Governor of Washington
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2011-2013 FY Budget:||$12,105,000|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Washington Constitution, Article III, Section 2|
|Assumed office:||January 16, 2013|
|Next election:||November 8, 2016|
|Last election:||November 6, 2012|
|Other Washington Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Superintendent of Education• • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner• Natural Resources Commissioner• Labor Commissioner• Public Service Commissioner|
Under Article III, Section 2:
The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor...
The constitutional duties, rights and responsibilities of the Office of the Governor of the State of Washington are primarily laid out in Article III of the Washington State Constitution. Article III has been amended two times since the constitution was approved in 1889. Two of these amendments are relevant to the governor's prerogatives:
- State of Washington Constitutional Amendment 6, Gubernatorial Vacancies (1910)
- State of Washington Constitutional Amendment 62, Gubernatorial Vetoes (1974)
A candidate for governor must be:
- a citizen of the United States
- a qualified elector of the state of Washington
- See also: Washington gubernatorial election, 2012
Washington elects governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For Washington, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for noon on the second Monday in January following the election. Thus, January 14, 2013 and January 14, 2019 are inaugural days.
In the event of a tie between two candidates, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose among the two highest vote getters.
In the event of a contested election, the legislature shall resolve the issue in the manner set out by law.
|Governor of Washington General Election, 2012|
|Election Results via Washington Secretary of State.|
| 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010 |
Lists of candidates
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Washington governors do not face any term limits.
The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Washington from 1992-2013.
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
Whenever the sitting Governor dies, resigns, is removed or impeached, or is unable to discharge the office, the duties shall devolve upon the Lieutenant Governor. After the Lieutenant Governor, the order of succession is as follows:
- the Secretary of State
- the Treasurer
- the Auditor
- the Attorney General
- the Superintendent of Public Instruction
- the Commissioner of Public Lands
If a Governor-elect dies, resigns, declines to take the office, or is disqualified, the Lieutenant Governor-elect shall take office as the Governor. If the Governor-elect is only temporarily unable to take the oath, the Lieutenant Governor-elect serves as Acting Governor until the disability is removed. If both the Governor-elect and the Lieutenant Governor-elect are unable to take the oath, same line of succession listed above applies.
If the Governor dies, resigns, is removed or if the Governor's disability is permanent and more than two years remain in the current term, a special election is held at the next general election, unless the next general election is less than 30 days away, in which case the special election is moved to the following general election.
The governor is responsible for ensuring that the laws of the state are faithfully executed (§ 5) and is responsible for the safety of the state, as he or she serves as commander-in-chief of the Washington Militia (§ 8).
Additionally, the governor has the power to appoint heads of departments, agencies, and institutions. The governor is also responsible for presenting the state budget.
Other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Requiring written information from any state officer any aspect of her duties and office (§ 5)
- Addressing each session of the legislature on the state of state and making recommendations (§ 6)
- Convening extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly (§ 7)
- Granting pardons (§ 9)
- Remitting fines and forfeitures (§ 11)
- Vetoing bills, subject to a two-thirds legislative override (§ 12)
- Filling vacancies in all offices not otherwise provided for, including making recess appointments (§ 13)
The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $12,105,000.
The governor's salary is set by law and may not be raised or diminished effective during the current term.
There have been 23 governors of Washington since 1889. Of the 23 officeholders, 12 were Republican, 10 were Democrats, and 1 was a Populist/Democrat.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1889-Present|
|1||Elisha Peyre Ferry||1889 - 1893||Republican|
|2||John Harte McGraw||1893 - 1897||Republican|
|3||John Rankin Rogers||1897 - 1901||Populist, Democrat|
|4||Henry McBride||1901 - 1905||Republican|
|5||Albert E. Mead||1905 - 1909||Republican|
|6||Samuel G. Cosgrove||1909 - 1909||Republican|
|7||Marion E. Hay||1909 - 1913||Republican|
|8||Ernest Lister||1913 - 1919||Democratic|
|9||Louis Folwell Hart||1919 - 1925||Republican|
|10||Roland H. Hartley||1925 - 1933||Republican|
|11||Clarence Daniel Martin||1933 - 1941||Democratic|
|12||Arthur B. Langlie||1941 - 1945||Republican|
|13||Monrad Charles Wallgren||1945 - 1949||Democratic|
|14||Arthur B. Langlie||1949 – 1957||Republican|
|15||Albert Dean Rosellini||1957 - 1965||Democratic|
|16||Daniel Jackson Evans||1965 - 1977||Republican|
|17||Dixy Lee Ray||1977 - 1981||Democratic|
|18||John Dennis Spellman||1981 - 1985||Republican|
|19||Booth Gardner||1985 - 1993||Democratic|
|20||Michael Lowry||1993 - 1997||Democratic|
|21||Gary Locke||1997 - 2005||Democratic|
|22||Chris Gregoire||2005 - 2013||Democratic|
|23||Jay Inslee||2013 – present||Democratic|
Office of the Governor
PO Box 40002
Olympia, WA 98504-0002
- Jay Inslee, Current Governor of Washington
- Lieutenant Governor of Washington
- Lieutenant Governor Brad Owen
- Washington Attorney General
- Washington Secretary of State
Partisan balance 1992-2013
Throughout every year from 1992-2013 there were Democratic governors in office for Washington. Washington is one of seven states that were run by a Democratic governor for more than 80 percent of the years between 1992-2013.
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 have divided governments, while single-party trifectas held sway in 36 states, the most in the 22 years studied.
State of Washington
|State executive officers||
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