Wesley Bolin

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Wesley Bolin
Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.jpg
A view of the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza
15th Governor of Arizona
In office
October 20, 1977 – March 4, 1978
Preceded by Raul Hector Castro
Succeeded by Bruce Babbitt
11th Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
January 3, 1949 – October 20, 1977
Governor Dan Edward Garvey
John Howard Pyle
Ernest McFarland
Paul Fannin
Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr.
Jack Williams
Raul Hector Castro
Preceded by Curtis Williams
Succeeded by Rose Perica Mofford
Personal details
Born (1909-07-01)July 1, 1909
near Butler, Missouri
Died March 4, 1978(1978-03-04) (aged 68)
Phoenix, Arizona
Resting place Arizona State Capitol Grounds

Phoenix, Arizona

Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Marion Elizabeth Wallinder
Children 5
Alma mater Phoenix College
Profession Business
Religion Congregationalist

Wesley Bolin (July 1, 1909 – March 4, 1978) was a Democratic Party politician who served as the 15th Governor of the U.S. state of Arizona between 1977 and 1978. His five months in office mark the shortest term in office for any Arizona governor.

Born on a farm near Butler, Missouri, Bolin moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of six. He worked with several business firms in the Salt River Valley before being elected constable of West Phoenix Precinct in 1938. From 1943 until 1948, Bolin was justice of the peace of the West Phoenix Precinct court.

He served for a total of 28 years, 9 months, 18 days (or 10,518 days), and remains the longest-serving Secretary of State in Arizona history.[1] He was first elected to the state's second highest-post in 1948 and was re-elected every two years between 1950 and 1968, when executive offices had two year terms, and twice more in 1970 and 1974, when four-year terms began. Only in his last three runs did he encounter significant challenges, culminating in him almost losing his thirteenth campaign in 1974.

He succeeded to the governorship after the previous governor, Raul Hector Castro, was named ambassador to Argentina by President Jimmy Carter. Under Arizona law, the Secretary of State was first in line to fill a vacancy in the governor's office if they were elected to that position. Bolin was Secretary of State for Arizona from 1949 until he assumed the office of Governor, and was the second Secretary to fill the remaining years in the governors office, after Dan Edward Garvey.

Bolin died in office at the age of 68 on March 4, 1978 and was succeeded by Attorney General Bruce Babbitt. Rose Mofford, was appointed to finish Bolin's term as Secretary of State, and thus was ineligible to succeed Bolin until she was elected to the office. Babbitt, being second in line and an elected official, finished the remaining nine months of Castro and Bolin's term.

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near the capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, was named after him, and has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride.[2]


  1. ^ Arizona Secretaries of State Since Statehood
  2. ^ "Phoenix Points of Pride". Retrieved October 18, 2006. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Curtis Williams
Secretary of State of Arizona
January 3, 1949 – October 20, 1977
Succeeded by
Rose Perica Mofford
Preceded by
Raúl Héctor Castro
Governor of Arizona
October 20, 1977 – March 4, 1978
Succeeded by
Bruce Babbitt