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  • Benjamin Baker Moeur (1869 - 1937)
    Benjamin Baker Moeur (December 22, 1869 – March 16, 1937) was the fourth Governor of Arizona, one of the United States of America. Born in Decherd, Tennessee, Moeur was a doctor before running for ...
  • John Calhoun Phillips, Governor (1870 - 1943)
    John Calhoun Phillips (November 13, 1870 – June 25, 1943) was the third Governor of the state of Arizona. He served from January 7, 1929 to January 5, 1931. Born in 1870 in Vermont, Illinois, Phill...
  • Ernest McFarland, Governor, U.S. Senator, Chief Justice of Arizona (1894 - 1984)
    Ernest William McFarland (October 9, 1894 – June 8, 1984) was an American politician and, with Warren Atherton, is considered one of the "Fathers of the G.I. Bill". He is the only Arizonan to serve i...
  • Paul Fannin, Governor, U.S. Senator (1907 - 2002)
    Paul Jones Fannin (January 29, 1907 – January 13, 2002) was an American businessman and politician. A Republican, he served as a U.S. Senator from Arizona from 1965 to 1977. He previously served as t...
  • John N. Goodwin, 1st Gov. of Arizona Territory (1824 - 1887)
    John Noble Goodwin (October 18, 1824 – April 29, 1887) was a United States attorney and politician who served as the first Governor of Arizona Territory. He was also a Congressman from Maine and serv...

The Governor of Arizona is the head of the executive branch of Arizona's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Arizona Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.

Twenty-two people have served as governor over 26 distinct terms. All of the repeat governors were in the state's earliest years, when George W. P. Hunt and Thomas Edward Campbell alternated as governor for 17 years and, after a two-year gap, Hunt served another term. One governor was successfully impeached, Evan Mecham, and one resigned upon being convicted of a felony, Fife Symington III. The longest-serving governor was Hunt, who was elected seven times and served just under fourteen years. The longest single stint was Bruce Babbitt's, who was elected to two 4-year terms after succeeding to the office following the death of his predecessor, serving nearly nine years total. Wesley Bolin had the shortest term, dying less than five months after succeeding into office. Four governors were actually born in Arizona: Thomas Edward Campbell, Sidney Preston Osborn, Rose Mofford, and Bruce Babbitt. Arizona has had four female governors, the most in the United States, and is also the only state in which female governors have served in a consecutive order. Because of a string of deaths in office, resignations, and an impeachment, Arizona has not had a governor whose term began and ended because of "normal" election circumstances since Jack Williams left office in 1975. The current governor is Jan Brewer, who took office on January 21, 2009, upon the resignation of Janet Napolitano, and was elected to a full term in 2010. Her term will expire on January 5, 2015.

Governors of the Territory of Arizona

Arizona Territory was formed on February 24, 1863 from New Mexico Territory, remaining a territory for 49 years. On January 18, 1867, the northwestern corner of the territory was transferred to the state of Nevada.

John A. Gurley was appointed by President of the United States Abraham Lincoln to be the first governor of the territory, but he died on August 19, 1863, before he could arrive in the territory. John Noble Goodwin was appointed in his place.

  • John Noble Goodwin (29 December 1863 - 4 March 1865)
  • Richard C. McCormick (9 July 1866 - 4 March 1869)
  • Anson P. K. Safford (9 July 1869 - 5 April 1877)
  • John Philo Hoyt (30 May 1877 - 12 June 1878)
  • John C. Frémont
  • Frederick Augustus Tritle
  • C. Meyer Zulick
  • Lewis Wolfley
  • John N. Irwin
  • Oakes Murphy
  • L. C. Hughes
  • Benjamin Joseph Franklin
  • Myron H. McCord
  • Oakes Murphy
  • Alexander Oswald Brodie
  • Joseph Henry Kibbey
  • Richard Elihu Sloan

List of Governors of the State of Arizona

Governors of the State of Arizona

The state of Arizona was admitted to the Union on February 14, 1912, the last of the contiguous states to be admitted.

The state constitution of 1912 called for the election of a governor every two years. The term was increased to four years by a 1968 amendment. The constitution originally included no term limit, but an amendment passed in 1992 allows governors to succeed themselves only once; before this, four governors were elected more than twice in a row. Gubernatorial terms begin on the first Monday in the January following the election. Governors who have served the two term limit can run again after four years out of office.

Arizona is one of seven states which does not have a lieutenant governor; instead, in the event of a vacancy in the office of governor, the Secretary of State, if elected, succeeds to the office. If the secretary of state was appointed, rather than elected, or is otherwise ineligible to hold the office of governor, the first elected and eligible person in the line of succession assumes the office. The state constitution specifies the line of succession to be the Secretary of State, Attorney General, State Treasurer and Superintendent of Public Instruction, in that order. If the governor is out of the state or impeached, the next elected officer in the line of succession becomes acting governor until the governor returns or is cleared. The line of succession has gone beyond secretary of state once, when Bruce Babbitt, as state attorney general, became governor upon the death of Wesley Bolin; the secretary of state at the time, Rose Mofford, was an appointee to replace Bolin, who himself had succeeded to the office due to the resignation of his predecessor, Raul Hector Castro. Mofford would later succeed Evan Mecham as governor when he was impeached.