2024 gubernatorial
Photo credit: iStock.com/gguy44

2023 saw three gubernatorial elections in Louisiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Republicans picked up one gubernatorial seat, flipping Louisiana with the election of Republican Jeff Landry (Democratic incumbent Governor John Bel Edwards is term-limited), giving them 27 governorships to 23 for Democrats. Meanwhile, incumbent Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear (D) and incumbent Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) won their respective re-elections.

With the 2023 elections now in the rearview mirror, there are a multitude of gubernatorial races to look forward to in 2024. 11 states will hold gubernatorial elections in 2024: Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. Republicans hold the governor’s office in eight of these states, while Democrats hold three.


Most Incumbents Not Running

Many incumbent governors are not running for re-election in 2024 due to being term-limited or deciding to pursue other roles. Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Washington, and West Virginia are guaranteed to have a new governor after 2024. Only Governor Spencer Cox (R-Utah) has announced his re-election campaign; Governors Phil Scott (R-Vermont) and Greg Gianforte (R-Montana) have not yet announced their intentions.


The Toss-Ups

While it is still early, only two states are considered “toss-ups”: New Hampshire and North Carolina.

New Hampshire 2024 Gubernatorial Election

In New Hampshire, Governor Chris Sununu (R) announced in the summer of 2023 that he would not seek re-election in 2024. The state has voted Democratic in every presidential election since 2004, and its federal delegation is entirely Democratic. However, at the state level, Republicans control the state legislature and the governor’s office.

As of early December 2023, four candidates have announced their campaigns to replace Sununu, two in the Democratic primary and two in the Republican primary. Among Republicans, former U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and former State Senate President Chuck Morse have announced their candidacies. Ayotte lost her 2016 Senate re-election race by 0.1 percent, while Morse lost the U.S. Senate Republican primary in 2022 to Don Bolduc by fewer than 2,000 votes. On the Democratic side, Cinde Warmington and Joyce Craig have announced their candidacies. Warmington is a New Hampshire Executive Council member for District 2; Craig is the Chair of the Manchester Board of School Committee and Mayor of Manchester.

North Carolina 2024 Gubernatorial Election

Unlike New Hampshire, where the incumbent chose not to seek re-election, North Carolina’s incumbent Governor Roy Cooper (D) is term-limited and cannot seek re-election. Notably, North Carolina is the only Democratic gubernatorial office up for election in 2024 in a state that Donald Trump won in 2020. Republicans also control the state legislature.

Running on the Democratic side are Attorney General Josh Stein and Michael Morgan, a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice. The Republican primary is more contested, featuring State Treasurer Dale Folwell, Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, former State Sen. Andy Wells, former health care executive Jesse Thomas, and attorney Bill Graham.


Notable 2024 Gubernatorial Primary Races

West Virginia Governor Jim Justice (R) is running for U.S. Senate to replace the retiring U.S. Senator Joe Manchin (D). Five Republicans are running in the primary to replace Justice next year. Running are Delegate Moore Capito (son of U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito), Attorney General Patrick Morrisey, Secretary of State Mac Warner, businessman Chris Miller, and entrepreneur and childcare center director Rashida Yost. One early poll from November 2023 shows Morrisey leading the pack with 31% to Capito’s 23%, Warner’s 14% and Miller’s 10%.

In Missouri, four Republicans and three Democrats are running to replace incumbent Governor Mike Parson (R). Running on the Republican side are Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, State Senator Bill Eigel, Lieutenant Governor and former State Senator Mike Kehoe, and business owner and former law enforcement officer Chris Wright. On the Democratic side are businessman Mike Hamra, House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, and Sheryl Gladney.

In Washington, four candidates are seeking the 2024 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. The candidates include Attorney General Bob Ferguson, State Senator Mark Mullet, business owner and veteran EL’ona Kearney, and student Chaytan Inman. In September 2023, incumbent Governor Jay Inslee endorsed Ferguson, backing him as a successor.


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