United States gubernatorial elections, 2015

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United States gubernatorial elections, 2015
United States
← 2014 November 3-21, 2015 2016 →

3 governorships
  Majority party Minority party
  Governor Bill Haslam crop.jpg 200x200px
Leader Bill Haslam Steve Bullock
Party Republican Democratic
Leader's seat Tennessee Montana
Last election 31 governorships 18 governorships
Seats before 31 18
Seats after 31 18
Seat change Steady Steady

US Gubernatorial Elections, 2015.png
  Republican Hold
  Republican Gain
  Democratic Gain

The United States gubernatorial elections of 2015 were held on November 3, 2015, in the states of Kentucky and Mississippi and on November 21, 2015 in the state of Louisiana. The gubernatorial elections are to elect the state governor; the official at the head of the executive branch of a state. In addition, special elections may take place (if respective constitutions require) if other gubernatorial seats are vacated. These elections form part of the 2015 United States elections. The last regular gubernatorial elections for all three states were in 2011.

Race summary

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[1] Phil Bryant (R) 67%
Robert Gray (D) 32%

Election predictions

State CPVI Incumbent[2] Last
Aug. 26,
Oct. 29,
Aug. 21
Oct. 29,
RCP Median
Kentucky R+13 (Steve Beshear) (D) 55.6% D Tossup Tossup Tilt D Lean D Tilt D Matt Bevin (R)
Louisiana R+12 (Bobby Jindal) (R) 65.8% R Lean D Tossup Tossup Lean D Tilt D John Bel Edwards (D)
Mississippi R+9 Phil Bryant (R) 61.0% R Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R Safe R Phil Bryant (R)

Term-limited Democratic incumbent

Steve Beshear (Kentucky)

Two-term incumbent Governor Steve Beshear, a Democrat, 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

Bobby Jindal (Louisiana)

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

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]

In the October 2015 blanket primary election, Edwards finished first with 40 percent of the vote, while Vitter finished second with 23 percent. 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

Phil Bryant (Mississippi)

One-term incumbent Governor Phil Bryant was nominated for a second term.[1][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. 1.0 1.1 AP (January 20, 2015). "Gov. Bryant outlines priorities in State of the State". The Clarion-Ledger. Retrieved January 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Parentheses around an incumbent's name indicates that the incumbent is retiring, possibly due to term limits.
  3. "2015/2016 GOVERNORS RACE RATINGS". Cook Political Report. Retrieved December 12, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Election Outlook: 2016 Race Ratings". Daily Kos. Retrieved October 21, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "2016 Race Ratings". Roll Call. Roll Call. Retrieved January 13, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "2016 Governor". Sabato's Crystal Ball. UVA Center for Politics. Retrieved January 24, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. Bruggeman, Karyn (January 27, 2015). "Matt Bevin to Make Shock Run for Kentucky Governor". National Journal. Retrieved January 27, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Youngman, Sam. "Drew Curtis will join debate on Kentucky Sports Radio, but other fall debates look iffy". Kentucky.com. Retrieved September 29, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 Alford, Jeremy (May 6, 2013). "Saved by the Bel?". Gambit. Retrieved May 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Avery, Cole (October 2, 2014). "Scott Angelle to run for governor in 2015". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved October 2, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. Adelson, Jeff (March 20, 2013). "Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne 'intends' to run for governor in 2015". The Times-Picayune. Retrieved May 13, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "David Vitter Announces Run for Governor". Roll Call. January 21, 2014. Retrieved January 21, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Alexander says he may run for Louisiana governor in 2015". The Town Talk. August 13, 2013. Retrieved August 15, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Louisiana poll: Vitter edges Georges, Jindal's popularity, jobs and economy tops". Bayoubuzz.com. June 20, 2012. Retrieved February 5, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Long weighs bid for governor in 2015". The Advocate. August 11, 2012. Retrieved January 30, 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Natchitoches minister makes run for governor". KNOE.com. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 5, 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  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.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. 22.0 22.1 Pettus, Emily Wagster (August 5, 2015). "Truck Driver Wins Dem Nomination for Mississippi Governor". ABC News. AP.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links