List of Governors of Iowa

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Governor of Iowa
Iowa-StateSeal.svg
Seal of the State of Iowa
Terry Branstad by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Incumbent
Terry Branstad

since January 14, 2011
Style The Honourable
Residence Terrace Hill
Term length Four years, no term limits
Inaugural holder Ansel Briggs; 1846
Formation Constitution of Iowa
Succession Every four years, unless re-elected

The Governor of Iowa is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Iowa. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Iowa's state government[1] and is charged with enforcing state laws.[2] The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Iowa State Legislature,[3] to convene the legislature,[4] and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.[5] The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[6]

There have been 41 governors of Iowa. The longest-serving governor is Terry Branstad, who served from 1983 to 1999, and was elected again in 2010; he is the second longest-serving governor in U.S. history, behind George Clinton. The shortest-serving governor was Robert D. Fulton, who served 16 days. The current governor is Republican Terry Branstad, who took office on January 14, 2011.

Governors[edit]

Governors of the Territory of Iowa[edit]

For the period before Iowa Territory was formed, see the list of Governors of Wisconsin Territory.

Iowa Territory was formed on July 4, 1838, from Wisconsin Territory. It had three governors appointed by the President of the United States. The first governor did not arrive for six weeks after the territory had been created; in the interim, territorial secretary William B. Conway acted as governor.[7]

Governor Took office Left office Appointed by
Robert Lucas August 15, 1838 May 13, 1841[a] Martin Van Buren
John Chambers May 13, 1841[a] November 18, 1845[b] William Henry Harrison
James Clarke November 18, 1845[b] December 28, 1846[c] James K. Polk

Governors of the State of Iowa[edit]

The southeast portion of Iowa Territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Iowa on December 3, 1846; the remainder became unorganized territory.

The first state constitution of 1846 created the office of governor, to have a four-year term,[10] with no specific start date for the term. The original constitution of 1857 reduced this term to two years,[11] but an amendment in 1972 increased this back to four years.[12] The 1857 constitution set the start of the term to the second Monday in the January following the election,[13] which was changed to the day after that by a 1988 amendment.[14]

The office of lieutenant governor was created in the 1857 constitution, elected for the same term as the governor.[15] An amendment in 1988 specified that the lieutenant governor would be elected on the same ticket as the governor.[16] If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office devolves upon the lieutenant governor for the remainder of the term or vacancy.[17] Prior to 1857, if the office of governor became vacant, the state secretary of state would act as governor.[18] There is no term limit on the number of terms a governor may serve.

Parties

      Democratic (10)       Whig (1)       Republican (31)

#[d] Governor Term start Term end Party Lt. Governor[e][f] Term[g]
1   Ansel Briggs December 3, 1846 December 4, 1850 Democratic None 1[h]
2   Stephen P. Hempstead December 4, 1850 December 9, 1854 Democratic 2
3   James W. Grimes December 9, 1854 January 13, 1858 Whig 3[i]
4   Ralph P. Lowe January 13, 1858 January 11, 1860 Republican   Oran Faville 4[j]
5   Samuel J. Kirkwood January 11, 1860 January 14, 1864 Republican   Nicholas J. Rusch 5–6
  John R. Needham
6   William M. Stone January 14, 1864 January 16, 1868 Republican   Enoch W. Eastman 7–8
  Benjamin F. Gue
7   Samuel Merrill January 16, 1868 January 11, 1872 Republican   John Scott 9–10
  Madison Miner Walden[k]
  Henry C. Bulis
8   Cyrus C. Carpenter January 11, 1872 January 13, 1876 Republican   Henry C. Bulis 11–12
  Joseph Dysart
9   Samuel J. Kirkwood January 13, 1876 February 1, 1877 Republican   Joshua G. Newbold 13[l]
10   Joshua G. Newbold February 1, 1877 January 17, 1878 Republican Vacant 13[m]
11   John H. Gear January 17, 1878 January 12, 1882 Republican   Frank T. Campbell 14–15
12   Buren R. Sherman January 12, 1882 January 14, 1886 Republican   Orlando H. Manning 16–17
13   William Larrabee January 14, 1886 February 27, 1890[n] Republican   John A. T. Hull 18–19
14   Horace Boies February 27, 1890[n] January 11, 1894 Democratic   Alfred N. Poyneer[o] 20–21
  Samuel L. Bestow
15   Frank D. Jackson January 11, 1894 January 16, 1896 Republican   Warren S. Dungan 22
16   Francis M. Drake January 16, 1896 January 13, 1898 Republican   Matt Parrott 23
17   L. M. Shaw January 13, 1898 January 16, 1902 Republican   James C. Milliman 24–25
18   Albert B. Cummins January 16, 1902 November 24, 1908 Republican   John Herriott 26–28[l][p]
  Warren Garst
19   Warren Garst November 24, 1908 January 14, 1909 Republican Vacant 28[m]
20   Beryl F. Carroll January 14, 1909 January 16, 1913 Republican   George W. Clarke 29–30
21   George W. Clarke January 16, 1913 January 11, 1917 Republican   William L. Harding 31–32
22   William L. Harding January 11, 1917 January 13, 1921 Republican   Ernest Robert Moore 33–34
23   Nathan E. Kendall January 13, 1921 January 15, 1925 Republican   John Hammill 35–36
24   John Hammill January 15, 1925 January 15, 1931 Republican   Clem F. Kimball[q] 37–39
  Arch W. McFarlane
25   Daniel Webster Turner January 15, 1931 January 12, 1933 Republican   Arch W. McFarlane 40
26   Clyde L. Herring January 12, 1933 January 14, 1937 Democratic   Nelson G. Kraschel 41–42
27   Nelson G. Kraschel January 14, 1937 January 12, 1939 Democratic   John K. Valentine 43
28   George A. Wilson January 12, 1939 January 14, 1943 Republican   Bourke B. Hickenlooper 44–45
29   Bourke B. Hickenlooper January 14, 1943 January 11, 1945 Republican   Robert D. Blue 46
30   Robert D. Blue January 11, 1945 January 13, 1949 Republican   Kenneth A. Evans 47–48
31   William S. Beardsley January 13, 1949 November 21, 1954 Republican   Kenneth A. Evans 49–51[q]
  William H. Nicholas
  Leo Elthon
32   Leo Elthon November 22, 1954 January 13, 1955 Republican Vacant 51[m]
33   Leo Hoegh January 13, 1955 January 17, 1957 Republican   Leo Elthon 52
34   Herschel C. Loveless January 17, 1957 January 12, 1961 Democratic   William H. Nicholas[o] 53–54
  Edward Joseph McManus
35   Norman A. Erbe January 12, 1961 January 17, 1963 Republican   W. L. Mooty[r] 55
36   Harold Hughes January 17, 1963 January 1, 1969 Democratic   W. L. Mooty 56–58[l]
  Robert D. Fulton
37   Robert D. Fulton January 1, 1969 January 16, 1969 Democratic Vacant 58[m]
38   Robert D. Ray January 16, 1969 January 14, 1983 Republican   Roger Jepsen 59–63[s]
  Arthur A. Neu
  Terry Branstad
39   Terry Branstad January 14, 1983 January 15, 1999 Republican   Robert T. Anderson[r] 64–67
  Jo Ann Zimmerman[r]
  Joy Corning
40   Tom Vilsack January 15, 1999 January 12, 2007 Democratic   Sally Pederson 68–69
41   Chet Culver January 12, 2007 January 14, 2011 Democratic   Patty Judge 70
42   Terry Branstad January 14, 2011 Incumbent Republican   Kim Reynolds 71[t]

Living former governors[edit]

Four former governors are alive, the oldest being Robert D. Ray (1969–1983, born 1928). The most recent governor to die was Leo Hoegh (1955–1957), on July 15, 2000. The most recently serving governor to die was Harold Hughes (1963–1969), on October 23, 1996.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Robert D. Fulton 1969 (1929-05-13) May 13, 1929 (age 85)
Robert D. Ray 1969–1983 (1928-09-26) September 26, 1928 (age 86)
Tom Vilsack 1999–2007 (1950-12-13) December 13, 1950 (age 63)
Chet Culver 2007–2011 (1966-01-25) January 25, 1966 (age 48)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chambers was appointed on March 25 to the position of territorial governor, to take office when sworn in. He arrived in the state on May 12 and took office the next day. Lucas was out of the capital at the time and did not formally resign his commission until June 17, per a letter written to U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster.[8]
  2. ^ a b Clark was appointed on November 18;[9] it is unknown what specific date he assumed office.
  3. ^ Although Ansel Briggs was sworn in as governor of the state on December 3, it remained a territory until December 28.[9]
  4. ^ There is no official numbering, and different governors have interpreted it differently, based on if repeat terms are numbered.[19] This article includes numbering for every distinct term in office.
  5. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in the 1857 constitution.[15]
  6. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  7. ^ This indicates which terms a governor served; some served in multiple terms, indicated by a repeated number, due to deaths or resignations, while other served for multiple terms, indicated by a given range.
  8. ^ Briggs was sworn into office 25 days before the state was formally admitted.[20]
  9. ^ The election schedule changed during Grimes' term, switching to odd-numbered years and shortening his term by nearly a year.
  10. ^ Lowe was the first governor elected under the 1857 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
  11. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States House of Representatives.
  12. ^ a b c Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  13. ^ a b c d As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  14. ^ a b All sources state Boies was sworn in on February 27, 1890, with no explanation given for the delay.
  15. ^ a b Represented the Republican Party.
  16. ^ Amendment 11 to the Iowa constitution, passed in 1904, shifted the state's election cycle forward one year, such that terms would begin on odd years. This lengthened Cummins' second term to three years, 1904 to 1907.
  17. ^ a b Died in office.
  18. ^ a b c Represented the Democratic Party.
  19. ^ Ray was the first governor elected following a constitutional amendment that lenghtened terms to four years; his latter two terms were four years long.
  20. ^ Governor Branstad's first term expires January 9, 2015. He won re-election on November 4, 2014, and his second term expires on January 11, 2019.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 1
  2. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 9
  3. ^ IA Const. art III, § 16
  4. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 11
  5. ^ IA Const., art. IV, § 16
  6. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 7
  7. ^ Shambaugh, Benjamin F., ed. (1903). "The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of Iowa". The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of Iowa 1. Iowa City, Iowa: State Historical Society of Iowa. p. 208. 
  8. ^ Executive Journal of Iowa 1838-1841, Governor Robert Lucas. State Historical Society of Iowa. 1906. pp. 277–279. 
  9. ^ a b c Benjamin F. Gue (1903). Iowa biography. Century History Company. p. 52. 
  10. ^ 1846 Const. article V, § 2
  11. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 2
  12. ^ IA Const. amendment 32
  13. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 15
  14. ^ IA Const. amendment 42
  15. ^ a b IA Const. art. IV, § 3
  16. ^ IA Const. amendment 41
  17. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 17
  18. ^ 1846 Const. art V, § 18
  19. ^ "No 41st Governor for Iowa?". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  20. ^ Secretary Of State, Iowa (1951). Iowa Official Register - 1951-1952. p. 97. 

External links[edit]