Governor of Mississippi

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Mississippi Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013-2014 FY Budget:  $2,352,662
Term limits:  Two terms
Length of term:   Four years
Authority:  Mississippi Constitution, Article V, Section I the Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Name:  Phil Bryant
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 10, 2012
Compensation:  $122,160
Next election:  November 2015
Last election:  November 8, 2011
Other Mississippi Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerExecutive Director of Environmental Quality Executive Director of Employment SecurityPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Mississippi is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch and the highest state office in Mississippi. This office is elected to four-year terms in the odd-numbered year preceding a presidential election.[1]

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

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

Current officer

The 64th and current governor is Phil Bryant (R). He was first elected in 2011 and sworn in on January 10, 2012.[2]


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

Under Article V, Section I:

The chief executive power of this state shall be vested in a Governor...


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

The term of office of the Governor of Mississippi is four years. The fee for party candidates is $300 made payable to the appropriate state party executive committee. There is no fee for independent candidates but a total of 1,000 signatures must be submitted.

Additionally, a gubernatorial candidate must be:

  • at least 30 years old
  • a citizen of the United States for 20 years
  • a resident of the state five years


Mississippi state government organizational chart

Mississippi belongs to the handful of states that hold off-year elections, that is, elections in off-numbered years that are neither presidential nor midterm years. In Mississippi's case, elections are held in the year after a midterm and before a presidential; thus, 2015, 2019, 2023 and 2027 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the inauguration is always held the second Tuesday in January after an election.

In the event of a tie, the House of Representatives casts ballots between the two highest vote-getters.

If no candidate secures majorities of both the popular and electoral votes, under Article V, Section 141, the Mississippi House of Representatives shall consider the two highest vote getters and vote, vive voce, to choose the governor. Such a vote shall be recorded in the journal.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Mississippi governors are restricted to two terms in office during their lifetime.

Mississippi Constitution, Article 5, Section 116

Any person elected to the office of Governor shall be eligible to succeed himself in office. However, no person shall be elected to the office of Governor more than twice, and no person who has held the office of Governor or has acted as Governor for more than two (2) years of a term to which another person was elected shall be elected to the office of Governor more than once.

Full history

Partisan composition

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


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article V, Section 131.

In the event of a temporary vacancy in the governorship, due to illness, absence, or disability, the office shall first devolve to the lieutenant governor, followed by the President Pro Tem of the Senate and then the Speaker of the House of Representatives.

Should all three of those officers be unable to discharge the office of the governor, the Mississippi Secretary of State shall convene a special session of the Senate wherein its members shall elect a new President Pro Tem who will be able to serve as acting governor.

Any individual acting as the governor receives her base compensation for her elected office plus the difference between that wage and the gubernatorial salary. Acting governors have the full powers and emoluments of the office.

If there is a question of the governor's permanent disability or of whether a temporarily absent governor is fit to resume the office, then the secretary of state shall request that the Mississippi Supreme Court investigate and decide the matter. Once delivered in writing to the Secretary of State, that opinion is "final and conclusive."



The governor serves as commander-in-chief of the army and navy of the state, and of the militia, except when they shall be called into the service of the United States, (§ 119), and sees that all laws are upheld and executed (§ 123).

The governor may convene the legislature whenever, in his judgment, the public interest requires it, according to the state constitution. However, during such meetings the governor has cannot consider or act upon subjects or matters other than those designated in the proclamation of the meeting, except impeachments and examination into the accounts of state officers. (§ 120)

The governor has the power to grant reprieves and pardons and to remit fines. His power does not extend to cases of treason or impeachment and must be exercised with the advice and consent of the Senate. (§ 124)

As a privilege of the office, the governor may keep and use the Great Seal of the State of Mississippi. (§ 126)

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Requiring written information from any officer of an executive department of any aspect of his office (§ 121)
  • Periodically addressing the legislature on the state of the state and making recommendations (§ 122)
  • Suspending county level Treasurers and Tax Collectors who are suspected of defaulting for the length of the investigation (§ 125)
  • Making and sealing all commissions granted by the state of Mississippi (§ 127)


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 Mississippi 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: Mississippi state budget and finances

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[3][4]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in June of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in August.
  3. Agency and public hearings are held in September and October.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in November (this deadline is extended to January for a newly-elected governor).
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in March or April. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Mississippi is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[4]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to pass a balanced budget.[4]

Governor's office budget

The Office of the Governor's budget for fiscal year 2013 was $2,352,662.[5]


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

DocumentIcon.jpg See statutes: MS Code §25-3-31 (2013)

Under Article 5, Section 118 of the Mississippi Constitution, the governor’s salary is determined by law, and may not be increased or decreased during the current term. The Mississippi Code states that no public official can be compensated, directly or indirectly, greater than 150 percent of the salary of the governor.[6]


In 2014, the governor's salary remained at $122,160, according to the Council of State Governments.[7]


In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $122,160, according to the Council of State Governments.[8]


In 2012, the governor's salary was $122,160, according to the Council of State Governments.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, in Mississippi there were Democratic governors in office for four years while there were Republican governors in office for 18 years, including the last 10. Mississippi is one of eight states that were run by a Republican governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013. Mississippi was under Republican trifectas for the last two 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 Mississippi, the Mississippi State Senate and the Mississippi House of Representatives from 1992-2013.

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

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Mississippi 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. Mississippi has consistently ranked in the bottom-2 of the SQLI ranking regardless of a trifecta or a divided government. The state has been ranked in the last place for fifteen separate years and ranked 49th six separate years. Mississippi had two trifecta, both Democratic and Republican, between 2000 and 2004 and in 2012, respectively.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 49.75
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 50
  • SQLI average with divided government: 49.69
Chart displaying the partisanship of Mississippi government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

Historical officeholders

There have been 63 governors since 1817. Of the 63 officeholders, five were Republican, 52 were Democrat, one was Whig, one was Union-Democratic, one was Provisional, one was Military and three are unknown.[9]

List of Former Officeholders from 1817-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 David Holmes 1817 - 1820 Electiondot.png Democratic
2 George Poindexter 1820 - 1822 Electiondot.png Democratic
3 Walter Leake 1822 - 1825 Electiondot.png Democratic
4 Gerard Chittocque Brandon 1825 - 1826 Unknown
5 David Holmes 1826 - 1826 Electiondot.png Democratic
6 Gerard Chittocque Brandon 1826 - 1832 Unknown
7 Abram Marshall Scott 1832 - 1833 Electiondot.png Democratic
8 Charles Lynch 1833 - 1833 Electiondot.png Democratic
9 Hiram George Runnels 1833 - 1835 Electiondot.png Democratic
10 John Anthony Quitman 1835 - 1836 Electiondot.png Democratic
11 Charles Lynch 1836 - 1838 Whig
12 Alexander Gallatin Mcnutt 1838 - 1842 Electiondot.png Democratic
13 Tilghman Mayfield Tucker 1842 - 1844 Electiondot.png Democratic
14 Albert Gallatin Brown 1844 - 1848 Electiondot.png Democratic
15 Joseph W. Matthews 1848 - 1850 Electiondot.png Democratic
16 John Anthony Quitman 1850 - 1851 Electiondot.png Democratic
17 John Isaac Guion 1851 - 1851 Electiondot.png Democratic
18 James Whitfield 1851 - 1852 Electiondot.png Democratic
19 Henry Stuart Foote 1852 - 1854 Union-Democratic
20 John Jones Pettus 1854 - 1854 Electiondot.png Democratic
21 John Jones McRae 1854 - 1857 Electiondot.png Democratic
22 William McWillie 1857 - 1859 Electiondot.png Democratic
23 John Jones Pettus 1859 - 1863 Electiondot.png Democratic
24 Charles Clark 1863 - 1865 Electiondot.png Democratic
25 William Lewis Sharkey 1865 - 1865 Provisional
26 Benjamin Grubb Humphreys 1865 - 1868 Electiondot.png Democratic
27 Adelbert Ames 1868 - 1870 Military
28 James Lusk Alcorn 1870 - 1871 Ends.png Republican
29 Ridgely Ceylon Powers 1871 - 1874 Unknown
30 Adelbert Ames 1874 - 1876 Ends.png Republican
31 John Marshall Stone 1876 - 1882 Electiondot.png Democratic
32 Robert Lowry 1882 - 1890 Electiondot.png Democratic
33 John Marshall Stone 1890 - 1896 Electiondot.png Democratic
34 Anselm McLaurin 1896 - 1900 Electiondot.png Democratic
35 Andrew Houston Longino 1900 - 1904 Electiondot.png Democratic
36 James Vardaman 1904 - 1908 Electiondot.png Democratic
37 Edmond Favor Noel 1908 - 1912 Electiondot.png Democratic
38 Earl Leroy Brewer 1912 - 1916 Electiondot.png Democratic
39 Theodore Gilmore Bilbo 1916 - 1920 Electiondot.png Democratic
40 Lee Maurice Russell 1920 - 1924 Electiondot.png Democratic
41 Henry Lewis Whitfield 1924 - 1927 Electiondot.png Democratic
42 Dennis Herron Murphree 1927 - 1928 Electiondot.png Democratic
43 Theodore Gilmore Bilbo 1928 - 1932 Electiondot.png Democratic
44 Martin Sennet Conner 1932 - 1936 Electiondot.png Democratic
45 Hugh Lawson White 1936 - 1940 Electiondot.png Democratic
46 Paul B. Johnson Sr. 1940 - 1943 Electiondot.png Democratic
47 Dennis Herron Murphree 1943 - 1944 Electiondot.png Democratic
48 Thomas Lowry Bailey 1944 - 1946 Electiondot.png Democratic
49 Fielding Lewis Wright 1946 - 1952 Electiondot.png Democratic
50 Hugh Lawson White 1952 - 1956 Electiondot.png Democratic
51 James Plemon Coleman 1956 - 1960 Electiondot.png Democratic
52 Ross Robert Barnett 1960 - 1964 Electiondot.png Democratic
53 Paul B. Johnson Jr. 1964 - 1968 Electiondot.png Democratic
54 John Bell Williams 1968 - 1972 Electiondot.png Democratic
55 William Lowe Waller 1972 - 1976 Electiondot.png Democratic
56 Charles Clifton Finch 1976 - 1980 Electiondot.png Democratic
57 William Forrest Winter 1980 - 1984 Electiondot.png Democratic
58 William A. Allain 1984 - 1988 Electiondot.png Democratic
59 Raymond Edwin Mabus 1988 - 1992 Electiondot.png Democratic
60 Daniel Kirkwood Fordice 1992 - 2000 Ends.png Republican
61 David Ronald "Ronnie" Musgrove 2000 - 2004 Electiondot.png Democratic
62 Haley Barbour 2004 - 2012 Ends.png Republican
63 Phil Bryant 2012 - present Ends.png Republican

Recent news

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

Governor of Mississippi - Google News Feed

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Contact information

P.O. Box 139
Jackson, Mississippi 39205
Toll Free:1-877-405-0733

See also

External links

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