Who Will Be the Next David Paterson?

The dramatic downfall of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer (D) that catapulted David Paterson to the governor's mansion shined a spotlight on the succession of the state's second-in-command -- the lieutenant governor -- a position that eight states don't even have.

This year's statewide elections provide a snapshot of the quirky arrangements that determine who is next in line after the governor.

Eleven states elect governors this year, but only nine also select the No. 2 position. West Virginia and New Hampshire are the only two states this election cycle to have governors, but not lieutenant governors, on their ballots, because the position doesn't exist in those states.

Experts say it's too early to tell whether voters will pay more attention to lieutenant governors following the drama in New York that saw Spitzer resign in disgrace after a sex scandal, and replaced by fellow Democrat Paterson, who has shocked Albany with his disclosures of marital infidelity and illegal drug use in college.

"I think people will think twice who they are voting for," said David Winder, political science professor at Valdosta State University in Georgia, although he said the impact will be felt more acutely in states close to New York. He also predicted "some pressure" in those states without the position to look into creating it.

Read the full report Who Will Be the Next David Paterson? on Stateline.org's Web site.

Spotlight on Mental Health

Composite image of modern city network communication concept

Learn the Basics of Broadband from Our Limited Series

Sign up for our four-week email course on Broadband Basics

Quick View

How does broadband internet reach our homes, phones, and tablets? What kind of infrastructure connects us all together? What are the major barriers to broadband access for American communities?

Pills illustration
Pills illustration

What Is Antibiotic Resistance—and How Can We Fight It?

Sign up for our four-week email series The Race Against Resistance.

Quick View

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria, also known as “superbugs,” are a major threat to modern medicine. But how does resistance work, and what can we do to slow the spread? Read personal stories, expert accounts, and more for the answers to those questions in our four-week email series: Slowing Superbugs.

Explore Pew’s new and improved
Fiscal 50 interactive

Your state's stats are more accessible than ever with our new and improved Fiscal 50 interactive:

  • Maps, trends, and customizable charts
  • 50-state rankings
  • Analysis of what it all means
  • Shareable graphics and downloadable data
  • Proven fiscal policy strategies


Welcome to the new Fiscal 50

Key changes include:

  • State pages that help you keep track of trends in your home state and provide national and regional context.
  • Interactive indicator pages with highly customizable and shareable data visualizations.
  • A Budget Threads feature that offers Pew’s read on the latest state fiscal news.

Learn more about the new and improved Fiscal 50.