List of Governors of Arizona

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Governor of Arizona
= Current Arizona Governor Doug Ducey
Doug Ducey

since January 5, 2015
Style The Honorable
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
Deputy None
Salary $95,000 (2013)[1]

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.[2]

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 where female governors have served in a consecutive order.[3] 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 was in office (1967-1975).

The current Governor is Doug Ducey, who was elected on November 4, 2014.


Confederate Arizona[edit]

In Tucson between April 2 and April 5, 1860, a convention of settlers from the southern half of the 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,[4] 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.[5]

On March 16, 1861, soon before the American Civil War broke out, a convention in Mesilla voted that the provisional territory should secede from the Union and join the Confederate States of America.[6] 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.[7] The territory was organized on February 14, 1862.[8] On March 20, 1862, Baylor issued an order to kill all the adult Apache and take their children into slavery.[7] 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."[9] 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;[10] no new governor was appointed.

Governors of the Territory of Arizona[edit]

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.[11] On January 18, 1867, the northwestern corner of the territory was transferred to the state of Nevada.[12]

# Image Governor Term in office[a] Appointed by
Hon. John A. Gurley, Ohio - NARA - 528705.jpg John A. Gurley [b] Abraham Lincoln
1 John Noble Goodwin.jpg John Noble Goodwin December 29, 1863[13][14] – March 4, 1865[c]
2 Richard Cunningham McCormick - Brady-Handy.jpg Richard C. McCormick July 9, 1866[15] – March 4, 1869[c] Andrew Johnson
3 Anson P. K. Safford.jpg Anson P. K. Safford July 9, 1869[16] – April 5, 1877 Ulysses S. Grant
4 John Philo Hoyt.jpg John P. Hoyt May 30. 1877[17] – June 12, 1878 Rutherford B. Hayes
5 JCFrémont.jpg John C. Frémont October 6, 1878[18][d] – October 11, 1881[19][e]
6 Frederick Augustus Tritle.png Frederick Augustus Tritle March 8, 1882[19][20] – October 7, 1885[21][f] Chester A. Arthur
7 No image.svg C. Meyer Zulick November 2, 1885[22] – March 28, 1889 Grover Cleveland
8 No image.svg Lewis Wolfley April 8, 1889[23] – August 20, 1890[24][g] Benjamin Harrison
9 John Nichol Irwin - oval.jpg John N. Irwin January 21, 1891[26] – April 20, 1892[27][h]
10 N. O. Murphy.jpg Nathan Oakes Murphy May 11, 1892[29][30] – April 5, 1893
11 LC hughes.jpg L. C. Hughes April 12, 1893[31] – April 1, 1896[32][i] Grover Cleveland
12 BJFranklin.jpg Benjamin Joseph Franklin April 18, 1896[34] – July 29, 1897[35]
13 MyronMcCord.png Myron H. McCord July 29, 1897[36][37] – August 1, 1898[38][j] William McKinley
14 N. O. Murphy.jpg Nathan Oakes Murphy August 1, 1898[40][41] – June 30, 1902[42][k]
15 Alexander Brodie.jpg Alexander O. Brodie July 1, 1902[44][45] – February 14, 1905[46][l] Theodore Roosevelt
16 Joseph Henry Kibbey-left profile.jpg Joseph H. Kibbey March 7, 1905[46][47] – May 1, 1909
17 Governor R E Sloan.jpg Richard Elihu Sloan May 1, 1909[48][49] – February 14, 1912 William Howard Taft

Governors of the State of Arizona[edit]

The state of Arizona was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912, the last of the contiguous states to be admitted.

The state constitution of 1912 called for the election of a governor every two years.[50] The term was increased to four years by a 1968 amendment.[51][52] The constitution originally included no term limit,[53] but an amendment passed in 1992 allows governors to succeed themselves only once;[50] 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.[50] 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.[54] The line of succession has gone beyond secretary of state once, when Bruce Babbitt, as 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,[55] 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.


      Democratic (16)[m]       Republican (10)[n]

#[o] Portrait   Governor Term start Term end Term[p] Party
1 George WP Hunt.jpg   George W. P. Hunt February 14, 1912 January 1, 1917 1 Democratic
2 Thomas E Campbell 2.jpg Thomas Edward Campbell January 1, 1917 December 25, 1917 3[q] Republican
1 George WP Hunt.jpg George W. P. Hunt December 25, 1917 January 1, 1919 Democratic
2 Thomas E Campbell 2.jpg Thomas Edward Campbell January 1, 1919 January 1, 1923 4 Republican
1 George WP Hunt.jpg George W. P. Hunt January 1, 1923 January 7, 1929 6 Democratic
3 Blank.gif John Calhoun Phillips January 7, 1929 January 5, 1931 9 Republican
1 George WP Hunt.jpg George W. P. Hunt January 5, 1931 January 2, 1933 10 Democratic
4 Blank.gif Benjamin Baker Moeur January 2, 1933 January 4, 1937 11 Democratic
5 Blank.gif Rawghlie Clement Stanford January 4, 1937 January 2, 1939 13 Democratic
6 Blank.gif Robert Taylor Jones January 2, 1939 January 6, 1941 14 Democratic
7 Sidney Preston Osborn.jpg Sidney Preston Osborn January 6, 1941 May 25, 1948 15 Democratic
8 Dan garvey.jpg Dan Edward Garvey May 25, 1948 January 1, 1951 Democratic
9 John Howard Pyle (1906 - 1987).jpg John Howard Pyle January 1, 1951 January 3, 1955 20 Republican
10 Mcfarland ernest.jpg Ernest McFarland January 3, 1955 January 5, 1959 22 Democratic
11 Paul Fannin.jpg Paul Fannin January 5, 1959 January 4, 1965 24 Republican
12 Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr.jpg Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr. January 4, 1965 January 2, 1967 27 Democratic
13 Jack Williams, Mayor of Phoenix (1956-60) and Governor of Arizona (1967-75).jpg Jack Richard Williams January 2, 1967 January 6, 1975 28 Republican
14 Raul Castro.png Raul Hector Castro January 6, 1975 October 20, 1977 31[t] Democratic
15 Blank.gif Wesley Bolin October 20, 1977 March 4, 1978 Democratic
16 Bruce babbitt.jpg Bruce Babbitt March 4, 1978 January 5, 1987 Democratic
17 Evan Mecham.jpg Evan Mecham January 5, 1987 April 4, 1988 34[u] Republican
18 Rose Mofford.jpg Rose Mofford April 4, 1988 March 6, 1991 Democratic
19 Blank.gif Fife Symington III March 6, 1991 September 5, 1997 35 Republican
20 Jane Dee Hull 2001.jpeg Jane Dee Hull September 5, 1997 January 6, 2003 Republican
21 Portrait Napolitano hires crop.JPG Janet Napolitano January 6, 2003 January 21, 2009 38 Democratic
22 Jan Brewer by Gage Skidmore 3.jpg Jan Brewer January 21, 2009 January 5, 2015 Republican
23 Doug Ducey by Gage Skidmore 5.jpg Doug Ducey January 5, 2015 Incumbent 41[x] Republican

See also[edit]


  1. ^ The range given is from the date the governor took the oath of office in Arizona, to the date the governor left office. 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.
  2. ^ Gurley died on August 19, 1863, prior to taking office as governor.
  3. ^ a b Resigned to take an elected seat as delegate to the United States House of Representatives.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ 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.[19]
  6. ^ Resigned after Grover Cleveland was elected, so that the Democrat could appoint a Democrat as governor.[21]
  7. ^ Resigned due to a disagreement with the federal government on arid land policy.[25]
  8. ^ Resigned to handle family business out of state.[28]
  9. ^ Hughes had abolished many territorial offices, and unhappy officials successfully petitioned President Cleveland to remove him.[33]
  10. ^ Resigned to serve in the Spanish–American War.[39]
  11. ^ Asked by President Roosevelt to resign for opposing the Newlands Reclamation Act.[43]
  12. ^ Resigned to accept appointment as assistant chief of the records and pension bureau at the United States Department of War.[46]
  13. ^ Includes three terms served by a repeat governor.
  14. ^ Includes one term served by a repeat governor.
  15. ^ Repeat governors are officially numbered only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
  16. ^ Each term for which a governor is elected is listed here; if multiple governors served in a single term, due to resignations, deaths, and the like, then that term will be shared among those governors. If a governor was elected multiple times, then there will be multiple terms listed for that governor.
  17. ^ Campbell's narrow election win was overturned by the Arizona Supreme Court on December 22, 1917, which, following a recount, awarded the office to Hunt. Campbell vacated the office three days later.[56]
  18. ^ Osborn died in office; as secretary of state, Garvey became governor.
  19. ^ 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.
  20. ^ Castro resigned to take post as United States Ambassador to Argentina. As secretary of state, Bolin became governor, but died in office before the end of the term. The secretary of state at the time of Bolin's death had been appointed[55] not elected, and therefore not in the line of succession according to the Arizona constitution.[54] Therefore, as state attorney general, Babbitt then became governor.
  21. ^ Mecham was impeached and removed from office on charges of obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds.[57] As secretary of state, Mofford became governor.
  22. ^ 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.[58] He 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.[59] As secretary of state, Hull became governor. She did not take the oath of office until September 8, but she was governor for those three days regardless of the delay.[60]
  23. ^ Napolitano resigned to become United States Secretary of Homeland Security. As secretary of state, Brewer became governor.
  24. ^ Governor Ducey's term expires on on January 7, 2019; he will not be term limited.


  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ AZ Const. art. 5
  3. ^ "Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  4. ^ Robinson, William Morrison (1941). Justice in Grey: A History of the Judicial System of the Confederate States of America. Harvard University Press. p. 310. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  5. ^ McClintock pp. 142–143
  6. ^ Colton, Ray Charles (1985). The Civil War in the Western Territories. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-8061-1902-0. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Colton, Ray Charles (1985). The Civil War in the Western Territories. University of Oklahoma Press. pp. 122–123. ISBN 0-8061-1902-0. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  8. ^ Cowles, Calvin Duvall (1900). The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. United States Government Printing Office. p. 930. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  9. ^ Wellman, Paul Iselin (1987). Death in the Desert: The Fifty Years' War for the Great Southwest. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 83–85. ISBN 0-8032-9722-X. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  10. ^ Heidler, David Stephen; Jeanne t. Heidler; David J. Coles (2002). Encyclopedia Of The American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History. W. W. Norton & Company. p. 1412. ISBN 0-393-04758-X. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  11. ^ Wagoner p. 20
  12. ^ McClintock p. 329
  13. ^ McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 91. ISBN 0-8304-1247-6. 
  14. ^ Goff pp. 26–27
  15. ^ Nicolson, John (1974). The Arizona of Joseph Pratt Allyn. University of Arizona Press. p. 39. ISBN 0-8165-0386-9. Retrieved October 11, 2008. McCormick was appointed April 10 and took the oath of office July 9, 1866. 
  16. ^ Goff p. 55
  17. ^ Goff p. 66
  18. ^ Goff pp. 76–77
  19. ^ a b c Walker, Dale L. (1997). Rough Rider: Buckey O'Neill of Arizona. University of Nebraska Press. pp. 23–24. ISBN 0-8032-9796-3. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  20. ^ Goff p. 88
  21. ^ a b Wagoner p. 221
  22. ^ Goff pp. 98–99
  23. ^ Goff p. 112
  24. ^ Walker, Dale L. (1997). Rough Rider: Buckey O'Neill of Arizona. University of Nebraska Press. p. 81. ISBN 0-8032-9796-3. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  25. ^ Wagoner p. 276
  26. ^ Goff pp. 118–119
  27. ^ "Arizona". Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events. New. series, Volume 17 (1892 ed.). 1893. p. 16. Retrieved October 10, 2008. 
  28. ^ Goff p. 127
  29. ^ A Biographical Congressional Directory, 1774 to 1903. United States Government Printing Office. 1903. p. 711. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  30. ^ Goff p. 129
  31. ^ Goff p. 146
  32. ^ Lincoln Library, Carl Sandburg Collections (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library) (1897). "Arizona". Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events. 3rd. series, Volume 1 (1896 ed.). p. 26. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  33. ^ Johnson, Rossiter; John Howard Brown (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. The Biographical Society. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  34. ^ Goff pp. 154–155
  35. ^ "Franklin, Benjamin Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  36. ^ McClintock p. 345
  37. ^ Goff p. 167
  38. ^ Wagoner p. 345
  39. ^ Roth, Mitchel P.; James Stuart Olson (2001). Historical Dictionary of Law Enforcement. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 207. ISBN 0-313-30560-9. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  40. ^ McClintock p. 346
  41. ^ Goff p. 132
  42. ^ "Resignation of Arizona's Governor". The New York Times. April 30, 1902. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  43. ^ Goff p. 136
  44. ^ Goff p. 178
  45. ^ Herner, Charles (1970). The Arizona Rough Riders. University of Arizona Press. p. 221. ISBN 0-8165-0206-4. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  46. ^ a b c McClintock p. 354
  47. ^ Goff p. 189
  48. ^ McClintock p. 359
  49. ^ Goff p. 199
  50. ^ a b c AZ Const. art 5, § 1
  51. ^ Ralph E. Hughes v. Douglas K. Martin (PDF), (Arizona Supreme Court 2002-08-20). “Nelson involved two allegedly conflicting amendments both approved by voters in the 1968 election, to Article 5 of the Arizona Constitution. ... The other amendment, proposition 104, extended the term of offices of the executive department, including the office of state auditor, from two years to four years.”
  52. ^ Berman, David R. (1998). Arizona Politics & Government: The Quest for Autonomy, Democracy, and Development. University of Nebraska Press. p. 112. ISBN 0-8032-6146-2. Retrieved August 3, 2010. 
  53. ^ AZ Const. art. 5, old § 1
  54. ^ a b AZ Const. art 5, § 6
  55. ^ a b "Arizona Governor Rose Mofford". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  56. ^ "Arizona Governor George Wylie Hunt". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  57. ^ "Arizona Governor Evan Mecham". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  58. ^ Mullaney, Marie Marmo (1994). Biographical Directory of the Governors of the United States, 1988–1994. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. 29–30. ISBN 0-313-28312-5. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 
  59. ^ "Arizona Governor J. Fife Symington III". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015. 
  60. ^ Todd S., Purdum (1997-09-04). "Arizona Governor Convicted Of Fraud and Will Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2008. 

External links[edit]