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36 states; 2 territories
United States gubernatorial elections were held on November 5, 2002 in 36 states and two territories. The Republicans won eight seats previously held by the Democrats, as well as the seat previously held by Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura, who was elected on the Reform Party ticket but had since renounced his party affiliation. The Democrats won 10 seats previously held by the Republicans, as well as the seat previously held by Maine governor Angus King, an independent. Overall, the Republicans suffered a net loss of one seat while the Democrats made a net gain of three. The Republicans managed to maintain their majority of state governorships, but it was reduced to a margin of only two seats. The elections were notable for the sheer number of state governorships that changed parties – 20 in total, constituting more than half of the seats up for election. Additionally, a number of Democratic and Republican gains occurred in states that typically favor the other party; for instance, Republican candidates won the usually Democratic states of Maryland, Hawaii, Minnesota and Vermont, while Democratic governors were elected in Republican-leaning states like Wyoming, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Kansas.
In addition to the elections held in 36 states, elections were also held in the unincorporated territories of Guam and the United States Virgin Islands. The Democrats held their seat in the United States Virgin Islands, while the Republicans won an open seat in Guam previously held by the Democrats.
The elections were held concurrently with the other United States elections of 2002.
This election marked the most recent cycle in which New York and Colorado elected Republican governors.
- Arizona – State Attorney General Janet Napolitano won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Jane Dee Hull.
- Illinois – U.S. Representative Rod Blagojevich won an open seat held by retiring Gov. George H. Ryan, becoming the first Democratic governor of Illinois since 1976.
- Kansas – State Insurance Commissioner Kathleen Sebelius won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Bill Graves.
- Maine – U.S. Representative John Baldacci won an open seat held by Independent term-limited Gov. Angus King.
- Michigan – State Attorney General Jennifer Granholm won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. John Engler.
- New Mexico – former U.S. Representative and U.S. Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Gary Johnson.
- Oklahoma – State Senator Brad Henry won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Frank Keating.
- Pennsylvania – former Mayor of Philadelphia and DNC Chairman Ed Rendell won an open seat held by retiring Gov. Mark Schweiker.
- Tennessee – former Nashville Mayor Phil Bredesen won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Don Sundquist.
- Wisconsin – State Attorney General Jim Doyle defeated incumbent Gov. Scott McCallum
- Wyoming – U.S. Attorney Dave Freudenthal won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Jim Geringer.
- Alabama – U.S. Representative Bob Riley narrowly defeated incumbent Gov. Don Siegelman.
- Alaska – U.S. Senator Frank Murkowski won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Tony Knowles.
- Georgia – State Senator Sonny Perdue defeated incumbent Gov. Roy Barnes and became first Republican Governor of Georgia since the 1870s.
- Guam – Territorial Legislative Majority Leader Felix Perez Camacho won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Carl T.C. Gutierrez.
- Hawaii – Former Maui Mayor Linda Lingle won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Benjamin Cayetano, becoming the first Republican Governor since 1962.
- South Carolina – U.S. Representative Mark Sanford defeated incumbent Gov. Jim Hodges.
- Maryland – U.S. Representative Robert Ehrlich won an open seat held by term-limited Gov. Parris Glendening, becoming the first Republican Governor since Spiro Agnew in 1966.
- Minnesota – State House Majority Leader Tim Pawlenty won an open seat held by retiring Independent Gov. Jesse Ventura in difficult, three-way (GOP, DFL and IMP) race.
- New Hampshire – Businessman Craig Benson won an open seat held by retiring Gov. Jeanne Shaheen.
- Vermont – State Treasurer Jim Douglas won an open seat held by retiring Gov. Howard Dean.
A bolded state name features an article about the specific election.
|Alabama||Don Siegelman||Democratic||Defeated, 49.0%||Bob Riley (Republican) 49.2%|
John Sophocleus (Libertarian) 1.7%
|Alaska||Tony Knowles||Democratic||Term-limited, Republican victory||Frank Murkowski (Republican) 55.8%|
Fran Ulmer (Democratic) 40.7%
Diane Benson (Green) 1.3%
Don Wright (Alaskan Indep.)
Raymond VinZant (Rep. Mod.) 0.7%
Billy Toien (Libertarian) 0.5%
|Arizona||Jane Hull||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Janet Napolitano (Democratic) 46.2%|
Matt Salmon (Republican) 45.2%
Richard D. Mahoney (Independent) 6.9%
Barry Hess (Libertarian) 1.7%
|Arkansas||Mike Huckabee||Republican||Re-elected, 53%||Jimmie Lou Fisher (Democratic) 46%|
|California||Gray Davis||Democratic||Re-elected, 47.4%||Bill Simon (Republican) 42.4%|
Peter Camejo (Green) 5.3%
Gary Copeland (Libertarian) 2.2%
Reinhold Gulke (American Ind.) 1.7%
Iris Adam (Natural Law) 1.1%
|Colorado||Bill Owens||Republican||Re-elected, 62.6%||Rollie Heath (Democratic) 33.7% |
Ronald Forthofer (Green) 2.3%
Ralph Shnelvar (Libertarian) 1%
|Connecticut||John Rowland||Republican||Re-elected, 56.1%||Bill Curry (Democratic) 43.9%|
|Florida||Jeb Bush||Republican||Re-elected, 56%||Bill McBride (Democratic) 43.1%|
|Georgia||Roy Barnes||Democratic||Defeated, 46.3%||Sonny Perdue (Republican) 51.4% |
Garrett Hayes (Libertarian) 2.3%
|Hawaii||Ben Cayetano||Democratic||Term-limited, Republican victory||Linda Lingle (Republican) 51.6% |
Mazie Hirono (Democratic) 47%
Kau`i Hill (Natural Law) 0.7%
Tracy Ryan (Libertarian) 0.4%
Jim Brewer (Independent) 0.3%
|Idaho||Dirk Kempthorne||Republican||Re-elected, 56.3%||Jerry Brady (Democratic) 41.7% |
Daniel Adams (Libertarian) 2%
|Illinois||George Ryan||Republican||Retired, Democratic victory||Rod Blagojevich (Democratic) 52.2% |
Jim Ryan (Republican) 45.1%
Cal Skinner (Libertarian) 2.1%
|Iowa||Tom Vilsack||Democratic||Re-elected, 52.7%||Doug Gross (Republican) 44.5% |
Jay Robinson (Green) 1.4%
Clyde Cleveland (Libertarian) 1.3%
|Kansas||Bill Graves||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Kathleen Sebelius (Democratic) 52.9% |
Tim Shallenburger (Republican) 45.1%
Ted Pettibone (Reform) 1.1%
Dennis Hawver (Libertarian) 1.0%
|Maine||Angus King||Independent||Term-limited, Democratic victory||John Baldacci (Democratic) 47.2% |
Peter Cianchette (Republican) 41.5%
Jonathan Carter (Green) 9.3%
John Michael (Independent) 2.1%
|Maryland||Parris Glendening||Democratic||Term-limited, Republican victory||Bob Ehrlich (Republican) 51.6% |
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend (Democratic) 47.7%
Spear Lancaster (Libertarian) 0.7%
|Massachusetts||Jane Swift (acting)||Republican||Retired, Republican victory||Mitt Romney (Republican) 49.8% |
Shannon O'Brien (Democratic) 44.9%
Jill Stein (G-R) 3.5%
Carla Howell (Libertarian) 1.1%
Barbara Johnson (Independent) 0.7%
|Michigan||John Engler||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Jennifer Granholm (Democratic) 51.4% |
Dick Posthumus (Republican) 47.4%
Douglas Campell (Green) 0.8%
Joseph Pilchak (U.S. Taxpayers) 0.4%
|Minnesota||Jesse Ventura||Reform Party/Independence||Retired, Republican victory||Tim Pawlenty (Republican) 44.4% |
Roger Moe (Democratic) 36.5%
Tim Penny (Independence) 16.2%
Ken Pentel (Green) 2.3%
Kari Sachs (Socialist Workers) 0.1%
Lawrence Aeshliman (Constitution) 0.1%
|Nebraska||Mike Johanns||Republican||Re-elected, 68.9%||Stormy Dean (Democratic) 27.5% |
Paul Rosberg (Nebraska) 3.8%
|Nevada||Kenny Guinn||Republican||Re-elected, 68.3%||Joe Neal (Democratic) 22% |
None of the above 4.7%
Dick Geyer (Libertarian) 1.6%
David Holmgren (Indep. American) 1.4%
Jerry Norton (Independent) 1.1%
Charles Laws (Green) 1%
|New Hampshire||Jeanne Shaheen||Democratic||Retired, Republican victory||Craig Benson (Republican) 58.6% |
Mark Fernald (Democratic) 38.2%
John Babiarz (Libertarian) 2.9%
|New Mexico||Gary Johnson||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Bill Richardson (Democratic) 56% |
John Sanchez (Republican) 39%
David Bacon (Green) 5%
|New York||George Pataki||Republican, Conservative||Re-elected, 49.4%||Carl McCall (Democratic), (Working Families 33.5% |
Tom Golisano (Independence) 14.3%
Jerry Cronin (Right to Life) 0.9%
Stanley Aronowitz (Green) 0.9%
Thomas Leighton (Marijuana Reform) 0.5%
Andrew Cuomo (Liberal) 0.3%
Scott Jeffrey (Libertarian) 0.1%%
|Ohio||Bob Taft||Republican||Re-elected, 57.7%||Tim Hagan (Democratic) 38.3% |
John Eastman (Independent) 3.9%
|Oklahoma||Frank Keating||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Brad Henry (Democratic) 43.3% |
Steve Largent (Republican) 42.6%
Gary Richardson (Independent) 14.1%
|Oregon||John Kitzhaber||Democratic||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Ted Kulongoski (Democratic) 49% |
Kevin Mannix (Republican) 46.1%
Tom Cox (Libertarian) 4.58%
|Pennsylvania||Mark Schweiker||Republican||Retired, Democratic victory||Ed Rendell (Democratic) 53.4% |
Mike Fisher (Republican) 44.4%
Ken Krawchuk (Libertarian) 1.14%
Michael Morrill (Green) 1.07%
|Rhode Island||Lincoln Almond||Republican||Term-limited, Republican victory||Don Carcieri (Republican) 54.8% |
Myrth York (Democratic) 45.2%
|South Carolina||Jim Hodges||Democratic||Defeated, 47.1%||Mark Sanford (Republican) 52.9%|
|South Dakota||Bill Janklow||Republican||Term-limited, Republican victory||Mike Rounds (Republican) 56.8% |
Jim Abbott (Democratic) 41.9%
James Carlson (Independent) 0.7%
Nathan Barton (Libertarian) 0.6%
|Tennessee||Don Sundquist||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Phil Bredesen (Democratic) 50.7% |
Van Hilleary (Republican) 47.6%
|Texas||Rick Perry||Republican||Re-elected, 57.8%||Tony Sanchez (Democratic) 40%|
Jeff Daiell (Libertarian) 1.6%
Rahul Mahajan (Green) 1%
|Vermont||Howard Dean||Democratic||Retired, Republican victory||Jim Douglas (Republican) 44.9% |
Doug Racine (Democratic) 42.4%
Cornelius Hogan (Independent) 9.7%
Cris Ericson (Make Marijuana Legal) 0.8%
Michael Badamo (VT Progressive) 0.6%
Joel Williams (Libertarian) 0.4%
Patricia Hejny (VT Grassroots) 0.3%
Marilynn Christian (Restore Justice-Freedom) 0.3%
Pete Diamondstone (Liberty Union) 0.3%
|Wisconsin||Scott McCallum||Republican||Defeated, 41.4%||Jim Doyle (Democratic) 45.1% |
Ed Thompson (Libertarian) 10.5%
Jim Young (Green) 2.5%
|Wyoming||Jim Geringer||Republican||Term-limited, Democratic victory||Dave Freudenthal (Democratic) 50% |
Eli Bebout (Republican) 47.9%
Dave Dawson (Libertarian) 2.12%
|Guam||Carl Gutierrez||Democratic||Term-limited, Republican victory||Felix Perez Camacho (Republican) 55.4%|
Robert Underwood (Democratic) 44.6%
|United States Virgin Islands||Charles Turnbull||Democratic||Re-elected, 50.15%||John de Jongh (Independent) 24.64%|
Chucky Hansen (Independent) 7.76%
Michael Bornn (Republican) 7.18%
Gerard James (Independent) 5.07%
Cora Christian (Independent) 3.06%
Lloyd Williams (Independent) 1.48%
- 2002 United States elections
- "CNN.com Election 2002 – Governor". CNN. 2002. Retrieved 2011-04-19.
- Election 2002 – Governor. CNN.