Lieutenant Governor of California

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California Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2012-2013 FY Budget:  $1,011,000
Term limits:  2 terms
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  California Constitution, Article 5, Section 9
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Gavin Newsom.jpg
Name:  Gavin Newsom
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 10, 2011
Compensation:  $130,490
Next election:  November 4, 2014
Last election:  November 2, 2010
Other California Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorControllerSuperintendent of Public InstructionAgriculture SecretaryInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources SecretaryIndustrial Relations DirectorPublic Utilities Commission
The Lieutenant Governor of California is an elected constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the executive branch, and the first person in line to succeed the Governor of California. The lieutenant governor is popularly elected every four years and is limited to two terms.

Current officeholder

The 49th and current lieutenant governor is Gavin Newsom, a Democrat elected in 2010. He assumed office on January 10, 2011, electing not to be sworn in on January 3 along with California's other state executive officers.[1] He is up for re-election in November 2014, and his term will end in January of the following year.

Before becoming lieutenant governor, Newsom served from 2004 to 2010 as mayor of San Francisco. He was a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 1998 to 2004 and sat on the city's Parking and Traffic Commission from 1996 to 1998. Before beginning his political career, he ran PlumbJack, a wine shop that grew into a network of 15 businesses.[2]


The Constitution of California is established by Article V, the Executive.[3]

California Constitution, Article 5, Section 9

The Lieutenant Governor shall have the same qualifications as the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor is President of the Senate but has only a casting vote.


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

The lieutenant governor must fulfill the same qualifications as the governor and may not hold any other public offices, engage in any lobbying, or accept any honorariums. He or she must be a registered voter in California, a resident of the state for at least five years on election day, and an American citizens for at least five years.

California Constitution, Article 5, Section 9

The Lieutenant Governor shall have the same qualifications as the Governor.


California state government organizational chart
See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of lieutenant governors

California elects lieutenant governors on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in federal midterm election years, e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018.[4] Like all constitutional state officers, the lieutenant governor assumes office on the first Monday in the new year following the election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.

California Constitution, Article 5, Section 11

The Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, and Treasurer shall be elected at the same time and places and for the same term as the Governor. No Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of State, or Treasurer may serve in the same office for more than 2 terms.

Term limits

Per Article 5, Section 11 of the state constitution, lieutenant governors, like all state constitutional officers, face an absolute limit of two terms in office.


The vacancy procedure for the office of lieutenant governor is determined by state statute, not the Constitution. When a vacancy occurs, the governor nominates a replacement to serve the remainder of the term under the next election. The appointee must be confirmed by a majority of both house of the California legislature. Until the replacement is approved, the former officeholder's chief deputy exercises the office.[5]



In addition to basically ceremonial roles, serving as acting governor in the absence of the governor, and as President of the California State Senate, the lieutenant governor either sits on, or appoints representatives to, many of California's regulatory commissions and executive agencies. A failed 1982 ballot initiative would have stripped the Lieutenant Governor of his or her position heading the Senate.

The lieutenant governor sits on the University of California Board of Regents, California State University Board of Trustees, Ocean Protection Council, the California Emergency Council, and the State Lands Commission.[6] The lieutenant governor serves alternate years as Chairperson of the State Lands Commission, during which he is also a member of the Coastal Commission.

The lieutenant governor of California chairs the Commission for Economic Development which is responsible for fostering economic growth in California by developing and implementing strategies for attracting new business to the state, increasing state exports, creating new jobs, and stimulating industries statewide.[7]

Many California projects created through gubernatorial executive orders, or through the initiative process, include a role for the lieutenant governor. For example, the lieutenant governor serves on the Agriculture-Water Transition Task Force (created by Governor Gray Davis), and five of the twenty-nine members of the oversight committee of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine are appointed by the lieutenant governor.

She has such other responsibilities and duties as the Governor shall assign.


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 Lieutenant Governor of California 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 California Lieutenant Governor's Office in the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year was $1,011,000.[8]


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries


In 2013, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $130,490. This figure comes from the Council of State Governments.[9]


In 2010, the lieutenant governor received compensation in the amount of $130,490.[10] The lieutenant governor's salary, like that of all other state elected officials, is determined by the California Citizens Compensation Commission on an annual basis. The last time the lieutenant governor's compensation was changed was 2009, when the office's salary and benefits were cut by 18 percent.

Historical officeholders

Recent news

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Contact information

Capitol Office
State Capitol, Room 1114
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: 916-445-8994
Fax: 916-323-4998

See also

External links