Governors: Elections, Campaign Costs, Profiles, Forced Exits and Powers

The year 2003 will be etched in the future news reports and analyses as a year of major change occurring to governors. The most startling event was the recall of Gov. Gray Davis of California. The California gubernatorial recall and replacement votes highlight the fact that some elected governors faced situations in which they could lose their office without being beaten by a challenger at the ballot box, becoming ill or dying. One other unique aspect about the current governors is that there are eight women serving as governor in 2004 – the highest number of women serving at one time in the office. As we move through the first decade of the 21st century, we continue to find new faces in governors’ offices.

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About the Author
Thad Beyle is Pearsall Professor of Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. A Syracuse University AB and AM, 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 and has worked with the National Governors Association in several capacities on gubernatorial transitions.