Lieutenant Governor of Michigan

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Lieutenant Governor of the State of Michigan
Brian Calley.jpg
Incumbent
Brian Calley

since January 1, 2011
Appointer Popularly Elected With the Governor
Term length 4 Years
Inaugural holder Edward Mundy
Formation January 26, 1837
Website michigan.gov/ltgov
President of Senate of the State of Michigan
Incumbent
Brian Calley

since January 1, 2011
Appointer ex officio
Term length 4 Years
Inaugural holder Edward Mundy
Formation January 26, 1837
Website michigan.gov/ltgov

The Lieutenant Governor of Michigan is the second-ranking official in U.S. state of Michigan, behind the governor, and one of four great offices of state. The holder of this office is afforded the courtesy title of the Honorable (abbreviated to Hon. or Hon'ble) for life.

The current lieutenant governor is Brian Calley, a Republican, who has held the office since January 1, 2011.

How the Lieutenant Governor is elected[edit]

In Michigan, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket to serve a term of four years. The election takes place two years after each presidential election; thus, the next election will take place on November 4, 2014.

Nomination[edit]

Following the August primary election in each gubernatorial election year, the state's two largest political parties convene a state convention and nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, among other offices. Because the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket, the party's gubernatorial nominee usually makes the de facto decision as to whom the party will nominate for lieutenant governor, then convention delegates officially confirm the designation.

Historically, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected separately, leading to occasions where Republicans controlled one office and the Democrats another (as with George Romney and T. John Lesinski). This changed with the Michigan Constitution of 1963.

Election and inauguration[edit]

After the November general election, the governor and lieutenant governor take office on January 1. Thus, the winners of the 2010 election began their term on January 1, 2011.

Term limits[edit]

Like the governor, the lieutenant governor is allowed to serve up to two terms in office.

Duties of the Lieutenant Governor[edit]

There are three main duties assigned to the lieutenant governor:

  • to serve as acting governor while the governor is out of state;
  • to become governor in the event that the governor is unable to serve due to death, illness or incapacitation; and
  • to preside over the Michigan Senate.

These days, the lieutenant governor also acts as an assistant to the governor. When the governor is unable to attend a function, for instance, the lieutenant governor may be sent in place of the governor. The lieutenant governor will also occasionally head blue-ribbon commissions into pressing public policy issues.

List of Lieutenant Governors[edit]

Lt. Governor Party Term
1 Edward Mundy D 1835-1840
2 James Wright Gordon[1] W 1840-1841
3 Thomas J. Drake[2] W 1841
4 Origen D. Richardson W 1842-1846
5 William L. Greenly[3] D 1846-1847
6 Charles P. Bush[2] D 1847
7 William M. Fenton D 1848-1851
8 Calvin Britain[4] D 1852-1853
9 Andrew Parsons[5] D 1853
10 George Griswold[6] D 1853-1855
11 George Coe R 1855-1859
12 Edmund B. Fairfield R 1859-1861
13 James M. Birney[7] R 1861
14 Joseph R. Williams[6][8] R 1861
15 Henry T. Backus[6] R 1861-1863
16 Charles S. May R 1863-1865
17 Ebenezer O. Grosvenor R 1865-1867
18 Dwight May R 1867-1869
19 Morgan Bates R 1869-1873
20 Henry H. Holt R 1873-1877
21 Alonzo Sessions R 1877-1881
22 Moreau S. Crosby R 1881-1885
23 Archibald Buttars R 1885-1887
24 James H. MacDonald[9] R 1887-1889
25 William Ball[6] R 1889
26 John Strong D 1891-1893
27 J. Wight Giddings R 1893-1895
28 Alfred Milnes[10] R 1895
29 Joseph R. McLaughlin[6] R 1895-1897
30 Thomas B. Dunstan R 1897-1899
31 Orrin W. Robinson R 1899-1903
32 Alexander Maitland R 1903-1907
33 Patrick H. Kelley R 1907-1911
34 John Q. Ross R 1911-1915
35 Luren D. Dickinson R 1915-1921
36 Thomas Read R 1921-1925
37 George W. Welsh R 1925-1927
38 Luren D. Dickinson R 1927-1933
39 Allen E. Stebbins D 1933-1935
40 Thomas Read R 1935-1937
41 Leo J. Nowicki D 1937-1939
42 Luren D. Dickinson[11] R 1939
43 Matilda Dodge Wilson[12] R 1940-1941
44 Frank Murphy[13] D 1941-1943
45 Eugene C. Keyes R 1943-1945
46 Vernon J. Brown R 1945-1947
47 Eugene C. Keyes R 1947-1949
48 John W. Connolly D 1949-1951
49 William C. Vandenberg R 1951-1953
50 Clarence A. Reid R 1953-1955
51 Philip A. Hart D 1955-1959
52 John B. Swainson D 1959-1961
53 T. John Lesinski[14] D 1961-1965
54 William G. Milliken[15] R 1965-1969
55 Thomas F. Schweigert[16] R 1970
56 James H. Brickley R 1971-1975
57 James Damman R 1975-1979
58 James H. Brickley R 1979-1983
59 Martha W. Griffiths D 1983-1991
60 Connie Binsfeld R 1991-1999
61 Dick Posthumus R 1999-2003
62 John D. Cherry, Jr. D 2003-2011
63 Brian Calley R 2011-present

Living former lieutenant governors[edit]

As of January 2014, three former lieutenant governors were alive. The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor was that of Connie Binsfeld (1991–1999), on January 12, 2014.

Lt. Governor Lt. Gubernatorial term Date of birth
William G. Milliken 1965–1969 (1922-03-26) March 26, 1922 (age 92)
Dick Posthumus 1999–2003 (1950-07-19) July 19, 1950 (age 64)
John D. Cherry, Jr. 2003–2011 (1951-05-05) May 5, 1951 (age 63)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Gordon became acting governor on February 24, 1841, after William Woodbridge resigned to take a seat in the united States Senate. Succession prescribed by the Michigan Constitution of 1835, article 5, §13.
  2. ^ a b The president pro tem of the Michigan Senate was elected to perform the lieutenant governor’s duties as president of the senate. Under the 1835 constitution, the lieutenant governor had no specifically defined duties other than presiding over the senate and as filling in as acting governor. See Michigan Constitution of 1835, article 5, §14 and 15.
  3. ^ Greenly became acting governor on March 4, 1847 after Alpheus Felch resigned to take a seat in the United States Senate.
  4. ^ Under the provisions of the Michigan Constitution of 1850, article 4, §34, and article 5, §3, and Act 175 of the Extra Session of 1851, Laws of Michigan, Britain was elected for a single 1-year term in 1851.
  5. ^ Parsons became acting governor on March 8, 1853, after Robert McClelland resigned to become Secretary of the Interior under Franklin Pierce. See Michigan Constitution of 1850, article 5, §12.
  6. ^ a b c d e The president pro tem of the Michigan Senate was elected to perform the lieutenant governor’s duties as president of the senate. Under the 1850 constitution, the lieutenant governor had no specifically defined duties other than presiding over the senate and as filling in as acting governor. See Michigan Constitution of 1850, article 5, §13 and 14.
  7. ^ Birney resigned April 3, 1861 after being appointed by Governor Moses Wisner to fill a vacancy on the 10th Circuit Court.
  8. ^ Williams died June 15, 1861.
  9. ^ MacDonald died January 19, 1889.
  10. ^ Milnes resigned May 31, 1895, to become U.S. Representative to Congress.
  11. ^ Dickinson became acting governor upon death of Frank D. Fitzgerald, March 16, 1939. See Michigan Constitution of 1908, article 6, §16, and Opinion of the Attorney General, 1939-1940, p. 69.
  12. ^ Wilson was appointed November 14, 1940, by acting Governor Dickinson. There is some question as to whether Matilda R. Wilson became, in fact, lieutenant governor during the last 6 weeks of Luren D. Dickinson’s term as acting governor. See Opinion of the Attorney General, 1939-1940, p. 69.
  13. ^ Not to be confused with Frank Murphy, 35th Governor of Michigan and Associate Justice to the U.S. Supreme Court
  14. ^ Lesinski, although a Democrat, was elected for his second term with George W. Romney, a Republican, defeating his running mate.
  15. ^ Milliken was the first lieutenant governor to be elected as part of a single party ticket; in 1966, he was the first lieutenant governor elected to a 4-year term; he became governor upon the resignation of George W. Romney January 22, 1969, to become Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under Richard Nixon. See Michigan Constitution of 1963, article 5, §§21 and 26, and schedule §5.
  16. ^ Schweigert served March 20 to December 31, 1970. See Opinion of the Attorney General, No. 4625, April 22, 1968, and Act 8 of 1969.

Source: Michigan Manual 2003-2004, Chapter IV, Former Officials of Michigan

External links[edit]