Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin

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The Lieutenant Governor of the State of Wisconsin is an elected Constitutional officer, the second ranking officer of the Executive branch, and the first officer in line to succeed the Governor of Wisconsin. The Lieutenant Governor is popularly elected every four years by a plurality and has no term limit.

Current officer

The 44th and current lieutenant governor is Rebecca Kleefisch, a Republican elected in 2010.

Her husband, Joel Kleefisch, is the Second Man of Wisconsin.


The state Constitution addresses the office of the governor in Article V, the Executive Department.

Under Article V, Section I:

The executive power shall be vested in a governor who shall hold office for 4 years; a lieutenant governor shall be elected at the same time and for the same term.


In order to be eligible for the office of lieutenant governor, a candidate must be :

  • a citizen of the United States
  • a qualified elector of Wisconsin

Additionally general requirements to hold office in Wisconsin stipulate that no candidate may:

  • hold any office, honor or profit under any foreign power
  • hold any federal office
  • be a convicted felon
  • be convicted of any misdemeanor involving a violation of the public trust


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

Wisconsin elects lieutenant governors in the midterm elections, that is, even years that are not Presidential election years. For Wisconsin, 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018 are all gubernatorial election years. Legally, the gubernatorial inauguration is always set for the first Monday in the January following an election. Thus, January 3, 2011 and January 5, 2015 are inaugural days.

By law, lieutenant governors are elected on a shared ticket with the gubernatorial candidate in both the primary and the general election.

The lieutenant governor of Wisconsin 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.

Term limits

See also: States with gubernatorial term limits

There is no limit to the number of terms a lieutenant governor may hold. However, the lieutenant governor can be removed from office through an impeachment trial or resignation.


1979 Lt. Governor referendum

The voters of Wisconsin approved a referendum in a April 1979 referendum that changed the Lieutenant Governor's Office. Before the changes approved by voters, the Lieutenant Governor served as the President of the Wisconsin State Senate[1]. Also, the 1979 referendum approved a line of succession that is stated in the Wisconsin Constitution which designates the Lieutenant Governor and the Wisconsin Secretary of State as the respective successors of the office in the event of the Governor's registration or death[2].

The proposition that made that change, Wisconsin Question 3, was passed narrowly by the voters of Wisconsin on April 3, 1979 by a margin of 372,734 to 327,008 votes[3].


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



Should the governor designate the lieutenant governor to a board or commission the lieutenant governor is given all the authority and responsibility granted by law to the governor.

The Lieutenant Governor becomes the Governor upon the death, resignation, or removal of the elected Governor of Wisconsin. She also become Acting Governor upon the absence, illness, or inability to serve of the elected Governor.

If the lieutenant governor becomes governor, he or she is required to nominate a new lieutenant governor. However, the successor must be confirmed by the Senate and the Assembly.


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 [SR REVIEW $AMOUNT]] a year.

Contact information

Office of the Lieutenant Governor
19 East, State Capitol
P.O. Box 2043
Madison, WI 53702

See also

External links