Lieutenant governor of Georgia
|Lieutenant Governor of
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia State Seal
|Appointer||Elected by popular vote|
|Term length||4-year term|
|Inaugural holder||Melvin E. Thompson|
The Lieutenant Governor of Georgia is a constitutional officer of the state, elected to a 4-year term by popular vote. Unlike in some states, the Lieutenant Governor is elected on a separate ticket from the state Governor.
Constitutionally, the Lieutenant Governor's primary job is to serve as President of the Senate. In the case of incapacity of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor assumes the powers (but not the title) of the Governor. Should the Governor die or otherwise leave office, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor for the remainder of the term of office.
The office of Lieutenant Governor was created by a state constitutional revision in 1945. Prior to that time, Georgia did not have such an office. Elected in 1946 (for a term to begin in 1947) to be Georgia's first Lieutenant Governor, Melvin Thompson became involved in the infamous Three Governors Controversy.
The current Lieutenant Governor of Georgia is Casey Cagle.
Article V, Paragraph IV of the Georgia State Constitution details the qualifications for the office of Georgia's Lieutenant Governor. In order to be eligible for the office a person must have lived in the United States for 15 years and in Georgia for six years and be at least 30 years old. The Lieutenant Governor of Georgia has no restrictions on the number of times he or she can hold the office.
Role of the Lieutenant Governor 
The Lieutenant Governor's formal duties are limited by the Georgia State Constitution to being President of the Senate and the successor of the Governor whenever the chief executive becomes disabled or dies. Other, informal duties, were initiated by Lieutenant Governor Marvin Griffin during his tenure and include naming chairmen to senate committees and "taking an active role in the leadership of the senate." He also began the custom of asking the Governor's approval of these appointments. These powers lasted until 2003, when Governor Sonny Perdue, a Republican, stripped the Lieutenant Governor at the time, Democrat Mark Taylor of those powers, giving them to the president pro tempore of the Senate.
President of the Senate 
As President of the Senate the Lieutenant Governor presides over debate in the Senate and casts a tie-breaking vote in that body if necessary. However, the Lieutenant Governor is barred from sponsoring legislation. He or she also maintains the power to make committee assignments and chooses the chairman of each committee.
Lieutenant Governors of Georgia 
- Melvin E. Thompson, Democratic Party, 1947
- Marvin Griffin, Democratic Party, 1948–1955
- S. Ernest Vandiver, Democratic Party, 1955–1959
- Garland T. Byrd, Democratic Party, 1959–1963
- Peter Zack Geer, Democratic Party, 1963–1967
- George T. Smith, Democratic Party, 1967–1971
- Lester Maddox, Democratic Party, 1971–1975
- Zell Miller, Democratic Party, 1975–1991
- Pierre Howard, Democratic Party, 1991–1999
- Mark Taylor, Democratic Party, 1999–2007
- Casey Cagle, Republican Party, 2007-
See also