List of Governors of New Mexico

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Number of Governors of New Mexico by party affiliation[1]
Great seal of the state of New Mexico.png
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
New Mexico

The following is a list of the Governors of the state of New Mexico and New Mexico Territory.

Twenty-seven individuals have held the office of governor of New Mexico since the state's admission to the Union in 1912, two of whom—Edwin L. Mechem and Bruce King—served three non-consecutive terms. William C. McDonald, the first governor, took office on January 6, 1912. The current officeholder is Susana Martinez, who took office on January 1, 2011, as the first elected female governor of the state. Governors are limited to two consecutive terms but a former governor is eligible for re-election after an intervening governor's term expires.


Governors under U.S. military rule[edit]

For the governors of Nuevo México under Mexican and Spanish rule prior to the U.S. invasion, see Mexican governors of New Mexico and Spanish governors of New Mexico.

In 1846 the U.S. Army under Stephen W. Kearny invaded and occupied New Mexico. Military governors at times were assisted by civilian governors. The military governors were:

GovernorTook officeLeft officeNotes
General Stephen W. KearnyAugust 1846September 1847Military
Colonel Sterling PriceSeptember 1847October 1848Military
Lieutenant Colonel John M. WashingtonOctober 1848October 1849Military and civilian.[2]
Colonel John MunroeOctober 1849March 1851Military and civilian[3]

Civilian governors were:

GovernorTook officeLeft officeNotes
Charles BentSeptember 1846January 1847Assassinated in Taos on January 19, 1847.[4]
Donaciano VigilJanuary 1847October 1848Acting to December 1847[5]
Henry ConnellyJune 1850September 1850Elected under the "State" constitution, which was nullified by the Compromise of 1850.
Prevented from assuming power by John Munroe.

Governors of the Territory of New Mexico[edit]

In 1850 New Mexico was organized as a Territory, and James S. Calhoun was appointed the first governor.


      Democratic       Whig       Republican

#PictureGovernorTook officeLeft officePartyAppointing PresidentNotes
1James S Calhoun.gifJames S. Calhoun18511852WhigMillard Fillmore[note 1]
2No image.svgWilliam Carr Lane18521853WhigMillard Fillmore
3DavidMeriwether.jpgDavid Meriwether18531855DemocraticFranklin Pierce
4No image.svgAbraham Rencher18571861DemocraticJames Buchanan
5Henry Connelly.jpgHenry Connelly18611866DemocraticAbraham Lincoln[note 2]
6Robert Byington Mitchell.jpgRobert Byington Mitchell18661869DemocraticAndrew Johnson
7WAPile.jpgWilliam Anderson Pile18691871RepublicanUlysses S. Grant
8Marsh-Giddings-1871.jpgMarsh Giddings18711875RepublicanUlysses S. Grant
9Samuel-Beach-Axtell-1876.jpgSamuel Beach Axtell18751878RepublicanUlysses S. Grant[note 3]
10Lewis Wallace.jpgLewis Wallace18781881RepublicanRutherford B. Hayes
11LASheldon.jpgLionel Allen Sheldon18811885RepublicanJames A. Garfield
12Edmund G. Ross - Brady-Handy.jpgEdmund G. Ross18851889DemocraticGrover Cleveland
13Bradford Prince.jpgL. Bradford Prince18891893RepublicanBenjamin Harrison
14No image.svgWilliam Taylor Thornton18931897DemocraticGrover Cleveland
15Gov Miguel Antonio Otero.jpgMiguel A. Otero18971906RepublicanWilliam McKinley
16No image.svgHerbert James Hagerman19061907RepublicanTheodore Roosevelt
17No image.svgGeorge Curry19071910RepublicanTheodore Roosevelt[note 4]
18William Joseph Mills.jpgWilliam J. Mills19101912RepublicanWilliam H. Taft

Governors of the State of New Mexico[edit]


      Democratic       Republican

#ImageGovernorTook officeLeft officePartyNotes
1William C. McDonald (1912).jpgWilliam C. McDonaldJanuary 6, 1912January 1, 1917Democratic
2Ezequiel Cabeza De Baca.jpgEzequiel C. de BacaJanuary 1, 1917February 28, 1917Democratic[note 5]
3Washington Ellsworth Lindsey.JPGWashington E. LindseyFebruary 28, 1917January 1, 1919Republican[note 6]
4Octaviano Larrazolo, bw photo portrait, 1919.jpgOctaviano Ambrosio LarrazoloJanuary 1, 1919January 1, 1921Republican
5Merrit C. Mechem (1921).jpgMerritt C. MechemJanuary 1, 1921January 1, 1923Republican
6James Hinkle.jpgJames F. HinkleJanuary 1, 1923January 1, 1925Democratic
7No image.svgArthur T. HannettJanuary 1, 1925January 1, 1927Democratic
8Richard C. Dillon.jpgRichard C. DillonJanuary 1, 1927January 1, 1931Republican
9No image.svgArthur SeligmanJanuary 1, 1931September 25, 1933Democratic[note 5]
10Andrew Hockenhull.jpgAndrew W. HockenhullSeptember 25, 1933January 1, 1935Democratic[note 6]
11No image.svgClyde TingleyJanuary 1, 1935January 1, 1939Democratic
12No image.svgJohn E. MilesJanuary 1, 1939January 1, 1943Democratic
13John J. Dempsey.jpgJohn J. DempseyJanuary 1, 1943January 1, 1947Democratic
14No image.svgThomas J. MabryJanuary 1, 1947January 1, 1951Democratic
15Edwin Mechem.jpgEdwin L. Mechem (1912-2002)January 1, 1951January 1, 1955Republican
16No image.svgJohn F. SimmsJanuary 1, 1955January 1, 1957Democratic
17Edwin Mechem.jpgEdwin L. Mechem (1912-2002)January 1, 1957January 1, 1959Republican
18John H Burroughs.jpgJohn BurroughsJanuary 1, 1959January 1, 1961Democratic
19Edwin Mechem.jpgEdwin L. Mechem (1912-2002)January 1, 1961November 30, 1962Republican[note 7]
20No image.svgTom Bolack (1919-1998)November 30, 1962January 1, 1963Republican[note 6]
21No image.svgJack M. Campbell (1916-1999)January 1, 1963January 1, 1967Democratic
22David F. Cargo 2006.jpgDavid Cargo (1929-2013)January 1, 1967January 1, 1971Republican
23No image.svgBruce King (1924-2009)January 1, 1971January 1, 1975Democratic
24No image.svgJerry Apodaca (1934-)January 1, 1975January 1, 1979Democratic
25No image.svgBruce King (1924-2009)January 1, 1979January 1, 1983Democratic
26Toney Anaya 2008.jpgToney Anaya (1941- )January 1, 1983January 1, 1987Democratic
27No image.svgGarrey Carruthers (1939- )January 1, 1987January 1, 1991Republican
28No image.svgBruce King (1924-2009)January 1, 1991January 1, 1995Democratic
29Garyjohnsonphoto.JPGGary Johnson (1953- )January 1, 1995January 1, 2003Republican
30Bill Richardson at an event in Kensington, New Hampshire, March 18, 2006.jpgBill Richardson (1947- )January 1, 2003January 1, 2011Democratic
31Governor NewMexico.jpgSusana Martínez (1959- )January 1, 2011IncumbentRepublican[note 8]
[note 9]


  1. ^ James Calhoun resigned in 1852 to return to his native state of Georgia
  2. ^ The territory broke into two, and then three during Connelly's tenure due to the civil war and administrative problems (see: Arizona Territory and Arizona Territory (CSA))
  3. ^ Samuel Axtell was suspended by the Secretary of the Interior for misconduct in 1878.
  4. ^ George Curry resigned in 1910 to be a framer in the New Mexico Constitutional Convention.
  5. ^ a b Died in office.
  6. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  7. ^ Resigned to be appointed to the United States Senate by his successor.
  8. ^ Governor Susana Martínez's first term expires on January 1, 2015; she is not yet term limited.
  9. ^ Governor Susana Martínez is the first elected female governor of the state.

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of the higher federal offices and other governorships held by governors. All representatives and senators represented New Mexico. * denotes offices that the governor resigned to take.

GovernorGubernatorial termHigher offices held
Octaviano Ambrosio Larrazolo1919–1921U.S. Senator
John E. Miles1939–1943U.S. Representative
John J. Dempsey1943–1947U.S. Representative
Edwin L. Mechem1951–1955
U.S. Senator*
Bill Richardson2003–2011U.S. Representative, U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ambassador to the United Nations

Living former governors[edit]

As of August 2014, five former governors were alive, the oldest being Jerry Apodaca (1975–1979, born 1934). The most recent governor to die was David Cargo (1967–1971), who died on July 5, 2013. The most recently serving governor to die was Bruce King (1971–1975, 1979–1983, 1991–1995), who died on November 13, 2009.

GovernorGubernatorial termDate of birth
Jerry Apodaca1975–1979(1934-10-03) October 3, 1934 (age 80)
Toney Anaya1983–1987(1941-04-29) April 29, 1941 (age 73)
Garrey Carruthers1987–1991(1939-08-29) August 29, 1939 (age 75)
Gary Johnson1995–2003(1953-01-01) January 1, 1953 (age 61)
Bill Richardson2003–2011(1947-11-15) November 15, 1947 (age 67)


  1. ^ Table only includes state governors; 26 people have served as governor, two thrice; the table includes these non-consecutive terms as well.
  2. ^ Simmons, Marc (November 25, 2011). "Colonel left little mark as governorTrail Dust". The New Mexican. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  3. ^ Clay, Henry; Hay, Melba Porter (1991-03-14). The Papers of Henry Clay. Volume 10: Candidate, Compromiser, Elder Statesman, January 1, 1844-June 29, 1852. University Press of Kentucky. p. 730. ISBN 978-0-8131-0060-9. Retrieved 2012-07-11. 
  4. ^ Wroth, Wiliam H. (2012). "Bent, Charles". New Mexico State Record Center and Archives. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  5. ^ Weber, David J. (2012). "Vigil, Donaciano". New Mexico State Record Center and Archives. Retrieved 2012-07-10. 
  6. ^ State of New Mexico (July 2012). Kathryn A. Flynn, ed. 2012 Centennial Blue Book. Diana J. Duran. Office of the New Mexico Secretary of State. p. 210. 
  7. ^ State of New Mexico (July 2012). Kathryn A. Flynn, ed. 2012 Centennial Blue Book. Diana J. Duran. Office of the New Mexico Secretary of State. pp. 211–212.