|Governor of Arizona|
|Residence||No official residence|
|Term length||Four years, renewable once consecutively|
|Constituting instrument||Arizona Constitution, article V|
|Inaugural holder||George W. P. Hunt|
|Formation||February 14, 1912|
The Governor of Arizona is the head of government and head of state of the U.S. state of Arizona. As the top elected official, the governor is the head of the executive branch of the Arizona state government and is charged with faithfully executing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Arizona State Legislature; to convene the legislature; and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.
Twenty-three people have served as governor over 27 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, 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 was the first—and until 2019 (when Michelle Lujan Grisham succeeded Susana Martinez in neighboring New Mexico) the only—state where female governors have served consecutively. Because of a string of deaths in office, resignations, and an impeachment, Arizona has not had a governor whose complete term of service both began and ended because of "normal" election circumstances since Jack Williams was in office, from 1967 to 1975.
The current Governor is Republican Doug Ducey, who took office on January 5, 2015.
In Tucson between April 2 and April 5, 1860, a convention of settlers from the southern half of New Mexico Territory drafted a provisional constitution for "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' north. On April 2, they elected a governor, Dr. Lewis S. 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.
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 Confederacy. Dr. Lewis S. Owings remained on as the provisional governor of the territory.
The Confederacy took ownership of the territory on August 1, 1861, when forces led by Lieutenant Colonel John R. Baylor won decisive control of the territory, and Baylor proclaimed himself governor. The Arizona Territory (Confederate) was formally organized on January 18, 1862. On March 20, 1862, Baylor issued an order to kill all the adult Apache and take their children into slavery. 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." By that time, the Confederate government of Arizona Territory was in exile in San Antonio, Texas, as the territory had been effectively lost to Union forces in July 1862; no new governor was appointed.
Governors of the Territory of Arizona
Governors of the State of Arizona
The state constitution of 1912 called for the election of a governor every two years. The term was increased to four years by a 1968 amendment. The constitution originally included no term limit, but an amendment passed in 1992 allows governors to succeed themselves only once; 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. 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. 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. In either case, any partial term counts toward the limit of two consecutive terms.
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; Rose Mofford, then serving as secretary of state, had been appointed to replace Bolin after Bolin succeeded to the governorship. Bolin had become governor when Raúl Héctor Castro resigned to accept appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. Mofford later became acting governor after Evan Mecham was impeached by the House of Representatives, and succeeded to the governorship when Mecham was removed from office after his conviction by the Senate.
|No.[o]||Governor||Term in office||Party||Election|
|1||George W. P. Hunt||February 14, 1912
January 1, 1917
|2||Thomas Edward Campbell||January 1, 1917
December 25, 1917
(removed from office)
|(1)||George W. P. Hunt||December 25, 1917
January 6, 1919
(not candidate for election)
|(2)||Thomas Edward Campbell||January 6, 1919
January 1, 1923
|(1)||George W. P. Hunt||January 1, 1923
January 7, 1929
|3||John Calhoun Phillips||January 7, 1929
January 5, 1931
|(1)||George W. P. Hunt||January 5, 1931
January 2, 1933
|4||Benjamin Baker Moeur||January 2, 1933
January 4, 1937
|5||Rawghlie Clement Stanford||January 4, 1937
January 2, 1939
(not candidate for election)
|6||Robert Taylor Jones||January 2, 1939
January 6, 1941
|7||Sidney Preston Osborn||January 6, 1941
May 25, 1948
(died in office)
|8||Dan Edward Garvey||May 25, 1948
January 1, 1951
Secretary of State
|9||John Howard Pyle||January 1, 1951
January 3, 1955
|10||Ernest McFarland||January 3, 1955
January 5, 1959
(not candidate for election)[u]
|11||Paul Fannin||January 5, 1959
January 4, 1965
(not candidate for election)[v]
|12||Samuel Pearson Goddard Jr.||January 4, 1965
January 2, 1967
|13||Jack Williams||January 2, 1967
January 6, 1975
(not candidate for election)
|14||Raúl Héctor Castro||January 6, 1975
October 20, 1977
|15||Wesley Bolin||October 20, 1977
March 4, 1978
(died in office)
Secretary of State
|16||Bruce Babbitt||March 4, 1978
January 5, 1987[y]
(not candidate for election)
|17||Evan Mecham||January 5, 1987[y]
April 4, 1988
(impeached and removed)[aa]
|18||Rose Mofford||April 4, 1988
March 6, 1991[ab]
(not candidate for election)
Secretary of State
|19||Fife Symington||March 6, 1991[ab]
September 5, 1997
|20||Jane Dee Hull||September 5, 1997
January 6, 2003
Secretary of State
|21||Janet Napolitano||January 6, 2003
January 21, 2009
|22||Jan Brewer||January 21, 2009
January 5, 2015
Secretary of State
|23||Doug Ducey||January 5, 2015
- 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.
- Gurley died on August 19, 1863, prior to taking office as governor.
- Goodwin resigned to take office in the United States House of Representatives.
- McCormick resigned to take office in the United States House of Representatives.
- 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.
- Frémont resigned; he spent little time in the territory, and the Secretary of the Territory eventually asked him to resume his duties or resign, and he chose resignation.
- Tritle resigned after Grover Cleveland was elected, so that the Democrat could appoint a Democrat as governor.
- Wolfley resigned due to a disagreement with the federal government on arid land policy.
- Irwin resigned to handle family business out of state.
- Hughes had abolished many territorial offices, and unhappy officials successfully petitioned President Cleveland to remove him.
- McCord resigned to serve in the Spanish–American War.
- Asked by President Theodore Roosevelt to resign for opposing the Newlands Reclamation Act.
- Brodie resigned to accept appointment as assistant chief of the records and pension bureau at the United States Department of War.
- Data is sourced from the National Governors Association, unless supplemental references are required.
- The governor's website labeled Doug Ducey as the 23rd governor; based on this, each governor is numbered only once, regardless of how many distinct terms they served. Repeat terms are listed with the governor's original number in italics.
- Initial results showed that Campbell had won by 30 votes, but Hunt challenged the results, claiming that several precincts had experienced fraudulent voting. The Arizona Supreme Court named Campbell governor on January 27, 1917, and forced Hunt to surrender his office. Hunt continued fighting in court, and on December 22, 1917, was declared the winner of the election by 43 votes. Campbell vacated the office three days later.
- Hunt lost the Democratic nomination to Benjamin Baker Moeur.
- Moeur lost the Democratic nomination to Rawghlie Clement Stanford.
- Jones lost the Democratic nomination to Sidney Preston Osborn.
- Garvey lost the Democratic nomination to Ana Frohmiller.
- McFarland instead unsuccessfully ran for United States Senate.
- Fannin instead successfully ran for United States Senate.
- First term under a constitutional amendment which lengthened terms to four years.
- Castro resigned to take post as United States Ambassador to Argentina.
- While the constitutional date for when Mecham succeeded Babbitt is January 5, 1987, sources are split between saying the inauguration happened on January 5 or January 6.
- The secretary of state at the time of Bolin's death had been appointed, not elected, and thus not in the line of succession according to the Arizona constitution. Therefore, as attorney general, Babbitt became governor.
- Mecham was impeached and removed from office on charges of obstruction of justice and misuse of government funds, though he was later acquitted.
- 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.
- Symington resigned after being convicted of bank fraud; the conviction was later overturned and he was pardoned by President Bill Clinton.
- Napolitano resigned to be United States Secretary of Homeland Security.
- Ducey's second term began on January 7, 2019, and will expire on January 2, 2023.
- "Former Arizona Governors". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- 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.
- Sobel, Robert (1978). Biographical directory of the governors of the United States, 1789-1978, Vol. I. Meckler Books. ISBN 9780930466015. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Arizona Constitution, article V, section 1 (version 1), part A". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Arizona Constitution, article V". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- "Const. Arizona, article V, section 4". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Const. Arizona, article V, section 7". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Const. Arizona, article V, section 5". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Const. Arizona, article V, section 3". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- 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.
- McClintock pp. 142–143
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Wagoner p. 20
- McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 91. ISBN 0-8304-1247-6.
- Goff pp. 26–27
- —— (1985). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume III: The Delegates to Congress 1863–1912. Cave Creek, Arizona: Black Mountain Press. p. 32. OCLC 12559708.
- 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.
- —— (1985). Arizona Territorial Officials Volume III: The Delegates to Congress 1863–1912. Cave Creek, Arizona: Black Mountain Press. p. 60. OCLC 12559708.
- Goff p. 55
- Goff p. 66
- Goff pp. 76–77
- 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.
- Goff p. 88
- Wagoner p. 221
- Goff pp. 98–99
- Goff p. 112
- 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.
- Wagoner p. 276
- Goff pp. 118–119
- "Arizona". Appletons' Annual Cyclopaedia and Register of Important Events. New. series, Volume 17 (1892 ed.). 1893. p. 16. Retrieved October 10, 2008.
- Goff p. 127
- A Biographical Congressional Directory, 1774 to 1903. United States Government Printing Office. 1903. p. 711. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- Goff p. 129
- Goff p. 146
- 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.
- Johnson, Rossiter; John Howard Brown (1904). The Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans. The Biographical Society. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- Goff pp. 154–155
- "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.
- McClintock p. 345
- Goff p. 167
- Wagoner p. 345
- 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.
- McClintock p. 346
- Goff p. 132
- "Resignation of Arizona's Governor". The New York Times. April 30, 1902. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- Goff p. 136
- Goff p. 178
- Herner, Charles (1970). The Arizona Rough Riders. University of Arizona Press. p. 221. ISBN 0-8165-0206-4. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- McClintock p. 354
- Goff p. 189
- McClintock p. 359
- Goff p. 199
- AZ Const. art 5, § 1
- 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.”
- 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.
- AZ Const. art. 5, old § 1
- "Const. Arizona, article V, section 6". Arizona State Legislature. State of Arizona. Retrieved 7 November 2018.
- "Rose Mofford". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Meet Governor Ducey". State of Arizona. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Sexton, Connie Cone (May 15, 2015). "Keeping track: Republic chronicles decades of state's rich history". The Arizona Republic. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Gov. Hunt Refuses to Yield Office". New York Times. January 2, 1917. p. 4.
- "Gov. Hunt Put Out of Office by Court". New York Times. January 28, 1917. p. 14.
- "Court Declares Hunt Governor of Arizona". New York Times. December 23, 1917. p. 5.
- "George Wylie Hunt". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Sobel p. 51
- Sobel p. 50
- "Hunt Concedes Moeur Victory". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. September 16, 1932. p. 2. Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Stanford, Campbell Win Nominations". Arizona Daily Star. Tucson, Arizona. September 9, 1932. p. 1. Retrieved February 14, 2020 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Gov. Jones Defeated". The San Francisco Examiner. September 12, 1920. p. 9. Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- "Woman Pulls Upset in Arizona Contest". The Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles. September 14, 1950. p. 18. Retrieved July 13, 2019 – via Newspapers.com.
- Sobel p. 57
- Sobel p. 58
- "Raul H. Castro". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Arizona's embattled Gov. Evan Mecham". United Press International. January 10, 1988. Retrieved December 9, 2018.
- "Evan Mecham". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Bruce Edward Babbitt". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Sullivan, Patricia (February 23, 2008). "Evan Mecham, 83; Was Removed as Arizona Governor". Washington Post. Retrieved November 24, 2018.
- "J. Fife Symington". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- Todd S., Purdum (1997-09-04). "Arizona Governor Convicted Of Fraud and Will Step Down". The New York Times. Retrieved October 11, 2008.
- 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.
- "Janet Napolitano". National Governors Association. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
- "Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer won't seek another term in office". AZ Central. March 12, 2014. Retrieved March 13, 2014.