West Wing Wiki
West Wing Wiki

Robert Ritchie was the Governor of Florida from 1993 to 2005. He ran for president in the 2002 United States Presidential Election.


Ritchie attended the University of Florida, and would eventually attempt to prevent news organizations from reading his college transcripts.[2]

He was first elected Governor of Florida in 1992 or 1996.[3] In 1996, Ritchie defeated Carol Gelsey in the race for Governor.[4] He was strongly backed by the sugar industry in his state and opposed a Bartlet plan to redirect federal sugar subsidies into a plan to save the Florida Everglades.[5]


See Ritchie Campaign for more details.

After gaining momentum in the Iowa Caucus, Ritchie made a statement supporting a Pennsylvania referendum to ban affirmative action in college admission.[6] His "plain-spokenness" helped him win the caucus.[7]

After the Iowa Caucus, Ritchie was the likely Republican candidate and used the period to release his book, "A Promise to Lead," which backed ANWR drilling.[8]

After President made a remark possibly denigrating Ritchie's intelligence, Ritchie asked for a public apology.[9][10]

Ritchie chose Jeff Heston for his running mate, prior to being nominated.[11]

Ritchie was invited to the Catholic Charities event in New York City that showed a production of "Wars of the Roses."[12]

Prior to attending the play, Ritchie went to a New York Yankees game, stating it was "how ordinary Americans got their entertainment." After pressure from the media, Bartlet had a private meeting with Ritchie. Bartlet told Ritchie how much Ritchie insulted the church by attending the Yankees game, and his belief that they should have a great debate. Ritchie informed Bartlet of his belief that Bartlet was an "academic elitist" and a Hollywood, liberal snob. After being told of Simon Donovan's shooting death, Ritchie stated, "Crime, boy. I don't know," which was the point where Bartlet decided he needed to annihilate Ritchie in the election.[13]

Ritchie was known for his statements of "I'm no..." He stated he was not a mind reader, doctor, or "Chinese." Speaking in front of the Philadelphia Financial Commission, Ritchie stated "I'm no scientist, but I know a thing or two about physics."[14] Ritchie had a tendency to cite his advisors by name, most likely to state that he would like to be President, and would use the right people for the right job.[15]

On October 23, 2002, Governor Ritchie participated in a debate against incumbent President Bartlet. Ritchie was unprepared for Bartlet's debating style, and unequivocally lost, stating privately to Bartlet afterwards, "It's over." Bartlet said, "You'll be back."[16]

On November 5, 2002, Governor Robert Ritchie lost the election to President Bartlet by over 10 million votes, receiving 144 electoral votes.[17]

Later Career[]

Robert Ritchie retired in 2005, after the election of Republican Governor Swenson, who would go on to support Arnold Vinick in the 2006 Election.

Notes and references[]

  1. 20 Hours in America (Part I)
  2. "Were you aware that several news organizations have been trying to obtain Governor Ritchie's transcripts from the University of Florida?" from The U.S. Poet Laureate
  3. "He has, after all, debated three gubernatorial candidates and won each time", from The Red Mass. In real life the Florida governor is limited to two terms, and three candidates could've included a Republican primary opponent
  4. Gelsey is mentioned to have run in Requiem
  5. We Killed Yamamoto, Posse Comitatus
  6. "Governor Ritchie came out this morning in support of the Pennsylvania Referendum banning affirmative action, with regards to college admissions." from The Two Bartlets
  7. "It's gonna be Ritchie." from The Two Bartlets
  8. "Governor Robert Ritchie of Florida the likely Republican nominee for the fall campaign, in his new book "A Promise to Lead..." from The U.S. Poet Laureate
  9. "I think we might be talking about a .22 caliber mind in a .357 magnum world." from The U.S. Poet Laureate
  10. "Governor Ritchie is calling on the President to apologize?" from The U.S. Poet Laureate
  11. "Is the Republican nominee Rob Ritchie? Yes. Is his running mate Jeff Hesten? Yes." from The Black Vera Wang
  12. "Governor Ritchie's accepted an invitation." from We Killed Yamamoto
  13. From a scene in Posse Comitatus
  14. "So, for the week, you can add 'scientist' to 'doctor,' 'mind reader,' and 'Chinese.'" from 20 Hours in America, Part I
  15. "Josh, he cites them more then we do, which is his way of saying, 'I want to be President the same way you want a cold beer.'" from 20 Hours in America, Part I
  16. From the debate in Game On.
  17. Election results seen in Election Night.

Governor of Florida
Republican Party Presidential Candidate
Arnold Vinick