Governor of Tennessee
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2011-2012 FY Budget:||$4,595,500|
|Term limits:||Two consecutive terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Tennessee Constitution, Article III, Section I|
|Assumed office:||January 15, 2011|
|Next election:||November 6, 2018|
|Last election:||November 4, 2014|
|Other Tennessee Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Comptroller • Treasurer • Superintendent of Education • Agriculture Commissioner • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Commissioner • Labor Commissioner • Public Service Commission|
- 1 Current officer
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Vacancies
- 5 Duties
- 6 Elections
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 Historical officeholders
- 11 History
- 12 Recent news
- 13 Contact information
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
As of December 2014, Tennessee is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.
Under Article III, Section I:
The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor.
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
A candidate for governor must be:
- at least 30 years old
- a citizen of the United States
- a citizen of Tennessee for at least seven years upon his election
Additionally, no member of Congress and no one holding any other state office or any federal office may execute the duties of the office of the Governor.
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
When the governorship is vacated less than 18 months into a term, the successor only serves until a special election is held at the next general election. More than 18 months into a term, the successor completes the remainder of the term.
If the elected Governor dies, resigns or is removed, the first person in the line of succession is the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, who is also the Speaker of the Senate. The next in line is the Speaker of the House.
The Governor is the head of the executive branch of Tennessee's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (§ 5). The governor has a duty to enforce state laws and the state constitution (§ 10).
The governor is also the keeper of the Great Seal of the State of Tennessee (§ 15).
According to Article III of the Tennessee Constitution, other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Granting reprieves and pardons, except in cases of impeachment (§ 6)
- Requiring written information from any officer of an executive department on any aspect of that officer's department or duties (§ 8)
- Convening extraordinary sessions of the legislature, provided she proclaims the purposes and limitations of the special session when she calls it (§ 9)
- Periodically addressing the General Assembly concerning the state of the state and making recommendations for legislation (§ 11)
- Signing and sealing all commissions granted by the state of Tennessee (§ 16)
- Vetoing bills and joint resolutions, subject to a majority override of the state legislature (§ 18)
Tennessee elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Tennessee, 2018, 2022, 2026, 2030 and 2034 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the third Saturday in the January following an election.
In the event of a tie or a contested election, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballot to choose.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Tennessee governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait one term before being eligible to run again.
|A person may be eligible to succeed in office for additional four year terms, provided that no person presently serving or elected hereafter shall be eligible for election to more than two terms consecutively, including an election to a partial term.|
- See also: Tennessee gubernatorial election, 2014
|Governor of Tennessee, 2014|
|Republican||Bill Haslam Incumbent||70.3%||951,796|
|Democratic||Charles V. "Charlie" Brown||22.8%||309,237|
|Independent||John Jay Hooker||2.3%||30,579|
|Election Results via Tennessee Secretary of State.|
To view the electoral history dating back to 2002 for the office of Governor of Tennessee, Click [show] to expand the section.
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 Tennessee 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.
Role in state budget
- See also: Tennessee state budget
- Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
- State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in October.
- Agency hearings are held in November. Public hearings are held in November and December.
- The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
- The legislature typically adopts a budget in April or May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.
The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.
Governor's office budget
The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $4,595,500.
The governor's salary is legally fixed and may not be raised or decreased effective during the current term.
There have been 49 different governors of Tennessee since 1796. Counting those who served multiple, non-consecutive terms brings the total to 57, as reflected in the chart below. The breakdown of the 57 officeholders is as follows: 34 Democrats, 7 Democratic-Republicans, 6 Republicans, 3 Whigs, 2 Whig/Know-Nothing, 2 Republican/Whig, 1 Democratic/Opposition Party, 1 Democratic/Whig, and 1 Farm-Labor.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1796-Present|
|1||John Sevier||1796 - 1801||Democratic-Republican|
|2||Archibald Roane||1801 - 1803||Democratic-Republican|
|3||John Sevier||1803 – 1809||Democratic-Republican|
|4||Willie Blount||1809 - 1815||Democratic-Republican|
|5||Joseph McMinn||1815 - 1821||Democratic-Republican|
|6||William Carroll||1821 - 1827||Democratic-Republican|
|7||Samuel Houston||1827 - 1829||Democratic-Republican|
|8||William Hall||1829 - 1829||Democratic|
|9||William Carroll||1829 – 1835||Democratic|
|10||Newton Cannon||1835 - 1839||Whig|
|11||James Knox Polk||1839 - 1841||Democratic|
|12||James Chamberlain Jones||1841 - 1845||Whig|
|13||Aaron Venable Brown||1845 - 1847||Democratic|
|14||Neill Smith Brown||1847 - 1849||Whig/Know-Nothing|
|15||William Trousdale||1849 - 1851||Democratic|
|16||William Bowen Campbell||1851 - 1853||Whig|
|17||Andrew Johnson||1853 - 1857||Democratic|
|18||Isham Green Harris||1857 - 1862||Democratic|
|Never took office||Robert Looney Caruthers||1863 - 1863||Democratic|
|19||Andrew Johnson||1862 – 1865||Democratic|
|20||Edward Hazzard East||1865 - 1865||Democratic/Opposition Party|
|21||William Gannaway Brownlow||1865 - 1869||Whig/Know-Nothing|
|22||DeWitt Clinton Senter||1869 - 1871||Republican/Whig|
|23||John Calvin Brown||1871 - 1875||Democratic/Whig|
|24||James Davis Porter||1875 - 1879||Democratic|
|25||Albert Smith Marks||1879 - 1881||Democratic|
|26||Alvin Hawkins||1881 - 1883||Republican/Whig|
|27||William Brimage Bate||1883 - 1887||Democratic|
|28||Robert Love Taylor||1887 - 1891||Democratic|
|29||John Price Buchanan||1891 - 1893||Farm-Labor|
|30||Peter Turney||1893 - 1897||Democratic|
|31||Robert Love Taylor||1897 – 1899||Democratic|
|32||Benton McMillin||1899 - 1903||Democratic|
|33||James Beriah Frazier||1903 - 1905||Democratic|
|34||John Isaac Cox||1905 - 1907||Democratic|
|35||Malcolm Rice Patterson||1907 - 1911||Democratic|
|36||Ben Walter Hooper||1911 - 1915||Republican|
|37||Thomas Clarke Rye||1915 - 1919||Democratic|
|38||Albert Houston Roberts||1919 - 1921||Democratic|
|39||Alfred Alexander Taylor||1921 - 1923||Republican|
|40||Austin Peay III||1923 - 1927||Democratic|
|41||Henry Hollis Horton||1927 - 1933||Democratic|
|42||Harry Hill McAlister||1933 - 1937||Democratic|
|43||Gordon Browning||1937 - 1939||Democratic|
|44||William Prentice Cooper||1939 - 1945||Democratic|
|45||Jim Nance McCord||1945 - 1949||Democratic|
|46||Gordon Browning||1949 – 1953||Democratic|
|47||Frank Goad Clement||1953 - 1959||Democratic|
|48||Earl Buford Ellington||1959 - 1963||Democratic|
|49||Frank Goad Clement||1963 – 1967||Democratic|
|50||Earl Buford Ellington||1967 – 1971||Democratic|
|51||Bryant Winfield Culberson Dunn||1971 - 1975||Republican|
|52||Ray Blanton||1975 - 1979||Democratic|
|53||Lamar Alexander||1979 - 1987||Republican|
|54||Ned Ray McWherter||1987 - 1995||Democratic|
|55||Don Sundquist||1995 - 2003||Republican|
|56||Phil Bredesen||2003 - 2011||Democratic|
|57||Bill Haslam||2011 – present||Republican|
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, in Tennessee there were Democratic governors in office for 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for 11 years, including the last three. Tennessee 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.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Tennessee 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. Tennessee experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas during the years of the study. Its best ranking, finishing 21st, occurred in 2012 during a Republican trifecta. Its worst ranking, finishing 40th, occurred in 2004 during a Democratic trifecta.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 34.00
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 23.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 31.71
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term Tennessee + Governor
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Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001
- Governor Bill Haslam, "About Bill Haslam," accessed May 16, 2013
- Lexis-Nexis, "Tenn. Code Ann. § 8-2-101," accessed December 28, 2012
- National Conference of State Legislatures, "State Experiences with Annual and Biennial Budgeting," updated April 2011
- National Association of State Budget Officers, "Budget Processes in the States, Summer 2008," accessed February 21, 2014
- Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration, "The Budget, Fiscal Year 2013-2014," accessed April 8, 2013
- Council of State Governments, "SELECTED STATE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICIALS: ANNUAL SALARIES," accessed December 8, 2014
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governors Association, " Former governors of Tennessee," accessed June 15, 2013
State of Tennessee
|State executive officers||
Governor | Attorney General | Secretary of State | Comptroller | Treasurer | Commissioner of Education | Commissioner of Insurance| Commissioner of Agriculture | Commissioner of Environment & Conservation | Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development | Chairman of Regulatory Authority |