List of Governors of Mississippi

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Governor of Mississippi
Mississippi-StateSeal.svg
Seal of the State of Mississippi
Governor Phil Bryant.jpg
Incumbent
Phil Bryant

since January 10, 2012
Style The Honorable
Residence Mississippi Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder David Holmes
Formation 1817 Constitution of Mississippi
Succession Every four years, unless reelected.

The Governor of Mississippi is the head of the executive branch of Mississippi's government[1] and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[1] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws,[2] and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Mississippi Legislature,[3] to convene the legislature at any time,[4] and, except in cases of treason or impeachment, to grant pardons and reprieves.[5]

To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, and must have been a citizen of the United States for twenty years and a resident of Mississippi for at least five years at the time of inauguration.[6] The Constitution of Mississippi, ratified in 1890, calls for a four-year term for the governor.[1] The original constitution of 1817 had only a two-year term for governor; this was expanded to four years in the 1868 constitution.[7] The lieutenant governor is elected at the same time as the governor and serves as president of the Mississippi Senate.[8] When the office of governor becomes vacant for any reason, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term.[9]

Since Mississippi became a state, it has had 64 governors, including 55 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Democrats dominated after retaking control of the state legislature; they passed a constitution in 1890 that disfranchised most African Americans, excluding them from the political system for nearly 70 years, and made it a one-party state. The state's longest-serving governor was John M. Stone, who served two terms over ten years (his second term was extended to six years by a transitional provision in the 1890 constitution[10]). The shortest-serving governor was James Whitfield, who served 1 12 months from 1851 to 1852. The current governor is Republican Phil Bryant, who took office January 10, 2012.

Governors of Mississippi Territory, 1798–1817[edit]

# Name Took office Left office Party
1   Winthrop Sargent May 7, 1798 May 25, 1801 Federalist
2   William C. C. Claiborne May 25, 1801 March 1, 1805 Democratic-Republican
3   Robert Williams March 1, 1805 March 7, 1809 Democratic-Republican
4   David Holmes March 7, 1809 December 10, 1817 Democratic-Republican

Governors of the State of Mississippi, 1817–present[edit]

# Name Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Term Notes
1   David Holmes December 10, 1817 January 5, 1820 Democratic-Republican   Duncan Stewart 1 [N 1]
2   George Poindexter January 5, 1820 January 7, 1822 Democratic-Republican   James Patton 2
3   Walter Leake January 7, 1822 November 17, 1825 Democratic-Republican   David Dickson 3 [N 2]
  Gerard Brandon 4
4   Gerard Brandon November 17, 1825 January 7, 1826 Democratic [N 3]
5   David Holmes January 7, 1826 July 25, 1826 Democratic   Gerard Brandon 5 [N 4]
6   Gerard Brandon July 25, 1826 January 9, 1832 Democratic
  Abram M. Scott 6
7
7   Abram M. Scott January 9, 1832 July 12, 1833 Democratic   Fountain Winston[N 5] 8 [N 2]
8   Charles Lynch July 12, 1833 November 20, 1833 Democratic [N 6]
9   Hiram Runnels November 20, 1833 November 20, 1835 Democratic
9
10   John A. Quitman December 3, 1835 January 7, 1836 Whig [N 6]
11   Charles Lynch January 7, 1836 January 8, 1838 Democratic 10
12   Alexander G. McNutt January 8, 1838 January 10, 1842 Democratic 11
12
13   Tilghman Tucker January 10, 1842 January 10, 1844 Democratic 13
14   Albert G. Brown January 10, 1844 January 10, 1848 Democratic 14
15
15   Joseph W. Matthews January 10, 1848 January 10, 1850 Democratic 16
16   John A. Quitman January 10, 1850 February 3, 1851 Democratic 17 [N 7]
17   John I. Guion February 3, 1851 November 4, 1851 Democratic [N 8]
18   James Whitfield November 24, 1851 January 10, 1852 Democratic [N 9]
19   Henry S. Foote January 10, 1852 January 5, 1854 Union Democratic 18 [N 10]
20   John J. Pettus January 5, 1854 January 10, 1854 Democratic [N 9]
21   John J. McRae January 10, 1854 November 16, 1857 Democratic 19 [N 11]
20
22   William McWillie November 16, 1857 November 21, 1859 Democratic 21
23   John J. Pettus November 21, 1859 November 16, 1863 Democratic 22
23
24   Charles Clark November 16, 1863 May 22, 1865 Democratic 24 [N 12]
25   William L. Sharkey June 13, 1865 October 16, 1865 Provisional [N 13][N 14]
26   Benjamin G. Humphreys October 16, 1865 June 15, 1868 Democratic [N 15]
25
27   Adelbert Ames June 15, 1868 March 10, 1870 Military [N 13][N 16]
28   James L. Alcorn March 10, 1870 November 30, 1871 Republican   Ridgley C. Powers 26 [N 17]
29   Ridgley C. Powers November 30, 1871 January 4, 1874 Republican   Alexander K. Davis[N 18] [N 19]
30   Adelbert Ames January 4, 1874 March 29, 1876 Republican 27 [N 20]
31   John M. Stone March 29, 1876 January 29, 1882 Democratic [N 21]
  William H. Sims 28
32   Robert Lowry January 2, 1882 January 13, 1890 Democratic   G. D. Shands 29
30
33   John M. Stone January 13, 1890 January 20, 1896 Democratic   M. M. Evans 31 [N 22]
34   Anselm J. McLaurin January 20, 1896 January 16, 1900 Democratic   J. H. Jones 32
35   Andrew H. Longino January 16, 1900 January 19, 1904 Democratic   James T. Harrison 33
36   James K. Vardaman January 19, 1904 January 21, 1908 Democratic   John Prentiss Carter 34
37   Edmond Noel January 21, 1908 January 16, 1912 Democratic   Luther Manship 35
38   Earl L. Brewer January 16, 1912 January 18, 1916 Democratic   Theodore G. Bilbo 36
39   Theodore G. Bilbo January 18, 1916 January 18, 1920 Democratic   Lee M. Russell 37
40   Lee M. Russell January 18, 1920 January 18, 1924 Democratic   Homer H. Casteel 38
41   Henry L. Whitfield January 22, 1924 March 18, 1927 Democratic   Dennis Murphree 39 [N 2]
42   Dennis Murphree March 18, 1927 January 16, 1928 Democratic [N 19]
43   Theodore G. Bilbo January 16, 1928 January 19, 1932 Democratic   Clayton B. Adams 40
44   Martin Sennett Conner January 19, 1932 January 21, 1936 Democratic   Dennis Murphree 41
45   Hugh L. White January 26, 1936 January 16, 1940 Democratic   Jacob Buehler Snider 42
46   Paul B. Johnson, Sr. January 16, 1940 December 26, 1943 Democratic   Dennis Murphree 43 [N 2]
47   Dennis Murphree December 26, 1943 January 18, 1944 Democratic [N 19]
48   Thomas L. Bailey January 18, 1944 November 2, 1946 Democratic   Fielding L. Wright 44 [N 2]
49   Fielding L. Wright November 2, 1946 January 22, 1952 Democratic [N 23]
  Sam Lumpkin 45
50   Hugh L. White January 22, 1952 January 17, 1956 Democratic   Carroll Gartin 46
51   James P. Coleman January 17, 1956 January 19, 1960 Democratic 47
52   Ross R. Barnett January 19, 1960 January 21, 1964 Democratic   Paul B. Johnson, Jr. 48
53   Paul B. Johnson, Jr. January 21, 1964 January 16, 1968 Democratic   Carroll Gartin 49
54   John Bell Williams January 16, 1968 January 18, 1972 Democratic   Charles L. Sullivan 50
55   William Waller January 18, 1972 January 20, 1976 Democratic   William F. Winter 51
56   Cliff Finch January 20, 1976 January 22, 1980 Democratic   Evelyn Gandy 52
57   William Winter January 22, 1980 January 10, 1984 Democratic   Brad Dye 53
58   William Allain January 10, 1984 January 12, 1988 Democratic 54
59   Ray Mabus January 12, 1988 January 14, 1992 Democratic 55
60   Kirk Fordice January 14, 1992 January 11, 2000 Republican   Eddie Briggs 56
  Ronnie Musgrove 57
61   Ronnie Musgrove January 11, 2000 January 13, 2004 Democratic   Amy Tuck[N 24] 58
62   Haley Barbour January 13, 2004 January 10, 2012 Republican   59 [N 25]
  Phil Bryant 60
63   Phil Bryant January 10, 2012 Incumbent Republican   Tate Reeves 61

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of congressional, confederate, other governorships, and other federal offices held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Mississippi except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Name Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
William C. C. Claiborne 1801–1805 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Tennessee, U.S. Senator from Louisiana, Governor of Orleans Territory, Governor of Louisiana
Robert Williams 1805–1809 (territorial) U.S. Representative from North Carolina
David Holmes (politician) 1809–1820, 1826 S U.S. Representative from Virginia
George Poindexter 1820–1822 H S Territorial Delegate, President pro tempore of the Senate
Walter Leake 1822–1825 S
John A. Quitman 1835–1836, 1850–1851 H
Tilghman Tucker 1842–1844 H
Albert G. Brown 1844–1848 H S Confederate Senator
Henry S. Foote 1852–1854 S Confederate Representative
John J. McRae 1854–1857 H S Confederate Representative
William McWillie 1857–1859 H
Adelbert Ames 1868–1870, 1874–1876 S
James L. Alcorn 1870–1871 S*
Anselm J. McLaurin 1896–1900 S
James K. Vardaman 1904–1908 S
Theodore G. Bilbo 1916–1920, 1928–1932 S
Paul B. Johnson, Sr. 1940–1943 H
James P. Coleman 1956–1960 Fifth Circuit Court Judge
John Bell Williams 1968–1972 H
Ray Mabus 1988–1992 Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, United States Secretary of the Navy

Living former governors[edit]

As of August 2014, four former governors are alive, the oldest being William Winter (1980–1984, born 1923). The most recent governor to die was William Allain (1984-1988) on December 2, 2013. The most recently serving governor to die was Kirk Fordice, who left office on January 11 of 2000 and died on September 7, 2004 at the age of seventy.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
William Winter 1980–1984 (1923-02-21) February 21, 1923 (age 91)
Ray Mabus 1988–1992 (1948-10-11) October 11, 1948 (age 65)
Ronnie Musgrove 2000–2004 (1956-07-29) July 29, 1956 (age 58)
Haley Barbour 2004–2012 (1947-10-22) October 22, 1947 (age 66)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ David Holmes was inaugurated as the first state governor on October 7, 1817, but Mississippi did not officially become a state until December 10, 1817.
  2. ^ a b c d e Died in office.
  3. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled term until next election.[citation needed]
  4. ^ Resigned due to illness.
  5. ^ The 1832 constitution abolished the office of lieutenant governor; the office was reinstated in 1868.
  6. ^ a b As president of the state senate, filled term until next election.[citation needed]
  7. ^ Resigned following an arrest for violating neutrality laws by assisting with the liberation of Cuba. He was found not guilty, but the political fallout led to his resignation.
  8. ^ As president of the senate, filled term until his senate term expired.
  9. ^ a b As president of the senate, filled unexpired term.
  10. ^ Resigned due to political tension over secession.
  11. ^ A constitutional amendment passed during McRae's second term moved the gubernatorial inauguration date from January to the prior November, shortening his term by two months. The date was restored to January in the 1868 constitution.[11]
  12. ^ Charles Clark's term effective ended when he was arrested by Union forces.
  13. ^ a b Appointed by President Andrew Johnson following the end of the American Civil War.
  14. ^ Resigned.
  15. ^ Forced to resign and physically removed from office by federal forces[citation needed] after his government failed to comply with Reconstruction.
  16. ^ Left office as Reconstruction ended.
  17. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; Alcorn's senate term began March 4, 1871 but he delayed taking it, preferring to continue as governor.
  18. ^ Impeached and removed from office.
  19. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  20. ^ Impeached; made a deal with the legislature to resign, and all charges were dropped.
  21. ^ As president of the senate, filled unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right; since both the governor and lieutenant governor had been impeached, with the governor resigning and lieutenant governor being removed from office, Stone was next in line for governor.
  22. ^ The 1890 electoral term was extended to six years under the 1890 constitution in order to facilitate changes in the executive department.[10]
  23. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
  24. ^ Changed parties in 2002.
  25. ^ Governor Barbour's first term expires in 2008; he won re-election to a second term, which expired in 2012.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ a b c MS Const. art. V, § 116.
  2. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 123.
  3. ^ MS Const. art. IV, § 72.
  4. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 121.
  5. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 124.
  6. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 117.
  7. ^ MS Const. (1817) art. IV, § 1; MS Const. (1832) art. V, § 1; MS Const. (1868) art. V, § 1.
  8. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 128–129.
  9. ^ MS Const. art. V, § 131.
  10. ^ a b "John Marshall Stone." Mississippi History Now. Mississippi Historical Society. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
  11. ^ "John J. McRae." Mississippi History Now. Mississippi Historical Society. Retrieved September 5, 2009.