Incumbent candidates will likely encounter a rough time in 2010, the chairman of the Democratic Governors' Association (DGA) said Sunday.

Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D) defended his work as head of the DGA, during which new Republican governors were elected in New Jersey and Virginia, two states previously held by Democrats.

"Again, this was a tough cycle for incumbents and in the case of Virginia while there wasn't an incumbent, they were looking at the other party because the last two governors had been Democrats and so they were looking to the other side," Schweitzer said during an appearance on CNN. "So I think if anything, it's been a tough cycle for incumbents and I expect maybe even the next cycle to be tough for incumbents."

26 Governors' mansions will be held by Democrats in 2010, while 24 will be held by Republicans.

In 2010, 39 gubernatorial elections will be held, 20 of which are held by Democrats, and 19 of which are held by Republicans.