Wesley Bolin

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Wesley Bolin
Wesley Bolin.jpg
15th Governor of Arizona
In office
October 20, 1977 March 4, 1978
Preceded by Raúl H. Castro
Succeeded by Bruce Babbitt
11th Secretary of State of Arizona
In office
January 3, 1949 October 20, 1977
Governor Dan Edward Garvey
John Howard Pyle
Ernest McFarland
Paul Fannin
Samuel Pearson Goddard, Jr.
Jack Williams
Raúl H. Castro
Preceded byCurtis M. Williams
Succeeded by Rose Perica Mofford
Personal details
Born(1909-07-01)July 1, 1909
near Butler, Missouri, U.S.
DiedMarch 4, 1978(1978-03-04) (aged 68)
Phoenix, Arizona, U.S.
Resting place Arizona State Capitol Grounds
Political party Democratic
Julia Hentz
(m. 1940;div. 1967)

Marion Knappenberger(m. 1967)
Alma mater Phoenix College
Profession Business

Wesley Bolin (July 1, 1909 – March 4, 1978) was an American Democratic Party politician who served as the 15th governor of the U.S. state of Arizona between 1977 and 1978. His five months in office mark the shortest term in office for any Arizona governor. Prior to ascending to the Governorship, Bolin was the longest serving Secretary of State of Arizona, where he served for 28 years.

Democratic Party (United States) Major political party in the United States

The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Arizona state of the United States of America

Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the Western and the Mountain states. It is the sixth largest and the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico; its other neighboring states are Nevada and California to the west and the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California to the south and southwest.


Life and death

A view of the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.jpg
A view of the Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza

Born on a farm near Butler, Missouri, Bolin moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona, at the age of six. He worked with several business firms in the Salt River Valley before being elected constable of West Phoenix Precinct in 1938. From 1943 until 1948, Bolin was justice of the peace of the West Phoenix Precinct court.

Butler, Missouri City in Missouri, United States

Butler is a city in Bates County, Missouri, United States. The population was 4,219 at the 2010 census. The county seat of Bates County, the city is named for William Orlando Butler, a noted American military and political figure of the early and mid-19th century. It is located approximately fifty miles south of Kansas City, Missouri on U.S. Route 71-Interstate 49.

Phoenix, Arizona State capital city in Arizona, United States

Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is also the fifth most populous city in the United States and the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents. The state capital accounts for 23% of the state population.

Salt River Valley valley on the Salt River in central Arizona

The Salt River Valley is an extensive valley on the Salt River in central Arizona, which contains the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

Bolin served as Arizona's secretary of state for a total of 28 years, 9 months, 18 days (or 10,518 days), and remains the longest-serving secretary of state in Arizona history. [1] He was first elected to the state's second highest-post in 1948 and was re-elected every two years between 1950 and 1968, when executive offices had two-year terms, and twice more in 1970 and 1974, when four-year terms began. Only in his last three runs did he encounter significant challenges, culminating in him almost losing his thirteenth campaign in 1974.

Secretary of State of Arizona an elected position in the U.S. state of Arizona

The Secretary of State of Arizona is an elected position in the U.S. state of Arizona. Since Arizona does not have a lieutenant governor, the Secretary stands first in the line of succession to the governorship. The Secretary also serves as acting governor whenever the governor is incapacitated or out of state. The Secretary is the keeper of the Seal of Arizona and administers oaths of office. The current secretary is Democrat Katie Hobbs.

He succeeded to the governorship after the previous governor, Raúl H. Castro, was named ambassador to Argentina by President Jimmy Carter. Under the Arizona Constitution, the secretary of state, if he or she was elected to that position, is first in line to fill a vacancy in the governorship. Bolin was the second secretary of state to succeed to the Arizona governorship, after Dan Edward Garvey in 1948.

Raúl Héctor Castro American judge

Raúl Héctor Castro was a Mexican American politician, diplomat and judge. In 1964, Castro was selected to be U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, a position he held until 1968 when he was appointed U.S. Ambassador to Bolivia. In 1974, Castro was elected to serve as the 14th governor of Arizona, and resigned two years into his term to become U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. Prior to his entry into public service, Castro was a lawyer and a judge for Pima County, Arizona. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Ambassador diplomatic envoy

An ambassador is an official envoy, especially a high-ranking diplomat who represents a state and is usually accredited to another sovereign state or to an international organization as the resident representative of their own government or sovereign or appointed for a special and often temporary diplomatic assignment. The word is also often used more liberally for persons who are known, without national appointment, to represent certain professions, activities and fields of endeavor such as sales.

Argentina Federal republic in South America

Argentina, officially the Argentine Republic, is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America. Sharing the bulk of the Southern Cone with Chile to the west, the country is also bordered by Bolivia and Paraguay to the north, Brazil to the northeast, Uruguay and the South Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Drake Passage to the south. With a mainland area of 2,780,400 km2 (1,073,500 sq mi), Argentina is the eighth-largest country in the world, the fourth largest in the Americas, and the largest Spanish-speaking nation. The sovereign state is subdivided into twenty-three provinces and one autonomous city, Buenos Aires, which is the federal capital of the nation as decided by Congress. The provinces and the capital have their own constitutions, but exist under a federal system. Argentina claims sovereignty over part of Antarctica, the Falkland Islands, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands.

Bolin died in office at the age of 68 on March 4, 1978 and was succeeded by Attorney General Bruce Babbitt. Rose Mofford had been appointed by Bolin to finish his term as secretary of state, and thus was ineligible to succeed Bolin until she was elected to the office. Babbitt, being second in line and an elected official, finished the remaining nine months of the term and then was elected to two terms as governor in his own right.

Arizona Attorney General attorney general for the U.S. state of Arizona

The Arizona Attorney General is the chief legal officer of the state of Arizona, in the United States. This state officer is the head of the Arizona Department of Law, more commonly known as the Arizona Attorney General’s Office. The state attorney general is a constitutionally-established officer, elected by the people of the state to a four-year term.

Bruce Babbitt American lawyer and politician

Bruce Edward Babbitt is an American attorney and politician from the state of Arizona. A member of the Democratic Party, Babbitt served as the 16th governor of Arizona from 1978 to 1987, and as the United States Secretary of the Interior from 1993 through 2001.

Rose Mofford American politician

Rose Perica Mofford was an American civil servant and politician who led a 51-year career in state government. Beginning her career with the State of Arizona as an office secretary, she worked her way up the ranks to become the state's first female secretary of state and first female governor of Arizona.

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza near the capitol in Phoenix, Arizona, was named after him, and has been designated as a Phoenix Point of Pride. [2]

Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza urban park and gathering place

The Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is an urban park and gathering place, located in front of the Arizona state capitol complex in downtown Phoenix, Arizona. It serves as a home to a number of memorials honoring prominent figures in Arizona history as well as memorializing significant wars and other events that have affected the state. It is designated as one of the Phoenix Points of Pride.

Phoenix Points of Pride

The Phoenix Points of Pride are 33 landmarks and attractions within the Phoenix, Arizona, city limits that are claimed to represent the best features of the city for both residents and visitors. Each Point of Pride was selected through an election process that involved 40,000 residents voting for their favorite destinations and resources.

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The 1978 Arizona gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 1978 for the post of Governor of Arizona. Democrat Bruce Babbitt defeated Republican nominee Evan Mecham. Babbitt was the former Attorney General of Arizona, but after the death of Governor Wesley Bolin, Babbit became governor. Bolin himself ascended to office from the position of Secretary of State, meaning his replacement, Rose Mofford was not eligible to the office as she was not elected. This drama of exchanging office would continue after Babbitt's term came to an end, as Mofford would become governor and succeeded Evan Mecham, Babbitt's challenger, in 1988.

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  1. Arizona Secretaries of State Since Statehood Archived 2007-12-11 at the Wayback Machine
  2. "Phoenix Points of Pride". Archived from the original on October 1, 2006. Retrieved October 18, 2006.
Political offices
Preceded by
Curtis Williams
Secretary of State of Arizona
January 3, 1949 October 20, 1977
Succeeded by
Rose Perica Mofford
Preceded by
Raúl H. Castro
Governor of Arizona
October 20, 1977 – March 4, 1978
Succeeded by
Bruce Babbitt