How Many Presidents Have Been Mayors? [MAP]

As WDET looks to answer the question of how the next president could affect communities in southeast Michigan, we wondered: 

How many of the current presidential candidates have worked in local government?

And then we thought:

In history, how many mayors have become presidents? (The answer is in the interactive graphic below.)

Among the current candidates, just two have been elected to local offices. Republican Marco Rubio was a city commissioner in West Miami, Florida from 1998 to 2000. Democrat Bernie Sanders was mayor of Burlington, Vermont from 1981 to 1989.

Brady Baybeck, associate professor of political science, believes being a mayor is not a natural pathway to the presidency for several reasons.


Which U.S. Presidents Were Mayors?

Check them out in this graphic:


This feature was produced in partnership with the Ravitch Fiscal Reporting Program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Learn more about this special project and explore all the content here.

  • Sandra Svoboda, special assignments manager
  • Melissa Mason, research assistant and graphics designer
  • Jessica McInchak, digital architect
  • Matthew Morley, videographer and photographer

Image credit: Melissa Mason

This post is a part of 2016 Elections: Issues & Candidates.

You take voting seriously, and so do we.

Find WDET's coverage of the 2016 presidential and Congressional races as well as state legislative offices.

About the Author

Melissa Mason

Research Associate

UM-Dearborn Political Science student. Thought interning at WDET would be interesting. Does data for “Detroit By The Numbers” and assists with “Detroit Today.”

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