Other than this primary constitutional duty, most state constitutions do not prescribe the duties of the Lieutenant Governor in detail.
The chart below is a breakdown of the political parties pertaining to the state executive office of lieutenant governor. For other state executive offices, click here.
(Updated Prior to 2011 General elections)
Elected or appointed
Only two states do not have direct elections for lieutenant governor - Tennessee and West Virginia. In both states, whomever is elected the President of the State Senate is the de facto Lieutenant Governor. In Tennessee, the full title of this individual is, "Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the Senate." In West Virginia, recent legislation allows the Senate President to use the title, "Lieutenant Governor." Prior to that change, West Virginia did not have a lieutenant governor.
Of the 43 states that elect lieutenant governors, there are three methods by which officeholders are chosen:
- on a single ticket in both the primary and general elections (20 states)
- separately in the primary election; for the general election each party's ticket for Governor and Lt. Governor is made up of the highest vote getters in the separate primary elections (6 states)
- entirely separate elections for governor and lt. governor (17 states)
- Main article: Lieutenant Governor elections, 2011
Additionally, West Virginia held a special election following a court order. However, as the Lieutenant Governor of West Virginia is a title accorded to the legislator elected as Senate President, their 2011 election will not actually include a ballot line for the lieutenant governor.
- Main article: Lieutenant Governor elections, 2010
31 states elected lieutenant governors in November 2010, a lower number than the record 37 gubernatorial races held that year due to the fact that five U.S. States don' t have an office of the lieutenant governor and that one state, Tennessee, automatically makes its Senate President Pro Tem into the Lieutenant Governor.
Ultimately, 21 of those 31 races would go to the GOP in what turned in to a wave election for the party. 15 races were on a shared ticket with the governor, five were on a semi-shared ticket - that is, the candidates ran separately in the primary and jointly in the general, and 11 were entirely separate elections.
Because 11 of the 17 states that conduct entirely separate elections for the governor and the lieutenant governor were on the 2010 slate, the possibility on increasing the number of split tickets in the nation's executives existed. In the end, that happened in both Arkansas, with a Democratic governor and a Republican lieutenant governor, and in Rhode Island, with an Independent governor and a Democratic lieutenant governor. Those two states now join Missouri and Montana as being governed by two parties in the executive.