Gubernatorial Elections, Campaign Costs and Powers

The 11 gubernatorial elections that took place in 2008 increased the Democratic to Republican governors’ ratio to 29-to-21, but returned to the previous 28-22 ratio when former Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano resigned in January after she was confirmed as the new secretary of Homeland Security in President Obama’s cabinet. The cost of running for governor continues to be expensive. After several years of no forced gubernatorial exits from office, in March 2008 then-New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned from office after he was linked to a prostitution ring. Then in January 2009 former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached, convicted and removed from office.

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About the Author
Thad Beyle is a professor-emeritus of political science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A Syracuse University A.B. and A.M., he received his Ph.D. at the University of Illinois. He spent a year in the North Carolina governor’s office in the mid-1960s followed by two years with Terry Sanford’s “A Study of American States” project at Duke University, and has worked with the National Governors Association in several capacities on gubernatorial transitions.

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