Virginia gubernatorial election, 1989 Article

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Virginia gubernatorial election, 1989

←  1985 November 7, 1989 1993 →
Turnout66.5% (voting eligible) [1]
  D.Wilder S.Senate poster (cropped).jpg Marshall Coleman 1976.jpg
Nominee Douglas Wilder Marshall Coleman
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 897,139 890,285
Percentage 50.14% 49.75%

1989 virginia gubernatorial election map.png
Virginia gubernatorial election results map.
Blue denotes counties/districts won by Wilder.
Red denotes those won by Coleman.

Governor before election

Jerry Baliles

Elected Governor

Douglas Wilder

The Virginia gubernatorial election of 1989 was held on November 7, 1989. Incumbent Democratic Governor Jerry Baliles was unable to seek a second term due to term limits. Democratic nominee and Lieutenant Governor L. Douglas Wilder went against former Attorney General of Virginia J. Marshall Coleman in one of the closest elections in Virginia history. Upon taking the oath of office in January 1990, Governor Wilder became the first African-American governor of Virginia, and the first African-American governor of any state since Reconstruction more than one hundred years earlier.

Republican primary


Republican primary results [2]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican J. Marshall Coleman 147,941 36.81
Republican Paul S. Trible, Jr. 141,120 35.11
Republican Stanford Parris 112,826 28.07
Total votes 401,887 100.00

General election


Virginia gubernatorial election, 1989 [3]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic L. Douglas Wilder 897,139 50.14% -5.05%
Republican J. Marshall Coleman 890,285 49.75% +4.96%
Write-ins 1,947 0.11%
Majority 6,854 0.38% -10.03%
Turnout 1,789,371
Democratic hold Swing


  1. ^ Virginia Department of Elections (2016). "Registration/Turnout Statistics". The Commonwealth of Virginia. Retrieved July 25, 2016.
  2. ^ Commonwealth of Virginia. State Board of Elections. "Recapitulation--Republican Primary Election" Official Election Results 1989. Comp. Susan H. Fitz-Hugh. Richmond, Virginia: n.p., 1989. 49. Print.
  3. ^