Governor of California
Overview
 
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State address
State of the State Address
The State of the State Address is a speech customarily given once each year by the governors of most states of the United States. The speech is customarily delivered before both houses of the state legislature sitting in joint session, with the exception of the Nebraska Legislature, which is a...

es to the California State Legislature
California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of California. It is a bicameral body consisting of the lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members, and the upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members...

, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced. The position was created in 1849, before California became a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

.

The current governor is Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

, a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 who was elected on November 2, 2010, and previously served as Governor of California from 1975-1983.
Encyclopedia
The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California
California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State address
State of the State Address
The State of the State Address is a speech customarily given once each year by the governors of most states of the United States. The speech is customarily delivered before both houses of the state legislature sitting in joint session, with the exception of the Nebraska Legislature, which is a...

es to the California State Legislature
California State Legislature
The California State Legislature is the state legislature of the U.S. state of California. It is a bicameral body consisting of the lower house, the California State Assembly, with 80 members, and the upper house, the California State Senate, with 40 members...

, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced. The position was created in 1849, before California became a state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

.

The current governor is Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

, a Democrat
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 who was elected on November 2, 2010, and previously served as Governor of California from 1975-1983. If Brown serves for more than two years and nine months into his current term, he will surpass Earl Warren
Earl Warren
Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

 as the longest-serving governor in terms of cumulative service in California state history.

Gubernatorial elections and term of office

Governors are elected by popular ballot and serve terms of four years, with a term limit
Term limit
A term limit is a legal restriction that limits the number of terms a person may serve in a particular elected office. When term limits are found in presidential and semi-presidential systems they act as a method to curb the potential for monopoly, where a leader effectively becomes "president for...

 of two terms, if served after November 6, 1990. Governors take office on the first Monday after January 1 after their election.

Gubernatorial removal

There are two methods available to remove a governor before the expiration of the gubernatorial term of office.

Impeachment and removal by the legislature
The governor can be impeached
Impeachment
Impeachment is a formal process in which an official is accused of unlawful activity, the outcome of which, depending on the country, may include the removal of that official from office as well as other punishment....

 for "misconduct in office" by the State Assembly
California State Assembly
The California State Assembly is the lower house of the California State Legislature. There are 80 members in the Assembly, representing an approximately equal number of constituents, with each district having a population of at least 420,000...

 and removed by a two-thirds vote of the State Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

.

Recall by the voters
Petitions signed by California state voters equal in number to 12% of the last vote for the office of governor (with signatures from each of 5 counties equal in number to 1% of the last vote for governor in the county) can launch a gubernatorial recall election
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

. The voters can then vote on whether or not to recall the incumbent governor, and on the same ballot, they can vote a potential replacement. If a majority of the voters in the election vote to recall the governor, then the person who gains a plurality of the votes in the replacement race will become governor.

The 2003 California recall began with a petition drive that successfully forced sitting Democratic Governor Gray Davis
Gray Davis
Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

 into a special recall election
Recall election
A recall election is a procedure by which voters can remove an elected official from office through a direct vote before his or her term has ended...

. It marked the first time in California's history that a governor faced a recall election. He was subsequently voted out of office, becoming just the second governor in U.S. history to be recalled. He was replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

.

Relationship with Lieutenant Governor of California

The Lieutenant Governor of California
Lieutenant Governor of California
The Lieutenant Governor of California is a statewide constitutional officer elected separately from the Governor who serves as the "vice-executive" of California. The Lieutenant Governor of California is elected to serve a four year term and can serve a maximum of two terms...

 is separately elected during the same election, not jointly as the running mate
Running mate
A running mate is a person running together with another person on a joint ticket during an election. The term is most often used in reference to the person in the subordinate position but can also properly be used when referring to both candidates, such as "Michael Dukakis and Lloyd Bentsen were...

 of the gubernatorial candidate. California has had a governor and a lieutenant governor of different parties 26 of the past 31 years:
Years Governor Party Lieutenant Governor Party
1979–1981 Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 
Michael Curb
Mike Curb
Michael Curb is an American musician, record company executive, NASCAR and IRL race car owner. A Republican, he served as the 42nd Lieutenant Governor of California from 1979-1983 under Democratic Governor Edmund G. "Jerry" Brown, Jr...

 
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

1981–1983
1983–1985 George Deukmejian
George Deukmejian
Courken George Deukmejian, Jr. born June 6, 1928) is an Armenian American politician from California who as a Republican served as the 35th Governor of California and as California Attorney General .-Early life:...

 
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

 
Leo T. McCarthy
Leo T. McCarthy
Leo Tarcissus McCarthy was a New Zealand-born American politician and businessman. He served as the 43rd Lieutenant Governor of California from 1983 to 1995....

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

1985–1987
1987–1989
1989–1991
1991–1993 Pete Wilson
Pete Wilson
Peter Barton "Pete" Wilson is an American politician from California. Wilson, a Republican, served as the 36th Governor of California , the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that included eight years as a United States Senator , eleven years as Mayor of San Diego and...

 
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

1993–1995
1995–1997 Gray Davis
Gray Davis
Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

1997–1999
1999–2001 Gray Davis
Gray Davis
Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 
Cruz Bustamante
Cruz Bustamante
Cruz Miguel Bustamante is an American politician. He was the 45th Lieutenant Governor of California, a former Speaker of the State Assembly and a member of the Democratic Party...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2001–2003
2003–2005 Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

 
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

2005–2007
2007–2009 John Garamendi
John Garamendi
John Raymond Garamendi is the U.S. Representative for , serving since November 2009. He is a member of the Democratic Party. Garamendi was the California State Insurance Commissioner from 1991 to 1995, the U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Interior from 1995 to 1998, and the California State Insurance...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2010–2011 Abel Maldonado
Abel Maldonado
Abel Maldonado is an American politician who was the 48th Lieutenant Governor of California. On November 23, 2009, then-Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Maldonado as his nominee for Lieutenant Governor to fill the vacancy created by John Garamendi's election to the United States House of...

 
Republican
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

2011 Jerry Brown
Jerry Brown
Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

2011–present Gavin Newsom
Gavin Newsom
Gavin Christopher Newsom is an American politician who is the 49th and current Lieutenant Governor of California. Previously, he was the 42nd Mayor of San Francisco, and was elected in 2003 to succeed Willie Brown, becoming San Francisco's youngest mayor in 100 years. Newsom was re-elected in 2007...

 
Democratic
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...



This occasionally becomes significant, as the California Constitution provides that all the powers of the governor fall to the lieutenant governor whenever the governor is not in the state of California, with the lieutenant governor often signing or vetoing legislation, or making political appointments, whenever the governor leaves the state. The lieutenant governor is also the President of the California State Senate
California State Senate
The California State Senate is the upper house of the California State Legislature. There are 40 state senators. The state legislature meets in the California State Capitol in Sacramento. The Lieutenant Governor is the ex officio President of the Senate and may break a tied vote...

. In practice, there is a gentlemen's agreement
Gentlemen's agreement
A gentlemen's agreement is an informal agreement between two or more parties. It may be written, oral, or simply understood as part of an unspoken agreement by convention or through mutually beneficial etiquette. The essence of a gentlemen's agreement is that it relies upon the honor of the parties...

 for the Lieutenant Governor not to perform more than perfunctory duties while the Governor is away from the state. This agreement was violated when Mike Curb was in office, as he signed several executive orders at odds with the Brown administration when Brown was out of the state. Court rulings have upheld the lieutenant governor's right to perform the duties and assume all of the prerogatives of governor while the governor is out of the state.

Age and longevity

  • Between the births of John Bigler
    John Bigler
    John Bigler was an American lawyer, politician and diplomat. A Democrat, he served as the third Governor of California from 1852 to 1856 and was the first California governor to complete an entire term in office successfully, as well as the first to win re-election...

     in 1805 and Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Arnold Schwarzenegger
    Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

     in 1947, California Governors have been born in every decade except the 1880s.
  • Between the deaths of John McDougall in 1866 and Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

     in 2004, Governors have died in every decade except two: the 1910s and the 1980s.
  • Peter Burnett had the longest post-governorship, 44 years. He left office in 1851 and died in 1895.
  • Excluding Governors who died in office, Robert Waterman
    Robert Waterman (governor)
    Robert Whitney Waterman was an American politician. He served as the 17th Governor of California from September 12, 1887 until January 8, 1891.-Early years:...

     had the shortest post-governorship. He died on April 12, 1881, a mere 3 months and 4 days after the expiration of his term.
  • Sworn in at the age of 30, J. Neely Johnson
    J. Neely Johnson
    John Neely Johnson was an American lawyer and politician. He was elected as the fourth governor of California from 1856 to 1858, and later appointed justice to the Nevada Supreme Court from 1867 to 1871...

     was the youngest Governor.
  • Sworn in at the age of 72, Jerry Brown
    Jerry Brown
    Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

     became the oldest Governor in 2011.
  • Earl Warren
    Earl Warren
    Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

     was the only Governor to serve more than 8 consecutive years in office (1943–1953)
    • Jerry Brown
      Jerry Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

       previously served as Governor for 8 years (1975–1983) and returned to office 28 years later to serve as the incumbent Governor (since 2011)
  • Milton Latham
    Milton Latham
    Milton Slocum Latham was an American politician, and served as the sixth Governor of California and as a member of the federal U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Latham holds the distinction of having the shortest governorship in California history, lasting for five days between...

     served the shortest term in office of 5 days (January 9–January 14, 1860)
  • Of the 38 men to hold the office of Governor, only seven were actually born in California:
    • Romualdo Pacheco
      Romualdo Pacheco
      José Antonio Romualdo Pacheco Jr. was an American politician and diplomat. Involved in California state and federal politics, Pacheco was elected and appointed to various posts and offices throughout his more than thirty-year career, including the California State Senate, the 12th Governor of...

      , in Santa Barbara
      Santa Barbara, California
      Santa Barbara is the county seat of Santa Barbara County, California, United States. Situated on an east-west trending section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply-rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean...

    • George Pardee
      George Pardee
      George Cooper Pardee was an American doctor of medicine and politician. The 21st Governor of California, holding office from January 7, 1903, to January 9, 1907, Pardee was the second native-born Californian to assume the governorship, after Romualdo Pacheco, and the first governor born in...

      , James Rolph
      James Rolph
      James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression...

      , Pat Brown
      Pat Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. was the 32nd Governor of California, serving from 1959 to 1967, and the father of current Governor of California Jerry Brown.-Background:...

       and Jerry Brown
      Jerry Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

      , all in San Francisco
    • Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

      , in Sacramento
      Sacramento, California
      Sacramento is the capital city of the U.S. state of California and the county seat of Sacramento County. It is located at the confluence of the Sacramento River and the American River in the northern portion of California's expansive Central Valley. With a population of 466,488 at the 2010 census,...

    • Earl Warren
      Earl Warren
      Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

      , in Los Angeles
      Los Ángeles
      Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

  • Two Governors were born in foreign countries:
    • John G. Downey
      John G. Downey
      John Gately Downey was an Irish-American politician and the seventh Governor of California from January 14, 1860 to January 10, 1862. Until the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, Downey was California's only foreign-born governor...

       in Ireland
      Ireland
      Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    • Arnold Schwarzenegger
      Arnold Schwarzenegger
      Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger is an Austrian-American former professional bodybuilder, actor, businessman, investor, and politician. Schwarzenegger served as the 38th Governor of California from 2003 until 2011....

       in Austria
      Austria
      Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

  • Two Governors have died in office:
    • Washington Bartlett
      Washington Bartlett
      Washington Montgomery Bartlett was the 20th Mayor of San Francisco, California from 1883–1887 and was California's first and to date only Jewish Governor of California.- Life and career :...

       in 1887
    • James Rolph
      James Rolph
      James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression...

       in 1934
  • Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Reagan
    Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

     had the longest life-span of any Californian governor, 93 years.
  • J. Neely Johnson
    J. Neely Johnson
    John Neely Johnson was an American lawyer and politician. He was elected as the fourth governor of California from 1856 to 1858, and later appointed justice to the Nevada Supreme Court from 1867 to 1871...

     had the shortest life-span of any Californian governor, 47 years.
  • Both governors who died in office, Washington Bartlett
    Washington Bartlett
    Washington Montgomery Bartlett was the 20th Mayor of San Francisco, California from 1883–1887 and was California's first and to date only Jewish Governor of California.- Life and career :...

     in 1887 and James Rolph
    James Rolph
    James “Sunny Jim” Rolph, Jr. was an American politician and a member of the Republican Party. He was elected to a single term as the 27th governor of California from January 6, 1931 until his death on June 2, 1934 at the height of the Great Depression...

     in 1934, were the Mayor of San Francisco
    Mayor of San Francisco
    The Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco is the head of the executive branch of San Francisco's city and county government. The mayor has the duty to enforce city laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, the legislative branch....

     immediately before becoming governor.

Transition events

  • Five Governors have resigned:
    • Peter Burnett in 1851 "as a result of certain personal prejudices" in favor of slavery
      Slavery
      Slavery is a system under which people are treated as property to be bought and sold, and are forced to work. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand compensation...

    • Milton Latham
      Milton Latham
      Milton Slocum Latham was an American politician, and served as the sixth Governor of California and as a member of the federal U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate. Latham holds the distinction of having the shortest governorship in California history, lasting for five days between...

       in 1860 to become a United States Senator
      United States Senate
      The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

    • Newton Booth
      Newton Booth
      Newton Booth was an American politician.Born in Salem, Indiana, he attended the common schools. In 1841, his parents Beebe and Hannah Booth moved from Salem to Terre Haute, Indiana. Newton graduated from Asbury University, later renamed DePauw University, in nearby Greencastle, Indiana. He studied...

       in 1875 to become a United States Senator
      United States Senate
      The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

    • Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

       in 1917 to become a United States Senator
      United States Senate
      The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

    • Earl Warren
      Earl Warren
      Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

       in 1953 to become Chief Justice of the United States
      Chief Justice of the United States
      The Chief Justice of the United States is the head of the United States federal court system and the chief judge of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Chief Justice is one of nine Supreme Court justices; the other eight are the Associate Justices of the Supreme Court of the United States...

  • One Governor has been recalled:
    • Gray Davis
      Gray Davis
      Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

       in 2003
  • Seven Governors took office without being elected to the Governor's seat, having been elected as Lieutenant Governor and then ascending from that position:
    • Four of them did not run to succeed themselves, and were never elected Governor:
      • John McDougall in 1851
      • John G. Downey
        John G. Downey
        John Gately Downey was an Irish-American politician and the seventh Governor of California from January 14, 1860 to January 10, 1862. Until the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2003, Downey was California's only foreign-born governor...

         in 1860
      • Romualdo Pacheco
        Romualdo Pacheco
        José Antonio Romualdo Pacheco Jr. was an American politician and diplomat. Involved in California state and federal politics, Pacheco was elected and appointed to various posts and offices throughout his more than thirty-year career, including the California State Senate, the 12th Governor of...

         in 1875
      • Robert Waterman
        Robert Waterman (governor)
        Robert Whitney Waterman was an American politician. He served as the 17th Governor of California from September 12, 1887 until January 8, 1891.-Early years:...

         in 1887
    • The other three later ran for Governor, and were elected to succeed themselves as Governor:
      • William Stephens
        William Stephens
        William Dennison Stephens was an American federal and state politician. A three-term member of the U.S. House of Representatives from 1911 to 1916, Stephens was also the 24th Governor of California from 1917 to 1923....

         in 1917
      • Frank Merriam
        Frank Merriam
        Frank Finley Merriam was an American politician who served as the 28th governor of California from June 2, 1934 until January 2, 1939...

         in 1934
      • Goodwin Knight
        Goodwin Knight
        Goodwin Jess Knight , known as "Goodie Knight", was a U.S. politician who was the 31st Governor of California from 1953 until 1959.-Early life:...

         in 1953

  • One governor has served two terms, and was elected to a non-consecutive third term:
    • Jerry Brown
      Jerry Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

       in 2010 (Brown and George Deukmejian
      George Deukmejian
      Courken George Deukmejian, Jr. born June 6, 1928) is an Armenian American politician from California who as a Republican served as the 35th Governor of California and as California Attorney General .-Early life:...

       are the last living former Governors of California who were elected to two terms before term limits were enacted on November 6, 1990)

Presidential campaigns

  • One former Governor of California won his party's nomination and was elected President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

    :
    • Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

       in 1980
      United States presidential election, 1980
      The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

       and 1984
      United States presidential election, 1984
      The United States presidential election of 1984 was a contest between the incumbent President Ronald Reagan, the Republican candidate, and former Vice President Walter Mondale, the Democratic candidate. Reagan was helped by a strong economic recovery from the deep recession of 1981–1982...

       (Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      )

  • These actively sought the nomination of their party, but were unsuccessful:
    • Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

       in 1920
      United States presidential election, 1920
      The United States presidential election of 1920 was dominated by the aftermath of World War I and a hostile response to certain policies of Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic president. The wartime economic boom had collapsed. Politicians were arguing over peace treaties and the question of America's...

       and 1924
      United States presidential election, 1924
      The United States presidential election of 1924 was won by incumbent President Calvin Coolidge, the Republican candidate.Coolidge was vice-president under Warren G. Harding and became president in 1923 when Harding died in office. Coolidge was given credit for a booming economy at home and no...

       (Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      )
    • Pat Brown
      Pat Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. was the 32nd Governor of California, serving from 1959 to 1967, and the father of current Governor of California Jerry Brown.-Background:...

       in 1960
      United States presidential election, 1960
      The United States presidential election of 1960 was the 44th American presidential election, held on November 8, 1960, for the term beginning January 20, 1961, and ending January 20, 1965. The incumbent president, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, was not eligible to run again. The Republican Party...

       (Democratic
      Democratic Party (United States)
      The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

      )
    • Jerry Brown
      Jerry Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr. is an American politician. Brown served as the 34th Governor of California , and is currently serving as the 39th California Governor...

       in 1976
      United States presidential election, 1976
      The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

      , 1980
      United States presidential election, 1980
      The United States presidential election of 1980 featured a contest between incumbent Democrat Jimmy Carter and his Republican opponent, Ronald Reagan, as well as Republican Congressman John B. Anderson, who ran as an independent...

      , 1992
      United States presidential election, 1992
      The United States presidential election of 1992 had three major candidates: Incumbent Republican President George Bush; Democratic Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton, and independent Texas businessman Ross Perot....

       (Democratic
      Democratic Party (United States)
      The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

      )
    • Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Reagan
      Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

       in 1968
      United States presidential election, 1968
      The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

       and 1976
      United States presidential election, 1976
      The United States presidential election of 1976 followed the resignation of President Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal. It pitted incumbent President Gerald Ford, the Republican candidate, against the relatively unknown former governor of Georgia, Jimmy Carter, the Democratic...

       (Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      )
    • Pete Wilson
      Pete Wilson
      Peter Barton "Pete" Wilson is an American politician from California. Wilson, a Republican, served as the 36th Governor of California , the culmination of more than three decades in the public arena that included eight years as a United States Senator , eleven years as Mayor of San Diego and...

       in 1996
      United States presidential election, 1996
      The United States presidential election of 1996 was a contest between the Democratic national ticket of President Bill Clinton of Arkansas and Vice President Al Gore of Tennessee and the Republican national ticket of former Senator Bob Dole of Kansas for President and former Housing Secretary Jack...

       (Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      )

  • These Governors were nominated for Vice President
    Vice President of the United States
    The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

    , but their ticket lost the election:
    • Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Johnson
      Hiram Warren Johnson was a leading American progressive and later isolationist politician from California; he served as the 23rd Governor from 1911 to 1917, and as a United States Senator from 1917 to 1945.-Early life:...

       (Ran with Theodore Roosevelt
      Theodore Roosevelt
      Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

      , Progressive
      Progressive Party (United States, 1912)
      The Progressive Party of 1912 was an American political party. It was formed after a split in the Republican Party between President William Howard Taft and former President Theodore Roosevelt....

      , 1912
      United States presidential election, 1912
      The United States presidential election of 1912 was a rare four-way contest. Incumbent President William Howard Taft was renominated by the Republican Party with the support of its conservative wing. After former President Theodore Roosevelt failed to receive the Republican nomination, he called...

      )
    • Earl Warren
      Earl Warren
      Earl Warren was the 14th Chief Justice of the United States.He is known for the sweeping decisions of the Warren Court, which ended school segregation and transformed many areas of American law, especially regarding the rights of the accused, ending public-school-sponsored prayer, and requiring...

       (Ran with Thomas Dewey
      Thomas Dewey
      Thomas Edmund Dewey was the 47th Governor of New York . In 1944 and 1948, he was the Republican candidate for President, but lost both times. He led the liberal faction of the Republican Party, in which he fought conservative Ohio Senator Robert A. Taft...

      , Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      , 1948
      United States presidential election, 1948
      The United States presidential election of 1948 is considered by most historians as the greatest election upset in American history. Virtually every prediction indicated that incumbent President Harry S. Truman would be defeated by Republican Thomas E. Dewey. Truman won, overcoming a three-way...

      )

  • These Governors did not run for president, but were under serious consideration by their party's nominee during their governorship to be their running mate for the office of Vice President
    Vice President of the United States
    The Vice President of the United States is the holder of a public office created by the United States Constitution. The Vice President, together with the President of the United States, is indirectly elected by the people, through the Electoral College, to a four-year term...

    , but were not chosen:
    • George Deukmejian
      George Deukmejian
      Courken George Deukmejian, Jr. born June 6, 1928) is an Armenian American politician from California who as a Republican served as the 35th Governor of California and as California Attorney General .-Early life:...

       (George H.W. Bush, Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      , 1988
      United States presidential election, 1988
      The United States presidential election of 1988 featured no incumbent president, as President Ronald Reagan was unable to seek re-election after serving the maximum two terms allowed by the Twenty-second Amendment. Reagan's Vice President, George H. W. Bush, won the Republican nomination, while the...

      ), who declined consideration due to his vast ideological differences with Lieutenant Governor Leo McCarthy, who would have become Governor if Deukmejian accepted the nomination and was elected to the Vice Presidency.
    • Gray Davis
      Gray Davis
      Joseph Graham "Gray" Davis, Jr. is an American Democratic politician who served as California's 37th Governor from 1999 until being recalled in 2003...

       (Al Gore
      Al Gore
      Albert Arnold "Al" Gore, Jr. served as the 45th Vice President of the United States , under President Bill Clinton. He was the Democratic Party's nominee for President in the 2000 U.S. presidential election....

      , Democratic
      Democratic Party (United States)
      The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

      , 2000
      United States presidential election, 2000
      The United States presidential election of 2000 was a contest between Republican candidate George W. Bush, then-governor of Texas and son of former president George H. W. Bush , and Democratic candidate Al Gore, then-Vice President....

      )

  • One unsuccessful candidate for Governor of California was elected President of the United States
    President of the United States
    The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

    :
    • Former Vice President
      Vice president
      A vice president is an officer in government or business who is below a president in rank. The name comes from the Latin vice meaning 'in place of'. In some countries, the vice president is called the deputy president...

       Richard Nixon
      Richard Nixon
      Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

       was the Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

       nominee for Governor of California in 1962, and lost to Democrat Pat Brown
      Pat Brown
      Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. was the 32nd Governor of California, serving from 1959 to 1967, and the father of current Governor of California Jerry Brown.-Background:...

      . Nixon later was elected president in 1968
      United States presidential election, 1968
      The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

       and reelected in 1972
      United States presidential election, 1972
      The United States presidential election of 1972 was the 47th quadrennial United States presidential election. It was held on November 7, 1972. The Democratic Party's nomination was eventually won by Senator George McGovern, who ran an anti-war campaign against incumbent Republican President Richard...

      . (Republican
      Republican Party (United States)
      The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

      , 1969–1974).

See also


External links

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