Lieutenant Governor of Maryland

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Lieutenant Governor of Maryland
Boyd Rutherford

since January 21, 2015
Style Honorable
Term length Four years, renewable once, but renewable again after a 4-year respite.
Inaugural holder Blair Lee III
Formation January 1971
Website [1]

The Lieutenant Governor of Maryland is the second highest-ranking official in the executive branch of the state government of Maryland in the United States. He or she is elected on the same ticket as the Governor of Maryland and must meet the same qualifications.

The current Lieutenant Governor is Boyd Rutherford.


The position was first created by the Maryland Constitution of 1864. Under that system of government, the lieutenant governor served as president of the Senate and would assume the office of governor if the incumbent should die, resign, be removed, or be disqualified.

The state's present constitution, adopted in 1867, abolished the lieutenant governorship. However, the position was re-established by a constitutional amendment ratified on November 4, 1970.

Duties and responsibilities[edit]

Under the 1970 amendment, the Lieutenant Governor "shall have only the duties delegated to him by the Governor." Maryland's lieutenant governorship is thus weaker than the office in several, but not all, other states that have one. For instance, in many states, including Texas, the lieutenant governor is the president of the state's Senate and in California the Lieutenant Governor assumes all of the Governor's powers when he or she is out of the state. In both of those states, as in some others, the lieutenant governor is elected in his or her own right, independently of the state's governor.

In practice, Maryland's lieutenant governor attends cabinet meetings, chairs various task forces and commissions, represents the state at ceremonial functions and at events with or without the governor, and advises the governor. If there is a vacancy in the office of the governor, the lieutenant governor becomes the governor. A vacancy in the lieutenant governorship is filled by a person nominated by the governor and confirmed by a majority vote of the General Assembly voting in joint session.

List of lieutenant governors[edit]


      Unionist       Democratic       Republican

Lt. Governors under the Maryland Constitution of 1864[edit]

# Lt. Governor Party Term
1 Christopher C. Cox Unionist 1865–1868

Lt. Governors under the Maryland Constitution of 1867[edit]

Constitution amended November 4, 1970 to create Lt. Governor position.

# Lt. Governor Party Term
2 Blair Lee III Democrat 1971–1979
3 Samuel W. Bogley Democrat 1979–1983
4 J. Joseph Curran, Jr. Democrat 1983–1987
5 Melvin A. Steinberg Democrat 1987–1995
6 Kathleen Kennedy Townsend Democrat 1995–2003
7 Michael S. Steele Republican 2003–2007
8 Anthony G. Brown Democrat 2007–2015
9 Boyd Rutherford Republican 2015–present

Living former Lt. Governors[edit]

As of January 2015, six former lieutenant governors were alive, the oldest being J. Joseph Curran, Jr. (1983–1987, born 1931). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor was that of Blair Lee III (1971–1979), on October 25, 1985.

Lt. Governor Lt. Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Samuel W. Bogley 1979–1983 (1941-11-16) November 16, 1941 (age 73)
J. Joseph Curran, Jr. 1983–1987 (1931-07-07) July 7, 1931 (age 83)
Melvin A. Steinberg 1987–1995 (1933-10-04) October 4, 1933 (age 81)
Kathleen Kennedy Townsend 1995–2003 (1951-07-04) July 4, 1951 (age 63)
Michael S. Steele 2003–2007 (1958-10-24) October 24, 1958 (age 56)
Anthony G. Brown 2007–2015 (1961-11-21) November 21, 1961 (age 53)

See also[edit]


  • Maryland State Archives. (October 29, 2004). Maryland Manual On-Line: A Guide to Maryland Government. "Lieutenant Governor". Retrieved May 9, 2005.