Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

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The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is the second highest executive of the Illinois. In Illinois, the lieutenant governor and governor run on a joint ticket, and are directly elected by popular vote. Candidates for lieutenant governor run separately in the primary from candidates for governor. When the Governor of Illinois becomes unable to discharge the duties of that office, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor. If the governor dies, resigns or is impeached (and convicted) the lieutenant governor becomes governor.

The office is currently vacant after Pat Quinn left to fill the position of ousted governor Rod Blagojevich.


The lieutenant governor of Illinois handles a variety of responsibilities which have been delegated to the office via statute. These duties include serving as Chairman of the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, Chairman of Rural Bond Bank of Illinois, head of the Illinois Main Street Program, and Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council. In addition to these duties, the lieutenant governor can take on other duties as assigned by the governor or initiate duties of his or her own. An example of this is work by Former Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood, for example, focused on women's health issues. The lieutenant governor also serves as a surrogate speaker for the governor around the state and as a representative for state government.

Under the Illinois Constitution Article V section 7. "If the Lieutenant Governor fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant until the end of the term." Prior to the adoption of the 1970 Illinois Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor also served as the presiding officer of the Illinois State Senate. Losing this position made the lieutenant governor job less significant, and contributed to the "boredom" cited by Jim Thompson's first lieutenant governor, Dave O'Neal, on July 31, 1981, when he resigned the office.


The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois serves four-year terms. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election. A lieutenant governor is:

  • required to be at least twenty-five years old,
  • required to be a United States citizen,
  • required to have been a resident of Illinois for the three years previous to election,
  • barred from other government positions during the term.

Lieutenant governors of Illinois

When the lieutenant governor assumes the office of governor, the post of lieutenant governor is left vacant as there is no provision in the Illinois Constitution for the replacement of a lieutenant governor. The attorney general then becomes second in the line of succession. This is the current situation in the state and will likely not be resolved until the gubernatorial election in 2010.

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External links


Portions of this article were adapted from Wikipedia.