List of former United States presidents who ran for office after leaving the presidency

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Grover Cleveland is the only President who successfully regained the Presidency after leaving it

This is a list of former United States Presidents who actively campaigned to regain political office (the presidency, a seat in congress or governor) after leaving office. It is believed to be complete.

Some Presidents have been recruited, requested, or drafted to run again. This list, however, only includes those presidents who actively campaigned.

Presidency[edit]

This list only includes former Presidents who ran again for President.

President Previous term Reason the President first left office Year of
attempted
comeback
Result Notes
Martin Van Buren 1837–1841 defeated in the General Election 1844 Lost Failed in his attempt to win the nomination of the Democratic Party
1848 Lost First candidate of the newly formed Free Soil Party
Millard Fillmore 1850–1853 denied nomination by his party 1856 Lost Nominee for the American Party (Know Nothing)
Ulysses S. Grant 1869–1877 retired 1880 Lost Failed in his attempt to win the nomination of the Republican Party
Grover Cleveland 1885–1889 defeated in the General Election 1892 Won Only president to succeed at his comeback attempt, he won in 1892 and served four more years
Theodore Roosevelt 1901–1909 retired 1912 Lost Nominee of the Progressive Party (Bull Moose), after he was denied the nomination of the Republican Party
Herbert Hoover 1929–1933 defeated in the General Election 1940 Lost Failed in his attempt to win the nomination of the Republican Party
Gerald Ford 1974–1977 defeated in the General Election 1980 Withdrew Formed an exploratory committee for the Republican primaries, but never entered.

Other elective office[edit]

President Previous term Reason first left office Year of election Office Result Notes
John Quincy Adams 1825–1829 defeated in the General Election 1830–1846
(9 elections)
United States House of Representatives Won Only former President to serve in the House, served until his death
1833 Governor of Massachusetts Lost Continued in House after defeat
John Tyler 1841–1845 denied nomination by his party/withdrew from race 1861 Confederate House of Representatives Won Died before he could take office (had served in unelected Provisional Congress); only former President to ever run for an office outside the United States (the Union)
Andrew Johnson 1865–1869 denied nomination by his party 1868 United States Senate Lost Ran for the Senate while President.
1872 United States House of Representatives Lost
1874 United States Senate Won Only former President to serve in the Senate, served until his death

Major appointive office[edit]

President Previous term Reason first left office Year of
appointment
Office Result Notes
William Howard Taft 1909–1913 defeated in the General Election 1921 Chief Justice of the United States Confirmed Only ex-President ever to serve on the Supreme Court.