How the 36 Governor Races Are Shaking Out

Keeping tabs on a slew of governor's mansions
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 8, 2022 7:25 PM CST
Updated Nov 9, 2022 12:54 PM CST
36 States Electing Governors. Keep an Eye on These
This combination of photos shows Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist on Sept. 12 in Miami, left, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Sept. 26 in Largo, Fla., right.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File)

As far as the scales go, the GOP had 28 governors to the Democrats' 22 going into Tuesday. And Politico spies "an opening for Republicans to retake a significant number of governorships." Thirty-six states are electing governors, reports the AP, with many of those races poised to come down to the slimmest of margins. Among the races that have been decided (in bold, and leading with the surprises and then alphabetical by state), and some big ones we're still watching:

  • Maryland goes to Democrat Wes Moore. His win over Republican Dan Cox flips the office from Republican to Democratic; GOP Gov. Larry Hogan is term limited. Moore becomes the state's first Black governor.
  • Massachusetts goes to Democratic Maura Healey. In beating Republican Geoff Diehl, the attorney general becomes America's first openly lesbian governor and flips the office back to Democratic hands.
  • Alabama goes to Republican Gov. Kay Ivey. She handily won a second full term by defeating Democrat Yolanda Flowers.
  • Arkansas goes to Republican Sarah Huckabee Sanders. The former White House press secretary defeated Democratic nominee Chris Jones and becomes the state's first female governor.
  • California goes to Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom. He defeated Republican state Sen. Brian Dahle to win a second term.
  • Colorado goes to Democratic Gov. Jared Polis. He defeated Heidi Ganahl to win a second term.
  • Connecticut goes to Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont. He defeated Republican businessman Bob Stefanowski to win a second term.
  • Florida goes to Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis. His win over Democrat Charlie Crist bolsters his status as a GOP rising star with a potential eye on the White House.
  • Georgia goes to Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. He prevailed in his rematch with Democratic challenger Stacey Abrams. More here.
  • Hawaii goes to Democrat Josh Green. The current lieutenant governor beat Republican former Lt. Gov. Duke Aiona.
  • Idaho goes to Republican Gov. Brad Little. He easily fended off Democratic and Independent challengers to win a second term.
  • Illinois goes to Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker. He notched a second term over Republican state Sen. Darren Bailey.
  • Iowa goes to Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds. She wins a second term in defeating Democrat Deidre DeJear.
  • Kansas goes to Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly. She won a second term in the GOP-leaning state after running as the "education governor."
  • Maine goes to Democratic Gov. Janet Mills. She defeated former two-time GOP Gov. Paul LePage to win a second term.
  • Michigan goes to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. In a closely-watched race, she defeated Republican challenger Tudor Dixon to win a second term.
  • Minnesota goes to Democratic Gov. Tim Walz. He beat Republican Scott Jensen to win a second term.
  • Nebraska goes to Republican Jim Pillen. The GOP businessman defeated Democratic state Sen. Carol Blood.
  • New Hampshire goes to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu. It will be his fourth term in the state, making him only the second governor in the state to earn that status. He beat Democratic state Sen. Tom Sherman.
  • New Mexico goes to Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. She defeated Republican Mark Ronchetti to win a second term.
  • New York goes to Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul. Hochul, who became governor when Andrew Cuomo resigned, beat Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin to become the first woman elected governor of the state.

  • Ohio goes to Republican Gov. Mike DeWine. He defeated Democrat Nan Whaley, extending the GOP's 16-year hold on the office
  • Oklahoma goes to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt. He held off a surprisingly tough challenge posed by Democrat Joy Hofmeister.
  • Pennsylvania goes to Democrat Josh Shapiro. The state's attorney general, endorsed by outgoing Gov. Tom Wolf, defeated hard-right Republican Doug Mastriano.
  • Rhode Island goes to Democratic Gov. Dan McKee. He beat Republican political novice Ashley Kalus to win his first full term in office.
  • South Carolina goes to Republican Gov. Henry McMaster. He defeated Democrat Joe Cunningham.
  • South Dakota goes to Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. She defeated state Rep. Jamie Smith.
  • Tennessee goes to Republican Gov. Bill Lee. He bested Democrat Jason Martin, keeping Republican control of an office that hasn't been in Democratic hands for more than a decade.
  • Texas goes to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott. He secured a record-tying third term in defeating Democrat Beto O'Rourke.
  • Vermont goes to Republican Gov. Phil Scott. In defeating Democrat Brenda Siegel, he secures his fourth two-year term.
  • Wisconsin goes to Democratic Gov. Tony Evers. GOP candidate Tim Michels conceded early Wednesday, and the AP later called the race for Evers officially.
  • Wyoming goes to Republican Gov. Mark Gordon. He defeated little-known Democrat Theresa Livingston.

  • In Oregon, former Democrat Betsy Johnson is running a "well-funded independent campaign," per Politico, and appears to be sapping more juice from Democrat Tina Kotek, narrowing her race against Republican Christine Drazan; the state last elected a Republican governor 40 years ago. The race was still too close to call at 2:30am ET.
  • Also not called yet at that time: Arizona, where Democrat Katie Hobbs was leading Republican Kari Lake 52.3% to 47.7% with 58% of the vote in; Nevada, where Republican Joe Lombardo (aka "Sheriff Joe") was leading Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak 48.9% to 47.6% with 60% of the vote in; and Alaska, where current Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy was leading in a ranked-choice election.
This story will be updated as results come in. (More 2022 midterms stories.)

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