Governor of Iowa
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$2,288,025|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Iowa Constitution, Article IV, Section I the Executive Department|
|Assumed office:||1983, January 14, 2011|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Iowa Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Secretary of Agriculture • Director of Education • Insurance Commissioner • Natural Resources Director • Labor Commissioner • Utilities Board|
- 1 Current officeholder
- 2 Authority
- 3 Qualifications
- 4 Elections
- 5 Vacancies
- 6 Duties
- 7 Divisions
- 8 State budget
- 9 Compensation
- 10 History
- 11 Historical officeholders
- 12 Recent news
- 13 Contact information
- 14 See also
- 15 External links
- 16 References
As of September 2014, Iowa is one of 14 states that is under divided government and is therefore not one of the state government trifectas.
The 42nd and current governor of Iowa is Republican Terry E. Branstad, elected in November 2010. Having previously held the office from 1983 to 1999, Branstad is also Iowa's 39th Governor and the state's longest serving Governor.
Under Article IV, Section I:
The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a chief magistrate, who shall be styled the governor of the state of Iowa.
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
According to Article IV, Section 6, a candidate for governor is required to be:
- at least 30 years old by the time of election
- a United States citizen
- a resident of Iowa for at least two years before the election
Additionally, under Article IV, Section 15, no governor may hold any other federal or state office while serving.
Iowa elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Iowa, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Tuesday after the second Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 18, 2011 and January 13, 2015 are inaugural days. If two candidates are tied, the General Assembly casts ballots to choose the winner.
- See also: States with gubernatorial term limits
Iowa governors do not face any term limits.
- See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled
Details of vacancies are addressed under Article IV, Section IV.
Power devolves to the Lieutenant Governor at any time when the Governor is unable or unwilling to discharge the office, under Article IV, Section 4.
Section 17, also referenced statutorily in §7.14 of the Code, grants the powers and duties of the Governor to the Lieutenant Governor for the remaining portion of the term.
Section 19 governs vacancy procedure when both the Governor and Lieutenant Governor are unable to serve. Power first devolves to the President Pro Tem of the Senate and then to the Speaker of the House of Representatives. After that, the Iowa Supreme Court must call an extraordinary session of the General Assembly to choose an Acting Governor.
As chief administrator of Iowa's government, the governor is responsible for the effective and efficient workings of the various state departments and agencies. The governor appoints department and agency heads and other state officials not elected by the people. The governor's appointments are generally subject to approval by the Senate.
The governor takes final action on all bills passed by the Iowa General Assembly. The governor may approve bills by signing them or disapprove bills by vetoing them. Each year, the governor reports on the financial condition of the state and makes recommendations on the state's budget. The Governor has the power to call a special session of the General Assembly.
Under (Article IV of the Iowa Constitution, other duties and privileges of the office include:
- Requiring written information from other officers of the executive branch on any aspect of their duties (§ 8).
- Making appointments to fill all vacancies when the law does not otherwise prescribe the method for doing so (§ 10).
- Convening, by proclamation, extraordinary sessions of the General Assembly (§ 11).
- Periodically giving the 'State of the State' address (§ 12).
- Adjourning the General Assembly when they cannot agree to do so themselves (§ 13)
- Granting pardons, reprieves, and commutations, excluding convictions for treason and impeachment (§ 16)
- Officially using the Seal of the Great State of Iowa (§ 20).
- Signing all official commissions and grant given by the state, which are officially made in the name of the people of Iowa (§ 21).
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The combined Governor and Lieutenant Governor budget for 2012 was $2,288,025.
Under Article IV, Section 15, the Governor's compensation is set by law.
In 2013, the governor's salary remained at $130,000.
As of 2010, the Governor of Iowa is paid $130,000 a year, the 24th highest gubernatorial salary in America.
Partisan balance 1992-2013
From 1992-2013, Iowa had Democratic governors in office for 12 years while there were Republican governors in office for 10 years, including the last three.
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.
SQLI and partisanship
The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Iowa 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. Iowa enjoyed a nine-year period in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking between 2003 and 2012, under both divided government and a Democratic trifecta. During the period of the study, Iowa was in the top-10 of the SQLI ranking for twelve out of twenty years. Iowa claimed the top spot in the SQLI ranking twice, once in 2009 and again in 2012. The state’s lowest SQLI ranking came in 1995 (14th) under divided government.
- SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 3.50
- SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 12.00
- SQLI average with divided government: 8.87
There have been 41 Governors of Iowa since 1846. Of the 41 officeholders, 30 were Republican, 10 were Democrat and 1 was Whig.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1846-Present|
|1||Ansel Briggs||1846 - 1850||Democratic|
|2||Stephen Hempstead||1850 - 1854||Democratic|
|3||James Wilson Grimes||1854 - 1858||Whig|
|4||Ralph Phillips Lowe||1858 - 1860||Republican|
|5||Samuel Jordan Kirkwood||1860 - 1864||Republican|
|6||William Milo Stone||1864 - 1868||Republican|
|7||Samuel Merrill||1868 - 1872||Republican|
|8||Cyrus Clay Carpenter||1872 - 1876||Republican|
|9||Samuel Jordan Kirkwood||1876 - 1877||Republican|
|10||Joshua G. Newbold||1877 - 1878||Republican|
|11||John Henry Gear||1878 - 1882||Republican|
|12||Buren Robinson Sherman||1882 - 1886||Republican|
|13||William Larrabee||1886 - 1890||Republican|
|14||Horace Boies||1890 - 1894||Democratic|
|15||Frank Darr Jackson||1894 - 1896||Republican|
|16||Francis Marion Drake||1896 - 1898||Republican|
|17||Leslie Mortier Shaw||1898 - 1902||Republican|
|18||Albert Baird Cummins||1902 - 1908||Republican|
|19||Warren Garst||1908 - 1909||Republican|
|20||Beryl Franklin Carroll||1909 - 1913||Republican|
|21||George Washington Clarke||1913 - 1917||Republican|
|22||William Lloyd Harding||1917 - 1921||Republican|
|23||Nathan Edward Kendall||1921 - 1925||Republican|
|24||John Hammill||1925 - 1931||Republican|
|25||Daniel Webster Turner||1931 - 1933||Republican|
|26||Clyde Laverne Herring||1933 - 1937||Democratic|
|27||Nelson George Kraschel||1937 - 1939||Democratic|
|28||George Allison Wilson||1939 - 1943||Republican|
|29||Bourke Blakemore Hickenlooper||1943 - 1945||Republican|
|30||Robert Donald Blue||1945 - 1949||Republican|
|31||William S. Beardsley||1949 - 1954||Republican|
|32||Leo Elthon||1954 - 1955||Republican|
|33||Leo Arthur Hoegh||1955 - 1957||Republican|
|34||Herschel C. Loveless||1957 - 1961||Democratic|
|35||Norman Arthur Erbe||1961 - 1963||Republican|
|36||Harold Everett Hughes||1963 - 1969||Democratic|
|37||Robert David Fulton||1969 - 1969||Democratic|
|38||Robert D. Ray||1969 - 1983||Republican|
|39||Thomas J. Vilsack||1999 - 2007||Democratic|
|40||Chet Culver||2007 - 2011||Democratic|
|41||Terry E. Branstad||2011-||Republican|
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Office of The Governor and Lt. Governor
Des Moines, IA 50319
- Governor: Terry Branstad (R)
- Lieutenant Governor: Kim Reynolds (R)
- Attorney General: Tom Miller (D)
- Auditor of State: Mary Mosiman (R)
- Secretary of State: Matt Schultz (R)
- Secretary of Agriculture: Bill Northey (R)
- Treasurer of State: Michael Fitzgerald (D)
- Iowa state executive offices
- Office of the Governor of Iowa
- State of Iowa,"The Three Branches of Government:How they Work in Iowa"
- Iowa Official Register, "AMENDMENTS TO THE CONSTITUTION OF IOWA- Amendments of 1988," accessed May 22, 2013
- Governor of Iowa "About" Accessed February 4, 2013
- Iowa Budget Report, "Fiscal Years 2014-2015," 315-316
- Council of State Governments, "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries," June 25, 2013
- National Governors Association, "Iowa: Past Governors Bios," accessed August 4, 2013
State of Iowa
Des Moines (capital)
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