Donald Trump had no experience of elected office before becoming president this year, but which presidents previously served as governor?
No less than seventeen Americans have become US president following a spell as governor – eighteen if you count Grover Cleveland’s two non-consecutive terms.
Here are the seven most recent governor-turned-presidents.
1. George W. Bush
The most recent Republican president before Donald Trump served as the governor of Texas from 1995 to 2000, resigning from the role following his presidential win in 2000. As governor, he delivered tax-cuts and pushed Texas towards a reliance on wind power.
2. Bill Clinton
Democrat Clinton served as Arkansas’s governor on two non-consecutive occasions, between 1979 and 1981, as well as between 1983 and 1993. He lost the 1980 election to Republican Frank D. White, but made a comeback two years later and won the next three gubernatorial elections before becoming the first Democratic president in twelve years, defeating George H. W. Bush in the 1992 election.
3. Ronald Regan
This actor-turned-politician served as California’s governor between 1967 and 1975, a trajectory that was later followed by Arnold Schwarzenegger who was an actor before becoming the state’s 38th governor.
Republican Reagan went on to win the 1980 and 1984 presidential elections, in what could only be described as two striking landslides. He was succeeded by his VP George H. W. Bush at the 1988 election.
4. Jimmy Carter
The most recent one-term Democratic president served in the country’s top job between 1977 and 1981, but before that he served as Georgia’s governor between 1971 and 1975. He is still alive today.
5. Franklin D. Roosevelt
Roosevelt made American history by being the only president to serve three full terms, win four elections, and have three separate vice presidents throughout his time in power. Roosevelt tragically died soon after winning his fourth consecutive election.
But before his long time at the top, he served as the 44th governor of New York between 1929 and 1932.
6. Calvin Coolidge
Republican Coolidge was elected as America’s VP in the 1920 election, but ascended to the presidency in 1923 following Warren G. Harding’s death. Before becoming VP and president, Coolidge served as Massachusetts’ 48th governor between 1919 and 1921, and before that as the state’s lieutenant governor.
7. Woodrow Wilson
This Democratic giant served as America’s president during World War One, and was a strong internationalist who played a crucial role in setting up the League of Nations. The academic-turned-politician served as the Governor of New Jersey between 1911 and 1913 before becoming US president in 1913.
Mike Pence is seen as a likely candidate to become America’s 46th president. An early Trump departure or a 2020 replacement bid could see Mike Pence enter the Oval Office with the top job. According to Oddschecker, he is the second favourite candidate to become president as a result of the 2020 election, with Donald Trump as the favourite.
Pence served as the Indiana's 50th governor between 2013 and 2017 before becoming VP earlier this year.
If Mike Pence’s ambition is to become president, he only has to look at history to see that the odds are in his favour.
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