Lieutenant Governor of Washington

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Washington Lieutenant Governor
General information
Office Type:  Partisan
Office website:  Official Link
2011-2013 FY Budget:  $1,475,000
Term limits:  None
Length of term:   4 years
Authority:  Washington Constitution, Article 3, Section 2
Selection Method:  Elected
Current Officeholder

Brad Owen.jpg
Name:  Brad Owen
Officeholder Party:  Democratic
Assumed office:  January 15, 1997
Compensation:  $91,129
Next election:  November 8, 2016
Last election:  November 6, 2012
Other Washington Executive Offices
GovernorLieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney GeneralTreasurerAuditorSuperintendent of Education• • Agriculture CommissionerInsurance CommissionerNatural Resources CommissionerLabor CommissionerPublic Service Commissioner
The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Washington is an elected Constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the Executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Washington. The Lieutenant Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and has no term limit.

The office could theoretically be abolished, as the Washington Constitution specifically allows the legislature to take such a step at its discretion.

Current officer

See also: Current Lieutenant Governors

The 15th and current lieutenant governor is Brad Owen, a Democrat elected in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008.


Article 3 of the state constitution establishes the state's executive offices.

Article III, Section 2:

Executive Department. The executive department shall consist of a governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, auditor, attorney general, superintendent of public instruction, and a commissioner of public lands, who shall be severally chosen by the qualified electors of the state at the same time and place of voting as for the members of the legislature.


Article 3, Section 25 of the state constitution establishes the qualifications of the office:

Qualifications, Compensation, Offices Which May Be Abolished. No person, except a citizen of the United States and a qualified elector of this state, shall be eligible to hold any state office...
  • a citizen of the United States
  • a qualified elector in Washington


Washington elects lieutenant governors in the Presidential elections. For Washington, 2004, 2008, 2012, and 2016 are all gubernatorial election years. For Washington, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the lieutenant gubernatorial inauguration is always set for noon on the second Monday in January following the election. Thus, January 14, 2015 and January 14, 2019 are inaugural days.

By law, lieutenant governors are elected in separate elections from governors in both the primary and general elections. This means it is possible to have a partisan split in the Executive office.

The lieutenant governor of Washington is elected in a direct election—the candidate with the most votes becomes lieutenant governor. In the event that two candidates receive an equal number of votes which is higher than that received by any other candidate, the members of the state legislature vote between the two at their next session.


See also: Washington lieutenant gubernatorial election, 2012

Incumbent Brad Owen (D) defeated Bill Finkbeiner (R) to win re-election on November 6, 2012.

Lieutenant Governor of Washington General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngBrad Owen Incumbent 53.7% 1,575,133
     Republican Bill Finkbeiner 46.3% 1,359,212
Total Votes 2,934,345
Election Results via Washington Secretary of State.


Details of vacancies are addressed under Article V, Sections 7 and 8.

A vacancy in the office is filled by a gubernatorial nomination.



The Lieutenant Governor is the first officer in the line of succession in the event of the Governor's death, resignation, removal, absence, or inability to serve.

The incumbent is the President of the Washington State Senate and takes on other duties as assigned by law or as delegated by the Governor.

State budget

The budget for the Lieutenant Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2011-2013 was $1,475,000.[1]


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries and Compensation of state executive officers

In 2012, the Lieutenant Governor of Washington was paid an estimated $91,129 according to the Council of State Governments.

The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term. In 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid an estimated $93,948 a year, the 23rd highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America.

Contact information

Physical Address:
Office of the Lt. Governor
220 Legislative Building
416 Sid Snyder Ave. S.W.
Olympia, Washington

Mailing Address:
Lt. Gov. Brad Owen
Office of the Lt. Governor
PO Box 40400
Olympia, WA 98504-0400

See also

External links

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