These Governors Have Outrageous Salaries and Make Almost as Much as President Donald Trump

While most Americans earn five-figure incomes (the national median wage is about $59,000 ), a few professions earn a lot more than that. Big time actors and actresses earn a ton of money. Famous athletes are worth a mint. Company executives make shocking amounts even when they’re hated CEOs. Politicians earn a lot, too. You heard that right. High-level politicians get paid well, as these outrageous governor salaries prove.

We know which governors make the most thanks to data from Ballotpedia. We’ll run into a couple hated governors (pages 5 and 11) and two well-liked Republicans (pages 3 and 6) along the way. None of the governors we’re about to meet makes as much as President Donald Trump’s $400,000 salary, but they come pretty close. Let’s get started.

14. Jim Justice (TIE)

Jim Justice, owner of the Greenbrier Resort, looks over the 18th green

Justice was wealthy before he entered politics. | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Salary: $150,000

State: West Virginia

Affiliation: Republican

Jim Justice built a fortune in the agricultural and coal businesses and doesn’t need the money, but he is well paid. He’s earning the $150,000 salary until 2020 when he’s up for re-election.

Next: This governor’s pay isn’t too out of whack with the rest of the state.

14. Dannel Malloy (TIE)

Gov. Dan Malloy delivers a speech on the first day of the Democratic National Convention

Malloy isn’t seeking reelection. | Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images

Salary: $150,000

State: Connecticut

Affiliation: Democrat

Make no doubt about it, Dannel Malloy’s $150,000 paycheck definitely qualifies as an
outrageous salary on a national level. In Connecticut, however, no one bats an eye. The per capita income in the state is more than $71,000. Pretty soon, a new person is going to take this six-figure salary. Malloy isn’t running in the 2018 election.

Next: He’s loved and well-paid.

13. Charlie Baker

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker attends the opening of FBI Boston Headquarters

Baker is a rare Massachusetts Republican. | Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Salary: $151,800

State: Massachusetts

Affiliation: Republican

Massachusetts is a state that always votes Democrat. Well, almost always. Charlie Baker bucked the trend when he won in 2014. We’d say he deserves one of the most outrageous governor salaries in the U.S. According to a Morning Consult poll, 69% of his constituents say he’s doing a great job. We’ll see another loved Republican governor from a Democratic state in a minute.

Next: It looks like this man will earn this big salary for a few more years.

12. Greg Abbott

Texas Governor Greg Abbott participates in a news briefing outside the West Wing

Abbott is one of the highest-profile governors in the country. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

Salary: $153,750

State: Texas

Affiliation: Republican

He’s up for re-election in 2020, and it seems like Greg Abbott will keep hauling in one of the most outrageous governor salaries for a few more years. He is one of the most popular governors in the country, according to Morning Consult, and the last three governors in Texas — George W. Bush, Rick Perry, and Abbott — are all Republicans.

Next: He’s hated, well-compensated, and almost out of office.

11. Rick Snyder

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder

Snyder is hated in Michigan. | Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Salary: $159,300

State: Michigan

Affiliation: Republican

Rick Snyder is one of the most-hated governors in the United States, but he probably can’t hear the criticism behind his stacks of money. His $159,300 paycheck is one of the highest governor salaries in the country. Michigan voters hate him, but they don’t have to put up with him for long. He is term-limited and will leave office in early 2019.

Next: A carbon-copy of Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

10. Larry Hogan

Maryland Governor Larry Hogan speaks at a press conference

Baker is a popular Republican in an otherwise blue state. | Andrew Burton/Getty Images

Salary: $170,000

State: Maryland

Affiliation: Republican

Remember how we just discussed Charlie Baker as a successful Republican governor in Democratic-leaning Massachusetts? Well, Larry Hogan is in the same boat. Maryland tends to go blue, but according to Morning Consult data Hogan, who is up for re-election in 2018, is wildly popular, which makes up for his outrageous salary.

Next: This governor salary is more the double the average in the state.

9. John Carney

Representative-elect John Carney celebrates his win during a victory party

Carney makes far more than the average person in Delaware. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Salary: $171,000

State: Delaware

Party: Democrat

All the governors on this list earn healthy six-figure salaries, but John Carney might have one of the most outrageous governor salaries. The $171,000 he earns each year is close to three times the state median and more than double the average.

Next: A hero in a suit cashing a huge paycheck.

8. Jay Inslee

Washington Governor Jay Inslee attends a launch event

Inslee is making waves on the national stage.  | David Ryder/Getty Images

Salary: $171,898

State: Washington

Affiliation: Democrat

You might know Jay Inslee as the governor who called out Donald Trump to his face. Or you might know him as one of the heroes in the battle for legal marijuana. Now you know him as a man cashing in on one of the most outrageous governor salaries. He’ll make that $171,898 each year until at least 2020 when his current term expires.

Next: A newcomer with a nice paycheck.

6. Ralph Northam (TIE)

Ralph Northam, the Democratic candidate for governor of Virginia

Northam was sworn into office in 2018. | Win McNamee/Getty Images

Salary: $175,000

State: Virginia

Affiliation: Democrat

Now we’re getting into some of the most outrageous governor salaries. Ralph Northam is one of the newest governors on the list as he took over for Terry McAuliffe in 2018. Northam will cash in on a salary almost three times the national median until the 2022 election.

Next: This former Wall Street executive hardly needs a massive governor salary.

6. Phil Murphy (TIE)

Phil Murphy celebrates his victory ina black suit while waiving at the crowd.

Murphy is at the start of his first term. | Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/Getty Images

Salary: $175,000

State: New Jersey

Affiliation: Democrat

Compared to the previous guy, Phil Murphy looks like an Angel. Almost everybody hated former governor Chris Christie, but he’s gone now and Murphy’s in charge. He hardly needs his huge salary. He’s a former Goldman Sachs executive who earns millions of dollars every year.

We’ll see how long he last, but his early results are mixed. Getting 600,000 people automatically registered to vote is good, but the talk of raising taxes probably won’t sit well with voters.

Next: He’s hated, he’s rich, and he’ll probably lose big when his term’s up.

5. Bruce Rauner

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner

Rauner is deeply unpopular in Illinois. | John Gress/Getty Images

Salary: $177,412

State: Illinois

Affiliation: Republican

We just discussed Phil Murphy, the wealthy New Jersey leader who earns one of the most outrageous governor salaries. Bruce Rauner is the next level up from that. He’s one of the richest politicians in the United States, but he’s probably not going to make that government salary much longer. Fifty-five percent of voters disapprove of the job he’s doing, and the Huffington Post says it’s unlikely he wins a second term in 2018.

Next: He’s under pressure and really earning his massive salary.

4. Andrew Cuomo

NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo And NYC Mayor de Blasio Attend Opening Of Cornell Tech Campus On Roosevelt Island

Could Cuomo be primaried out in 2018? | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Salary: $179,000

State: New York

Affiliation: Democrat

Andrew Cuomo either loves hitting the campaign trail or adores his huge governor salary. He’s running for a third term in 2018, but he might not even win the primary. Former Sex and the City actress Cynthia Nixon is putting a lot of pressure on Cuomo.

Next: More than $180,000 but only No. 3 on the list.

3. Jerry Brown

Governor Jerry Brown of California

Brown’s time as California governor is almost up. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Salary: $182,791

State: California

Affiliation: Democrat

When you’re making more than three times the national median, you know you’re talking about an outrageous salary. Yet somehow, Jerry Brown is only No. 3 on our list. He won’t be cashing huge paychecks for much longer. He’ll serve until early 2019 before he hits his term limit.

Next: A man who definitely doesn’t need the paycheck.

2. Bill Haslam

Governor Bill Haslam attends the 90th birthday celebration of War Memorial Auditorium

Haslam has reached his term limit. | Erika Goldring/Getty Images

Salary: $187,500

State: Tennessee

Affiliation: Republican

Bill Haslam definitely checks the box for outrageous governor salaries, but he hardly needs the money. He’s worth an estimated $2 billion thanks to being the heir to the Pilot Flying J truck stop chain. Like the governor we just met, Jerry Brown, Haslam won’t have a job in 2019 after he reaches his term limit.

Next: We’re well into six figures now.

1. Tom Wolf

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf speaks on stage during the Geisinger National Symposium

Wolf faces an uphill reeelection battle. | Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Geisinger Symposium

Salary: $194,850

State: Pennsylvania

Affiliation: Democrat

Being the governor of Pennsylvania is a lucrative job, as Tom Wolf knows. But as Ballotpedia shows, the leader of The Keystone State is usually one of the best-paid governors in the United States. Let’s give Wolf credit, though: He donates his salary to charity every year. Wolf might be looking for new work come November of 2018 since he’s up for re-election.

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