Governors Races in 2018

VA mansion

The Virginia Governor’s Mansion, the oldest occupied governor’s mansion in the U.S.

The 2018 midterm elections this November are critically important for a number of reasons. One of those reasons is that there are 36 gubernatorial races at stake. Take a moment today to get ready for yours.

Whoever wins this fall will be in the governor’s mansion come 2020. And why does that matter? That year, every state will go through the once-a-decade process of reviewing and redrawing the district maps, and the governor has veto power.*

Once the U.S. Census is taken in 2020 and we have the updated population counts, we will learn which states will be gaining or losing congressional seats. The census information is also used to draw up new maps for both federal and state-level districts. Democrats must be in power–both in the executive positions such as governor and in state legislatures–to influence how the districts are redrawn.

So, this year there are governors races in 36 states and 3 territories. They are almost evenly split between incumbents who are running again and seats where the incumbent either can’t or isn’t running for re-election.

Check the map above to see if your state is having a gubernatorial election this year. If you do have a race, and chances are good that you do, right now is the best time to get involved. The National Governors Association has a helpful state-by-state list of each race, including who the declared candidates are here.

Until the primaries happen, though, these candidate lists are likely to change quite a bit. I recommend that you get involved with your local or county Democratic club, as there you’ll be first to hear about candidates, be in a position to meet them and hear what they have to say, and perhaps participate in a straw poll.

If you already know which candidate you want to support, volunteer for their campaign. Right now. Sign up through their website or go visit their campaign office.

For those of you who don’t have a governor’s race this year, I’m sure you’re busy with other races in your state. But, if you want to help with a particular governor’s race, one of the best ways to help from afar is to donate.

*Note: A huge majority of the states use their legislatures to redraw districts, and these plans can be vetoed by the governor. A few states use other methods to draw their lines, and those are not subject to the governor’s veto.


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