List of Governors of Michigan

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Governor of Michigan
Seal of Michigan.svg
Seal of Michigan
RickSnyder.jpg
Incumbent
Rick Snyder

since January 1, 2011
Style The Honorable
Residence Michigan Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Stevens T. Mason
Deputy Brian Calley
Salary $159,300 (2011)[1]
Website http://www.michigan.gov/snyder

The governor of Michigan is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Michigan,[2] and serves as the commander-in-chief of the state's militia forces.[3] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws;[4] the power to either approve or veto appropriation bills passed by the Michigan Legislature;[5] the power to convene the legislature;[6] and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.[7] He or she is also empowered to reorganize the executive branch of the state government.[8]

Michigan was originally part of French and British holdings, and administered by their colonial governors. After becoming part of the United States, various areas in what is now Michigan were part of the Northwest Territory, Indiana Territory and Illinois Territory, and administered by territorial governors. In 1805, the Michigan Territory was created, and five men served as territorial governors, until Michigan was granted statehood in 1837. Forty-eight individuals have held the position of state governor. The first female governor, Jennifer Granholm, was elected in 2003.

After Michigan gained statehood, governors held the office for a two year term, until the 1963 Michigan Constitution changed the term to four years. The number of times an individual could hold the office was unlimited until a 1992 constitutional amendment imposed a lifetime term limit of two four-year governorships. The longest serving governor in Michigan's history was William Milliken, who was promoted from lieutenant governor after Governor George W. Romney resigned, then was elected to three further successive terms. As of June 2013, four former governors were alive, the oldest being William Milliken (born 1922). The others are James Blanchard (born 1942), John Engler (born 1948) and Jennifer Granholm (born 1959). The most recent governor to die was George W. Romney on July 26, 1995. Rick Snyder is the incumbent governor, having taken office on January 1, 2011. He won election in the 2010 gubernatorial election, defeating Lansing mayor Virg Bernero.

Governors[edit]

A painting of a man in a military-style coat and white wig
William Hull, the first territorial governor of Michigan

Michigan was part of colonial New France until the Treaty of 1763 transferred ownership to the Kingdom of Great Britain. During this time, it was governed by the Lieutenants General of New France until 1627, the Governors of New France from 1627–1663, and the Governors General of New France until the transfer to Great Britain. The 1783 Treaty of Paris ceded the territory that is now Michigan to the United States as part of the end of the Revolutionary War, but British troops were not removed from the area until 1896. During the British ownership, their governors administrated the area as part of the Canadian territorial holdings.[9]

Prior to becoming its own territory, parts of Michigan were administered by the governors of the Northwest Territory, the governors of the Indiana Territory and the governors of the Illinois Territory. On June 30, 1805, the Territory of Michigan was created, with General William Hull as the first territorial governor.[9][10]

Governors of the Territory of Michigan[edit]

Governor Took office Left office Appointed by Notes
Hull, WilliamWilliam Hull March 1, 1805 October 29, 1813 Jefferson, ThomasThomas Jefferson
Cass, LewisLewis Cass October 29, 1813 August 6, 1831 Madison, JamesJames Madison
Porter, George BryanGeorge Bryan Porter August 6, 1831 July 6, 1834 Jackson, AndrewAndrew Jackson [a]
Mason, Stevens T.Stevens T. Mason July 6, 1834 September 19, 1835 [b]
Horner, John S.John S. Horner September 19, 1835 July 3, 1836 Jackson, AndrewAndrew Jackson [c]

Governors of the State of Michigan[edit]

A black and white photograph of a young man
Stevens T. Mason, Michigan's first governor
A black and white photograph of an older man
Williams Woodbridge, Michigan's second governor and first Whig governor
A black and white photograph of a middle-aged man
Kinsley S. Bingham, Michigan's eleventh governor and first Republican governor
A middle-aged woman with blond hair, smiling
Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's forty-seventh governor and first female governor

Michigan was admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837. The original 1835 Constitution of Michigan provided for the election of a governor and a lieutenant governor every 2 years.[13] The fourth and current constitution of 1963 increased this term to four years.[14] There was no term limit on governors until a constitutional amendment effective in 1993 limited governors to two terms.[15]

Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor becomes governor, followed in order of succession by the Secretary of State and the Attorney General.[16] Prior to the current constitution, the duties of the office would devolve upon the lieutenant governor, without that person actually becoming governor.[17] The term begins at noon on January 1 of the year following the election.[18] Prior to the 1963 constitution, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected through separate votes, allowing them to be from different parties. In 1963, this was changed, so that votes are cast jointly for a governor and lieutenant governor of the same party.[14][19]

      Democratic       Whig       Republican

No. Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Notes
1   Mason, Stevens T.Stevens T. Mason[c] November 3, 1835 January 7, 1840 Democratic   Mundy, EdwardEdward Mundy
2   Woodbridge, WilliamWilliam Woodbridge January 7, 1840 February 23, 1841 Whig   Gordon, James WrightJames Wright Gordon [d]
3   Gordon, James WrightJames Wright Gordon February 23, 1841 January 3, 1842 Whig   Drake, Thomas J.Thomas J. Drake [e]
4   Barry, John S.John S. Barry January 3, 1842 January 5, 1846 Democratic   Richardson, Origen D.Origen D. Richardson
5   Felch, AlpheusAlpheus Felch January 5, 1846 March 3, 1847 Democratic   Greenly, William L.William L. Greenly [d]
6   Greenly, William L.William L. Greenly March 4, 1847 January 3, 1848 Democratic   Bush, Charles P.Charles P. Bush [e]
7   Ransom, EpaphroditusEpaphroditus Ransom January 3, 1848 January 7, 1850 Democratic   Fenton, William M.William M. Fenton
8   Barry, John S.John S. Barry January 7, 1850 January 1, 1852 Democratic   Fenton, William M.William M. Fenton
9   McClelland, RobertRobert McClelland[f] January 1, 1852 March 7, 1853 Democratic   Britain, CalvinCalvin Britain [g]
  Parsons, AndrewAndrew Parsons
10   Parsons, AndrewAndrew Parsons March 8, 1853 January 3, 1855 Democratic   Griswold, GeorgeGeorge Griswold [e]
11   Bingham, Kinsley S.Kinsley S. Bingham January 3, 1855 January 5, 1859 Republican   Coe, GeorgeGeorge Coe
12   Wisner, MosesMoses Wisner January 5, 1859 January 2, 1861 Republican   Fairfield, Edmund B.Edmund B. Fairfield
13   Blair, AustinAustin Blair January 2, 1861 January 3, 1865 Republican   Birney, James M.James M. Birney
  Williams, Joseph R.Joseph R. Williams
  Backus, Henry T.Henry T. Backus
  May, Charles S.Charles S. May
14   Crapo, Henry H.Henry H. Crapo January 3, 1865 January 6, 1869 Republican   Grosvenor, EbenezerEbenezer Grosvenor
  May, DwightDwight May
15   Baldwin, Henry P.Henry P. Baldwin January 6, 1869 January 1, 1873 Republican   Bates, MorganMorgan Bates
16   Bagley, John J.John J. Bagley January 1, 1873 January 3, 1877 Republican   Holt, Henry H.Henry H. Holt
17   Croswell, CharlesCharles Croswell January 3, 1877 January 1, 1881 Republican   Sessions, AlonzoAlonzo Sessions
18   Jerome, DavidDavid Jerome January 1, 1881 January 1, 1883 Republican   Crosby, Moreau S.Moreau S. Crosby
19   Begole, JosiahJosiah Begole January 1, 1883 January 1, 1885 Democratic   Crosby, Moreau S.Moreau S. Crosby (Republican)
20   Alger, RussellRussell Alger January 1, 1885 January 1, 1887 Republican   Buttars, ArchibaldArchibald Buttars
21   Luce, Cyrus G.Cyrus G. Luce January 1, 1887 January 1, 1891 Republican   MacDonald, James H.James H. MacDonald
  Ball, WilliamWilliam Ball
22   Winans, Edwin B.Edwin B. Winans January 1, 1891 January 1, 1893 Democratic   Strong, JohnJohn Strong
23   Rich, John T.John T. Rich January 1, 1893 January 1, 1897 Republican   Giddings, J. WightJ. Wight Giddings
  Milnes, AlfredAlfred Milnes
  McLaughlin, Joseph R.Joseph R. McLaughlin
24   Pingree, Hazen S.Hazen S. Pingree January 1, 1897 January 1, 1901 Republican   Dunstan, Thomas B.Thomas B. Dunstan
  Robinson, Orrin W.Orrin W. Robinson
25   Bliss, Aaron T.Aaron T. Bliss January 1, 1901 January 1, 1905 Republican   Robinson, Orrin W.Orrin W. Robinson
  Maitland, AlexanderAlexander Maitland
26   Warner, Fred M.Fred M. Warner January 1, 1905 January 2, 1911 Republican   Maitland, AlexanderAlexander Maitland
  Kelley, Patrick H.Patrick H. Kelley
27   Osborn, ChaseChase Osborn January 2, 1911 January 1, 1913 Republican   Ross, John Q.John Q. Ross
28   Ferris, Woodbridge NathanWoodbridge Nathan Ferris January 1, 1913 January 1, 1917 Democratic   Ross, John Q.John Q. Ross (Republican)
  Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson (Republican)
29   Sleeper, AlbertAlbert Sleeper January 1, 1917 January 1, 1921 Republican   Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson
30   Groesbeck, AlexAlex Groesbeck January 1, 1921 January 1, 1927 Republican   Read, ThomasThomas Read
  Welsh, George W.George W. Welsh
31   Green, FredFred Green January 1, 1927 January 1, 1931 Republican   Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson
32   Brucker, Wilber MarionWilber Marion Brucker January 1, 1931 January 1, 1933 Republican   Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson
33   Comstock, WilliamWilliam Comstock January 1, 1933 January 1, 1935 Democratic   Stebbins, Allen E.Allen E. Stebbins
34   Fitzgerald, FrankFrank Fitzgerald January 1, 1935 January 1, 1937 Republican   Read, ThomasThomas Read
35   Murphy, FrankFrank Murphy January 1, 1937 January 1, 1939 Democratic   Nowicki, Leo J.Leo J. Nowicki
36   Fitzgerald, FrankFrank Fitzgerald January 1, 1939 March 16, 1939 Republican   Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson [h]
37   Dickinson, LurenLuren Dickinson March 16, 1939 January 1, 1941 Republican   Wilson, Matilda DodgeMatilda Dodge Wilson [e]
38   Van Wagoner, MurrayMurray Van Wagoner January 1, 1941 January 1, 1943 Democratic   Murphy, FrankFrank Murphy
39   Kelly, HarryHarry Kelly January 1, 1943 January 1, 1947 Republican   Keyes, Eugene C.Eugene C. Keyes
  Brown, Vernon J.Vernon J. Brown
40   Sigler, KimKim Sigler January 1, 1947 January 1, 1949 Republican   Keyes, Eugene C.Eugene C. Keyes
41   Williams, G. MennenG. Mennen Williams January 1, 1949 January 1, 1961 Democratic   Connolly, John W.John W. Connolly
  Vandenberg, William C.William C. Vandenberg (Republican)
  Reid, Clarence A.Clarence A. Reid (Republican)
  Hart, Philip A.Philip A. Hart
  Swainson, John B.John B. Swainson
42   Swainson, JohnJohn Swainson January 1, 1961 January 1, 1963 Democratic   Lesinski, T. JohnT. John Lesinski
43   Romney, George W.George W. Romney January 1, 1963 January 22, 1969 Republican   Lesinski, T. JohnT. John Lesinski (Democratic) [i]
  Milliken, WilliamWilliam Milliken
44   Milliken, WilliamWilliam Milliken January 22, 1969 January 1, 1983 Republican   Schweigert, Thomas F.Thomas F. Schweigert [j]
  Brickley, James H.James H. Brickley
  Damman, JamesJames Damman
  Brickley, James H.James H. Brickley
45   Blanchard, JamesJames Blanchard January 1, 1983 January 1, 1991 Democratic   Griffiths, MarthaMartha Griffiths
46   Engler, JohnJohn Engler January 1, 1991 January 1, 2003 Republican   Binsfeld, ConnieConnie Binsfeld [k]
  Posthumus, DickDick Posthumus
47   Granholm, JenniferJennifer Granholm January 1, 2003 January 1, 2011 Democratic   Cherry, Jr., John D.John D. Cherry, Jr.
48   Snyder, RickRick Snyder January 1, 2011 Incumbent Republican   Calley, BrianBrian Calley

Other high offices held[edit]

Several governors also held other high positions within the state and federal governments. Eight governors served as U.S. House of Representatives members, while seven held positions in the U.S. Senate, all representing Michigan. Others have served as ambassadors, U.S. Cabinet members and state and federal Supreme Court justices.

* Denotes those offices for which the governor resigned the governorship.
Name Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
Cass, LewisLewis Cass 1813–31 (territorial) President pro tempore of the Senate, Ambassador to France, U.S. Secretary of War, U.S. Secretary of State, Democratic Party candidate for President of the U.S. (1848) [22]
Woodbridge, WilliamWilliam Woodbridge 1840–41 Territorial Delegate [23]
McClelland, RobertRobert McClelland 1852–53 U.S. Secretary of the Interior* [24]
Alger, Russell A.Russell A. Alger 1885–87 U.S. Secretary of War [25]
Brucker, Wilber MarionWilber Marion Brucker 1931–33 U.S. Secretary of the Army [26]
Murphy, FrankFrank Murphy 1937–39 High Commissioner to the Philippines, U.S. Attorney General, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, Governor-General of the Philippines [27]
Williams, G. MennenG. Mennen Williams 1949–61 Ambassador to the Philippines, Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court [28]
Romney, George W.George W. Romney 1963–69 U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development* [29]
Blanchard, JamesJames Blanchard 1983–91 Ambassador to Canada [30]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Died in office.[11]
  2. ^ As Territorial Secretary, Mason was authorized to become Acting Governor, though there was no formal succession and he was never officially named as governor.[11]
  3. ^ a b Horner was appointed Secretary and Acting Governor to replace Stevens T. Mason. In October 1835, Michigan authorized a state constitution and elected Mason as governor of the new state, although the U.S. Congress did not recognize the state until 1837. Horner was mostly ignored by the people of Michigan and resigned to be Secretary of Wisconsin Territory in July 1836.[12]
  4. ^ a b Resigned to take a seat in the United States Senate.[11]
  5. ^ a b c d As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for unexpired term.[11]
  6. ^ After a new state constitution was drafted in 1850, McClelland was elected to a single one-year term in 1851. He was then re-elected to a full two-year term in 1852.[20]
  7. ^ Resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior.[11]
  8. ^ Died in office.[11]
  9. ^ Resigned to become United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.[11]
  10. ^ As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.[11]
  11. ^ Binsfeld served during the first two terms; Posthumus served the third term.[21]

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ The Associated Press (January 6, 2012). "Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder returns all but $1 of 2011 salary". Michigan Live. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  2. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 1
  3. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 12
  4. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 8
  5. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 19
  6. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 15
  7. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 14
  8. ^ 1963 Michigan Constitution, Article 5, Section 2
  9. ^ a b "Chronology of Michigan History" (PDF). Michigan Manual 2003–2004. Michigan Legislative Council. pp. 1–5. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  10. ^ "Laws of Illinois Territory". Western Illinois University. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h Dunbar, Willis F. and May, George S. (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (Third Revised ed.). William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. pp. 276–78. ISBN 9780802870551. 
  12. ^ Dunbar, Willis F. and May, George S. (1995). Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State (Third Revised ed.). William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company. pp. 208–11. ISBN 9780802870551. 
  13. ^ 1835 Const. art. V, § 1
  14. ^ a b MI Const. art. V, § 21
  15. ^ MI Const. art. V, § 30
  16. ^ MI Const. art. V, § 26
  17. ^ 1835 Const. art. V, § 13
  18. ^ "Executive Branch". State of Michigan. Retrieved 2013-01-03. 
  19. ^ 1835 Const. art. V, § 3
  20. ^ Gardner, Washington (1913). History of Calhoun County, Michigan. Lewis Pub. Co. p. 220. 
  21. ^ "Former Lieutenant Governors". State of Michigan. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  22. ^ "Cass, Lewis (1782–1866)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  23. ^ "Woodbridge, William (1780–1861)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  24. ^ "McClelland, Robert (1807–1880)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  25. ^ "Alger, Russell Alexander (1836–1907)". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  26. ^ "Michigan Governor Wilbur Marion Brucker". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  27. ^ "Michigan Governor Frank Murphy". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  28. ^ "Michigan Governor Gerhard Mennen Williams". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2013-01-01. 
  29. ^ "Michigan Governor George Wilcken Romney". National Governors Association. Retrieved 2013-01-02. 
  30. ^ "Blanchard, James Johnston (1942 – )". Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved 2013-01-01.