Highest- and Lowest-Paid Governors in America Both Have a Knack for Scandal

You might expect the lowest-paid governor in the country to go off and accuse a political opponent of giving "it to the people without providing Vaseline." But money in politics doesn't buy you everything: The nation's highest-paid governor has plenty of problems of his own.

The salary reports, based on new data compiled in an interactive map by Pew's Stateline, show that Maine Gov. Paul LePage ($70,000) and Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett ($187,256) have, respectively, the lowest and highest salaries of any governor in the country. Corbett, however, has refused cost-of-living adjustments, so he takes home only about $175,000. Other governors in the high range include New York's Andrew Cuomo, Tennessee's Bill Haslam, Illinois's Pat Quinn, California's Jerry Brown, and Virginia's Bob McDonnell. Governors on average are paid $133,348 a year.

But, according to Corbett's constituents at least, more money doesn't mean better value. A mid-June poll showed Corbett trailing Democrat Rep. Allyson Schwartz by 46 percent to 34 percent in the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. And 65 percent of Pennsylvania voters said they either don't think Corbett deserves a second term or they lean that way. Corbett is also dealing with the lingering aftermath of the Penn State sex-abuse scandal, which he is blamed for mishandling when he was the state's attorney general.

For his part, LePage is considering not even seeking reelection in 2014. It's not just the recent Vaseline comments that have dragged him down. LePage's favorability was at 37 percent in a recent Critical Insights poll, and a new Clarity Campaigns poll has him in a tight race with Democrat Rep. Michael Michaud. Add to that the fact that he just recently considered a run for Congress, before knocking the idea down this week. You can see why the guy may not want to bother running again.

Also of note from the data collected by Pew: In 2013, the governors of Idaho, Indiana, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Tennessee got raises. Oh, and so did Pennsylvania's Tom Corbett. The raises averaged $4,115.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.