Women in Statewide Elective Executive Office 2016

In 2016, 76 women hold statewide elective executive offices across the country; women hold 24.4% of the 312 available positions.* Among these women, 33 are Democrats, 42 are Republicans and 1 is non-partisan. Women have been elected statewide to executive offices in 49 of the nation's 50 states. In Maine, the governor is the only executive elected statewide, and no woman has ever served as governor there.
*These figures do not include: officials in appointive state cabinet-level positions; officials elected to executive posts by the legislature; officials elected as commissioners or board members from districts rather than statewide; members of the judicial branch; or elected members of university Boards of Trustees or Boards of Education.
Governors
6

Six women (3D, 3R) serve as governors in 2015.

3 D
3 R

Kate Brown, an Oregon Democrat, became governor in 2015 after the elected governor resigned. She served as secretary of state from 2009 until her succession to governor. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives and Oregon State Senate, becoming senate majority leader.

Mary Fallin, an Oklahoma Republican, was elected to an open sear to become the state's first woman governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014. She served as U.S. Representative from 2007-2011. She was lieutenant governor from 1995 to 2007 and served in the Oklahoma House of Representatives from 1990 to 1994.

Nikki Haley, a South Carolina Republican, was elected to an open seat to become the state's first woman governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014. She served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 2005 to 2011 and was majority whip from 2007 to 2011. She was assistant executive director, Lexington Medical Center Foundation. She served as a major in the Civil Air Patrol. She owns a business with her family. An Asian American, she was one of the first two women of color to serve as governors.

Maggie Hassan, a New Hampshire Democrat, won an open election in 2012 and was reelected in 2014. She served in the state senate from 2004-2010; there she was senate majority leader in 2010 and previously assistant Democratic whip and president pro tempore.

Susana Martinez, a New Mexico Republican, was elected to an open seat to become the state's first woman governor in 2010 and reelected in 2014. She was elected the Dona Ana County District Attorney, serving from 1996 to 2009. A Latina, she was one of the first two women of color to serve as governors.

Gina Ralmondo, a Rhode Island Democrat, won an open seat to become the state's first woman governor in 2014. She served as general treasurer from 2011-2015.

History of Women Governors
37

women (22D, 15R) have served as governors in 27 states.

22 D
15 R

In addition, one woman has served as governor in Puerto Rico. Arizona is the first state where a woman succeeded another woman as governor, and the first state to have had four women governors. Of the 37 women governors, 25 were first elected in their own right; 3 replaced their husbands, and 9 became governor by constitutional succession, three of whom subsequently won full terms. The record number of women serving simultaneously, achieved in 2004 and again in 2007, is 9. A list of women governors to date can be found here

Lieutenant Governor
12
4 D
8 R
AL Kay Ivey* R
CO Donna Lynne D
CT Nancy Wyman* D
IA Kim Reynolds R
IL Evelyn Sanguinetti R
KY Jenean Hampton R
MA Karyn Polito R
MN Tina Smith DFL
NJ Kim Guadagno R
NY Kathy Hochul D
OH Mary Taylor R
WI Rebecca Kleefisch R

  * Elected independent of the governor.

Attorney General
9
6 D
3 R
Secretary of State
13
7 D
6 R
State Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer
8
4 D
4 R
CT Denise Nappier D
IN Kelly Mitchell R
KY Allison Ball R
MA Deborah Goldberg D
MS Lynn Fitch R
NC Janet Cowell D
ND Kelly Schmidt R
VT Beth Pearce D

 

State Auditor
9
5 D
4 R
AR Andrea Lea R
IN Suzanne Crouch R
IA Mary Mosiman R
MA Suzanne Bump D
MN Rebecca Otto DFL*
MO Nicole Galloway D
MT Monica Lindeen D
NC Beth Wood D
WY Cynthia Cloud R

* The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party is the state's Democratic Party.

State Comptroller/Controller
2
1 D
1 R
Chief State Education Official
9

(note: title varies from state to state)

3 D
5 R
1 NP*

Non-partisan

Commissioner of Insurance
1
1 D
Commissioner of Labor
1
1 R
Corporation Commissioner
2
2 R
Agriculture and Commerce Commissioner
1
1 R
Public Service Commissioner
2
2 R
Public Utilities Commissioner
1
1 R
SD Kristie Flegen R

 

Railroad Commissioner
1
1 R

Permission to Reproduce CAWP Materials

Reproduction of information on the CAWP website for non-commercial purposes is encouraged, provided that clear and visible credit is given to Center for American Women and Politics, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University. Any information reproduced must include footnotes/endnotes that apply to that information. Commercial reproduction requires prior permission in writing from the Center for American Women and Politics. All CAWP fact sheets are available on this web site and may be downloaded and copied as needed.