The governorship is the only top-level elected executive office to exist in all 50 states. However, the powers and responsibilities of the office vary from state to state.
Here are five things you may not know about the office of governor:
1. Republicans have held a majority of the nation’s gubernatorial offices since the 2010 elections. There are currently 27 Republican governors and 23 Democratic governors. In the 2018 elections, Democrats gained seven previously-Republican governorships while Republicans gained one previously-independent governorship.
2. Vermont and New Hampshire have two-year gubernatorial terms. The other 48 states use four-year terms. Thirty-five states limit the governor to two terms (or eight years) in office, and eight of those impose a lifetime two-term limit like that on the presidency. Virginia prohibits governors from being elected to two consecutive terms, and the remaining 14 states have no form of term limits.
3. Forty-four states give the governor line-item veto authority, allowing them to veto a specific part of a bill while signing the rest into law. Indiana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont do not.
4. Most states have an official governors’ mansion. The five states that do not are Arizona, Idaho, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Michigan is the only state to have two governors’ residences; an official mansion in Lansing and a summer home on Mackinac Island. Pennsylvania is the only state to also have an official lieutenant gubernatorial mansion.
5. Three states are holding elections for governor this year. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin (R), who were each first elected in 2015, are running for re-election. Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) is prevented from running for re-election due to term limits.