Governor of Kansas

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Kansas Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012 FY Budget:  $19,329,277
Term limits:  Two consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Kansas Constitution, Article I, Section III The Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Sam Brownback.jpg
Name:  Sam Brownback
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 10, 2011
Compensation:  $99,636
Next election:  November 6, 2018
Last election:  November 4, 2014
Other Kansas Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerCommissioner of EducationAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerWildlife and Parks SecretaryLabor SecretaryCorporation Commission
The Governor of the State of Kansas is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Kansas. Governors are popularly elected by a plurality to four-year terms, and no individual may serve more than two successive term.

As of May 2015, Kansas is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

See also: Kansas State Legislature, Kansas House of Representatives, Kansas State Senate

Current officeholder

The 46th and current governor is Sam Brownback (R). He was first elected on November 2010 and won re-election in 2014.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article I, the Executive Department.

Under Article 1, Section III:

The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor, who shall be responsible for the enforcement of the laws of this state.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
Breaking news

Kansas' constitution does not set out requirements for office.


Kansas state government organizational chart

Kansas elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Kansas, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the second Monday in the January following an election.


See also: Kansas Gubernatorial election, 2014
Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngSam Brownback/Jeff Colyer Incumbent 49.8% 433,196
     Democratic Paul Davis/Jill Docking 46.1% 401,100
     Libertarian Keen Umbehr/Josh Umbehr 4% 35,206
Total Votes 869,502
Election Results via Kansas Secretary of State.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Kansas governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.

Kansas Constitution, Article I, Section 1

No person may be elected to more than two successive terms as governor...

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Kansas governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Kansas Partisanship.PNG


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article 1, Section 11.

At any time the governor is unable to discharge the office, temporarily or permanently, the lieutenant governor shall take his place until the disability is removed.

If the lieutenant governor is also disabled, the legislature shall determine the line of succession.



Under the Kansas Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Kansas executive branch. The governor is the commander-in-fhief of the state National Guard when not called into federal use. Despite being an executive branch official, the governor also possesses legislative and judicial powers. The Governor's responsibilities include making yearly "State of the State" addresses to the Kansas Legislature, submitting the budget, ensuring that state laws are enforced, and that the peace is preserved.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • commanding reports from any other officer of the Executive on any aspect of their job. Heads of state institutions must also make annual reports to the Governor no later than ten days prior to the state of the regular legislative session (§ 4).
  • calling the legislature into special session either by proclamation or following a petition signed by two-thirds the membership of either house (§ 5), as well as adjourning the legislature when the body cannot agree to do so itself
  • reorganizing the parts of the Executive "for the purpose of transferring, abolishing, consolidating or coordinating" (§ 6)
  • granting pardons (§ 7)
  • keeping and officially using the Great Seal of Kansas (§ 8)


Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Governor of Kansas has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.

State budget

Role in state budget

See also: Kansas state budget and finances

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[1][2]

  1. Budget instructions are sent to state agencies in June.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in September.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature on the eighth calendar day of the legislative session. For new governors, this deadline is extended to the 21st calendar day of the session.
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in May. A simple majority is required to adopt a budget. The fiscal year begins in July.

Kansas is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[2]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced proposed budget. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.[2]

Governor's office budget

The Office of Governor's budget for the 2012 fiscal year was $19,329,277.[3]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The salary of the governor, along with other Kansas elected executives, is determined by the Kansas State Legislature. Article I, Section 13 of the Kansas Constitution states that state executive salaries are legally fixed and may not be reduced during the current term, unless such a reduction applies to all salaried state officers.[4] However, under Article XV, Section 7 the legislature may reduce the salary of an elected officer for gross neglect of duty.[5]

Kansas Constitution, Article I, Section 13

Compensation of officers. The officers mentioned in this article shall at stated times receive for their services a such compensation as is established by law, which shall not be diminished during their terms of office, unless by general law applicable to all salaried officers of the state. Any person exercising the powers and duties of an office mentioned in this article shall receive the compensation established by law for that office.

Kansas Constitution, Article XV, Section 7

Salaries reduced for neglect of duty. The legislature may reduce the salaries of officers, who shall neglect the performance of any legal duty.


In 2014, the governor received a salary of $99,636, according to the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2013, the governor's salary was $99,636, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2010, the governor was paid $110,707 a year, the 36th highest gubernatorial salary in America.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Kansas
Partisan breakdown of the Kansas governorship from 1992-2013

In Kansas from 1992-2013 there were Democratic governors in office for 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Kansas was under Republican trifectas for the last three years of the study period.

Across the country, there were 493 years of Democratic governors (44.82%) and 586 years of Republican governors (53.27%) from 1992-2013.

Over the course of the 22-year study, state governments became increasingly more partisan. At the outset of the study period (1992), 18 of the 49 states with partisan legislatures had single-party trifectas and 31 states had divided governments. In 2013, only 13 states had divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Kansas, the Kansas State Senate and the Kansas House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

Partisan composition of Kansas state government(1992-2013).PNG

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Kansas state government and the state's SQLI ranking for the years studied. For the SQLI, the states were ranked from 1-50, with 1 being the best and 50 the worst. Kansas has never had a Democratic trifecta, while it has had a Republican trifecta in two separate periods of the study (between 1995 and 2003, and again beginning in 2011). The state cracked the top-10 in the SQLI ranking once in 1992. Kansas’s most precipitous drop in the ranking occurred under divided government between 1993 and 1994, when the state fell nine spots. The state’s largest gain in the SQLI ranking occurred between 2007 and 2008, also under divided government. Kansas reached its lowest point in 1999 (29th) under divided government.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: N/A
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 20.90
  • SQLI average with divided government: 19.09
Chart displaying the partisanship of Kansas government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

There have been 43 Governors of Kansas since 1861. Of the 43 officeholders, 32 were Republican, 10 were Democrat and one was Populist.[8]

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms "Governor Kansas."

Some of the stories below may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of Google's news search engine.

Governor of Kansas - Google News Feed

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Contact information

Office of the Governor
Capitol, 300 SW 10th Ave., Ste. 212S
Topeka, KS 66612-1590

See also

External links

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