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Difference Between Mayor and Governor

Mayor vs Governor

In politics, there are many roles and positions being occupied by key people in society. They are often elected into office by the vote of the people as in the case of a democratic republic government of a non-sovereign nation. Two of the most notable leaders in this type of electoral system are the governor and the mayor. So how do they differ?

To start, the government is divided into three branches and three levels. By branches, there are the legislative (law-making body), judicial (applies and interprets the law) and executive (administrative) branches. By level, there are the local, state, and federal levels. Simply said, the governor is the chief executive or head of the state level government while the mayor is the chief executive of the local level government. In this connection, the governor is, without a doubt, having the bigger scope or area of responsibility (at least by definition) because he rules statewide. In some countries, these states are known as something else like provinces. Hence, the head of a province is the same as the head of the state – the provincial governor. By contrast, the mayor has less scope of power or area of responsibility because he is responsible for the local level of government which is the city or municipality.

It is also safe to say that the governor has more power than the mayor. This is often true because of the geographical extent of his area of responsibility. The mayors that rule their respective cities or municipalities are usually under the umbrella of the governor’s influence since these cities are just part of the bigger state or province. Nonetheless, the power of the mayor (although theoretically less than that of the governor) depends on the city’s size. For very big cities, the ruling mayor may appear to be more powerful than some governors.

The word “governor” comes from the French term “governeor.” This post can also be of a non-political nature like those who are hired to represent companies or oversee institutions. In the UK, for example, they have prison governors who are called wardens in the US. There are also bank and school governors.


1.The governor (by definition) has a bigger area of responsibility (the state) compared to the mayor’s area of responsibility (the city or municipality).
2.The governor is the head of the executive branch of the state as opposed to the mayor who is the executive head of the local level of government.
3.Technically speaking, the governor has more power than the mayor.

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  1. Thank you! I was always unsure of the responsibilities of and the difference in roles between a governor and a mayor. This article helped elucidate their roles for me. Much appreciated 🙂

    • This is true in the USA and not in the UK. In the UK for example the Mayor of London has the power of the governor in the USA.

  2. Good article, this cleared things up for me as well!

  3. Thank you for the info!

  4. Thank you really helped myself and others really understand the difference between both of them.

  5. Thanks for this explanation, because I used to get confused but not I have the understanding.

  6. Perfect! Very simple and precise answer. Just what I needed to explain it simply to my boys.

  7. Thanks, but can you edit the article to say he OR she?

  8. Thanks to helping and to get information
    Really needed this information

  9. It is disheartening that the mayor and the governor are referred to as “he”. Female governors and mayors do exist in the United States. Could you edit the article to use the pronoun “they”, so as not to discriminate against the possibility of having a gender queer governor or mayor?

  10. Nice info I don’t know the main difference ☺☺

  11. Thank you for this brief education

  12. My question is if the Mayor isn’t doing their job correctly or efficiently can the Governor step in to make corrections.

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