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2002 Arizona gubernatorial election

2002 Arizona gubernatorial election

← 1998 November 5, 2002 2006 →
  Portrait Napolitano hires crop.JPG Congressional Portrait of Matt Salmon.jpg Richard Mahoney.jpg
Nominee Janet Napolitano Matt Salmon Richard Mahoney
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 566,284 554,465 84,947
Percentage 46.2% 45.2% 6.9%

Arizona Governor Election Results by County, 2002.svg
County results
Napolitano:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%
Salmon:      40–50%      50–60%

Governor before election

Jane Dee Hull

Elected Governor

Janet Napolitano

The 2002 Arizona gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Republican Governor Jane Dee Hull was term-limited. The Democratic nominee, Arizona Attorney General Janet Napolitano, narrowly defeated Republican Matt Salmon, a former U.S. Representative. Upon her inauguration, Napolitano became the first woman to succeed another woman as Governor of a state.

Republican primary



Republican primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Matt Salmon 174,055 55.99
Republican Betsey Bayless 92,473 29.75
Republican Carol Springer 44,333 14.26
Republican Write-ins 24 0.01
Total votes 310,861 100.0

Democratic primary



Democratic primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Janet Napolitano 128,702 57.23
Democratic Alfredo Gutierrez 50,377 22.40
Democratic Mark Osterloh 31,422 13.97
Democratic Mike Newcomb 14,373 6.39
Total votes 224,874 100.00

Libertarian primary



Libertarian primary results[1]
Party Candidate Votes %
Libertarian Barry Hess 1,414 51.01
Libertarian Gary Fallon 1,358 48.99
Total votes 2,772 100.00

General election



The election was extremely close: Napolitano won by just 11,819 votes out of 1,226,111 cast, the closest gubernatorial election in Arizona in many years. Under Arizonan law, the losing candidate may request a recount, for which that candidate must pay, if the margin of victory is less than one percent but greater than half of one percent. In 2002, the margin of victory in 2002 was 0.97%, barely allowing a recount.

It soon became apparent that Napolitano had won the election and would be the next Governor of Arizona. Salmon acknowledged that the chance of his prevailing in a recount was extremely small and decided not to ask for one (recounts seldom see a swing over 1,000 votes[citation needed]; he was losing by over 10,000). He officially called Napolitano on November 17 and congratulated her on her victory.

On November 20, Arizona Secretary of State Betsey Bayless certified the results of the election and declared Napolitano the governor-elect.

Arizona gubernatorial election, 2002[2]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Janet Napolitano 566,284 46.19% +10.66%
Republican Matt Salmon 554,465 45.22% -15.72%
Independent Richard D. Mahoney 84,947 6.93%
Libertarian Barry Hess 20,356 1.66% -1.01%
Write-ins 59 0.00%
Majority 11,819 0.96% -24.45%
Turnout 1,226,111 55.0 +10.0
Democratic gain from Republican Swing


  1. ^ a b c "Primary" (PDF). Azsos. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-10-26.
  2. ^ "General" (PDF). Azsos. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2004-10-26.