1973 United States gubernatorial elections

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United States gubernatorial elections, 1973

← 1972 November 6, 1973 1974 →

2 governorships
  Majority party Minority party
Party Democratic Republican
Last election 31 governorships 19 governorships
Seats before 31 19
Seats after 32 18
Seat change Increase1 Decrease1

1973 Gubernatorial election map.svg
  Democratic pickups
  Republican holds

United States gubernatorial elections were held 6 November 1973, in two states. In both cases, a conservative won in the end, while a moderate (or liberal) lost.

In Virginia, Mills E. Godwin, Jr. had won a term for governor as a Democrat in the 1965 gubernatorial election.[1] This time, he won as a Republican. Howell was an ex-Democrat as well. Howell tried to run from a populist stance, but wasn't successful. Godwin pushed the conservative line and won.[2]

In New Jersey, Cahill had the image of a moderate Republican, but scandals and a dislike of his stance on taxes led to his defeat by Sandman, a more conservative Republican.[3] Sandman wasn't liked by moderate Republicans and didn't get their support, a factor that favored Byrne in the end. It didn't help matters for Sandman that Cahill didn't give much support beyond an endorsement.[4]

State Incumbent Party Status Opposing candidates
New Jersey[5] William T. Cahill Republican Defeated in primary,[6] Democratic victory Brendan Byrne (Democratic) 66.40%
Charles W. Sandman, Jr. (Republican) 32.13%
A. Howard Freund (American) 0.31%
Alfred V. Colabella (Independent) 0.24%
Robert Clement (Socialist Labor) 0.20%
John A. Goodson (Libertarian) 0.15%
James J. Terlizzi, Sr. (Independent Taxpayer's Watchdog) 0.13%
Virginia[7] A. Linwood Holton, Jr. Republican Term-limited, Republican victory Mills E. Godwin, Jr. (Republican) 50.72%
Henry Howell (Independent) 49.28%


  1. ^ "VA Governor". Retrieved 5 July 2012.
  2. ^ "Godwin Narrowly Leads In Va. Governor's Race". 7 November 1973. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  3. ^ "Full of Grace – The governor from Camden Catholic High School". 12 July 2012. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Brendan Byrne Sweeps N.J. Governor's Contest". 7 November 1973. Retrieved 24 July 2012.
  5. ^ "NJ Governor". Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  6. ^ "NJ Governor – R Primary". Retrieved 4 July 2012.
  7. ^ "VA Governor". Retrieved 5 July 2012.