1990 Kansas gubernatorial election

← 1986 November 6, 1990 1994 →
Nominee Joan Finney Mike Hayden Christina Campbell-Cline
Party Democratic Republican Independent
Popular vote 380,609 333,589 69,127
Percentage 48.6% 42.6% 8.8%

County results
Finney:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%
Hayden:      40–50%      50–60%      60–70%      70–80%

Governor before election

Mike Hayden

Elected Governor

Joan Finney

The 1990 Kansas gubernatorial election took place on November 6, 1990. Incumbent Republican Governor Mike Hayden lost re-election to Democratic nominee Joan Finney.[1]

The State Treasurer at the time, Finney was elected governor over Hayden in 1990, giving Hayden the distinction of being the first incumbent governor of any state to lose to a woman. In addition to being Kansas's first female governor, she was Kansas' oldest governor (65) until Laura Kelly in 2019 at age 68, Kansas' first Roman Catholic Governor, and one of the few anti-abortion Democratic Governors at the time.[2]

As of 2022, this was the last time in which an incumbent Kansas Governor lost re-election.


Hayden was chosen as chair of the Republican Governors Association. His term saw tax cuts and programs to combat substance abuse. A split in the Kansas Republican Party between moderates and conservatives considerably reduced other accomplishments. He was perceived as a moderate; on abortion, for instance, he took a pro-choice position. Because of the legislative gridlock, he did not reinstate the death penalty.

It is speculated that Hayden lost his re-election bid primarily because of voter passage of a property reclassification amendment in Kansas which resulted in property reappraisals – the first in some cases in 20 years – and the resulting property tax increases when market values were applied to properties for tax purposes.





General election


Kansas gubernatorial election, 1990[4]
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Joan Finney 380,609 48.59% -0.49%
Republican Mike Hayden (incumbent) 333,589 42.59% -9.31%
Independent Christina Campbell-Cline 69,127 8.82% N/A
Total votes 783,325 100.00% N/A
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections".
  2. ^ "Feminists for Life Celebrates Pro-Life Women".
  3. ^ "Our Campaigns - Candidate - Christina Campbell-Cline".
  4. ^ "1990 Gubernatorial General Election Results - Kansas". Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Retrieved 22 March 2020.