Governor of Georgia

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Georgia Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
Term limits:  2 consecutive terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Article V, the Executive Department
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Nathan Deal.jpg
Name:  Nathan Deal
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 10, 2011
Compensation:  $139,339
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Georgia Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of SchoolsAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Georgia is an elected constitutional officer, the head of the executive branch, and the highest state office in Georgia. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms. No individual may again hold the office again until four years, a single gubernatorial term, have elapsed.

As of May 2013, Georgia is one of 24 Republican state government trifectas.

Current officeholder

The 82nd current governor of Georgia is Republican Nathan Deal, first elected in November 2010. Deal will come up for re-election, if he chooses to run, in 2014.

Before becoming governor, Deal was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives for Georgia from 1993 to 2011. He was originally elected as a Democrat, but switched to the Republican Party on April 10, 1995. During part his time in the House, he served as the Republican deputy whip. Before running for Congress, Deal served in the Georgia State Senate from 1981 to 1993.

Prior to entering politics, Deal was an attorney and judge in Hall County, Georgia. From 1970 to 1971 he was assistant district attorney in Georgia's northeastern judicial circuit and from 1971 to 1972, a county juvenile court judge. Deal's next legal position after leaving the bench was as Hall County attorney from 1977 to 1979. From 1979 to 1992 he operated a private practice.


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

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph I

There shall be a Governor...

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 2, Paragraph I

The chief executive powers shall be vested in the Governor


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

Per Article V, Section 1 of the state constitution, the Governor must be at least 30 years old on the day he assumes offices and, on the day he is elected, have been a resident of Georgia for at least six years and an American citizen for at least 15 years.

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph IV

No person shall be eligible for election to the office of Governor or Lieutenant Governor unless such person shall have been a citizen of the United States 15 years and a legal resident of the state six years immediately preceding the election and shall have attained the age of 30 years by the date of assuming office.


See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of governors

Georgia elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not presidential election years. For Georgia, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the same day that the Georgia General Assembly convenes. Thus, January 10, 2011 was an inaugural day. Future inaugurations will occur on the day fixed by legislature to convene itself.


See also: Georgia gubernatorial election, 2010 and Gubernatorial elections, 2010

In the July 20 primary Deal came in second to Karen Handel, receiving 22.9% of the vote to her 34.1%. The two met in a runoff election held August 10, with Deal winning 50.2% to 49.8%.

Deal defeated Democrat Roy E. Barnes and Libertarian John H. Monds in the general election on November 2, 2010.[1]

Governor of Georgia, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Roy E. Barnes 43% 1,107,011
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngNathan Deal 53% 1,365,832
     Libertarian John H. Monds 4% 103,194
     NA Write-in 0% 124
Total Votes 2,576,161

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Georgia governors are restricted to two consecutive terms in office, after which they must wait four years before being eligible to run again.

Georgia Constitution, Article V, Section 1, Paragraph 1

Persons holding the office of Governor may succeed themselves for one four-year term of office. Persons who have held the office of Governor and have succeeded themselves as herein before provided shall not again be eligible to be elected to that office until after the expiration of four years from the conclusion of their term as Governor.

Partisan composition

The chart below shows the partisan breakdown of Georgia State Governors from 1992-2013.
Governor of Georgia Partisanship.PNG


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancy appointments are addressed under Section I, Paragraph V of the Georgia Constitution

At any point that the governor or governor-elect is temporarily or permanently unable to discharge the office, the lieutenant governor or the lieutenant governor-elect assumes the office with all its powers and responsibilities.

In cases where the governor is permanently unable to fulfill the duties of the office, the lieutenant governor, as acting governor, will in most cases hold the office until the next general election. If the former officeholder's term is set to expire less than 90 days after the next election (in other words, if it is the last year of the foermer governor's term) and when the governorship is left vacant less than 30 days before a general election, the lieutenant governor simply completes the elected term.

If both the governor and lieutenant governor vacate their seats, the Speaker of the House of Representatives schedules a special election and serves as acting governor until that date.

Removing a constitutional officer for disability is governed by Article V, Section IV. Any four constitutional officers may petition the Georgia Supreme Court regarding the fitness for office of a fifth officer. That officer shall have a hearing with the testimony of no less than three board certified physicians, one of whom must be a psychiatrist, before being deemed unfit or removed. The Supreme Court may make a determination of either temporary or permanent disability; in the case of the former, they shall also determine when the Governor may resume the office.



The governor has a number of powers in state government, set forth primarily in Article V, Section II, Paragraphs II - X of the Constitution, including proposing new programs and laws for the state, proposing a state budget for the legislature to consider, vetoing legislation and appointing members of many of the boards in state government.

The governor is both the "conservator of peace" and the "commander-in-chief of the military forces" within Georgia; he is also charged with upholding and executing all laws. There is a gubernatorial veto, which the legislature may override by a two-thirds majority in both chambers. At the start of each regular legislative session and at other times if he deems it prudent, the Governor delivers a 'State of the State' to the General Assembly and makes recommendations for laws.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Issuing writs for special elections whenever either the House or Senate has a vacancy.
  • Convening extraordinary sessions of the Assembly, not to exceed 40 days, as well as emergency sessions.
  • Filling vacancies in all offices where the manner is not otherwise prescribed, subject to Senate confirmation.
  • Requiring information from other constitutional officers and members of the executive on any aspects of their jobs and duties.

A majority of executive departments are headed by policy-making boards, whose members are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the Georgia State Senate. Usually, the boards appoint a department director or commissioner in cooperation with the governor to administer agency affairs. A few department heads are appointed directly by the governor.


The constitutuon decrees that both the salary and the allowances for the Governor be set in law.

In 2010, the governor received a salary of 139,339.


Partisan balance 1992-2013

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

From 1992-2013, Georgia had Democratic governors in office for the first 11 years while there were Republican governors in office for the last 11 years, including the last 11. During the final nine years of the study, Georgia was under Republican trifectas.

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.

The chart below shows the partisan composition of the Office of the Governor of Georgia, the Georgia State Senate and the Georgia House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Georgia state government(1992-2013).PNG

Contact information

The Office of the Governor
State of Georgia
203 State Capitol
Atlanta, Georgia 30334

Phone: 404-656-1776
Fax: 404-657-7332

See also

External links