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The Backstory: Texas governors by the numbers

When it comes to the history of Texas governors, there's more to the numbers than just counting the votes.

AUSTIN, Texas — Let’s start with a number – 1010, as in 1010 Colorado St. to be exact. That’s the address of the Texas Governor’s Mansion. One of the perks of being elected governor is getting to live there rent-free, of course. In fact, It’s been that way since the mansion was built in 1856 in what was then a small town called Austin.

Another perk of the office is the salary. The Texas governor gets paid $153,750 a year.

To be elected governor in the Lone Star State, a person has to be at least 30 years old, a U.S. citizen and a resident of Texas for at least five years preceding the election.

And speaking of the number "five,” only five of Texas's 47 governors since 1846 have been Republicans, with all the rest either Democrats or independents.

There were only two women governors in Texas history – Miriam (sometimes known as “Ma”) Ferguson, who served twice in the 1920s and again in the 1930s, and Ann Richards, elected in 1990.

Three governors were removed from office, including Sam Houston, who was forced out when he refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Confederacy.

Finally, a couple of interesting facts from our friends at the Texas State Historical Association – all but one Texas governor since annexation into the Union in 1845 have been Protestants, mostly Baptists and Methodists. The only Catholic elected to the state's highest office is current Gov. Greg Abbott.

And while governors have come from the ranks of business owners and even newspaper editors, by far most of the people elected to the state’s highest office were lawyers.

And one more number to remember – eight. Tuesday, Nov. 8, is the date of this year’s general election, when voters will choose who’ll live in the mansion at 1010 Colorado St. for the next four years.

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