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Lieutenant Governor of Delaware

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Delaware Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2013 FY Budget:  $5,915,000
Term limits:  Two terms
Length of term:   Four years
Authority:  Delaware Constitution, Article III, Section 19
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder
Name:  Vacant
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Compensation:  $78,553
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Delaware Executive Offices
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The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Delaware is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Delaware. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality.[1]

Current officeholder

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The office has been vacant since January 6, 2015, when previous Lt. Gov. Matthew Denn resigned to become state attorney general. Denn, a Democrat first elected lieutenant governor in 2008 and re-elected in 2012, quit the position two years before he was scheduled to complete his four-year term.[2] Because the Delaware Constitution does not provide for such a contingency, the lieutenant governor seat will remain vacant until a successor is elected on November 8, 2016, and sworn in January 17, 2017.


The state constitution addresses the office of the lieutenant governor in Article III, the Executive Department.

Delaware Constitution, Article III, Section 19

A Lieutenant-Governor shall be chosen at the same time, in the same manner, for the same term, and subject to the same provisions as the Governor...


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

Under Article III, Section 6 of the state constitution, the governor must be at 30-years-old, a citizen of the United States for at least 12 years on the day of the election and a resident of Delaware for at least six years on the same date.


Delaware state government organizational chart
See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of lieutenant governors

Delaware elects lieutenant governors during presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For Delaware, 2016 and 2020 are lieutenant gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the third Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 17, 2017, is the next inaugural day.

In the unlikely event that two candidates receive the exact same vote tally at the general election, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballots to choose one-third of the members of each chamber to make up a special joint committee, which will in turn cast ballots for the lieutenant governor. In the even more unlikely event that the legislature is similarly tied, the President of the Senate shall have the deciding vote (§ 4).

Although in practice the candidate for lieutenant governor is nominated as a ticket with the candidate for governor, the offices of governor and lieutenant governor are voted on separately in Delaware. In 1972 and 1984, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected from different parties.


See also: Delaware lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Incumbent Matthew Denn defeated challengers Sher Valenzuela (R) and Margie Waite-McKeown (L) in the November 6, 2012 general election.

Lieutenant Governor of Delaware General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMatthew Denn Incumbent 61.6% 238,959
     Republican Sher Valenzuela 37.1% 143,978
     Libertarian Margie Waite-McKeown 1.3% 5,206
Total Votes 388,143
Election Results via Delaware State Board of Elections.

Term limits

Delaware's lieutenant governor is subject to a lifetime limit of two terms in office.


Details of vacancies are addressed under Article III, Section 20.

The lieutenant governor is the lone officer of the executive who may not be removed, for cause, by the governor. If the governor's office becomes vacant through death, disability or resignation, the lieutenant governor is first in the line of succession. If the lieutenant governor's office becomes vacant, it will not be filled until a new officer is chosen in the next regularly-scheduled election and sworn in the following January.[2]

Whenever the powers and duties of the office of Governor shall devolve upon the Lieutenant-Governor, Secretary of State, or Attorney-General, his or her office shall become vacant... and any such vacancy shall be filled as directed by this Constitution; provided, however, that such vacancy shall not be created in case either of the said persons shall be acting as Governor during a temporary disability of the Governor.



As in many other U.S. state legislatures, the lieutenant governor also serves as the President of the Delaware State Senate, though he or she can only issue a vote if there is a tie on any vote. The lieutenant governor also has a constitutionally provided seat on the Delaware Board of Pardons.

He has other responsibilities and duties as the Governor shall assign.

State budget

See also: Delaware state budget and finances

The budget for the Lieutenant Governor's Office in the Fiscal Year 2013 was $591,500.[3]


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

The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.


In 2014, the lieutenant governor received a salary of $78,553, according to the Council of State Governments.[4]


In 2013, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $78,553. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2012, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $77,775. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.


In 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid $74,345 a year, the 32nd highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America.

Historical officeholders

From 1901-2015, Delaware has had 25 lieutenant governors. Thirteen have been Democrats and 12 have been Republicans.[5]

# Name Took office Left office Party
1 Phillip L. Cannon January 15, 1901 January 17, 1905 Republican
2 Isaac Thomas Parker January 17, 1905 January 19, 1909 Republican
3 John M. Mendinhall January 19, 1909 January 21, 1913 Republican
4 Colen Ferguson January 21, 1913 January 16, 1917 Democratic
5 Lewis T. Eliason January 16, 1917 May 2, 1919 Democratic
6 J. Danford Bush January 18, 1921 January 20, 1925 Republican
7 James Hall Anderson January 20, 1925 January 15, 1929 Republican
8 James Henry Hazel January 15, 1929 January 17, 1933 Republican
9 Roy F. Corley January 17, 1933 January 19, 1937 Republican
10 Edward Webb Cooch January 19, 1937 January 21, 1941 Democratic
11 Isaac James MacCollum January 21, 1941 January 16, 1945 Democratic
12 Elbert Nortrand Carvel January 16, 1945 January 18, 1949 Democratic
13 Alexis Irenee du Pont Bayard January 18, 1949 January 20, 1953 Democratic
14 John W. Rollins, Sr. January 20, 1953 January 15, 1957 Republican
15 David Penrose Buckson January 15, 1957 December 30, 1960 Republican
16 Eugene Lammot January 17, 1961 January 19, 1965 Democratic
17 Sherman Willard Tribbitt January 19, 1965 January 21, 1969 Democratic
18 Eugene Bookhammer January 21, 1969 January 18, 1977 Republican
19 James D. McGinnis January 18, 1977 January 20, 1981 Democratic
20 Michael Newbold Castle January 20, 1981 January 15, 1985 Republican
21 Shien Biau Woo January 15, 1985 January 20, 1989 Democratic
22 Dale E. Wolf January 20, 1989 December 31, 1992 Republican
23 Ruth Ann Minner January 19, 1993 January 3, 2001 Democratic
24 John C. Carney January 16, 2001 January 20, 2009 Democratic
25 Matthew Denn January 20, 2009 January 6, 2015 Democratic

Recent news

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Contact information


Tatnall Building
3rd Floor
Dover, DE 19901

Tel: (302) 744-4333

See also

External links