2015 United States gubernatorial elections

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2015 United States gubernatorial elections

← 2014 November 3 and 21, 2015 2016 →

3 governorships
  Majority party Minority party
  Governor Bill Haslam crop.jpg Steve Bullock.jpg
Leader Bill Haslam Steve Bullock
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Tennessee Montana
Last election 34 governorships (31 states) 22 governorships (18 states)
Seats before 34 (31 states) 22 (18 states)
Seats won 2 1
Seats after 34 (31 states) 22 (18 states)
Seat change Steady Steady
Popular vote 1,494,011 1,305,187
Percentage 52.52%[1] 45.88%

  Third party
Party Independent
Last election 2 governorships (1 state)
Seats before 2 (1 state)
Seats won 0
Seats after 2 (1 state)
Seat change Steady
Popular vote 35,597
Percentage 1.25%

2015 gubernatorial election results.svg
Results of the November 2015 elections:
     Democratic gain      Republican gain
     Democratic hold      Republican hold

United States gubernatorial elections were held in three states in 2015 as part of the 2015 United States elections. In Kentucky and Mississippi the elections were held on Tuesday, November 3, and in Louisiana, as no candidate received a majority of votes at the primary election on Saturday, October 24, 2015, a runoff election was held on Saturday, November 21. The last regular gubernatorial elections for all three states were in 2011. Democrats won the open seat of term-limited Republican Bobby Jindal in Louisiana, while Republicans reelected incumbent Phil Bryant in Mississippi and picked up the seat of term-limited Democrat Steve Beshear in Kentucky.

Race summary[edit]

State Incumbent Party First elected Incumbent status Candidates
Kentucky Steve Beshear Democratic 2007 Incumbent term-limited.
Republican gain
Matt Bevin (R) 53%
Jack Conway (D) 44%
Drew Curtis (I) 4%
Louisiana Bobby Jindal Republican 2007 Incumbent term-limited.
Democratic gain
John Bel Edwards (D) 56%
David Vitter (R) 44%
Mississippi Phil Bryant Republican 2011 Re-elected[2] Phil Bryant (R) 67%
Robert Gray (D) 32%

Election predictions[edit]

State PVI Incumbent Last
Aug. 26,
Oct. 29,
Aug. 21
Oct. 29,
Kentucky R+13 Steve Beshear (D)
55.6% Tossup Tossup Tilt D Lean D Tilt D Matt Bevin (R)
Louisiana R+12 Bobby Jindal (R)
65.8% Lean D Tossup Tossup Lean D Tilt D John Bel Edwards (D)
Mississippi R+9 Phil Bryant (R) 61.0% Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R Phil Bryant (R)

Term-limited Democratic incumbent[edit]

Steve Beshear (Kentucky)[edit]

Two-term incumbent Democrat Governor Steve Beshear, was unable to run for a third term in 2015 due to term limits established under the Kentucky Constitution. To succeed Beshear, Democrats nominated Attorney General of Kentucky Jack Conway. Conway's running mate was State Representative Sannie Overly.[7] For the Republicans, businessman and candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2014 Matt Bevin ran on a ticket with Tea Party activist and 2014 State House candidate Jenean Hampton.[8] Bevin narrowly defeated Agriculture Commissioner James Comer to win the Republican nomination. Drew Curtis, the founder of Fark.com, ran as an independent, polling well enough to appear in the Bluegrass Poll gubernatorial debate.[9] Bevin ultimately defeated Conway, winning 53% of the vote to Conway's 44%.

Term-limited Republican incumbent[edit]

Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)[edit]

Two-term incumbent Republican Governor Bobby Jindal was term-limited in 2015 and thus unable to seek reelection. Under Louisiana's jungle primary system, all candidates, regardless of party, appear on the same ballot. Since no candidate received 50% plus one vote during the primary election, a runoff election was held on November 21, 2015 between Republican David Vitter and Democrat John Bel Edwards, the top two candidates in the primary. Edwards won the runoff election with 56.1% of the vote, while Vitter received 43.9%, becoming the first Democrat to win a statewide election in Louisiana since 2008.

Three Republicans ran for the office: Public Service Commissioner and former Lieutenant Governor of Louisiana Scott Angelle,[10][11] incumbent Lieutenant Governor Jay Dardenne[12] and U.S. Senator David Vitter.[13] Potential Republican candidates included former Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs and former U.S. Representative Rodney Alexander,[14] Louisiana State Treasurer John Neely Kennedy,[15] State Senator Gerald Long[16] and former governor, former U.S. Representative and candidate for president in 2012 Buddy Roemer.[17]

Three Democrats ran: 2011 candidate Cary Deaton,[18] Minority Leader of the Louisiana House of Representatives John Bel Edwards[10][19] and minister Jeremy Odom.[20]

The blanket primary election was held on October 24, 2015. Edwards finished first with 40% of the vote, while Vitter finished second with 23%. As no candidate won a majority of the vote, a runoff election between Edwards and Vitter was held on November 21, 2015.[21]

Republican incumbent re-elected[edit]

Phil Bryant (Mississippi)[edit]

One-term incumbent Republican Governor Phil Bryant nominated for a second and final term.[2][22] He had won a resounding victory over his Democratic opponent four years earlier, carrying 61% of the vote. Truck driver Robert Gray was nominated by the Democrats to oppose Bryant in the general election.[22] Bryant won the election in a landslide, winning 67% of the vote to Gray's 32%.


  1. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/index.html
  2. ^ a b AP (January 20, 2015). "Gov. Bryant outlines priorities in State of the State". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  3. ^ "2015/2016 GOVERNORS RACE RATINGS". Cook Political Report. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
  4. ^ "Election Outlook: 2016 Race Ratings". Daily Kos. Retrieved October 21, 2015.
  5. ^ "2016 Race Ratings". Roll Call. Roll Call. Retrieved January 13, 2015.
  6. ^ "2016 Governor". Sabato's Crystal Ball. UVA Center for Politics. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
  7. ^ Ryan Alessi (May 5, 2014). "Jack Conway set to announce 2015 ticket for governor with Rep. Sannie Overly". Mycn2.com. Retrieved May 6, 2014.
  8. ^ Bruggeman, Karyn (January 27, 2015). "Matt Bevin to Make Shock Run for Kentucky Governor". National Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  9. ^ Youngman, Sam. "Drew Curtis will join debate on Kentucky Sports Radio, but other fall debates look iffy". Kentucky.com. Retrieved September 29, 2015.
  10. ^ a b Alford, Jeremy (May 6, 2013). "Saved by the Bel?". Gambit. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  11. ^ Avery, Cole (October 2, 2014). "Scott Angelle to run for governor in 2015". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved October 2, 2014.
  12. ^ Adelson, Jeff (March 20, 2013). "Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne 'intends' to run for governor in 2015". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 13, 2013.
  13. ^ "David Vitter Announces Run for Governor". Roll Call. January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.
  14. ^ "Alexander says he may run for Louisiana governor in 2015". The Town Talk. August 13, 2013. Archived from the original on August 15, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.
  15. ^ "Louisiana poll: Vitter edges Georges, Jindal's popularity, jobs and economy tops". Bayoubuzz.com. June 20, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013.
  16. ^ "Long weighs bid for governor in 2015". The Advocate. August 11, 2012. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved January 30, 2013.
  17. ^ Greater New Orleans (December 12, 2013). "Buddy Roemer to spearhead long-term policy initiative ahead of 2015 election". NOLA.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  18. ^ WWLTV.com (July 26, 2013). "Edwards running to correct what he calls Jindal's mistakes | wwltv.com New Orleans". Wwltv.com. Retrieved December 18, 2013.
  19. ^ Adelson, Jeff (February 10, 2013). "John Bel Edwards announces he is running for governor in 2015". The New Orleans Times-Picayune. Retrieved February 21, 2013.
  20. ^ "Natchitoches minister makes run for governor". KNOE.com. March 4, 2014. Archived from the original on October 28, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.
  21. ^ Deslatte, Melinda (25 October 2015). "Republican David Vitter reaches Louisiana governor's runoff against Democrat John Bel Edwards". US News and World Report. AP. Retrieved 26 October 2015.
  22. ^ a b Pettus, Emily Wagster (August 5, 2015). "Truck Driver Wins Dem Nomination for Mississippi Governor". ABC News. AP.

External links[edit]