United States gubernatorial elections, 2018
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36 states; 3 territories
United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 6, 2018, in 36 states and three territories. These elections formed part of the 2018 United States elections. Other coinciding elections were the 2018 United States Senate Elections and the 2018 United States House of Representatives Elections.The last regular gubernatorial elections for all but three of the states took place in 2014. Governors in New Hampshire and Vermont serve two-year terms, meaning that their most recent gubernatorial elections took place in 2016. Oregon, meanwhile, held a special election in 2016 to fill an unexpired term.
Many of the states holding gubernatorial elections have term limits which made some multi-term governors ineligible for re-election. Two Democratic governors were term-limited, while six incumbent Democratic governors were eligible for re-election. Among Republican governors, twelve were term-limited, while eleven could seek re-election. One independent governor was eligible for re-election.
Elections were held in 26 of the 33 states with Republican governors, 9 of the 16 states with Democratic governors, 1 state (Alaska) with an independent governor, 2 territories (Guam and Northern Mariana Islands) with Republican governors, and 1 territory (U.S. Virgin Islands) with an independent governor. Incumbent state governors running to be reelected included 14 Republicans, 5 Democrats, and 1 independent. Territorial incumbents running included one Republican and one independent. The incumbent Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., also ran for re-election.
Democrats gained control of seven governorships that had previously been held by Republicans. Democrats also gained control of at least one territorial governorship that had previously been held by Republicans. Republicans gained control of one governorship that had previously been held by an independent.
- 1 Election predictions
- 2 Race summary
- 3 Alabama
- 4 Alaska
- 4.1 Arizona
- 4.2 Arkansas
- 4.3 California
- 4.4 Colorado
- 4.5 Connecticut
- 4.6 Florida
- 4.7 Georgia
- 4.8 Guam
- 4.9 Hawaii
- 4.10 Idaho
- 4.11 Illinois
- 4.12 Iowa
- 4.13 Kansas
- 4.14 Maine
- 4.15 Maryland
- 4.16 Massachusetts
- 4.17 Michigan
- 4.18 Minnesota
- 4.19 Nevada
- 4.20 Nebraska
- 4.21 New Hampshire
- 4.22 New Mexico
- 4.23 New York
- 4.24 Northern Mariana Islands
- 4.25 Ohio
- 4.26 Oklahoma
- 4.27 Oregon
- 4.28 Pennsylvania
- 4.29 Rhode Island
- 4.30 South Carolina
- 4.31 South Dakota
- 4.32 Tennessee
- 4.33 Texas
- 4.34 Vermont
- 4.35 U.S. Virgin Islands
- 4.36 Wisconsin
- 4.37 Wyoming
- 5 Notes
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Several sites and individuals publish predictions of competitive seats. These predictions look at factors such as the strength of the incumbent (if the incumbent is running for re-election), the strength of the candidates, and the partisan leanings of the state (reflected in part by the state's Cook Partisan Voting Index rating). The predictions assign ratings to each seat, with the rating indicating the predicted advantage that a party has in winning that seat. Most election predictors use "tossup" to indicate that neither party has an advantage, "lean" to indicate that one party has a slight advantage, "likely" or "favored" to indicate that one party has a significant but not insurmountable advantage, and "safe" or "solid" to indicate that one party has a near-certain chance of victory. Some predictions also include a "tilt" rating that indicates that one party has an advantage that is not quite as strong as the "lean" rating would indicate (except Fox News, where "Likely" is the highest rating given). Governors whose names are in parentheses are not contesting the election.
October 26, 2018
November 1, 2018
November 5, 2018
November 4, 2018
November 5, 2018
October 10, 2018[a]
November 5, 2018
November 5, 2018
|Alabama||R+14||Kay Ivey (R)||63.6% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Ivey (R)|
|Alaska||R+9||Bill Walker (I)||48.1% I||Lean R (flip)||Tilt R (flip)||Lean R (flip)||Tossup||Lean R (flip)||Tossup||Lean R (flip)||Lean R (flip)||Dunleavy (R)|
|Arizona||R+5||Doug Ducey (R)||53.4% R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Likely R||Safe R||Ducey (R)|
|Arkansas||R+15||Asa Hutchinson (R)||55.4% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Hutchinson (R)|
|California||D+12||Jerry Brown (D) (Term-limited)||60.0% D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Likely D||Safe D||Likely D ^||Safe D||Safe D||Newsom (D)|
|Colorado||D+1||John Hickenlooper (D) (Term-limited)||48.4% D||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Likely D||Polis (D)|
|Connecticut||D+6||Dan Malloy (D) (Retiring)||50.9% D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Likely D||Lamont (D)|
|Florida||R+2||Rick Scott (R)
|48.2% R||Tossup||Tilt D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Likely D (flip)||DeSantis (R)|
|Georgia||R+5||Nathan Deal (R) (Term-limited)||52.8% R||Tossup||Tilt R||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Lean R||Kemp (R)|
|Hawaii||D+18||David Ige (D)||49.0% D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Likely D ^||Safe D||Safe D||Ige (D)|
|Idaho||R+19||Butch Otter (R) (Retiring)||53.5% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Little (R)|
|Illinois||D+7||Bruce Rauner (R)||50.3% R||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Pritzker (D)|
|Iowa||R+3||Kim Reynolds (R)||59.0% R||Tossup||Tilt D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Reynolds (R)|
|Kansas||R+13||Jeff Colyer (R)
|49.8% R||Tossup||Tossup||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Kelly (D)|
|Maine||D+3||Paul LePage (R) (Term-limited)||48.2% R||Tossup||Tilt D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Likely D (flip)||Mills (D)|
|Maryland||D+12||Larry Hogan (R)||51.0% R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R ^||Likely R||Safe R||Hogan (R)|
|Massachusetts||D+12||Charlie Baker (R)||48.5% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Baker (R)|
|Michigan||D+1||Rick Snyder (R) (Term-limited)||50.9% R||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Whitmer (D)|
|Minnesota||D+1||Mark Dayton (D) (Retiring)||50.1% D||Likely D||Likely D||Lean D||Lean D||Likely D||Lean D||Likely D||Likely D||Walz (D)|
|Nebraska||R+14||Pete Ricketts (R)||57.2% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Ricketts (R)|
|Nevada||D+1||Brian Sandoval (R) (Term-limited)||70.6% R||Tossup||Tilt D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Sisolak (D)|
|New Hampshire||EVEN||Chris Sununu (R)||48.8% R||Lean R||Lean R||Lean R||Tossup||Likely R||Lean R||Lean R||Likely R||Sununu (R)|
|New Mexico||D+3||Susana Martinez (R) (Term-limited)||57.3% R||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Lean D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Likely D (flip)||Grisham (D)|
|New York||D+11||Andrew Cuomo (D)||54.2% D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Likely D ^||Safe D||Safe D||Cuomo (D)|
|Ohio||R+3||John Kasich (R) (Term-limited)||63.8% R||Tossup||Tossup||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||Tossup||DeWine (R)|
|Oklahoma||R+20||Mary Fallin (R) (Term-limited)||55.8% R||Tossup||Lean R||Lean R||Lean R||Lean R||Likely R ^||Lean R||Likely R||Stitt (R)|
|Oregon||D+5||Kate Brown (D)||50.9% D||Tossup||Tilt D||Lean D||Tossup||Lean D||Lean D||Lean D||Likely D||Brown (D)|
|Pennsylvania||EVEN||Tom Wolf (D)||54.9% D||Likely D||Likely D||Safe D||Safe D||Safe D||Likely D ^||Likely D||Safe D||Wolf (D)|
|Rhode Island||D+10||Gina Raimondo (D)||40.7% D||Lean D||Lean D||Likely D||Likely D||Lean D||Likely D ^||Lean D||Safe D||Raimondo (D)|
|South Carolina||R+8||Henry McMaster (R)||55.9% R||Likely R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Likely R||Safe R||McMaster (R)|
|South Dakota||R+14||Dennis Daugaard (R) (Term-limited)||70.5% R||Tossup||Tilt R||Lean R||Tossup||Lean R||Likely R ^||Tossup||Lean R||Noem (R)|
|Tennessee||R+14||Bill Haslam (R)
|70.3% R||Likely R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Likely R||Safe R||Lee (R)|
|Texas||R+8||Greg Abbott (R)||59.3% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Abbott (R)|
|Vermont||D+15||Phil Scott (R)||52.9% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R||Likely R||Likely R ^||Lean R||Likely R||Scott (R)|
|Wisconsin||EVEN||Scott Walker (R)||52.3% R||Tossup||Tossup||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Lean D (flip)||Tossup||Tossup||Evers (D)|
|Wyoming||R+25||Matt Mead (R)
|58.3% R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Safe R||Likely R ^||Safe R||Safe R||Gordon (R)|
^ Highest Rating given
|Territory||Incumbent||Party||First elected||Incumbent status||Candidates|
|Guam||Eddie Calvo||Republican||2010||Incumbent term limited
New governor elected
|√ Lou Leon Guerrero (D)|
Ray Tenorio (R)
Frank Aguon (D, write-in)
|U.S. Virgin Islands||Kenneth Mapp||Independent||2014||Running
Runoff election on November 20, 2018
|Kenneth Mapp (I)|
Albert Bryan (D)
|Northern Mariana Islands||Ralph Torres||Republican||2015[i]||Incumbent reelected||√ Ralph Torres (R)|
Juan Babauta (I)
Washington, D.C. currently does not have a governor due to its current status as a federal district, but it does have a mayor with mayoral elections every four years.
|Federal District||Incumbent||Party||First elected||Incumbent status||Candidates|
|Washington, D.C.||Muriel Bowser||Democratic||2014||Incumbent reelected||√ Muriel Bowser (D)|
Dustin Canter (I)
Martin Moulton (L)
Ann Wilcox (G)
Incumbent Governor Kay Ivey, who took office upon Robert Bentley's resignation in April 2017, is seeking election to a full term. She is facing Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in the general election.
One-term incumbent Bill Walker ran for re-election as an independent but dropped out of the race on October 19 to endorse Mark Begich (several days after Lieutenant Governor Byron Mallott resigned and several weeks before election day).
Former Alaska Senate member Mike Dunleavy won the Republican nomination.
Billy Tolein is running for governor on the Libertarian party ticket.
One-term incumbent Doug Ducey is seeking re-election.
Professor David Garcia won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.
One-term incumbent Asa Hutchinson is running for re-election.
Two-term consecutive, four-term non-consecutive Governor Jerry Brown is term-limited, as California Governors are limited to lifetime service of two terms in office. Brown previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983; California law affects only terms served after 1990.
The Democratic nominee is former selectman from Greenwich Ned Lamont.
Republicans endorsed Mark Boughton Mayor of Danbury at the statewide nominating convention held on May 11 and 12, 2018, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Ledyard. Candidates qualifying to primary at the convention were former First Selectman of Trumbull, Tim Herbst and former candidate for Congress, Steve Obsitnik. Failing to qualify at the convention to primary were Shelton Mayor Mark Lauretti, former secretary of state candidate Peter Lumaj, state representative Prasad Srinivasan, former U.S. Comptroller General David Walker and Stamford Director of Administration, Mike Handler.
Businessman Bob Stefanowski became the second candidate in the history of Connecticut to petition to be on the primary ballot on June 18, 2018, and the first for a gubernatorial race. Businessman David Stemerman became the third to do so on June 19, 2018. Neither Stefanowski nor Stemerman participated in the statewide convention. Both Mayor Lauretti and Mr. Handler pledged to conduct a petition drive to get on the August 14, 2018 primary election ballot, but dropped out.
Randy Wiseman is seeking the Libertarian nomination.
The Democratic nominee is former Territorial Senator Lou Leon Guerrero, who defeated three other politicians in the August 24 primary.
One-term Governor David Ige is running for re-election. Ige took office after defeating previous Governor Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary and then winning the general election. Ige was nominated again, after defeating a primary challenge by Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa.
The Republican nominee is state house minority leader Andria Tupola.
On the Democratic side, Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber, former chairman of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees and member of the Kennedy family Chris Kennedy, State Representative Scott Drury, State Senator Daniel Biss, and venture capitalist J. B. Pritzker all ran for the Democratic nomination. Pritzker, who is related to former United States Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, won the primary, and if he wins he will become one of the wealthiest governors in United States history.
Incumbent Governor Kim Reynolds took office in 2017, upon the resignation of Terry Branstad, following his confirmation as ambassador to China. Reynolds is seeking election to a full term in 2018.
Former gubernatorial aide John Norris, State Senator Nate Boulton, former state party chairwoman Andy McGuire, SEIU leader Cathy Glasson, attorney Jon Neiderbach, former Iowa City Mayor Ross Wilburn, and businessman Fred Hubbell sought the Democratic nomination, which Hubbell won.
Jake Porter, who was the Libertarian nominee for secretary of state in 2010 and 2014, is running for the Libertarian nomination for governor.
Jeff Colyer succeeded Sam Brownback in January 2018 after he was confirmed as the United States Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
Secretary of State Kris Kobach defeated Governor Colyer, Kansas Insurance Commissioner Ken Selzer, former state Senator Jim Barnett, and former state Representative Mark Hutton for the Republican nomination.
Two-term governor Paul LePage is term-limited, as Maine does not allow governors to serve three consecutive terms. LePage won re-election in a three-way race over Democrat Mike Michaud and independent Eliot Cutler, in 2014. The primary election was June 12, and conducted with ranked choice voting, a system recently implemented and being used for the first time in the 2018 elections in Maine. It will not be used in the general election due to an advisory opinion by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court calling its use in general elections for state offices unconstitutional.
One-term Republican incumbent Larry Hogan is running for re-election.
Former President of the NAACP Benjamin Jealous is the Democratic nominee.
One-term Republican incumbent Charlie Baker is running for re-election.
Former State Secretary of Administration and Finance Jay Gonzalez, environmentalist Bob Massie, and former Newton Mayor Setti Warren have announced their candidacies for the Democratic nomination. Warren has since announced his withdrawal from the race, leaving only Gonzalez and Massie.
Former state Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer, former executive director of the Detroit Department of Health and Wellness Promotion Abdul El-Sayed, and businessman Shri Thanedar were seeking the Democratic nomination.
Jilletta Jarvis is seeking the Libertarian nomination.
Northern Mariana Islands
Incumbent Governor Ralph Torres, who took office upon Eloy Inos's death in December 2015, is seeking election to a full term. Former Governor Juan Babauta is also seeking the governorship, running as an independent.
Former U.S. Representative and Two-Time Presidential Candidate Dennis Kucinich, Ohio Attorney General and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau director Richard Cordray, State Senator Joe Schiavoni, ran for the Democratic nomination, which was won by Cordray.
Businessman Kevin Stitt advanced to a runoff in the Republican primary, eventually winning.
Kate Brown became Governor of Oregon in February 2015 following the resignation of John Kitzhaber. In accordance with Oregon law, a special election was held in 2016, which Brown won. She is running for a full term and won the primary.
One-term Governor Tom Wolf is eligible for re-election and was unopposed in the primary.
Libertarian Ken Krawchuk has announced his candidacy.
First-term Governor Gina Raimondo is running for re-election.
No candidate won a majority in the June 12 Republican primary. Hence, the top two finishers, McMaster and John Warren, competed in a runoff, which McMaster won.
Businessman Bill Lee defeated former Haslam administration official Randy Boyd, U.S. Representative Diane Black, and Speaker of Tennessee House of Representatives, Beth Harwell for the Republican nomination.
One-term incumbent Greg Abbott is running for re-election.
Former Vermont Electric Cooperative CEO Christine Hallquist is the Democratic nominee. She is the first transgender woman to be nominated for governor by a major party.
Incumbent Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman has declined running as a Progressive in the election and instead will run for re-election to his current position.
U.S. Virgin Islands
No candidate received a majority of the vote (50%+), therefore a runoff will be held on November 20, 2018.
Michael White is the candidate for the Green Party.
The Republican nominee is State Treasurer Mark Gordon.
- The Fox News Midterm Power Rankings uniquely does not contain a category for Safe/Solid races
- Reflects the "classic" version of the forecast model.
- Kay Ivey took office in 2017 after her predecessor, Robert J. Bentley resigned.
- Brown also served as governor from 1975 to 1983.
- Kim Reynolds took office in 2017 after her predecessor, Terry Branstad, resigned.
- Jeff Colyer took office in 2018 after his predecessor, Sam Brownback, resigned.
- Kate Brown took office in 2015 after her predecessor, John Kitzhaber resigned. She was subsequently elected in the 2016 special gubernatorial election.
- Henry McMaster took office in 2017 after his predecessor, Nikki Haley resigned.
- Ralph Torres took office in 2015 after the death of his predecessor, Eloy Inos.
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