, 1882||October 7, 1885||Arthur, Chester A.Chester A. Arthur||[g]|
|Zulick, C. MeyerC. Meyer Zulick||November 2, 1885||March 28, 1889||Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland|
|Wolfley, LewisLewis Wolfley||April 8, 1889||August 20, 1890||Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison||[h]|
|Irwin, John N.John N. Irwin||January 21, 1891||April 20, 1892||Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison||[i]|
|Murphy, OakesOakes Murphy||May 11, 1892||April 5, 1893||Harrison, BenjaminBenjamin Harrison|
|Hughes, L. C.L. C. Hughes||April 12, 1893||April 1, 1896||Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland||[j]|
|Franklin, Benjamin JosephBenjamin Joseph Franklin||April 18, 1896||July 29, 1897||Cleveland, GroverGrover Cleveland|
|McCord, Myron H.Myron H. McCord||July 29, 1897||August 1, 1898||McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley||[k]|
|Murphy, OakesOakes Murphy||August 1, 1898||June 30, 1902||McKinley, WilliamWilliam McKinley||[l]|
|Brodie, Alexander OswaldAlexander Oswald Brodie||July 1, 1902||February 14, 1905||Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt||[m]|
|Kibbey, Joseph HenryJoseph Henry Kibbey||March 7, 1905||May 1, 1909||Roosevelt, TheodoreTheodore Roosevelt|
|Sloan, Richard ElihuRichard Elihu Sloan||May 1, 1909||February 14, 1912||Taft, William HowardWilliam Howard Taft|
Governors of the State of Arizona
The state constitution of 1912 called for the election of a governor every two years. The term was increased to four years by a 1968 amendment. The constitution originally included no term limit, but an amendment passed in 1992 allows governors to succeed themselves only once; before this, four governors were elected more than twice in a row. Gubernatorial terms begin on the first Monday in the January following the election. Governors who have served the two term limit can run again after four years out of office.
Arizona is one of seven states which does not have a lieutenant governor; instead, in the event of a vacancy in the office of governor, the Secretary of State, if elected, succeeds to the office. If the secretary of state was appointed, rather than elected, or is otherwise ineligible to hold the office of governor, the first elected and eligible person in the line of succession assumes the office. The state constitution specifies the line of succession to be the Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction, in that order. If the governor is out of the state or impeached, the next elected officer in the line of succession becomes acting governor until the governor returns or is cleared. The line of succession has gone beyond secretary of state once, when Bruce Babbitt, as state attorney general, became governor upon the death of Wesley Bolin; the secretary of state at the time, Rose Mofford, was an appointee to replace Bolin, who himself had succeeded to the office due to the resignation of his predecessor, Raul Hector Castro. Mofford would later succeed Evan Mecham as governor when he was impeached.
|#[p]||Governor||Term start||Term end||Party||Terms[q]|
|1||Hunt, George W. P.George W. P. Hunt||February 14, 1912||January 1, 1917||Democratic||2|
|2||Campbell, Thomas EdwardThomas Edward Campbell||January 1, 1917||December 25, 1917||Republican||1⁄2[r]|
|1||Hunt, George W. P.George W. P. Hunt||December 25, 1917||January 6, 1919||Democratic||1⁄2[r]|
|2||Campbell, Thomas EdwardThomas Edward Campbell||January 6, 1919||January 1, 1923||Republican||2|
|1||Hunt, George W. P.George W. P. Hunt||January 1, 1923||January 7, 1929||Democratic||3|
|3||Phillips, John CalhounJohn Calhoun Phillips||January 7, 1929||January 5, 1931||Republican||1|
|1||Hunt, George W. P.George W. P. Hunt||January 5, 1931||January 2, 1933||Democratic||1|
|4||Moeur, Benjamin BakerBenjamin Baker Moeur||January 2, 1933||January 4, 1937||Democratic||2|
|5||Stanford, Rawghlie ClementRawghlie Clement Stanford||January 4, 1937||January 2, 1939||Democratic||1|
|6||Jones, Robert TaylorRobert Taylor Jones||January 2, 1939||January 6, 1941||Democratic||1|
|7||Osborn, Sidney PrestonSidney Preston Osborn||January 6, 1941||May 25, 1948||Democratic||3 1⁄2[s]|
|8||Garvey, Dan EdwardDan Edward Garvey||May 25, 1948||January 1, 1951||Democratic||1 1⁄2[t]|
|9||Pyle, John HowardJohn Howard Pyle||January 1, 1951||January 3, 1955||Republican||2|
|10||McFarland, ErnestErnest McFarland||January 3, 1955||January 5, 1959||Democratic||2|
|11||Fannin, PaulPaul Fannin||January 5, 1959||January 4, 1965||Republican||3|
|12||Goddard, Jr., Samuel PearsonSamuel Pearson Goddard, Jr.||January 4, 1965||January 2, 1967||Democratic||1|
|13||Williams, Jack RichardJack Richard Williams||January 2, 1967||January 6, 1975||Republican||3[u]|
|14||Castro, Raul HectorRaul Hector Castro||January 6, 1975||October 20, 1977||Democratic||1⁄3[v]|
|15||Bolin, WesleyWesley Bolin||October 20, 1977||March 4, 1978||Democratic||1⁄3[s][w]|
|16||Babbitt, BruceBruce Babbitt||March 4, 1978||January 5, 1987||Democratic||2 1⁄3[x]|
|17||Mecham, EvanEvan Mecham||January 5, 1987||April 4, 1988||Republican||1⁄2[y]|
|18||Mofford, RoseRose Mofford||April 4, 1988||March 6, 1991||Democratic||1⁄2[w]|
|19||Symington III, FifeFife Symington III||March 6, 1991||September 5, 1997||Republican||1 1⁄2[z][aa][ab]|
|20||Hull, Jane DeeJane Dee Hull||September 5, 1997||January 6, 2003||Republican||1 1⁄2[t][ab]|
|21||Napolitano, JanetJanet Napolitano||January 6, 2003||January 21, 2009||Democratic||1 1⁄2[ac]|
|22||Brewer, JanJan Brewer||January 21, 2009||January 5, 2015||Republican||1 1⁄2[t]|
|23||Ducey, DougDoug Ducey||January 5, 2015||Incumbent||Republican||1[ad]|
Other high offices held
Fourteen of Arizona's governors have held federal offices, including two Cabinet secretaries and three ambassadors. One of them was originally a military governor of California and two of them were originally chosen to be Governor of Idaho Territory, though one of them refused that position. Eight of them have served in the U.S. Congress, three of them representing the Arizona Territory, two of them representing Arizona, and three of them representing other states. Five governors (marked with an *) resigned to serve other offices.
In addition to the governors listed, the first appointed governor of the Arizona Territory who died before taking office, John A. Gurley, was a Representative from Ohio. One Confederate governor, John Baylor, served as a Confederate Congressman from Texas.
|Governor||Gubernatorial term||Other offices held||Sources|
|Goodwin, John NobleJohn Noble Goodwin||1863–1866||Delegate from Arizona Territory*, Representative from Maine|||
|McCormick, Richard C.Richard C. McCormick||1866–1868||Delegate from Arizona Territory*, Representative from New York|||
|Hoyt, John PhiloJohn Philo Hoyt||1877–1878||Governor of Idaho Territory* but later declined the post, finding his predecessor was wrongly removed.|||
|Frémont, John C.John C. Frémont||1878–1881||Senator from California, Military Governor of California|||
|Irwin, John N.John N. Irwin||1890–1892||Governor of Idaho Territory, Minister to Portugal|||
|Murphy, OakesOakes Murphy||1892–1893
|Delegate from Arizona Territory|||
|Franklin, Benjamin JosephBenjamin Joseph Franklin||1896–1897||Representative from Missouri|||
|McCord, Myron H.Myron H. McCord||1897–1898||Representative from Wisconsin|||
|Hunt, George W. P.George W. P. Hunt||1912–1917
|Minister to Siam|||
|McFarland, ErnestErnest McFarland||1955–1959||Senator from Arizona (including as majority leader)|||
|Fannin, PaulPaul Fannin||1959–1965||Senator from Arizona|||
|Castro, Raul HectorRaul Hector Castro||1975–1977||Ambassador to El Salvador, Ambassador to Bolivia, Ambassador to Argentina*|||
|Babbitt, BruceBruce Babbitt||1978–1987||Secretary of the Interior|||
|Napolitano, JanetJanet Napolitano||2003–2009||Secretary of Homeland Security*|||
Living former U.S. governors of Arizona
As of May 2015[update], there are six former U.S. governors of Arizona who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. governor of Arizona being Rose Mofford (1988–1991, born 1922). The most recent death of a former U.S. governor of Arizona was that of Raul Hector Castro (1975–1977), who died on April 10, 2015.
|Governor||Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Bruce Babbitt||1978–1987||June 27, 1938|
|Rose Mofford||1988–1991||June 10, 1922|
|Fife Symington III||1991–1997||August 12, 1945|
|Jane Dee Hull||1997–2003||August 8, 1935|
|Janet Napolitano||2003–2009||November 29, 1957|
|Jan Brewer||2009–2015||September 26, 1944|
- The date the governor took the oath of office in Arizona. Due to the distance from Washington, D.C., to Arizona, many governors were appointed and confirmed months before being able to exercise power in the territory.
- The date the governor left office. When it happened in unusual circumstances, it is noted; otherwise, it was simply when his term expired or he was replaced by the president.
- John A. Gurley died prior to taking office as first appointed governor; Goodwin, who was Chief Justice of the Arizona Territorial Supreme Court, was appointed in his place.
- Resigned to take an elected seat as delegate to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- It is unknown when Frémont took the oath of office; Goff states that he and his family arrived in Prescott on the afternoon of October 6, 1878.
- Resigned. Frémont spent little time in the territory; and the Secretary of the Territory asked him to resume his duties or resign, and he chose resignation.
- Resigned after Grover Cleveland was elected, so that the Democrat could appoint a Democrat as governor.
- Resigned due to a disagreement with the federal government on arid land policy.
- Resigned to handle family business out of state.
- Hughes had abolished many territorial offices, and unhappy officials successfully petitioned President Cleveland to remove him.
- Resigned to serve in the Spanish–American War.
- Asked by President Roosevelt to resign for opposing the Newlands Reclamation Act.
- Resigned to accept appointment as assistant chief of the records and pension bureau at the U.S. Department of War.
- Includes three terms served by a repeat governor.
- Includes one term served by a repeat governor.
- Repeat governors are officially numbered only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
- The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
- Thomas Edward Campbell's narrow election win was overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court on December 22, 1917, which, following a recount, awarded the office to George W.P. Hunt. Campbell vacated the office three days later.
- Died in office.
- As secretary of state, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected in their own right.
- The Constitution was amended in 1968 to increase gubernatorial terms from two to four years; Williams' first two terms were for two years, his third was for four years.
- Resigned to take post as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina.
- As secretary of state, filled unexpired term.
- As state attorney general, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected in his own right; the secretary of state at the time had been appointed, not elected, and therefore not in the line of succession according to the Arizona constitution.
- Impeached and removed from office on charges of obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds.
- Arizona adopted runoff voting after Evan Mecham won with only 43% of the vote. The 1990 election was very close, and a runoff was held on February 26, 1991, which Symington won, and he was inaugurated on March 6, 1991.
- Resigned after being convicted of bank fraud, since state law does not allow felons to hold office; the conviction was later overturned and he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
- Fife Symington resigned on September 5, 1997; Jane Dee Hull did not take the oath of office until September 8, but she was governor for those three days regardless of the delay.
- Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security.
- Governor Ducey's term expires on on January 7, 2019.
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McCormick was appointed April 10 and took the oath of office July 9, 1866.
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- Goff p. 66
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- AZ Const. art 5, § 6
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