Maine's Governors

Since William King was inaugurated as Maine’s first governor on June 2, 1820, the state has been led by 70 men and one woman. The position held today by Janet Trafton Mills has been occupied by such notable figures in our history as Hannibal Hamlin, Abraham Lincoln’s first vice president; Abner Coburn, generous benefactor to Maine educational institutions; Joshua L. Chamberlain, Civil War hero at the Battle of Gettysburg; Percival P. Baxter, donor of Mount Katahdin to the state; and Edmund S. Muskie, champion of Federal environmental protection legislation.

Only two governors are not represented by pictures. Of the balance, four are shown in portraits and the rest in photographs. Photographic images dating back to the 1840s enable us to study with complete clarity the faces of the men who governed Maine during the first decades of statehood before the Civil War as well as their more recent successors. These pictures come from three sources, the Maine State Archives, the Maine Historical Society, and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission.

These pages are based upon research which I initially undertook in 2001 assisted by the Commission’s summer intern Adam M. Crowley of the University of Maine at Orono, now an Assistant Professor of English at Husson College in Bangor. At that point, the project was envisioned as a publication, but the ever expanding use of the internet during the last decade has led me to offer this information to a broader online audience. I want to thank the Friends of the Blaine House for hosting this information. 

Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr.
Maine State Historian


Governor John E. Badacci

John E. Baldacci

DATE OF BIRTH:  January 30, 1955
PROFESSION:  Restaurant Owner
TERM IN OFFICE:  January 8, 2003 – January 5, 2011
FIRST LADY:  Karen Weston

QUOTE: It’s true that regional differences abound.  They always have and always will.  We hear about the two Maines, but there are actually many Maines – north and south; east and west; rural and urban; coastal and inland, Democrat and Republican, Green and Independent.

But it’s our similarities – not our differences – that define us.  Nearly all of us came here as immigrants.  We all want good schools, safe communities, and a promising future for our children and their children.

The set of values we share are the same, whether you live in Kittery or Madawaska, Calais or Fort Kent, Lewiston or Lubec.  The values of family and community, with tolerance and neighborliness, with hard work and respect for nature – these are universal throughout Maine.

These qualities and values are tested from time to time, and they will be in just the next few days.  I want to make it very clear, in case there is any question: Maine is a lot of things, but it is not nor will it ever be a haven or a headquarters for hate groups and racist organizations.  These groups do not reflect the principles and values of Maine, and I urge all Mainers to firmly embrace diversity and tolerance and oppose bigotry and hatred.

There is something else that every one of us has in common that helps define who we are: we live in Maine because we choose to live in Maine.  We could live anywhere, but who would want to?

We live in Maine despite the hardships, despite the challenges, despite the burdens.  We’re hardscrabble people, resilient, resourceful.  And that is our strength.

Inaugural Address, January 8, 2003

OTHER ELECTED OR APPOINTED OFFICES: Bangor City Council, State Senate, Congressman


Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress, 1774-2005. Washington: Government Printing Office, 2005, p.600.

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