Women in Statewide Elective Executive Office 2020

In 2020, 90 women hold statewide elective executive offices across the country; women hold 28.9% of the 311 available positions.* Among these women, 48 are Democrats, 40 are Republicans and 2 are non-partisan. Of the 90 women, 16 or 17.8% are women of color. For information on the history of women in statewide elective executive offices click here.
*These figures do not include: officials in appointive state cabinet-level positions; officials elected to executive posts by the legislature; officials elected as commissioners or board members from districts rather than statewide; members of the judicial branch; or elected members of university Boards of Trustees or Boards of Education.

Nine women (6D, 3R) serve as governors in 2020. In addition, two women serve as governor in the U.S. Territories; Wanda Vázquez Garced in Puerto Rico and Lou Leon Guerroro in Guam.

6 D
3 R

Kate Brown, an Oregon Democrat, became governor in 2015 after the elected governor resigned. She served as secretary of state from 2009 until she became governor. She served in the Oregon House of Representatives and Oregon State Senate, becoming senate majority leader.

Kay Ivey, an Alabama Republican, was lieutenant governor and became governor when the elected governor resigned. She was elected state treasurer in 2002 and re-elected in 2006; she won office as lieutenant governor in 2010 and was re-elected in 2014.

Laura Kelly, a Kansas Democrat, was elected to an open seat in 2018. She served as a Kansas State Senator from 2005 until she became governor. 

Michelle Lujan Grisham, a New Mexico Democrat, was elected to an open seat in 2018. She served as U.S. Representative from 2013 until she became governor. From 2004-2007 she was the New Mexico Secretary of Health. 

Janet Mills, Maine Democrat, was elected to an open seat to become the state’s first woman governor in 2018. She served as Attorney General of Maine from 2009 to 2011 and then 2013 until she became governor.

Kristi Noem, a South Dakota Republican, was elected to an open seat to become the state’s first woman governor in 2018. She served as U.S. Representative from 2011 until she became governor. From 2007-2011 she served in the South Dakota House of Representatives.

Gina Raimondo, a Rhode Island Democrat, won an open seat to become the state's first woman governor in 2014. She served as general treasurer from 2011-2015.

Kim Reynolds, an Iowa Republican, was appointed governor in 2017 when the incumbent left office to serve as U.S. Ambassador to China. In 2018, she became the first woman elected as governor in Iowa. She served as lieutenant governor from 2011 until becoming governor. Prior to her election as lieutenant governor, she served in the Iowa State Senate and as Clarke County treasurer.

Gretchen Whitmer, a Michigan Democrat, won an open seat in 2018. She served in the Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan State Senate, becoming senate minority leader.


History of Women Governors

women (26D, 18R) have served as governors in 30 states.

26 D
18 R

In addition, two women have served as governor in Puerto Rico and one has served as governor in Guam. Arizona is the first state where a woman succeeded another woman as governor, and the first state to have had four women governors. Of the 44 women governors, 30 were first elected in their own right; 3 replaced their husbands, and 11 became governor by constitutional succession, six of whom subsequently won full terms. The record number of women serving simultaneously, achieved in 2004, 2007, and 2019 is 9. 

Lieutenant Governor
10 D
5 R
CA Eleni Kounalakis D
CO Dianne Primavera D
CT Susan Bysiewicz* D
DE Bethany Hall-Long D
FL Jeanette Nunez R
ID Janice K. McGeachin R
IL Julianna Stratton D
IN Suzanne Crouch R
KY Jaqueline Coleman D
MA Karyn Polito R
MN Peggy Flanagan DFL**
NJ Sheila Oliver D
NV Kate Marshall D
NY Kathy Hochul D
SC Pamela Evette R

 * Elected independent of the governor.
** The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party is the state's Democratic Party.

Attorney General
5 D
3 R
AR Leslie Rutledge R
DE Kathy Jennings D
FL Ashley Moody R
MA Maura Healey D
MI Dana Nessel D
MS Lynn Fitch R
NY Tish James D
OR Ellen Rosenblum D


Secretary of State
7 D
4 R
State Treasurer/Chief Financial Officer
5 D
5 R
State Auditor
6 D
4 R
AR Andrea Lea R
DE Kathleen K. McGuiness D
IN Tera Klutz R
MA Suzanne Bump D
MN Julie Blaha DFL*
MO Nicole Galloway D
NC Beth Wood D
OK Cindy Byrd R
WA Pat McCarthy D
WY Kristi Racines R

* The Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party is the state's Democratic Party.

State Comptroller/Controller
3 D
Chief State Education Official

(note: title varies from state to state)

2 D
6 R
1 NP*

* Non-partisan

Commissioner of Labor
2 R
1 NP*

*NP = non-partisan

Corporation Commissioner
1 D
2 R
Public Service Commissioner
3 R
Public Utilities Commissioner
1 R
SD Kristie Fiegen R


Agriculture Commissioner
1 D
FL Nicole Fried D


Insurance Commissioner
1 R
KS Vicki Schmidt R


Railroad Commissioner
1 R
Commissioner of Public Lands
1 D

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