Governors of Rhode Island

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Term Start
Term End
Nicholas CookeNov 7, 1775May 4, 1778None
William GreeneMay 4, 1778May 3, 1786None
John CollinsMay 3, 1786May 5, 1790None
Arthur FennerMay 5, 1790Oct 15, 1805Country Party
Henry SmithOct 15, 1805May 7, 1806Country
Isaac WilbourMay 7, 1806May 6, 1807Country
James FennerMay 6, 1807May 1, 1811Democratic-Republican
William JonesMay 1, 1811May 7, 1817Federalist
Nehemiah R. KnightMay 7, 1817May 2, 1821Democratic-Republican
William C. GibbsMay 2, 1821May 5, 1824Democratic-Republican
James FennerMay 5, 1824May 4, 1831Democratic-Republican
Lemuel H. ArnoldMay 4, 1831May 1, 1833National Republican
John B. FrancisMay 1, 1833May 2, 1838Democratic
William Sprague IIIMay 2, 1838May 2, 1839Whig
Samuel Ward KingMay 2, 1839May 2, 1843Rhode Island Party
Thomas DorrMay 1, 1842Jan 23, 1843Extralegal Dorr Rebellion
James FennerMay 2, 1843May 6, 1845Law and Order
Charles JacksonMay 6, 1845May 6, 1846Whig,
Byron DimanMay 6, 1846May 4, 1847Law and Order
Elisha HarrisMay 4, 1847May 1, 1849Whig
Henry B. AnthonyMay 1, 1849May 6, 1851Whig
Philip AllenMay 6, 1851Jul 20, 1853Democratic
Francis M. DimondJul 20, 1853May 2, 1854Democratic
William W. HoppinMay 2, 1854May 26, 1857Whig
Elisha DyerMay 26, 1857May 31, 1859Republican
Thomas G. TurnerMay 31, 1859May 29, 1860Republican
William Sprague IVMay 29, 1860Mar 3, 1863Republican
William C. CozzensMar 3, 1863May 26, 1863Democratic
James Y. SmithMay 26, 1863May 29, 1866Republican
Ambrose Everett BurnsideMay 29, 1866May 25, 1869Republican
Seth PadelfordMay 25, 1869May 27, 1873Republican
Henry HowardMay 27, 1873May 25, 1875Republican
Henry LippittMay 25, 1875May 29, 1877Republican
Charles C. Van ZandtMay 29, 1877May 25, 1880Republican
Alfred H. LittlefieldMay 25, 1880May 29, 1883Republican
Augustus O. BournMay 29, 1883May 26, 1885Republican
George P. WetmoreMay 26, 1885May 29, 1887Republican
John W. DavisMay 29, 1887May 29, 1888Democratic
Royal C. TaftMay 29, 1888May 28, 1889Republican
Herbert W. LaddMay 28, 1889May 27, 1890Republican
John W. DavisMay 27, 1890May 26, 1891Democratic
Herbert W. LaddMay 26, 1891May 31, 1892Republican
D. Russell BrownMay 31, 1892May 29, 1895Republican
Charles W. LippittMay 29, 1895May 25, 1897Republican
Elisha Dyer, Jr.May 25, 1897May 29, 1900Republican
William GregoryMay 29, 1900Dec 16, 1901Republican
Charles D. KimballDec 16, 1901Jan 3, 1903Republican
Lucius F. C. GarvinJan 3, 1903Jan 3, 1905Democratic
George H. UtterJan 3, 1905Jan 1, 1907Republican
James H. HigginsJan 1, 1907Jan 5, 1909Democratic
Aram J. PothierJan 5, 1909Jan 5, 1915Republican
R. Livingston BeeckmanJan 5, 1915Jan 4, 1921Republican
Emery J. San SouciJan 4, 1921Jan 2, 1923Republican
William S. FlynnJan 2, 1923Jan 6, 1925Democratic
Aram J. PothierJan 6, 1925Feb 4, 1928Republican
Norman S. CaseFeb 4, 1928Jan 3, 1933Republican
Theodore Francis GreenJan 3, 1933Jan 5, 1937Democratic
Robert E. QuinnJan 5, 1937Jan 3, 1939Democratic
William Henry Vanderbilt IIIJan 3, 1939Jan 7, 1941Republican
J. Howard McGrathJan 7, 1941Oct 6, 1945Democratic
John PastoreOct 6, 1945Dec 19, 1950Democratic
John S. McKiernanDec 19, 1950Jan 2, 1951Democratic
Dennis J. RobertsJan 2, 1951Jan 6, 1959Democratic
Christopher Del SestoJan 6, 1959Jan 3, 1961Republican
John A. Notte, Jr.Jan 3, 1961Jan 1, 1963Democratic
John ChafeeJan 1, 1963Jan 7, 1969Republican
Frank LichtJan 7, 1969Jan 2, 1973Democratic
Philip W. NoelJan 2, 1973Jan 4, 1977Democratic
J. Joseph GarrahyJan 4, 1977Jan 1, 1985Democratic
Edward D. DiPreteJan 1, 1985Jan 1, 1991Republican
Bruce SundlunJan 1, 1991Jan 3, 1995Democratic
Lincoln AlmondJan 3, 1995Jan 7, 2003Republican
Donald CarcieriJan 7, 2003Jan 4, 2011Republican
Lincoln ChafeeJan 4, 2011May 30, 2013Independent
Lincoln ChafeeMay 30, 2013Jan 6, 2015Democratic
Gina RaimondoJan 6, 2015Mar 2, 2021Democratic
Dan McKeeMar 2, 2021-Democratic
showing: 77 rows

Rhode Island governors sit in and are among a rare group when it comes to unique governmental issues. These are also the same types of issues that face the current 76th Governor of Rhode Island, Daniel J McKee. Rhode Island, dubbed the Ocean State, is surrounded by the ocean and is small in size compared to other US states. Everything from the natural threats that face Rhode Island to the hurdles of governmental access to financing as a result of its population of approximately 1 million residents poses unique issues. Rhode Island governors have been historically cited for their creative means and programs to help promote and empower its economy.

Which Political Party Has Had the Most Governors?

Rhode Island has proven to place a level playing ground for both Democratic and Republican leadership. It is fair to say neither Rhode Island nor its governors have ever been decisively red or blue for any significant amount of time. As recently as January 2011 to May 2013, Independent Lincoln Chafee was the Governor of Rhode Island. For the record, he did not run for another term.

Who Was Rhode Island's First Governor?

Rhode Island governors join history and belong to a state government that is one of the original 13 states. This means that there are been many governors in the state's history. Nicholas Cooke was the state's first governor from 1775 to 1778. William Warner Hoppin was the state's longest-serving governor. Hoppin was sworn in on May 2, 1854, and served as governor for almost twenty-six years, until his death on April 18, 1880.

Current Governor
Dan McKee
Governor Since
Mar 2, 2021
# of Governors Since Statehood

Governors of Rhode Island

Which party is the current governor of Rhode Island?

The current governor of Rhode Island is Dan McKee, a Democrat.

How many governors has Rhode Island had?

There have been 71 governors of Rhode Island, 22 Democrats, 30 Republicans, and 20 from other parties.

When was the last Democratic governor in Rhode Island?

The last Democratic governor in Rhode Island is Dan McKee, who has served from 2021 to the present day.

When was the last Republican governor in Rhode Island?

The last Republican governor in Rhode Island was Donald Carcieri, who served from 2003 to 2011.

Frequently Asked Questions