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List of Governors of Arizona

The Governor of Arizona is the head of government and head of state of the U.S. state of Arizona.[5] In his role as head of government, the governor is the head of the executive branch of the Arizona state government and is charged with enforcing state laws.[5] The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Arizona State Legislature[6]; to convene the legislature[5]; and to grant pardons[7], except in cases of impeachment. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[8]

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[1]
Constituting instrument Arizona Constitution, article V[2]
Inaugural holder George W. P. Hunt
Formation February 14, 1912
Deputy Arizona Secretary of State[3]
(Currently, Michele Reagan)
Salary $95,000 (2013)[4]

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, Evan Mecham, was successfully impeached, and one, Fife Symington III, resigned upon being convicted of a felony. The longest-serving governor was Hunt, who was elected seven times and served just under fourteen years. The longest single stint was that of Bruce Babbitt, who was elected to two four-year terms after succeeding to the office following the death of his predecessor, Wesley Bolin, serving nearly nine years total. Bolin had the shortest tenure, dying less than five months after succeeding as governor. Four governors were actually born in Arizona: Campbell, Sidney Preston Osborn, Rose Mofford, and Babbitt. Arizona has had four female governors, the most in the United States, and is also the only state where female governors have served consecutively.[9] Because of a string of deaths 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 Republican Doug Ducey, who was elected on November 4, 2014.



Confederate ArizonaEdit

Lewis Owings, Governor of the provisional Arizona Territory and 1st Governor of Confederate Arizona
Lieutenant Colonel John Baylor, 2nd Governor of Confederate Arizona

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,[10] 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.[11]

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.[12] 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.[13] The territory was organized on February 14, 1862.[14] On March 20, 1862, Baylor issued an order to kill all the adult Apache and take their children into slavery.[13] 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."[15] 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;[16] no new governor was appointed.

Governors of the Territory of ArizonaEdit

Arizona Territory was formed on February 24, 1863 from New Mexico Territory, remaining a territory for 49 years.[17] On January 18, 1867, the northwestern corner of the territory was transferred to the state of Nevada.[18]

Governors of the Territory of Arizona
No. Portrait Governor Term in office[a] Appointing President
  John A. Gurley [b] Abraham Lincoln
1   John Noble Goodwin December 29, 1863[19][20]

March 4, 1865[c]
2   Richard Cunningham McCormick July 9, 1866[21]

March 4, 1869[c]
Andrew Johnson
3   Anson P. K. Safford July 9, 1869[22]

April 5, 1877
Ulysses S. Grant
4   John Philo Hoyt May 30, 1877[23]

June 12, 1878
Rutherford B. Hayes
5   John C. Frémont October 6, 1878[24][d]

October 11, 1881[25][e]
6   Frederick Augustus Tritle March 8, 1882[25][26]

October 7, 1885[27][f]
Chester A. Arthur
7   C. Meyer Zulick November 2, 1885[28]

March 28, 1889
Grover Cleveland
8   Lewis Wolfley April 8, 1889[29]

August 20, 1890[30][g]
Benjamin Harrison
9   John N. Irwin January 21, 1891[32]

April 20, 1892[33][h]
10   Oakes Murphy May 11, 1892[35][36]

April 5, 1893
11   L. C. Hughes April 12, 1893[37]

April 1, 1896[38][i]
Grover Cleveland
12   Benjamin Joseph Franklin April 18, 1896[40]

July 29, 1897[41]
13   Myron H. McCord July 29, 1897[42][43]

August 1, 1898[44][j]
William McKinley
14   Oakes Murphy August 1, 1898[46][47]

June 30, 1902[48][k]
15   Alexander Oswald Brodie July 1, 1902[50][51]

February 14, 1905[52][l]
Theodore Roosevelt
16   Joseph Henry Kibbey March 7, 1905[52][53]

May 1, 1909
17   Richard Elihu Sloan May 1, 1909[54][55]

February 14, 1912
William Howard Taft

Governors of the State of ArizonaEdit

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.[56] The term was increased to four years by a 1968 amendment.[57][58] The constitution originally included no term limit,[59] but an amendment passed in 1992 allows governors to succeed themselves only once;[56] 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.[56] 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.[3] 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.[3] To date, the line of succession has gone beyond the secretary of state only 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,[60] who himself had succeeded to the office due to the resignation of his predecessor, Raul Hector Castro. Mofford would later succeed Evan Mecham as acting governor when he was impeached by the House of Representatives, and as governor when he was convicted by the Senate.

Governors of the State of Arizona
No. Governor Term in office Party Election
1     George W. P. Hunt February 14, 1912

January 1, 1917
Democratic 1911
2   Thomas Edward Campbell January 1, 1917

December 25, 1917
Republican 1916
1   George W. P. Hunt December 25, 1917

January 1, 1919
2   Thomas Edward Campbell January 1, 1919

January 1, 1923
Republican 1918
1   George W. P. Hunt January 1, 1923

January 7, 1929
Democratic 1922
3   John Calhoun Phillips January 7, 1929

January 5, 1931
Republican 1928
1   George W. P. Hunt January 5, 1931

January 2, 1933
Democratic 1930
4   Benjamin Baker Moeur January 2, 1933

January 4, 1937
Democratic 1932
5   Rawghlie Clement Stanford January 4, 1937

January 2, 1939
Democratic 1936
6   Robert Taylor Jones January 2, 1939

January 6, 1941
Democratic 1938
7   Sidney Preston Osborn January 6, 1941

May 25, 1948
Democratic 1940
8   Dan Edward Garvey May 25, 1948

January 1, 1951
9   John Howard Pyle January 1, 1951

January 3, 1955
Republican 1950
10   Ernest McFarland January 3, 1955

January 5, 1959
Democratic 1954
11   Paul Fannin January 5, 1959

January 4, 1965
Republican 1958
12 Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr. January 4, 1965

January 2, 1967
Democratic 1964
13   Jack Richard Williams January 2, 1967

January 6, 1975
Republican 1966
14   Raul Hector Castro January 6, 1975

October 20, 1977
Democratic 1974
15 Wesley Bolin October 20, 1977

March 4, 1978
16   Bruce Babbitt March 4, 1978

January 6, 1987
17 Evan Mecham January 6, 1987

April 4, 1988
Republican 1986
18   Rose Mofford April 4, 1988

March 6, 1991
19   Fife Symington March 6, 1991

September 5, 1997
Republican 1990
20   Jane Dee Hull September 5, 1997

January 6, 2003
21   Janet Napolitano January 6, 2003

January 21, 2009
Democratic 2002
22   Jan Brewer January 21, 2009

January 5, 2015
23   Doug Ducey January 5, 2015

Republican 2014

Living former GovernorsEdit

There are currently 5 living former governors of arizona. The most recent former governor to die was Rose Mofford, who died on September 15, 2016

Governor Term Date of Birth
Bruce Babbitt 1978-1987 June 27, 1938 (age 80)
Fife Symington 1991-1997 August 12, 1945 (age 73)
Jane Dee Hull 1997-2003 August 8, 1935 (age 83)
Janet Napolitano 2003-2009 November 29, 1957 (age 60)
Jan Brewer 2009-2015 September 26, 1944 (age 74)

See alsoEdit


  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.[25]
  6. ^ Resigned after Grover Cleveland was elected, so that the Democrat could appoint a Democrat as governor.[27]
  7. ^ Resigned due to a disagreement with the federal government on arid land policy.[31]
  8. ^ Resigned to handle family business out of state.[34]
  9. ^ Hughes had abolished many territorial offices, and unhappy officials successfully petitioned President Cleveland to remove him.[39]
  10. ^ Resigned to serve in the Spanish–American War.[45]
  11. ^ Asked by President Roosevelt to resign for opposing the Newlands Reclamation Act.[49]
  12. ^ Resigned to accept appointment as assistant chief of the records and pension bureau at the United States Department of War.[52]
  13. ^ 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.[61]
  14. ^ Osborn died in office; as secretary of state, Garvey succeeded him.
  15. ^ Terms were lengthened from two to four years beginning with this term.
  16. ^ Castro resigned to take post as United States Ambassador to Argentina; as secretary of state, Bolin succeeded him, but died in office before the end of the term. The secretary of state at the time of Bolin's death had been appointed,[60] not elected, and thus not in the line of succession according to the Arizona constitution.[3] Therefore, as state attorney general, Babbitt then became governor.
  17. ^ Mecham was impeached and removed from office on charges of obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds (acquitted only months later);[62] as secretary of state, Mofford succeeded him.
  18. ^ Arizona adopted runoff voting after Evan Mecham won with only 43% of the vote in 1986. 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.[63]
  19. ^ Symington 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.[64] As secretary of state, Hull succeeded him. She did not take the oath of office until September 8, but she was governor for those three days regardless of the delay.[65]
  20. ^ Napolitano resigned to become United States Secretary of Homeland Security; as secretary of state, Brewer succeeded her.
  21. ^ Governor Ducey's term expires on January 7, 2019; he will not be term limited.


  • "Arizona: Past Governors Bios". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on July 21, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  • Goff, John S. (1978). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume II: The Governors 1863–1912. Black Mountain Press. OCLC 5100411.
  • McClintock, James H. (1916). Arizona, Prehistoric, Aboriginal, Pioneer, Modern: The Nation's Youngest Commonwealth Within a Land of Ancient Culture. The S.J. Clarke Publishing Co. OCLC 5398889. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  • Wagoner, Jay J. (1970). Arizona Territory 1863–1912: A Political History. University of Arizona Press. ISBN 0-8165-0176-9.
  1. ^ "Arizona Constitution, article V, section 1 (version 1), part A". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  2. ^ "Arizona Constitution, article V". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d "Const. Arizona, article V, section 6". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018. In the event of the death of the governor, or his resignation, removal from office, or permanent disability to discharge the duties of the office, the secretary of state, if holding by election, shall succeed to the office of governor until his successor shall be elected and shall qualify. If the secretary of state be holding otherwise than by election, or shall fail to qualify as governor, the attorney general, the state treasurer, or the superintendent of public instruction, if holding by election, shall, in the order named, succeed to the office of governor. The taking of the oath of office as governor by any person specified in this section shall constitute resignation from the office by virtue of the holding of which he qualifies as governor. Any successor to the office shall become governor in fact and entitled to all of the emoluments, powers and duties of governor upon taking the oath of office.

    In the event of the impeachment of the governor, his absence from the state, or other temporary disability to discharge the duties of the office, the powers and duties of the office of governor shall devolve upon the same person as in case of vacancy, but only until the disability ceases.
  4. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  5. ^ a b c "Const. Arizona, article V, section 4". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  6. ^ "Const. Arizona, article V, section 7". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  7. ^ "Const. Arizona, article V, section 5". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  8. ^ "Const. Arizona, article V, section 3". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
  9. ^ "Janet Napolitano". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on September 11, 2015. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ McClintock pp. 142–143
  12. ^ 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.
  13. ^ 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.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Wagoner p. 20
  18. ^ McClintock p. 329
  19. ^ McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 91. ISBN 0-8304-1247-6.
  20. ^ Goff pp. 26–27
  21. ^ 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.
  22. ^ Goff p. 55
  23. ^ Goff p. 66
  24. ^ Goff pp. 76–77
  25. ^ 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.
  26. ^ Goff p. 88
  27. ^ a b Wagoner p. 221
  28. ^ Goff pp. 98–99
  29. ^ Goff p. 112
  30. ^ 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.
  31. ^ Wagoner p. 276
  32. ^ Goff pp. 118–119
  33. ^ "Arizona". Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events. New. series, Volume 17 (1892 ed.). 1893. p. 16. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
  34. ^ Goff p. 127
  35. ^ A Biographical Congressional Directory, 1774 to 1903. United States Government Printing Office. 1903. p. 711. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  36. ^ Goff p. 129
  37. ^ Goff p. 146
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ Johnson, Rossiter; John Howard Brown (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. The Biographical Society. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  40. ^ Goff pp. 154–155
  41. ^ "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.
  42. ^ McClintock p. 345
  43. ^ Goff p. 167
  44. ^ Wagoner p. 345
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ McClintock p. 346
  47. ^ Goff p. 132
  48. ^ "Resignation of Arizona's Governor". The New York Times. April 30, 1902. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  49. ^ Goff p. 136
  50. ^ Goff p. 178
  51. ^ Herner, Charles (1970). The Arizona Rough Riders. University of Arizona Press. p. 221. ISBN 0-8165-0206-4. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
  52. ^ a b c McClintock p. 354
  53. ^ Goff p. 189
  54. ^ McClintock p. 359
  55. ^ Goff p. 199
  56. ^ a b c AZ Const. art 5, § 1
  57. ^ Ralph E. Hughes v. Douglas K. Martin Archived 2008-10-14 at the Wayback Machine. (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.”
  58. ^ 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.
  59. ^ AZ Const. art. 5, old § 1
  60. ^ a b "Rose Mofford". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  61. ^ "George Wylie Hunt". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  62. ^ "Evan Mecham". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  63. ^ 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.
  64. ^ "J. Fife Symington III". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
  65. ^ Todd S., Purdum (1997-09-04). "Arizona Governor Convicted Of Fraud and Will Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2008.

External linksEdit