List of Governors of California

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Jerry Brown, 34th and the current 39th Governor of California. He is the longest serving governor in California history.

The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced.

There have been 39 governors; many have been influential nationwide in areas far-flung from politics. Leland Stanford founded Stanford University in 1891. Earl Warren, later Chief Justice of the United States, won an election with the nominations of the three major parties – the only person ever to run essentially unopposed for governor of California. Ronald Reagan, who was president of the Screen Actors Guild and later President of the United States, and Arnold Schwarzenegger both came to prominence through acting. Gray Davis was the first governor of California, and second governor in American history, to be recalled by voters. The shortest tenure was that of Milton Latham, who served only five days before being elected by the legislature to fill a vacant United States Senate seat. The longest tenure is that of the current governor, Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr., who previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983 and has been serving again since 2011. He is the son of former governor Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. who served from 1959-1967.

Governors[edit]

Peter Hardeman Burnett, first Governor of California
Leland Stanford, eighth Governor of California
Romualdo Pacheco, 12th Governor of California
Hiram Johnson, 23rd Governor of California
Earl Warren, 30th Governor of California, and 14th Chief Justice of the United States
Ronald Reagan, 33rd Governor of California, and 40th President of the United States
Arnold Schwarzenegger, 38th Governor of California
For the governors prior to statehood, see the List of Governors of California before admission.

California was obtained by the United States in the Mexican Cession following the Mexican–American War. Unlike most other states, it was never organized as a territory, and was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

The original California Constitution of 1849 called for elections every two years, with no set start date for the term. An amendment ratified in 1862 increased the term to four years,[1] and the 1879 constitution set the term to begin on the first Monday in January following an election. In 1990, Proposition 140 led to a constitutional amendment[2] implementing a term limit of two consecutive terms;[3] prior to this limit, only one governor, Earl Warren, served more than two terms. Jerry Brown was able to be elected to a third term in 2010 because his previous terms were before the term limit was enacted. The 1849 constitution also created the office of lieutenant governor, who, in cases of vacancy in the office of governor, becomes governor.[4] The governor and lieutenant governor are not elected on the same ticket.

      Democratic (16)[a]       American (1)       Republican (22)[b]       Progressive (1)[b]

#[c] Governor Term start Term end Party Lt. Governor[d] Terms[e]
1   Peter Hardeman Burnett December 20, 1849 January 9, 1851 Democratic   John McDougall 12[f][g]
2 John McDougall January 9, 1851 January 8, 1852 Democratic David C. Broderick[h] 12[i]
3 John Bigler January 8, 1852 January 9, 1856 Democratic Samuel Purdy 2
4 J. Neely Johnson January 9, 1856 January 8, 1858 American Robert M. Anderson 1
5 John B. Weller January 8, 1858 January 9, 1860 Democratic John Walkup 1
6 Milton Latham January 9, 1860 January 14, 1860 Lecompton Democratic John G. Downey 12[j]
7 John G. Downey January 14, 1860 January 10, 1862 Lecompton Democratic Isaac N. Quinn[h] 12[i]
Pablo de la Guerra[k]
8 Leland Stanford January 10, 1862 December 10, 1863 Republican John F. Chellis 1
9 Frederick Low December 10, 1863 December 5, 1867 Unionist Republican Tim N. Machin 1[l]
10 Henry Huntly Haight December 5, 1867 December 8, 1871 Democratic William Holden 1
11 Newton Booth December 8, 1871 February 27, 1875 Republican Romualdo Pacheco 12[j]
12 Romualdo Pacheco February 27, 1875 December 9, 1875 Republican William Irwin[h][m] 12[i]
13 William Irwin December 9, 1875 January 8, 1880 Democratic James A. Johnson 1
14 George Clement Perkins January 8, 1880 January 10, 1883 Republican John Mansfield 1
15 George Stoneman January 10, 1883 January 8, 1887 Democratic John Daggett 1
16 Washington Bartlett January 8, 1887 September 12, 1887 Democratic Robert Waterman[n] 12[o]
17 Robert Waterman September 12, 1887 January 8, 1891 Republican Stephen M. White[p][m] 12[i]
18 Henry Markham January 8, 1891 January 11, 1895 Republican John B. Reddick 1
19 James Budd January 11, 1895 January 4, 1899 Democratic Spencer G. Millard[o][n] 1
William T. Jeter[q]
20 Henry Gage January 4, 1899 January 6, 1903 Republican Jacob H. Neff 1
21 George Pardee January 6, 1903 January 9, 1907 Republican Alden Anderson 1
22 James Gillett January 9, 1907 January 3, 1911 Republican Warren R. Porter 1
23 Hiram Johnson January 3, 1911 March 15, 1917 Republican A. J. Wallace 1 12[j][r]
Progressive John M. Eshleman[o]
William Stephens[q][n]
24 William Stephens March 15, 1917 January 9, 1923 Republican vacant 1 12[s]
Clement C. Young
25 Friend Richardson January 9, 1923 January 4, 1927 Republican Clement C. Young 1
26 Clement C. Young January 4, 1927 January 6, 1931 Republican Buron Fitts[t] 1
H. L. Carnahan[q]
27 James Rolph Jr. January 6, 1931 June 2, 1934 Republican Frank Merriam 12[o]
28 Frank Merriam June 2, 1934 January 2, 1939 Republican vacant 1 12[s]
George J. Hatfield
29 Culbert Olson January 2, 1939 January 4, 1943 Democratic Ellis E. Patterson 1
30 Earl Warren January 4, 1943 October 5, 1953 Republican[u] Frederick F. Houser 2 12[v]
Goodwin Jess Knight
31 Goodwin Jess Knight October 5, 1953 January 5, 1959 Republican Harold J. Powers[w] 1 12[s]
32 Pat Brown January 5, 1959 January 2, 1967 Democratic Glenn M. Anderson 2
33 Ronald Reagan January 2, 1967 January 6, 1975 Republican Robert Finch[x] 2
Edwin Reinecke[q][y]
John L. Harmer[q]
34 Jerry Brown January 6, 1975 January 3, 1983 Democratic Mervyn M. Dymally 2
Michael Curb[n]
35 George Deukmejian January 3, 1983 January 7, 1991 Republican Leo T. McCarthy[m] 2
36 Pete Wilson January 7, 1991 January 4, 1999 Republican Leo T. McCarthy[m] 2
Gray Davis[m]
37 Gray Davis January 4, 1999 November 17, 2003 Democratic Cruz Bustamante 1 12[z]
38 Arnold Schwarzenegger November 17, 2003 January 3, 2011 Republican Cruz Bustamante[m] 1 12[z][aa]
John Garamendi[m]
Abel Maldonado
39 Jerry Brown January 3, 2011 Incumbent Democratic Abel Maldonado[ab] 1[ac]
Gavin Newsom[ab]

Other high offices held[edit]

Seventeen governors of California have served other high offices, including one President of the United States, a Chief Justice of the United States, and five ambassadors. Thirteen have served in the U.S. Congress, all representing California, though one of them also represented Ohio. Four (marked with *) resigned to take their other office, three in the U.S. Senate and one joining the U.S. Supreme Court. One (marked with †) resigned his seat in the Senate to take office as governor.

All representatives and senators listed represented California except where noted.

Governor Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
Bigler, JohnJohn Bigler 1852–1856 Minister to Chile [13]
Weller, John B.John B. Weller 1858–1860 Representative from Ohio, Senator, Minister to Mexico [14]
Latham, MiltonMilton Latham 1860 Representative, Senator* [15]
Stanford, LelandLeland Stanford 1862–1863 Senator [16]
Low, FrederickFrederick Low 1863–1867 Representative, Minister to the Great Qing Empire [17]
Booth, NewtonNewton Booth 1871–1875 Senator* [18]
Pacheco, RomualdoRomualdo Pacheco 1875 Representative, Minister to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua [19]
Perkins, George ClementGeorge Clement Perkins 1880–1883 Senator [20]
Markham, HenryHenry Markham 1891–1895 Representative [21]
Budd, JamesJames Budd 1895–1899 Representative [22]
Gage, HenryHenry Gage 1899–1903 Minister to Portugal [23]
Gillett, JamesJames Gillett 1907–1911 Representative† [24]
Johnson, HiramHiram Johnson 1911–1917 Senator* [25]
Stephens, WilliamWilliam Stephens 1917–1923 Representative [26]
Warren, EarlEarl Warren 1943–1953 Chief Justice of the United States* [27]
Reagan, RonaldRonald Reagan 1967–1975 President of the United States [28]
Wilson, PetePete Wilson 1991–1999 Senator† [29]

Living former governors[edit]

As of September 2014, there are four living former governors of California, the oldest being George Deukmejian (1983-1991, born 1928). The most recent death of a former governor was that of Ronald Reagan (1967–1975), on June 5, 2004, he is also the most recently serving governor to have died.

Governor Term of office Date of birth
George Deukmejian 1983–1991 (1928-06-06) June 6, 1928 (age 86)
Pete Wilson 1991–1999 (1933-08-23) August 23, 1933 (age 81)
Gray Davis 1999–2003 (1942-12-26) December 26, 1942 (age 71)
Arnold Schwarzenegger 2003–2011 (1947-07-30) July 30, 1947 (age 67)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Includes one term served by a repeat governor.
  2. ^ a b Includes one partial term served by a governor who also represented another party during this term.
  3. ^ Since Jerry Brown is officially numbered 39th, repeat governors are officially numbered for each distinct term.[5]
  4. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ A civilian government was formed in late 1849 prior to official statehood, and operated as the state government for ten months before official statehood was granted.[6]
  7. ^ Resigned, citing personal reasons; he was reportedly unhappy with the legislature, and wanted more time to manage his business.[7]
  8. ^ a b c As president of the senate, acted as lieutenant governor.
  9. ^ a b c d As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  10. ^ a b c Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  11. ^ Elected president of the senate, therefore becoming new acting lieutenant governor.
  12. ^ Low was the first governor elected under the provisions of an 1862 constitutional amendment, increasing terms from two to four years.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Represented the Democratic Party.
  14. ^ a b c d Represented the Republican Party.
  15. ^ a b c d Died in office.
  16. ^ As president pro tempore of the state senate, acted as lieutenant governor.
  17. ^ a b c d e Appointed by governor to fill the vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor.
  18. ^ Johnson was elected as a Republican for his first term and a Progressive for his second.[8]
  19. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected in his own right.
  20. ^ Resigned to be District Attorney for Los Angeles County, California[9]
  21. ^ Warren ran as a Republican for his first and third terms. For his second term, he won the nomination of the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties.
  22. ^ Resigned to become Chief Justice of the United States.
  23. ^ As president pro tempore of the state senate, filled unexpired term.
  24. ^ Resigned to be U.S. Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
  25. ^ Resigned after being convicted of perjury.[10]
  26. ^ a b In a recall election, voters recalled Gray Davis and elected Arnold Schwarzenegger to replace him.[11]
  27. ^ Elected in a special election, and subsequently elected to a full term.
  28. ^ a b Gavin Newsom delayed his swearing in as lieutenant governor until January 10, 2011, to remain as mayor of San Francisco. Abel Maldonado stayed on as lieutenant governor, with both sides agreeing that the constitution allows such a situation.[12]
  29. ^ Governor Brown's third term expires on January 5, 2015; he is not term limited, since his two earlier terms predated the limit.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ Henning, W.F. (1899). Constitution of the State of California. C.W. Palm Company. Retrieved January 18, 2008. 
  2. ^ "California Ballot Propositions 1990-1999". Los Angeles County Law Library. Retrieved August 2, 2010. 
  3. ^ CA Const. art. V, § 2
  4. ^ CA Const. art. V, § 10
  5. ^ "Inauguration of Governor Jerry Brown". Office of Governor Jerry Brown. Retrieved January 3, 2011. 
  6. ^ "California Governor Peter Hardeman Burnett". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  7. ^ Durham, Walter T. (1997). Volunteer Forty-niners: Tennesseans and the California Gold Rush. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8265-1298-4. Retrieved August 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ "California Governor Hiram Warren Johnson". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  9. ^ "Fitts Submits His Resignation". Los Angeles Times. September 29, 1928. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  10. ^ Robinson, Jr., Timothy S. (October 3, 1974). "Reinecke Quits, Gets Suspended Sentence". The Washington Post. Retrieved October 18, 2008. 
  11. ^ "Statewide Special Election". California Secretary of State. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  12. ^ Van Oot, Torey. "The Buzz: With Newsom in the wings, Maldonado's still at work". The Sacramento Bee. Retrieved January 9, 2011. [dead link]
  13. ^ "California Governor John Bigler". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Weller, John B.". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  15. ^ "Latham, Milton Slocum". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  16. ^ "Stanford, Leland". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Low, Frederick Ferdinand". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  18. ^ "Booth, Newton". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  19. ^ "Pacheco, Romualdo". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Perkins, George Clement". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  21. ^ "Markham, Henry Harrison". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  22. ^ "Budd, James Herbert". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  23. ^ "California Governor Henry Tifft Gage". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  24. ^ "Gillett, James Norris". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Johnson, Hiram Warren". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  26. ^ "Stephens, William Dennison". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 
  27. ^ "California Governor Earl Warren". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  28. ^ "California Governor Ronald Wilson Reagan". National Governors Association. Retrieved October 15, 2008. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Wilson, Pete". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 15, 2008. 

External links[edit]