Governor of Indiana

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The Governor of the State of Indiana is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Indiana. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms with at least a four year span before the same individual may hold the office again.

Current officeholder

The 49th and current governor of Indiana is Republican Mitch Daniels, elected in 2004 and 2008.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article 5, the Executive Department.

Under Article 5, Section 1:

The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor.


Current Governors
Gubernatorial Elections
Current Lt. Governors
Lt. Governor Elections
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Qualifications for the governorship are set forth in Article 5, Section 7.

To become governor of Indiana, a candidate must have been a United States citizen and lived within Indiana for the period of five consecutive years before the election. The candidate must also be at least 30 years old when sworn into office. Under Section 8, the governor may not hold any other state or federal office during his term, and must resign from any such position before being eligible to be sworn in as governor.

Before taking the office, the candidate must swear an oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Indiana, promising to uphold the constitution and laws of Indiana.


Indiana elects governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. For Indiana 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the second Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 8, 2013 and January 9, 2017 are inaugural days (§ 9).

If two candidates are tied, a joint session of the General Assembly shall cast ballots to determine the winner, pursuant to Article 5, Section 5.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

Indiana governors are restricted to 8 years in office during any 12 year period.

Indiana Constitution, Article 5, Section 1

The executive power of the State shall be vested in a Governor. He shall hold his office during four years, and shall not be eligible more than eight years in any period of twelve years.


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article 5, Section 10.

If the governor becomes incapacitated then the lieutenant governor of Indiana becomes acting-governor until his recovery. If the governor resigns, dies, or is impeached, tried, and convicted, then the lieutenant governor becomes governor.

If the office of the lieutenant governor is vacant, then the Senate Pro-Tempore becomes governor. If the office of Senate Pro-Tempore is also vacant then the senate must elect a new Pro-Tempore to fill the governor's office.

The governor may temporarily step aside if he communicates that he is unable to discharge the office to both the President Pro Tem of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The same two individuals may file a petition with the Indiana Supreme Court asking for a hearing of fitness for office for the Governor. In that case, the hearing must be held within 48 hours and the Supreme Court's decision is final.

If the Governor and Lieutenant Governor both vacate their offices, the General Assembly must meet within 48 hours and elect an Acting Governor, who must belong to the same party as the elected Governor, by a simple majority in each chamber. Until then, the Acting Governor shall be, in order of succession:

  • the President Pro Tem of the Senate
  • the Speaker of the House of Representatives
  • the State Treasurer
  • the State Auditor
  • the Secretary of State
  • the State Superintendent of Public Instruction



The governor of Indiana has wide-ranging executive authority to manage the government of the state and is the chief executive of the executive branch of the state government. These powers are established in the Indiana Constitution. The governor works in concert with the Indiana General Assembly and the Supreme Court of Indiana to govern the state. As an independent branch, the governor has the ability to balance the other branches. Among these abilities is the power to veto legislation passed by the Indiana General Assembly. If vetoed, a bill is returned to the General Assembly for reconsideration where they may override the veto with a supermajority. The governor also has the ability to call a special session of the General Assembly, who can otherwise not assemble longer than is permitted by the constitution.

The governor can influence the courts by using the appointment power. The Judicial Nominating Commission creates a list of three candidates from which the governor chooses one who will serve on the state courts. This authority gives the governor considerable sway in setting the makeup of the judiciary.

Among his other powers, the governor can call out the state defense force or the Indiana National Guard in times of emergency or disaster. The governor is also charged with the enforcement of all the state's laws and the Indiana Code which is carried out through the Indiana State Police. The governor also has the ability to pardon or commute the sentence of any criminal offenders except in cases of treason or impeachment.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Periodically addressing the General Assembly concerning the State of the State and making recommendations for prudent courses of action (§ 13).
  • Requiring written information from any administrative officer of the state concerning their job and the conditions of their institutions (§ 15).
  • Granting pardons and reprieves, in consultation with a special legislative commission when called for by law. The privilege of granting pardons does not grant to impeachment or treason, though the Governor may suspend the execution of a treason sentence until the legislative sits again and reviews the case (§ 17).
  • Filling vacancies in the Courts and in other state offices when the manner for doing so is not otherwise set forth in law, and, when the General Assembly is in recess, making any vacancy appointments that would normally be the prerogative of the legislature (§ 18).
  • Reconvening the General Assembly at a place other than its normal chambers for extraordinary reasons (§ 19).


The website of the Governor of Indiana details the following two divisions of the office:

  • Office of Disaster Recovery: "established by Governor Daniels to lead recovery efforts following a series of storms that struck portions of Indiana in late May and early June 2008."[1]
  • Office of Federal Grants and Procurement: Gov. Daniels states he created the Office of Federal Grants and Procurement (OFGP) by Executive Order on my first day in office in order to increase significantly the amount of federal dollars coming to our state."[2]


Article 5, Section 22 allots the Governor a compensation that may not be raised or decreased until the next term.

As of 2010, the Governor of Indiana is paid $95,000 a year, the 44th highest gubernatorial salary in America.

Former officeholders

From 1816-2011, Indiana has had 49 governors. Of the 49, 21 have been Democrats, 21 have been Republicans, 3 were Democratic-Republicans, 3 were Whigs, and 1 was Independent. Prior to becoming a state on December 11, 1816, three men - William Henry Harrison, John Gibson, and Thomas Posey - served as Governor of the Indiana Territory from 1800-1816.[3]

Contact information

Office of the Governor
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2797
Phone: 317-232-4567

See also

External links

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