United States gubernatorial elections, 1978

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United States Gubernatorial elections, 1978
United States
← 1977 November 7, 1978 1979 →

38 governorships
36 states; 2 territories
  Majority party Minority party
 
Party Democratic Republican
Last election 37 governorships 12 governorships
Seats before 37 12
Seats after 32 18
Seat change -5 +6

1978 Gubernatorial election map.svg
  Democratic holds
  Democratic pickups
  Republican holds
  Republican pickups

United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 7, 1978 in 36 states and two territories. The Republicans had a net gain of six seats, Democrats sustained a net-loss of five seats, and there would be no governors of any other parties following these elections.

This was the first year in which Illinois held a gubernatorial election in a midterm election year since 1846. The state of Illinois moved its gubernatorial election date from presidential election years to midterm congressional election years, this election coincided with the Senate and the House elections.

Election results[edit]

A bolded state name features an article about the specific election.

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing Candidates
Alabama George Wallace Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Fob James (Democratic) 72.6%
H. Guy Hunt (Republican) 25.9%
Jim Partain (Prohibition) 1.1%
Richard Dare (Independent) 0.5%
Alaska Jay Hammond Republican Re-elected, 39.1% Walter Joseph Hickel (write-in) 26.4%
Chancy Croft (Democratic) 20.2%
Tom Kelly (Independent) 12.3%
Don R. Wright (Alaskan Ind.) 1.9%
Arizona Bruce Babbitt Democratic Re-elected, 52.5% Evan Mecham (Republican) 44.8%
V. Gene Lewter (Liberatarian) 1.9%
Jessica Sampson (Socialist Workers) 0.8%
Arkansas David Pryor Democratic Retired, Democratic victory Bill Clinton (Democratic) 63.4%
Lynn Lowe (Republican) 36.6%
California Jerry Brown Democratic Re-elected, 56.0% Evelle J. Younger (Republican) 36.5%
Ed Clark (Independent) 5.5%
Marilyn Seals (PF) 1.0%
Theresa F. Dietrich (AI) 1.0%
Colorado Richard Lamm Democratic Re-elected, 58.8% Ted L. Strickland (Republican) 38.5%
Roy Peister (Tea) 1.7%
Elsa Blum (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Sal Mandor (Independent) 0.3%
Earl Dodge (Prohibition) 0.3%
Connecticut Ella T. Grasso Democratic Re-elected, 59.1% Ronald A. Sarasin (Republican) 40.7%
Florida Reubin O'Donovan Askew Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Bob Graham (Democratic) 55.6%
Jack Eckerd (Republican) 44.4%
Georgia George Busbee Democratic Re-elected, 80.7% Rodney M. Cook (Republican) 19.3%
Hawaii George Ariyoshi Democratic Re-elected, 54.5% John R. Leopold (Republican) 44.3%
Alema Leota (Non-partisan) 0.7%
Gregory Reeser (Libertarian) 0.4%
John Moore (Aloha Democratic) 0.2%
Idaho John V. Evans Democratic Re-elected, 58.8% Allan Larsen (Republican) 39.6%
Wayne Loveless (American) 1.7%
Illinois James R. Thompson Republican Re-elected, 59.0% Michael Bakalis (Democratic) 40.1%
Georgia Shields (Libertarian) 0.4%
Cecil Lampkin (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Melvin Klenetsky (U.S. Labor) 0.2%
Iowa Robert D. Ray Republican Re-elected, 58.3% Jerome D. Fitzgerald (Democratic) 41.0%
John Ball (Libertarian) 0.5%
Joseph Grant (Socialist) 0.2%
Kansas Robert F. Bennett Republican Defeated, 47.3% John W. Carlin (Democratic) 49.4%
Frank W. Shelton Jr. (American) 2.3%
Berry Beets (Prohibition) 1.0%
Maine James B. Longley Independent Retired, Democratic victory Joseph E. Brennan (Democratic) 47.7%
Linwood E. Palmer, Jr. (Republican) 34.3%
Herman Franklin (Independent) 17.8%
James B. Longley (write-in) 0.2%
Maryland Marvin Mandel
(Blair Lee III, acting governor)
Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory (Lee defeated in primary) Harry Hughes (Democratic) 70.6%
John Glenn Beall, Jr. (Republican) 29.4%
Massachusetts Michael Dukakis Democratic Defeated in primary, Democratic victory Edward J. King (Democratic) 52.5%
Francis W. Hatch, Jr. (Republican) 47.2%
Michigan William Milliken Republican Re-elected, 56.8% William B. Fitzgerald, Jr. (Democratic) 43.2%
Minnesota Rudy Perpich DFL Defeated, 45.3% Al Quie (Republican) 52.3%
Richard Pedersen (American) 1.3%
Jill Lakowske (Socialist Workers) 0.4%
Tom McDonald (Honest Government) 0.3%
Robin E. Miller (Libertarian) 0.2%
Edwin C. Pommerening (Savings Account) 0.1%
Nebraska J. James Exon Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Charles Thone (Republican) 56.0%
Gerald T. Whelan (Democratic) 44.0%
Nevada Mike O'Callaghan Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Robert List (Republican) 56.2%
Robert E. Rose (Democratic) 39.7%
Thomas F. Jefferson (Ind. American) 1.7%
None of These Candidates1.7%
John W. Grayson Jr. (Libertarian) 0.8%
New Hampshire Meldrim Thomson, Jr. Republican Defeated, 45.4% Hugh Gallen (Democratic) 49.4%
Wesley Powell (Independent) 4.6%
Mabel Everett (Libertarian) 4.6%
Ralph Brewster (Independent) 0.2%
New Mexico Jerry Apodaca Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory Bruce King (Democratic) 50.5%
Joe Skeen (Republican) 49.4%
New York Hugh Carey Democratic Re-elected, 50.9% Perry Duryea (Republican) 45.2%
Mary Jane Tobin (Right to Life) 2.7%
Gary Greenberg (Libertarian) 0.4%
Dianne M. Feeley (Socialist Workers) 0.3%
Jarvis Tyner (Communist) 0.2%
Paul Gallagher (U.S. Labor) 0.2%
Ohio Jim Rhodes Republican Re-elected, 49.3% Dick Celeste (Democratic) 47.6%
Patricia H. Wright (Independent) 1.2%
John O'Neill (Independent) 1.0%
Allan Friedman (Independent) 0.8%
Oklahoma David L. Boren Democratic Term-limited, Democratic victory George Nigh (Democratic) 51.7%
Ron Shotts (Republican) 47.2%
Billy Joe Clegg (Independent) 0.5%
Floyd Sheally (Independent) 0.3%
Jim McCuiston (Independent) 0.2%
Oregon Robert W. Straub Democratic Defeated, 45.1% Victor G. Atiyeh (Republican) 54.9%
Pennsylvania Milton Shapp Democratic Term-limited, Republican victory Dick Thornburgh (Republican) 52.5%
Peter F. Flaherty (Democratic) 46.4%
Mark Zola (Socialist Workers) 0.5%
Lee Frissell (Consumer) 0.5%
Rhode Island John Garrahy Democratic Re-elected, 62.8% Lincoln Almond (Republican) 30.7%
Joseph A. Doorley (Independent) 6.5%
South Carolina James B. Edwards Republican Term-limited, Democratic victory Richard Riley (Democratic) 61.9%
Edward Lunn Young (Republican) 38.1%
South Dakota Harvey L. Wollman Democratic Defeated in primary, Republican victory Bill Janklow (Republican) 56.6%
Roger D. McKellips (Democratic) 43.4%
Tennessee Ray Blanton Democratic Retired, Republican victory Lamar Alexander (Republican) 55.8%
Jake Butcher (Democratic) 44.2%
Texas Dolph Briscoe Democratic Defeated in primary, Republican victory Bill Clements (Republican) 50.0%
John Hill (Democratic) 49.2%
Mario Compean (La Raza Unida) 0.6%
Sara Jean Johnston (Socialist Workers) 0.2%
Vermont Richard A. Snelling Republican Re-elected, 62.8% Edwin C. Granai (Democratic) 34.1%
Earl S. Gardner (Liberty Union) 2.9%
Wisconsin Martin J. Schreiber Democratic Defeated, 44.9% Lee S. Dreyfus (Republican) 54.4%
Eugene R. Zimmerman (Constitution) 0.4%
John C. Doherty (Independent) 0.1%
Adrienne Kaplan (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Henry A. Ochsner (Socialist Labor) 0.1%
Wyoming Edgar Herschler Democratic Re-elected, 50.9% John C. Ostlund (Republican) 49.1%

See also[edit]