Women in Statewide Office 2023

Data from the Center for American Women and Politics

50th Years of CAWP

With all states having sworn in new officeholders, the Center for American Women and Politics (CAWP), a unit of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University, has prepared data on women serving in statewide elective executive offices, including governor. In addition to the data below, CAWP has released part two of its report on the 2022 midterms, Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress, which focuses on these offices in deeper detail and provides data visualizations and additional analysis.

Key data points about women in statewide elective executive office in 2023 include:

  • 12 (8D, 4R) women now serve as governor, a new high that beats the previous record of 9, first set in 2004. Women hold 24% of governorships nationwide.
  • Three states elected their first woman governor in 2022: Arkansas (Sarah Huckabee Sanders [R]), Massachusetts (Maura Healey [D]), and New York (Kathy Hochul [D]). Two of those states – Massachusetts and New York – have previously had a woman serve as governor through appointment/ascension.
  • There remain 18 states that have never had a woman governor.
  • For the first time, women serve simultaneously as governor and lieutenant governor. In Arkansas, Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Lieutenant Governor Leslie Rutledge, both Republicans, were elected separately. In Massachusetts, Governor Maura Healey and Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, both Democrats, were elected as a ticket.
  • Of the 12 (8D, 4R) women governors serving in 2023, all but one is white; New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) is Latina. No Black, Middle Eastern/North African, or Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian women have ever served as governor.
  • 94 (52D, 40R, 2NP) women serve in statewide elective executive offices, including governorships, holding 30.3% of these offices in 2023. This falls below the current record of 98 women statewide elective executives, set briefly between December 5, 2022 and January 1, 2023.
  • Of the 94 (52D, 40R, 2NP) women serving as statewide elective executives in 2023:
    • 4 (3D, 1R) are Asian American/Pacific Islander. This is a new record, beating the previous record of 3 first set in 2015.
    • 10 (9D, 1R) are Black. This is a new record, beating the previous record of 8 set in 2022.
    • 8 (6D, 2R) are Latina/Hispanic.
    • 1 (1D) is Native American/Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian.
    • 72 (34D, 36R, 2NP) are white.

The statewide elective executive section of CAWP’s report on the 2022 midterms, Women in Election 2022: Marking Midterm Progress, contains additional detail about women officeholders at this level of office, as well as analysis about women candidates and nominees in these races. Some examples include:

  • Historical comparisons to previous and record cycles, particularly 2018 and 2020.
  • Race and ethnicity data on women candidates, nominees, and officeholders over time and by party.
  • Analysis of general-election contests by nominee gender (man vs. man, woman vs. woman, mixed-gender).
  • Women as a percentage of all candidates, nominees, and election winners.
  • Win rates for candidates by gender, party, and incumbency status.
  • State-by-state information about changes in women’s representation in statewide elective executive offices and the history of women governors.

Part one of CAWP’s report on women in the 2022 midterms, an analysis of women in the 118th Congress, was released earlier this month and is available here. An additional section of the report regarding women in state legislative offices will be released in February.


Daniel De Simone: ddesimone@eagleton.rutgers.edu; 760.703.0948