posted by Alan Greenblatt
Now that Deval Patrick has taken the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in Massachusetts, there's a pretty good chance that the nation will have an African-American governor. (I'm discounting the likelihood of Republicans Kenneth Blackwell of Ohio or Lynn Swann of Pennsylvania prevailing in their respective campaigns -- but with good reason, I think.)
There hasn't been a black governor since Doug Wilder stepped down from the post in Virginia in 1994. Wilder, in fact, is the only African American ever to have been elected as governor.
Only one other African American has ever served as governor. In 1873, P.B.S. Pinchback, the lieutenant governor of Louisiana, was elevated to the post of acting governor for a grand total of 43 days.
(This fun fact comes courtesy of Governing States and Localities, our fine textbook.)