Lieutenant Governor

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In the United States, the office of Lieutenant Governor is the second-highest executive office in a state and is nominally subordinate to the Governor. In the U.S. the main duty of the Lieutenant Governor is to act as Governor should the Governor be temporarily absent from the office. In addition, the Lieutenant Governor generally succeeds a Governor who dies, resigns, or is removed in trial by the legislative branch. In most states, the Lieutenant Governor then becomes Governor, with the title and its associated salary, office, and privileges. In a few states, like Massachusetts, the Lieutenant Governor instead becomes "Acting Governor" until the next election.

Other than this primary constitutional duty, most state constitutions do not prescribe the duties of the Lieutenant Governor in detail.

In Alaska, Hawaii and Utah, the position of Lieutenant Governor is equivalent to that of Secretary of State.

Five states, however, do not have a Lieutenant Governor position. Those states include: Maine, Arizona, Wyoming, New Hampshire, and Oregon.

Political parties

The chart below is a breakdown of the political parties pertaining to the state executive office of lieutenant governor. For other state executive office, click here.

Office Democratic Party Democratic Republican Party Republican Independent Independent Nonpartisan Total seats
Lt. Governor 15 30 0 0 45

(Updated August 10, 2011)

Elected or appointed

43 states directly elect Lt. Governors. Only two states - Tennessee and West Virginia - do not.

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:

2011 elections

Main article: Lieutenant Governor elections, 2011

Three states, Kentucky, Louisiana, and Mississippi, have scheduled lieutenant gubernatorial elections in the 2011 electoral cycle.

Additionally, West Virginia is holding 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.

2010 elections

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 governor. Those two states now join Missouri and Montana as being governed by two parties in the executive.


AL: Kay Ivey
AK: Mead Treadwell
AZ: No office
AR: Mark Darr
CA: Gavin Newsom
CO: Joseph Garcia
CT: Nancy Wyman
DE: Matthew P. Denn
FL: Jennifer Carroll
GA: Casey Cagle

HI: Brian E. Schatz
ID: Brad Little
IL: Sheila Simon
IN: Becky Skillman
IA: Kim Reynolds
KS: Jeff Colyer
KY: Daniel Mongiardo
LA: Jay Dardenne
ME: No office
MD: Anthony G. Brown

MA: Tim Murray
MI: Brian Calley
MN: Yvonne Prettner Solon
MS: Phil Bryant
MO: Peter Kinder
MT: John Bohlinger
NE: Rick Sheehy
NV: Brian Krolicki
NH: No office
NJ: Kim Guadagno

NM: John A. Sanchez
NY: Robert Duffy
NC: Walter H. Dalton
ND: Drew Wrigley
OH: Mary Taylor
OK: Todd Lamb
OR: No office
PA: Jim Cawley
RI: Elizabeth H. Roberts
SC: James Ken Ard

SD: Matthew Michels
TN: Ron Ramsey
TX: David Dewhurst
UT: Gregory Bell
VT: Phillip Scott
VA: Bill Bolling
WA: Brad Owen
WV: Vacant
(Temp:Richard Thompson)

WI: Rebecca Kleefisch
WY: No office

See also


External links