1973 Virginia gubernatorial election

← 1969 November 6, 1973 1977 →
Nominee Mills Godwin Henry Howell
Party Republican Independent
Popular vote 525,075 510,103
Percentage 50.7% 49.3%

County and independent city results
Godwin:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Howell:      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

Linwood Holton

Elected Governor

Mills Godwin

In the 1973 Virginia gubernatorial election, incumbent Governor A. Linwood Holton, Jr., a Republican, was unable to seek re-election due to term limits. Mills E. Godwin, Jr., former Democratic Governor of Virginia, was nominated by the Republican Party to run against Independent Lieutenant Governor of Virginia Henry Howell. The Democrats did not field a candidate, mostly choosing to support Howell's candidacy.

This was the last time until 2013 in which a member of the incumbent President's party was elected Governor of Virginia. It was also the last time a non-Democrat won the city of Alexandria.



Virginia gubernatorial election, 1973[1]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Mills E. Godwin, Jr. 525,075 50.71% -1.80%
Independent Henry Howell 510,103 49.26%
Write-ins 317 0.03%
Majority 14,972 1.45% -5.67%
Turnout 1,035,495
Republican hold Swing