Lieutenant Governor of Washington

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Washington Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $1,475,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Washington Constitution, Article 3, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Brad Owen.jpg
Name:  Brad Owen
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 15, 1997
Compensation:  $93,948
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Washington Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of Education• • Agriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commissioner
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Washington is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Washington. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and has no term limit.

The office could theoretically be abolished, as the Washington Constitution specifically allows the legislature to take such a step at its discretion.

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The 15th and current lieutenant governor is Brad Owen (D). He was first elected in 1996 and won re-election in 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.


Article 3 of the state constitution establishes the state's executive offices.

Article III, Section 2:

Executive Department. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.


Article 3, Section 25 of the state constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

Qualifications, Compensation, Offices Which May Be Abolished. No person, except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of this state, shall be eligible to hold any state office...
  • a citizen of the United States
  • a qualified elector in Washington


Washington state government organizational chart

Washington elects lieutenant governors in the presidential elections. For Washington, 2016, 2020, 2024 and 2028 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for noon on the second Monday in January following the election.

By law, lieutenant governors are elected in separate elections from governors in both the primary and general elections. This means it is possible to have a partisan split in the executive office.

The lieutenant governor is elected in a direct election—the candidate with the most votes becomes lieutenant governor. In the event that two candidates receive an equal number of votes which is higher than that received by any other candidate, the members of the state legislature vote between the two at their next session.

Full history


Details of vacancies are addressed under Article V, Sections 7 and 8.

A vacancy in the office is filled by a gubernatorial nomination.



The lieutenant governor is the first officer in the line of succession in the event of the governor's death, resignation, removal, absence or inability to serve.

The incumbent is the President of the Washington State Senate and takes on other duties as assigned by law or as delegated by the governor.


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 Lieutenant Governor of Washington 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

See also: Washington state budget and finances

The budget for the Washington Lieutenant Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $1,475,000.[1]


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

The lieutenant governor's salary is addressed in Article III, Section 16 of the Washington Constitution. The constitution initially set the annual salary of the lieutenant governor at $1,000 but provided for the amount to be raised to a maximum of $3,000 at the discretion of the Washington State Legislature. Since 1986, the lieutenant governor's salary is determined by the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials.[2]

In 1948, the voters adopted the 20th constitutional amendment, creating Article 28, Section 1, which authorized the state legislature to establish the compensation received by all elected state officials. Several changes to the procedure, including three more constitutional amendments, followed, the most recent being the 78th amendment or House Joint Resolution 49. Approved voters in the 1986 general election, HJR 49 created the Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials, the independent salary-setting authority that took over the legislature's responsibility of setting the salaries of elected officials across the three branches of the Washington state government.[3][4]


In 2014, the lieutenant governor received a salary of $93,948, according to the Council of State Governments.[5]


In 2013, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $93,948. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[6]


In 2012, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $91,129 according to the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $93,948, the 23rd highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America at the time.

Historical officeholders

There have been 15 lieutenant governors since Washington became a state in 1889.[7]

List of Former Officeholders from 1889-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 Charles E. Laughton 1889-1893 Ends.png Republican
2 F. H. Luce 1893-1897 Ends.png Republican
3 Thurston Daniels 1897-1901 Populist
4 Henry McBride 1901-1901 Ends.png Republican
5 Charles E. Coon 1905-1909 Ends.png Republican
6 Marion E. Hay 1909-1909 Ends.png Republican
7 Louis F. Hart 1913-1919 Ends.png Republican
8 William (Wee) J. Coyle 1921-1925 Ends.png Republican
9 W. Lon Johnson 1925-1929 Ends.png Republican
10 John Arthur Gellatly 1929-1933 Ends.png Republican
11 Victor A. Meyers 1933-1953 Electiondot.png Democratic
12 Emmett T. Anderson 1953-1957 Ends.png Republican
13 John A. Cherberg 1957-1989 Electiondot.png Democratic
14 Joel Pritchard 1989-1997 Ends.png Republican
15 Brad Owen 1991- Present Electiondot.png Democratic

Recent news

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

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

Lieutenant Governor of Washington - Google News Feed

  • Loading...

Contact information

Physical Address:
Office of the Lt. Governor
220 Legislative Building
416 Sid Snyder Ave. S.W.
Olympia, Washington

Mailing Address:
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen
Office of the Lt. Governor
PO Box 40400
Olympia, WA 98504-0400

See also

External links

Suggest a link