Governor of Alabama

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The Governor of the State of Alabama is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Alabama. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a simple majority and is limited to two terms. Alabama's original Constitution, from 1819, made the gubernatorial term of office two years. The 1901 Constitution extended the term to four years and, after Amendment 282 was passed in 1968, allowed a Governor to succeed himself once.

Current officer

The 53rd and current governor of Alabama is Robert J. Bentley, a Republican. Bentley took office in January 2011, after winning the seat in the November 2010 midterms.

His wife, Dianne Bentley, is the First Lady of Alabama.


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

Under Section 113 of the state's Constitution,

The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled "The Governor of the State of Alabama.


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

Under Section 116 of the Constitution, the governor may not hold any Federal office or any state office in Alabama concurrently with his gubernatorial term.

Under Section 117, the governor must be at least 30 years old, an American citizen for at least ten years on the date of the election, and a resident of Alabama for at least seven years.


Alabama elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Alabama, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday after the second Tuesday in the January following an election. Thus, January 11, 2011 and January 9, 2015 are inaugural days.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

In addition to a term limit that prevents a Governor from succeeding himself, Alabama has an unusual provision that forbids a sitting governor from seeking another state or U.S. Senate office, or from seeking the same within one year of leaving office. (§ 116).


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Article V, Sections 127 and 128.

In the event that the elected Governor is unable to complete her term, the Lieutenant Governor of Alabama succeeds the Governor and has the same full powers as the elected Governor. The Lieutenant Governor also becomes "Acting Governor" at any time when the elected Governor is unable to discharge the office for 20 consecutive days, yet does not vacate the office. Because Alabama elects her Governor and Lieutenant Governor on separate tickets, it is theoretically possible for the governorship of the state to change parties without an election occurring.

Any two other Constitutional officers, excluding the individual who would succeed the Governor, may also file a affidavit with the Alabama Supreme Court to the effect that sitting governor is of unsound mind, in which case the Supreme Court shall hear testimony and deliver a verdict.



The governor is responsible for upholding the Alabama Constitution and executing state law. The governor also is commander-in-chief of the state's military forces (the Alabama Army National Guard and Alabama Air National Guard, which are part of the National Guard of the United States, and the Alabama State Defense Force, which is the State Defense Forces). As commander-in-chief the governor may call out the state's military forces preserve the public peace when it is not in active service of the United States.

At least once every legislative session, the governor is required to deliver an address to the Alabama Legislature, referred to as the "State of the State Address," regarding the condition and operation of the state government and to suggest new legislation.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • seeing that all laws of the state are faithfully executed
  • ordering reports from other executive officers and from the managers of state institutions
  • convening extraordinary sessions of the legislature
  • presenting a budget for the state to the legislature
  • remitting fines and forfeitures and granting reprieves, paroles, commutations of sentence and pardons
  • exercising a veto over bills, including appropriation bills, from the legislature


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries

The governor's pay is legally fixed and may be raised by the Alabama State Legislature.

As of 2010, the Governor of Alabama is paid $112,895 a year, the 32nd highest gubernatorial salary in America.[1]

Contact Information

State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue
Montgomery, Alabama 36130

Switchboard: (334) 242-7100
Fax: (334) 353-0004

See also

External links