Difference between revisions of "Governor of Tennessee"

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{{State trifecta status|state=Tennessee|control=Republican}}
{{State trifecta status|state=Tennessee|control=Republican}}
::''See also: [[Tennessee State Legislature]], [[Tennessee House of Representatives]], [[Tennessee State Senate]]''
==Current officer==
==Current officer==
The 49th and current governor is [[Bill Haslam]], a [[Republican]] elected in 2010.<ref>[http://www.tn.gov/governor/about.shtml ''Governor Bill Haslam,'' "About Bill Haslam," accessed May 16, 2013]</ref>
The 49th and current governor is [[Bill Haslam]], a [[Republican]] elected in 2010.<ref>[http://www.tn.gov/governor/about.shtml ''Governor Bill Haslam,'' "About Bill Haslam," accessed May 16, 2013]</ref>
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==State budget==
==State budget==
===Role in state budget===
::''See also: [[Tennessee state budget]]''
{{Tennessee budget process}}
===Governor's office budget===
The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $4,595,500.<ref> [http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/documents/2014BudgetDocumentVol1.pdf#page=284&zoom=91,0,792 ''Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration,'' "The Budget, Fiscal Year 2013-2014,"  accessed April 8, 2013] </ref>
The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $4,595,500.<ref> [http://www.tn.gov/finance/bud/documents/2014BudgetDocumentVol1.pdf#page=284&zoom=91,0,792 ''Tennessee Department of Finance and Administration,'' "The Budget, Fiscal Year 2013-2014,"  accessed April 8, 2013] </ref>

Revision as of 12:53, 8 May 2014

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

See also: Tennessee State Legislature, Tennessee House of Representatives, Tennessee State Senate

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.


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 Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, who is also the Speaker of the Senate. The next in line is the Speaker of the House.[2]


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)


Tennessee state government organizational chart

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

Full History


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

Role in state budget

See also: Tennessee state budget

The state operates on an annual budget cycle. The sequence of key events in the budget process is as follows:[3][4]

  1. Budget instruction guidelines are sent to state agencies in August of the year preceding the start of the new fiscal year.
  2. State agencies submit their budget requests to the governor in October.
  3. Agency hearings are held in November. Public hearings are held in November and December.
  4. The governor submits his or her proposed budget to the state legislature in February.
  5. The legislature typically adopts a budget in April or May. A simple majority is required to pass a budget. The fiscal year begins July 1.

Tennessee is one of 44 states in which the governor has line item veto authority.[4]

The governor is legally required to submit a balanced budget proposal. Likewise, the legislature is legally required to adopt a balanced budget.[4]

Governor's office budget

The budget for the Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2012 was $4,595,500.[5]


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.[6]


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.[7]

List of Former Officeholders from 1796-Present
# Name Tenure Party
1 John Sevier 1796 - 1801 Democratic-Republican
2 Archibald Roane 1801 - 1803 Democratic-Republican
3 John Sevier 1803 – 1809 Democratic-Republican
4 Willie Blount 1809 - 1815 Democratic-Republican
5 Joseph McMinn 1815 - 1821 Democratic-Republican
6 William Carroll 1821 - 1827 Democratic-Republican
7 Samuel Houston 1827 - 1829 Democratic-Republican
8 William Hall 1829 - 1829 Electiondot.png Democratic
9 William Carroll 1829 – 1835 Electiondot.png Democratic
10 Newton Cannon 1835 - 1839 Whig
11 James Knox Polk 1839 - 1841 Electiondot.png Democratic
12 James Chamberlain Jones 1841 - 1845 Whig
13 Aaron Venable Brown 1845 - 1847 Electiondot.png Democratic
14 Neill Smith Brown 1847 - 1849 Whig/Know-Nothing
15 William Trousdale 1849 - 1851 Electiondot.png Democratic
16 William Bowen Campbell 1851 - 1853 Whig
17 Andrew Johnson 1853 - 1857 Electiondot.png Democratic
18 Isham Green Harris 1857 - 1862 Electiondot.png Democratic
Never took office Robert Looney Caruthers 1863 - 1863 Electiondot.png Democratic
19 Andrew Johnson 1862 – 1865 Electiondot.png Democratic
20 Edward Hazzard East 1865 - 1865 Electiondot.png Democratic/Opposition Party
21 William Gannaway Brownlow 1865 - 1869 Whig/Know-Nothing
22 DeWitt Clinton Senter 1869 - 1871 Ends.png Republican/Whig
23 John Calvin Brown 1871 - 1875 Electiondot.png Democratic/Whig
24 James Davis Porter 1875 - 1879 Electiondot.png Democratic
25 Albert Smith Marks 1879 - 1881 Electiondot.png Democratic
26 Alvin Hawkins 1881 - 1883 Ends.png Republican/Whig
27 William Brimage Bate 1883 - 1887 Electiondot.png Democratic
28 Robert Love Taylor 1887 - 1891 Electiondot.png Democratic
29 John Price Buchanan 1891 - 1893 Farm-Labor
30 Peter Turney 1893 - 1897 Electiondot.png Democratic
31 Robert Love Taylor 1897 – 1899 Electiondot.png Democratic
32 Benton McMillin 1899 - 1903 Electiondot.png Democratic
33 James Beriah Frazier 1903 - 1905 Electiondot.png Democratic
34 John Isaac Cox 1905 - 1907 Electiondot.png Democratic
35 Malcolm Rice Patterson 1907 - 1911 Electiondot.png Democratic
36 Ben Walter Hooper 1911 - 1915 Ends.png Republican
37 Thomas Clarke Rye 1915 - 1919 Electiondot.png Democratic
38 Albert Houston Roberts 1919 - 1921 Electiondot.png Democratic
39 Alfred Alexander Taylor 1921 - 1923 Ends.png Republican
40 Austin Peay III 1923 - 1927 Electiondot.png Democratic
41 Henry Hollis Horton 1927 - 1933 Electiondot.png Democratic
42 Harry Hill McAlister 1933 - 1937 Electiondot.png Democratic
43 Gordon Browning 1937 - 1939 Electiondot.png Democratic
44 William Prentice Cooper 1939 - 1945 Electiondot.png Democratic
45 Jim Nance McCord 1945 - 1949 Electiondot.png Democratic
46 Gordon Browning 1949 – 1953 Electiondot.png Democratic
47 Frank Goad Clement 1953 - 1959 Electiondot.png Democratic
48 Earl Buford Ellington 1959 - 1963 Electiondot.png Democratic
49 Frank Goad Clement 1963 – 1967 Electiondot.png Democratic
50 Earl Buford Ellington 1967 – 1971 Electiondot.png Democratic
51 Bryant Winfield Culberson Dunn 1971 - 1975 Ends.png Republican
52 Ray Blanton 1975 - 1979 Electiondot.png Democratic
53 Lamar Alexander 1979 - 1987 Ends.png Republican
54 Ned Ray McWherter 1987 - 1995 Electiondot.png Democratic
55 Don Sundquist 1995 - 2003 Ends.png Republican
56 Phil Bredesen 2003 - 2011 Electiondot.png Democratic
57 Bill Haslam 2011 – present Ends.png Republican


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 had 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

SQLI and partisanship

The chart below depicts the partisanship of the Tennessee 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. Tennessee experienced both Democratic and Republican trifectas during the years of the study. Its best ranking, finishing 21st, occurred in 2012 during a Republican trifecta. Its worst ranking, finishing 40th, occurred in 2004 during a Democratic trifecta.

  • SQLI average with Democratic trifecta: 34.00
  • SQLI average with Republican trifecta: 23.00
  • SQLI average with divided government: 31.71
Chart displaying the partisanship of the Tennessee government from 1992-2013 and the State Quality of Life Index (SQLI).

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.

Governor of Tennessee News Feed

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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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