List of Governors of Georgia

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Governor of Georgia
Seal of Georgia.svg
Seal of Georgia
=
Incumbent
Nathan Deal

since January 10, 2011
Style His Excellency
Residence Georgia Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder William Ewen
1775
Formation Georgia State Constitution
Salary $139,339 (2013)[1]

The Governor of Georgia is the head of the executive branch of Georgia's state government and the commander-in-chief of the U.S. state's military forces.

The current governor is Nathan Deal. Governor Deal is only the second governor of Georgia from the Republican Party since the Reconstruction era.

Governors[edit]

For the period before independence, see the list of colonial governors of Georgia.

Georgia was one of the original Thirteen Colonies and ratified the Constitution of the United States on January 2, 1788.[2] Before it declared its independence, Georgia was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Like most early states, Georgia had claims to western areas, but did not cede its claims during the formation of the country like the other states. It sold this area, the Yazoo Lands, to the federal government on April 24, 1802,[3] when it was assigned to Mississippi Territory.

In the Rules and Regulations of 1776, considered by some to be the first constitution, the chief executive was a president chosen by the legislature every six months.[4] This was quickly superseded by the 1777 constitution, which called for a governor to be chosen by the legislature each year,[5] with a term limited to one year out of every three.[6] In the event of a vacancy, the president of the executive council acted as governor.[7] The governor's term was lengthened to two years in the 1789 constitution.[8] The 1798 constitution modified succession so that the president of the senate would act as governor should that office become vacant. An 1818 amendment to that constitution extended the line of succession to the speaker of the house,[9] and an 1824 amendment provided for popular election of the governor.[10]

While the 1861 secessionist constitution kept the office the same, the other constitutions surrounding the American Civil War brought lots of changes. The 1865 constitution, following Georgia's surrender, limited governors to two consecutive terms, allowing them to serve again after a gap of four years.[11] The Reconstruction constitution of 1868 increased the governor's term to four years.[12] The 1877 constitution, after local rule was re-established, returned the office to the provisions of the 1865 constitution.[13] An amendment in 1941 lengthened terms to 4 years, but governors could no longer succeed themselves, having to wait four years to serve again.[14] The constitution does not specify when terms start, only that the governor is installed at the next session of the General Assembly.[15]

The 1945 constitution provided for a lieutenant governor, to serve the same term as governor and to act as governor if that office became vacant. Should it become vacant within 30 days of the next general election, or if the governor's term would have ended within 90 days of the next election, the lieutenant governor acts out the term; otherwise, a successor is chosen in the next general election.[16] This was retained in the 1976 constitution. The current constitution of 1983 allows governors to succeed themselves once before having to wait four years to serve again,[17] and lieutenant governors now become governor in the event of a vacancy. Should the office of lieutenant governor be vacant, the speaker of the house acts as governor, and a special election to fill the office must happen in 90 days.[18]

Parties

      No party       Military       Democratic-Republican       Democratic       Whig       Republican

Number of Governors of Georgia by party affiliation
Party Governors
Democratic 43
No Party 21
Democratic-Republican 13
Republican 4
Whig 1
#[a] Governor Term start Term end Party Lt. Governor[b] Terms[c]
1 William Ewen June 22, 1775[19] December 11, 1775[20] None [d][e]
2 George Walton December 11, 1775 February 20, 1776[21] None [d][e]
William Ewen February 20, 1776 April 15, 1776[f] None [d][e][g]
3 Archibald Bulloch April 15, 1776[f] March 4, 1777 None [h][i]
4 Button Gwinnett March 4, 1777 May 8, 1777 None [h][j]
5 John A. Treutlen May 8, 1777 January 8, 1778[k] None
6 John Houstoun January 8, 1778[k] January 7, 1779 None
William Glascock January 7, 1779 July 24, 1779 None [l]
7 Seth John Cuthbert July 24, 1779 August 6, 1779 None [l]
8 John Wereat August 6, 1779 January 4, 1780 None [m]
George Walton November 4, 1779 January 4, 1780 None [m]
9 Richard Howly January 4, 1780 February 16, 1780 None
10 George Wells[disambiguation needed] ? ? None [n]
11 Humphrey Wells? February 16, 1780 February 18, 1780 None [o]
12 Stephen Heard?[22] February 18 or May 24, 1780 August 1780 None
13 Myrick Davies[22] August 1780 August 18, 1781 None
14 Nathan Brownson August 18, 1781 January 3, 1782 American Whig None
15 John Martin January 3, 1782 January 8, 1783 None[23] None
16 Lyman Hall January 8, 1783 January 9, 1784 None[23] None
17 John Houstoun January 9, 1784 January 6, 1785 None[23] None
18 Samuel Elbert January 6, 1785 January 9, 1786 None[23] None
19 Edward Telfair January 9, 1786 January 9, 1787 None[23] None
20 George Mathews January 9, 1787 January 26, 1788 None[23] None
21 George Handley January 26, 1788 January 7, 1789 None[23] None
George Walton January 7, 1789 November 9, 1790 Democratic-Republican None
Edward Telfair November 9, 1790 November 7, 1793 Democratic-Republican None
George Mathews November 7, 1793 January 15, 1796 Democratic-Republican None
22 Jared Irwin January 15, 1796 January 12, 1798 Democratic-Republican None
23 James Jackson January 12, 1798 March 3, 1801 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [p]
24 David Emanuel March 3, 1801 November 7, 1801 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [q]
25 Josiah Tattnall, Sr. November 7, 1801 November 4, 1802 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [r]
26 John Milledge November 4, 1802 September 23, 1806 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [p]
Jared Irwin September 23, 1806 November 10, 1809 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [q]
27 David B. Mitchell November 10, 1809 November 5, 1813 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None
28 Peter Early November 5, 1813 November 20, 1815 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None
David B. Mitchell November 20, 1815 March 4, 1817 Democratic-Republican, Jackson faction None [s]
29 William Rabun March 4, 1817 October 24, 1819 Democratic-Republican, Troup faction[24] None [q][i]
30 Matthew Talbot October 24, 1819 November 5, 1819 Democratic-Republican, Clark faction None [q]
31 John Clark November 5, 1819 November 7, 1823 Democratic-Republican, Clark faction None
32 George M. Troup November 7, 1823 November 7, 1827 Democratic-Republican, Troup faction None
33 John Forsyth November 7, 1827 November 4, 1829 Democratic-Republican, Troup faction None
34 George R. Gilmer November 4, 1829 November 9, 1831 Democratic-Republican, Troup faction None
35 Wilson Lumpkin November 9, 1831 November 4, 1835 Union (Democratic) None
36 William Schley November 4, 1835 November 8, 1837 Union (Democratic) None
George R. Gilmer November 8, 1837 November 6, 1839 State Rights (Whig) None
37 Charles J. McDonald November 6, 1839 November 8, 1843 Union (Democratic) None
38 George W. Crawford November 8, 1843 November 3, 1847 Whig None
39 George W. Towns November 3, 1847 November 5, 1851 Democratic None
40 Howell Cobb November 5, 1851 November 9, 1853 Constitutional Union (Democratic) None
41 Herschel V. Johnson November 9, 1853 November 6, 1857 Democratic None
42 Joseph E. Brown November 6, 1857 June 17, 1865 Democratic None 3 12[t]
43 James Johnson June 17, 1865 December 14, 1865 Democratic[citation needed] None 12[u][v]
44 Charles J. Jenkins December 14, 1865 January 13, 1868 Democratic None [w][x]
45 Thomas H. Ruger January 13, 1868[y] July 4, 1868[z] Military None [aa]
46 Rufus B. Bullock July 4, 1868[ab] October 30, 1871[ac] Republican None 13[ad]
47 Benjamin Conley October 30, 1871[ae] January 12, 1872 Republican None 13[af][citation needed]
48 James M. Smith January 12, 1872 January 12, 1877 Democratic None 13+1[ag][citation needed]
49 Alfred H. Colquitt January 12, 1877 November 4, 1882 Democratic None 2[ah]
50 Alexander H. Stephens November 4, 1882 March 4, 1883 Democratic None 13[i]
51 James S. Boynton March 4, 1883 May 10, 1883 Democratic None 13[af]
52 Henry D. McDaniel May 10, 1883 November 9, 1886 Democratic None 13+1[ag]
53 John B. Gordon November 9, 1886 November 8, 1890 Democratic None 2
54 William J. Northen November 8, 1890 October 27, 1894 Democratic None 2[ai]
55 William Y. Atkinson October 27, 1894 October 29, 1898 Democratic None 2
56 Allen D. Candler October 29, 1898 October 25, 1902 Democratic None 2
57 Joseph M. Terrell October 25, 1902 June 29, 1907 Democratic None 2[aj]
58 Hoke Smith June 29, 1907 June 26, 1909 Democratic None 1
59 Joseph M. Brown June 26, 1909 July 1, 1911 Democratic None 1
Hoke Smith July 1, 1911 November 16, 1911 Democratic None 13[p]
60 John M. Slaton November 16, 1911 January 25, 1912 Democratic None 13[af]
Joseph M. Brown January 25, 1912 June 28, 1913 Democratic None 13[ag]
John M. Slaton June 28, 1913 June 26, 1915 Democratic None 1
61 Nathaniel E. Harris June 26, 1915 June 30, 1917 Democratic None 1
62 Hugh M. Dorsey June 30, 1917 June 25, 1921 Democratic None 2
63 Thomas W. Hardwick June 25, 1921 June 30, 1923 Democratic None 1
64 Clifford Walker June 30, 1923 June 25, 1927 Democratic None 2
65 Lamartine G. Hardman June 25, 1927 June 27, 1931 Democratic None 2
66 Richard Russell, Jr. June 27, 1931 January 10, 1933 Democratic None 1[ak]
67 Eugene Talmadge January 10, 1933 January 12, 1937 Democratic None 2
68 Eurith D. Rivers January 12, 1937 January 14, 1941 Democratic None 2
Eugene Talmadge January 14, 1941 January 12, 1943 Democratic None 1
69 Ellis Arnall January 12, 1943 January 14, 1947 Democratic None 1
70 Herman Talmadge January 14, 1947 March 18, 1947 Democratic   Melvin E. Thompson 13[al]
71 Melvin E. Thompson March 18, 1947 November 17, 1948 Democratic Vacant 13[al]
Herman Talmadge November 17, 1948 January 11, 1955 Democratic Marvin Griffin 13+1[al]
72 Marvin Griffin January 11, 1955 January 13, 1959 Democratic Ernest Vandiver 1
73 Ernest Vandiver January 13, 1959 January 15, 1963 Democratic Garland T. Byrd 1
74 Carl E. Sanders(1925-2014) January 15, 1963 January 11, 1967 Democratic Peter Zack Geer 1
75 Lester Maddox(1915-2003) January 11, 1967 January 12, 1971 Democratic George Thornewell Smith 1
76 Jimmy Carter(1924- ) January 12, 1971 January 14, 1975 Democratic Lester Maddox 1
77 George Busbee(1927-2004) January 14, 1975 January 11, 1983 Democratic Zell Miller 2
78 Joe Frank Harris(1936- ) January 11, 1983 January 14, 1991 Democratic Zell Miller 2
79 Zell Miller(1932- ) January 14, 1991 January 11, 1999 Democratic Pierre Howard 2
80 Roy Barnes(1948- ) January 11, 1999 January 13, 2003 Democratic Mark Taylor 1
81 George E. "Sonny" Perdue(1946- ) January 13, 2003 January 10, 2011 Republican Mark Taylor[am] 2
Casey Cagle
82   Nathan Deal(1942- ) January 10, 2011 Incumbent Republican   Casey Cagle 2[an]

Other high offices held[edit]

This table lists congressional seats, other federal offices, and Confederate offices. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Georgia. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. House U.S. Senate Other offices held
George Walton 1775–1776
1779–1780
1789–1790
S Continental Delegate
Archibald Bulloch 1776–1777 Continental Delegate
Button Gwinnett 1777 Continental Delegate
John Houstoun 1778–1779
1784–1785
Continental Delegate
Richard Howly 1780 Continental Delegate
Nathan Brownson 1781–1782 Continental Delegate
Lyman Hall 1783–1784 Continental Delegate
Samuel Elbert 1785–1786 Elected to the Continental Congress but declined to serve
Edward Telfair 1786–1786
1790–1793
Continental Delegate
George Mathews 1787–1788
1793–1796
H
James Jackson 1798–1801 H S*
Josiah Tattnall 1801–1802 S
John Milledge 1802–1806 H S*
Peter Early 1813–1815 H
George Troup 1823–1827 H S
John Forsyth 1827–1829 H† S Minister to Spain, U.S. Secretary of State[25]
George R. Gilmer 1829–1831
1837–1839
H
Wilson Lumpkin 1831–1835 H S
William Schley 1835–1837 H
George W. Crawford 1843–1847 H U.S. Secretary of War
George W. Towns 1847–1851 H
Howell Cobb 1851–1853 H Speaker of the House, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, President of the Provisional Confederate Congress
Herschel V. Johnson 1853–1857 S Confederate Senator
Joseph E. Brown 1857–1865 S
James Johnson 1865 H
James Milton Smith 1872–1877 Confederate Representative
Alfred H. Colquitt 1877–1882 H S
Alexander H. Stephens 1882–1883 H Confederate Representative, Vice President of the Confederate States of America; elected to the U.S. Senate but was refused his seat
John Brown Gordon 1886–1890 S
Allen D. Candler 1898–1902 H
Joseph M. Terrell 1902–1907 S
Hoke Smith 1907–1909
1911
S* U.S. Secretary of the Interior[26]
Thomas W. Hardwick 1921–1923 H S
Richard Russell, Jr. 1931–1933 S President pro tempore of the Senate
Herman Talmadge 1947
1948–1955
S
Jimmy Carter 1971–1975 President of the United States
Zell Miller 1991–1999 S

Living former governors[edit]

As of November 2014, five former governors were alive, the oldest being Jimmy Carter (1971–1975, born 1924).

The former governor to die most recently was Carl Sanders (1963–1967), on November 16, 2014. The most recently serving governor to die was George Busbee (1975–1983), on July 16, 2004.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Jimmy Carter 1971–1975 (1924-10-01) October 1, 1924 (age 90)
Joe Frank Harris 1983–1991 (1936-02-16) February 16, 1936 (age 78)
Zell Miller 1991–1999 (1932-02-24) February 24, 1932 (age 82)
Roy Barnes 1999–2003 (1948-03-11) March 11, 1948 (age 66)
George E. "Sonny" Perdue 2003–2011 (1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 67)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Deal is officially the 82nd governor; other numbering is inferred from that.[1]
  2. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in 1945, first being filled in 1947.
  3. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  4. ^ a b c President of Council of Safety.
  5. ^ a b c There were no terms for the Council of Safety, the state being at war.[citation needed]
  6. ^ a b The Council of Safety voted Bulloch as president and commander-in-chief on April 15, [2] but did not send a 'letter of congratulation' until May 1.[3]
  7. ^ As president pro tempore of the Council of Safety, acted as president in the absence of elected president Elisha Butler, whom never arrived.[4]
  8. ^ a b President.
  9. ^ a b c Died in office.
  10. ^ Was speaker of the Provincial Congress, and was selected by the Council of Safety to succeed Bulloch.[5]
  11. ^ a b Most sources say January 8;[6] [7] [8] [9] some say January 10 [10] [11]
  12. ^ a b Many sources do not include William Glascock and Seth John Cuthbert as a governor; some mention Glascock as speaker of the House Assembly, and that he acted as governor.[12] Other sources state that due to the chaos caused by the fall of Savannah, the revolutionaries were without leadership, and William Glascock and Seth John Cuthbert made efforts to fill this gap until John Wereat took office.[13]
  13. ^ a b A schism emerged in late 1779 with competing executive councils, each of which elected a president, John Wereat and George Walton.[14][15] The official list, however, lists both.
  14. ^ Reportedly was or acted as governor, according to some sources; died in office.
  15. ^ Resigned in favor of Stephen Heard.
  16. ^ a b c Resigned to take elected seat in the United States Senate.
  17. ^ a b c d As president of the state senate, filled unexpired term.
  18. ^ Resigned due to declining health.
  19. ^ Resigned to be agent to the Creek Indians.
  20. ^ Resigned following the defeat of the Confederate States of America.
  21. ^ Provisional governor appointed by President Andrew Johnson following the American Civil War.
  22. ^ NGA says he left five days after Jenkins was installed.[citation needed]
  23. ^ Removed from office by the military because he refused to allow state funds to be used for a racially integrated state constitutional convention; the state was still under military occupation during Reconstruction.
  24. ^ Was he elected twice?[citation needed]
  25. ^ NGA might say 17th?[citation needed]
  26. ^ NGA might say June 28?[citation needed]
  27. ^ Provisional governor appointed by General George Meade.
  28. ^ NGA might say July 21?[citation needed]
  29. ^ NGA says resigned Oct 23?[citation needed]
  30. ^ Resigned and fled the state to avoid impeachment; he was arrested in 1876 and found not guilty of embezzlement.
  31. ^ NGA says he took office 7 days after Bullock resigned?[citation needed]
  32. ^ a b c As president of the senate, acted as governor until special election.
  33. ^ a b c Elected in special election.
  34. ^ Colquitt's first term was for four years, under the 1868 constitution; his second term was for two years under the 1877 constitution, which also shortened his second term by two months.
  35. ^ The start of office was apparently moved from November to October during Northen's term.
  36. ^ The start of a gubernatorial term has always been set by the legislature, rather than the constitution; it appears the start of the term changed from the last Saturday in October to the last Saturday in June, lengthening Terrell's second term by eight months.
  37. ^ The start of the gubernatorial term changed from the last Saturday in June to the second Tuesday in January, shortening Russell's term by five months.[16]
  38. ^ a b c Eugene Talmadge was elected to a third term in 1946, but died before taking office. Ellis Arnall, governor at the time, claimed the office, as did Lieutenant Governor Melvin Thompson. The state legislature chose Eugene Talmadge's son, Herman Talmadge, to be governor, but the state supreme court declared this unconstitutional and declared Thompson rightful governor, and Talmadge stepped down after 67 days. Talmadge later defeated Thompson in a special election.
  39. ^ Represented the Democratic Party.
  40. ^ Governor Deal's first term expires January 12, 2015. He won re-election on November 4, 2014, and when his second term expires on January 14, 2019, he will be term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Georgia - January 2, 1788". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Retrieved January 9, 2011.  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  3. ^ "Yazoo Land Fraud". Our Georgia History. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  4. ^ 1776 Const. art. I
  5. ^ 1777 Const. art. II
  6. ^ 1777 Const. art. XXIII
  7. ^ 1777 Const. art. XXIX
  8. ^ 1789 Const. art. 2, § 1
  9. ^ 1798 Const. Amendment 4
  10. ^ 1798 Const. Amendment 7
  11. ^ 1865 Const. art III, § 1
  12. ^ 1868 Const. art. IV, § 1
  13. ^ 1877 Const. art. 5, § 1 par. 2
  14. ^ [17]
  15. ^ GA Const. art V, § 1 par. 2
  16. ^ 1945 Const. art. V, § 1 par. 7
  17. ^ GA Const. art V, § 1 par 4
  18. ^ GA Const. art. V, § 1 par 5
  19. ^ [18]
  20. ^ [19]
  21. ^ [20]
  22. ^ a b President of Executive Council.
  23. ^ a b c d e f g [21]
  24. ^ The Troup party was essentially the continuation of the Jackson faction (followers of James Jackson).
  25. ^ [22]
  26. ^ [23]