Lieutenant Governor of Washington

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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


See also: Gubernatorial election cycles by state
See also: Election of lieutenant governors

Washington elects lieutenant governors in the Presidential elections, that is, in leap years. 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, 2013 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.


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.

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


See also: Comparison of lieutenant gubernatorial salaries

The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished effective during the current term.

As of 2010, the lieutenant governor is paid $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