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United States gubernatorial elections, 2016


United States gubernatorial elections, 2016

United States gubernatorial elections, 2016

November 8, 2016
13 governorships

  Democratic incumbent eligible for re-election
  Term-limited Democrat
  Republican incumbent eligible for re-election
  Unknown incumbent
  No election

The United States gubernatorial elections of 2016 will be held on November 8, 2016 in the states of Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Washington, Indiana, Delaware, Missouri, Vermont, West Virginia, North Dakota, and Utah. The US territories of Puerto Rico and American Samoa will also hold gubernatorial elections. In addition, special elections may take place (where constitutions require) if other gubernatorial seats are vacated. These elections form part of the 2016 United States elections. The last regular gubernatorial elections for nine of the eleven states took place in 2012. Governors in New Hampshire and Vermont serve two year terms, so those two states will also have gubernatorial elections in 2014.

Term-limited Democratic incumbents

Jack Markell (Delaware)

Two-term incumbent Governor Jack Markell will be term-limited in 2016.[1] Democratic Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, the son of Vice President Joe Biden, has announced his intention to run.[2] U.S. Representative, former Lieutenant Governor of Delaware and candidate for Governor in 2008 John Carney may also run.[3] State Representative Michael Ramone is a possible candidate for the Republicans.[4]

Jay Nixon (Missouri)

Two-term incumbent Governor Jay Nixon will be term-limited in 2016.[5] Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is a potential Democratic candidate,[6] but State Treasurer Clint Zweifel will not run.[7] Potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative Blaine Luetkemeyer and State Auditor Tom Schweich.[8] Former Speaker of the Missouri House of Representatives Catherine Hanaway is running.[9]

Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia)

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin will be term-limited in 2016.[10] Tomblin was first elected in a 2011 special election after Joe Manchin resigned after being elected to the United States Senate. Tomblin then won election to a full term in 2012.

Possible Democratic candidates include Manchin, former U.S. Senator Carte Goodwin, West Virginia Secretary of State Natalie Tennant, former Speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates Rick Thompson, West Virginia State Treasurer John Perdue, State Senator Mike Green and State Delegates Doug Reynolds and Doug Skaff.[11][12][13]

Potential Republican candidates include U.S. Representative David McKinley, West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, State Senator Evan Jenkins, State Delegate Erikka Storch and Olympic gymnast Mary Lou Retton.[13]

Democratic incumbents eligible for re-election

Steve Bullock (Montana)

One-term incumbent Governor Steve Bullock is eligible to run for re-election. Bullock was elected in 2012 with 48.9% of the vote. He previously served as Attorney General of Montana from 2009 to 2013. Bullock will be 50 years old in 2016. Montana Attorney General Timothy C. Fox had been speculated as a potential candidate,[14] however, Fox filed to run for re-election in November 2014.[15]

An opinion poll by Gravis Marketing in July 2014 of 741 registered voters and with a margin of error of 4% found Bullock leading Fox by 46% to 43%, with 11% undecided.[14]

Alejandro García Padilla (Puerto Rico)

One-term incumbent Governor Alejandro García Padilla is eligible to run for re-election. García Padilla is a member of the Popular Democratic Party of Puerto Rico as well as the Democratic Party.[16] García Padilla was elected in 2012 with 47.73% of the vote. García Padilla will be 45 years old in 2016. Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico Pedro Pierluisi, who is affiliated with the New Progressive Party and the Democratic Party, is a possible candidate.[17]

Maggie Hassan (New Hampshire)

Two-term incumbent run for the U.S. Senate.[18][19]

Jay Inslee (Washington)

One-term incumbent Governor Jay Inslee is eligible to run for re-election. Inslee was elected in 2012 with 51.54% of the vote against Republican Attorney General Rob McKenna. Inslee previously served as a U.S. Representative from 1993 to 1995 and from 1999 to 2012. Inslee will be 65 years old in 2016. McKenna has said he is unlikely to run again.[20] Potential Republican candidates include Seattle Port Commissioner Bill Bryant,[21] U.S. Representatives Jaime Herrera Beutler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers and Dave Reichert, State Senators Michael Baumgartner, Bruce Dammeier, Andy Hill and Steve Litzow and State Representatives Jan Angel and Cathy Dahlquist.[20][21][22]

Republican incumbent running for re-election

Gary Herbert (Utah)

One-term incumbent Governor Gary Herbert is running for re-election.[23] Herbert will be 69 in 2016. He was the Lieutenant Governor of Utah from 2005 to 2009 and became Governor after Jon Huntsman, Jr. resigned to become United States Ambassador to China. He won the seat in a 2010 special election and was elected to his first full term with 68.4% of the vote in 2012.

Potential Republican candidates include businessman Jonathan Johnson and Speaker of the Utah House of Representatives Rebecca D. Lockhart.[23] Democratic U.S. Representative Jim Matheson, who is retiring from the House in January 2015, may run.[24]

Pat McCrory (North Carolina)

One-term incumbent Governor Pat McCrory is running for re-election.[25] McCrory was elected in 2012 with 54.7% of the vote. McCrory previously served as Mayor of Charlotte from 1995 to 2009. McCrory will be 60 years old in 2016.

For the Democrats, North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper[26] and former State Representative Kenneth Spaulding are declared candidates.[27] James Protzman, a former Chapel Hill town council member, had declared his candidacy, but later withdrew from the race.[27][28] Other potential Democratic candidates include United States Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx, former Mayor of Raleigh Charles Meeker and State Senator Josh Stein.[27][29]

Republican incumbents eligible for re-election

Mike Pence (Indiana)

One-term incumbent Governor Mike Pence is eligible to run for re-election. Pence won in 2012 with 49.6% of the vote. Pence previously served as a U.S. Representative from 2001 to 2013 and was Chairman of the House Republican Conference from 2009 to 2011. Pence has expressed interest in running for President of the United States in 2016.[30][31] If Pence does not run for re-election, potential Republican candidates include Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard, State House Speaker Brian Bosma and U.S. Representatives Susan Brooks, Luke Messer and Todd Young.[32]

The 2012 Democratic nominee, former State House Speaker John R. Gregg, had been running for a re-match, but dropped out in October 2013.[33] Former Governor and Senator Evan Bayh had considered running,[32] but decided against it.[34] Potential Democratic candidates include State Representative Terri Austin, South Bend Mayor Peter Buttigieg, former Lieutenant Governor Kathy Davis, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight, former U.S. Representative Baron Hill, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana and former Secretary of State of Indiana Joe Hogsett, President and CEO of the Biocrossroads Initiative and nominee for the U.S. Senate in 2000 David Johnson, Hammond Mayor Thomas McDermott, Jr., physician, former Commissioner for the Indiana State Department of Health and candidate for Indiana's 7th congressional district in 2008 Woody Myers, State House Minority Leader Scott Pelath, Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski, former State Senate Minority Leader and nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 2012 Vi Simpson, U.S. Representative Pete Visclosky and former Evansville Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel.[33][32][35][36][37][38]

Jack Dalrymple (North Dakota)

One-term incumbent Governor Jack Dalrymple is eligible to run for re-election. Dalrymple was elected to his first full term with 63.1% of the vote in 2012, after first taking the seat in 2010 after John Hoeven resigned to become a U.S. Senator. Dalrymple was previously Lieutenant Governor of North Dakota from 2000 to 2010. Dalrymple will be 68 in 2016. Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp has been speculated as a possible candidate.[39]

Independent incumbent eligible for re-election

Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga (American Samoa)

One-term incumbent Governor Lolo Letalu Matalasi Moliga is eligible to run for re-election.[40] Moligi was elected in 2012 with 52.9% of the vote in the second round, after taking 33.5% of the vote in the first round. American Samoa requires a second round of voting if no candidate takes a majority of the vote in the first round.

Unknown incumbent


The Governor of Vermont serves two-year terms, so the incumbent for this election will be the winner of the 2014 election. As no candidate won a majority in the 2014 election, the legislature will choose the winner.


  1. ^ DE Const. art. III, § 5
  2. ^ "Beau Biden says he plans to run for governor in Delaware". CNN. April 17, 2014. Retrieved April 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Starkey (April 18, 2014). "Beau Biden to run for governor in 2016". DelawareOnline. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  4. ^ McPike, Erin (September 11, 2012). "Is Beau Biden Democrats' Next Emerging Star?". RealClearPolitics. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  5. ^ McClellan, Bill (May 10, 2012). "Bill McClellan: Jay Nixon could make presidential bid in 2016". St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  6. ^ Mannies, Jo (September 5, 2012). "Ex-Republican tackles question facing many Democrats: What's the matter with Missouri?". St. Louis Beacon. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  7. ^ Rosenbaum, Jason (April 9, 2013). "Zweifel decides against 2016 bid for governor". St. Louis Beacon. Retrieved April 10, 2013. 
  8. ^ Giacomo Bologna (October 2, 2013). "Show Me Nothing: Missouri Members Entrenched". Roll Call. Retrieved October 3, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Republican Hanaway to run for Mo. governor in 2016". February 11, 2014. Retrieved February 12, 2014. 
  10. ^ King, Joselyn (May 18, 2011). "Tomblin, Maloney win nominations". Wetzel Chronicle. Retrieved March 3, 2013. 
  11. ^ Miller, Tom. "2016 race for governor could be crowded". The Lincoln Journal. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  12. ^ "GOP Senate may run purple". Politico. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  13. ^ a b "West Virginia Undergoing Political, Generational Change". Roll Call. May 1, 2014. Retrieved May 1, 2014. 
  14. ^ a b "Montana Poll Results US Senate , Governor, And US House Race". Gravis Marketing. July 23, 2014. Retrieved July 24, 2014. 
  15. ^ "AG Tim Fox files paperwork for re-election in 2016". The Bozeman Daily Chronicle. November 13, 2014. Retrieved November 15, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Fortuño: Romney would be good for PR".  
  17. ^ Gonzalez, Rocio (November 12, 2012). "Unlike Puerto Rico governor, Pedro Pierluisi has four more years". Voxx. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  18. ^ Abby Livingston (October 30, 2013). "For N.H. Republicans, Pain Is Probably Temporary". Roll Call. Retrieved October 30, 2013. 
  19. ^ Pundit prediction: Hassan knocks off Ayotte in 2016
  20. ^ a b Rosenthal, Brian (February 19, 2013). "Former AG McKenna joins law firm". Yakia Herald. Retrieved March 4, 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Connelly, Joe (September 29, 2014). "What 2014 elections say about 2016 governor’s race".  
  22. ^ Cornfield, Jerry (June 6, 2013). "If not McKenna, others could challenge Inslee in 2016".  
  23. ^ a b "Governor Herbert says he will run for re-election in 2016". The Salt Lake Tribune. June 25, 2014. Retrieved August 22, 2014. 
  24. ^ "Is a run for governor or Senate in Matheson’s future?". The Salt Lake Tribune. December 23, 2013. Retrieved December 24, 2013. 
  25. ^ "Gov. Pat McCrory launches 2016 campaign". The News & Observer. December 2, 2014. Retrieved December 5, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Attorney General Announces Candidacy For Governor". Charlotte Observer. November 6, 2014. Retrieved November 7, 2014. 
  27. ^ a b c Reid Wilson (September 6, 2013). "Three years out, Democrats eye McCrory’s seat".  
  28. ^ "Protzman drops out of governor’s race after 7 months".  
  29. ^ Matt Vasilogambros (April 29, 2013). "What You Need to Know About Obama Transportation Pick Anthony Foxx".  
  30. ^ Lewis, Matt K. (September 10, 2013). "Pence and The Revolution: Five reasons he might be the 2016 dark horse to watch".  
  31. ^ Howell, Jr., Tom (September 30, 2014) "Indiana Gov. Mike Pence conspicuously schedules visit to N.H.", The Washington Times. Retrieved October 10, 2014.
  32. ^ a b c Livingston, Abby (June 19, 2013). "Ambitious Hoosiers Wait for Future Statewide Races | Farm Team". Roll Call. Retrieved April 3, 2014. 
  33. ^ a b Norman Cox (October 23, 2013). "Dem. John Gregg drops out of 2016 Indiana governor's race". The Indy Channel. Retrieved October 24, 2013. 
  34. ^ "Bayh not running for governor in 2016". September 13, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  35. ^ "Dave Kitchell: Gauging a potential 2016 Democrat ticket". Howey Politics Indiana. November 4, 2013. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  36. ^ "Bayh not running for governor in 2016". September 13, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  37. ^ "Indiana Democrats searching for gubernatorial candidates". February 21, 2014. Retrieved October 26, 2014. 
  38. ^ "Evan Bayh won't run in 2016; Gregg, McDermott assess". Howey Politics. September 15, 2014. Retrieved September 12, 2014. 
  39. ^ "Senator Heidi Heitkamp Gives Lengthy Non-Answer To Question About Running For Governor | Say Anything". June 14, 2013. Retrieved October 16, 2013. 
  40. ^ "6 candidates vie to be American Samoa's governor".  

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