Difference between revisions of "Governor of Tennessee"

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Revision as of 13:49, 15 July 2013

Tennessee Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
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
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Bill Haslam 2013.jpg
Name:  Bill Haslam
Officeholder Party:  Republican
Assumed office:  January 15, 2011
Compensation:  $178,356
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other Tennessee Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralComptrollerTreasurerSuperintendent of EducationAgriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commission
The Governor of the State of Tennessee is an elected Constitutional officer, the head of the Executive branch, and the highest state office in Tennessee. The Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and is limited to two consecutive terms.

As of April 2015, Tennessee is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas.

Current officer

The 49th and current governor is Bill Haslam, a Republican elected in 2010.[1]


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

Under Article III, Section I:

The supreme executive power of this state shall be vested in a governor.


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

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.


Tennessee elects governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Tennessee, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the third Saturday in the January following an election. Thus, January 15, 2011 and January 17, 2015 are inaugural days.

In the event of a tie or a contested election, a joint session of the legislature shall cast ballot to choose.

Tennessee is one of only three states, the others being Hawaii and New Jersey, where the Governor is the only statewide elected office.

Term limits

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.

Tennessee Constitution, Article III, Section 4

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.

Partisan composition

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


See also: How gubernatorial vacancies are filled

Details of vacancies are addressed under Article III, Section 4 and under Article III, Section 12

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 moths 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 Speaker of the Senate followed by the Speaker of the House. Tennessee does not have a formally established office of the Lieutenant Governor, but the title of Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate.


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 on 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)


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.

State budget

The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $4,595,500.[2]


See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers
See also: Comparison of gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

The governor's salary is legally fixed and may not be raised or decreased effective during the current term.


In 2013, the governor's salary was $178,356. However, Gov. Bill Haslam (R) returned his salary to the state.[3]


In 2012, the Governor of Tennessee was paid an estimated $170,340 according to the Council of State Governments.

Historical officeholders

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.[4]


Partisan balance 1992-2013

Who Runs the States Project
See also: Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States and Ballotpedia:Who Runs the States, Tennessee’’
Partisan breakdown of the Tennessee governorship from 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 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 Tennessee, the Tennessee State Senate and the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1992-2013. Partisan composition of Tennessee state government(1992-2013).PNG

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a google news search for the term Tennessee + Governor

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

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Contact information

Governor's Office
Tennessee State Capitol
Nashville, TN 37243-0001
Phone: 615.741.2001
Fax: 615.532.9711

See also

External links

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