Talk:List of Governors of West Virginia

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So who is running this year?[edit]

Shouldn't there be a page about the governorship of this state in general? I.e. term, powers, etc.? Aldrich Hanssen (talk) 20:25, 14 July 2008 (UTC)

Yep. I'll get to it eventually. --Golbez (talk) 06:18, 15 July 2008 (UTC)

Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin[edit]

Should Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin be listed with their full names or the titles of their articles? For instance, "John D. Rockefeller, IV" vs. "Jay Rockefeller". I think it should be their article titles. Machu505 (talk) 00:43, 1 July 2009 (UTC)

Either Governor or Acting Governor, not both[edit]

"current governor, is acting governor Tomblin"? huh? Anyways, the West Virginia Constitution, Articel #7 , section #16 declares that the office of Governor is vacant. GoodDay (talk) 05:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Would you guys settle for Governor of West Virginia (disputed)? as there are conflicting sources. GoodDay (talk) 05:56, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

Farnsworth & Tomblin[edit]

Under the earlier West Virginia Constitution, the governship was filled upon death, resignation or removal from office. However, under the current West Virginia Constitution (article #7, section 16) the office of Governor remains vacant until the next gubernatorial inauguration (which follows the next gubernatorial election or special gubernatorial election). The State Constitution has the finaly say. GoodDay (talk) 05:41, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

I agree with what the constitution says. He is "acting" governor and not governor. However he will go down as 35th governor according to the State of West Virginia. The constitution does not mention numbering, but The Governor's website states 35th as do other news articles... the Washington post [1], Associated Press [2] [3]... As well as other WV Government sites [4]. The state of West Virginia has final say on if he is 35th, 40th or no number at all. Other states have confusing numbering and differing number from others, but in all other FL governor lists, we go by what the state says... You've had this argument before on Connecticut's talk page. I have been working on Governor lists and I've let Golbez have the final word as he is the "benevolent dictator" on governor's lists. If you want to bring Golbez in as a second opinion, I'd agree to it. Bgwhite (talk) 06:16, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I see you changed the article again. No more changes until we hash this out. Let me look at your changes and let me respond before you do... keep this discussion somewhat linear. Bgwhite (talk) 06:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I wont make any more changes or reverts, as West Virginia has gotten me mixed up. Howabout describing him as (Disputed) Governor. Your best argument for him being Governor & State Present simultaneously, would be the New Jersey example of Richard Codey (although Codey was retroactively recognized as Governor by NJ's 2005 Constitutional amendment). GoodDay (talk) 06:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm with Bgwhite. As long as official sources call him the acting governor and the 35th governor, we have to allow that both are true. Daniel D. T. Farnsworth, as I understand it, was in the same position and he was considered the second governor. State and national governments are not consistent about how they handle acting officers, so we can't overthink it. It does contradict the literal wording of the constitution, which says the office is still vacant, but constitutional interpretation is outside our jurisdiction. If modern-day sources explicitly call Tomblin the 35th governor and Manchin the 34th, that's the verifiable word. —Designate (talk) 06:31, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
We can't use 35th Governor & Acting Governor. Would 35th Governor (disputed) be alright? GoodDay (talk) 06:33, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
1) "acting" is lowercase. In all the articles I've read, acting is lower case.
2) I relent to all changes you made in the "Currently the governorship is vacant." paragraph except for "Tomblin will continue to serve as Acting Governor until January 2013 following the gubernatorial election in November 2012." It is a special election and not a regular election. Maybe say "following the special gubernatorial election in November 2012."??
Sorry, had a somewhat change of heart. Saying "Currently the governorship is vacant." is correct, but is confusing based upon our discussion. Could it something like, "Upon Governor Manchin's resignation, Senate President/Lieutenant Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, assumed the...." Bgwhite (talk) 07:01, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
3) I've been debating, but now I think it should be mentioned that the special election date is being contested.
4) Based upon my above comments, he still should be listed as 35th governor in the table. It is not disputed. Official sources say 35th governor. We have no sources otherwise. I agree it is confusing, but we go with official sources.
5) "acting" could be listed as "disputed" because West Virgina has stated he is "acting governor " and also just "governor". The governor's page doesn't mention acting as do other news websites. However, there are sources, including on other West Virginia websites, news sites and the constitution where acting is mentioned. I think acting is the right way to say it. (If I was Tamlin, I wouldn't want "acting" on the web page either).
6) Also no "acting" in the succession table under the Tomblin article. Joe Manchin was not the previous acting governor. It is confusing the reader and acting should be dropped.
Bgwhite (talk) 06:51, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I think I'm making this too black & white. Indeed, Tomblin is the 35th Governor of West Virginia & concurrently Senate President. I've no problems with disregarding the Acting stuff & will be reverting my change at West Virginia & the Current Govers template. Afterall, he did take the gubernatorial oath of office (I assume). Anyways, asked the people at Wikipedia:WikiProject West Virginia to help out in any future disputes. GoodDay (talk) 06:59, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Tomblin did not take the gubernatorial oath of office. He took a special oath that stated that he, as Senate President, would act as governor pursuant to the State Constitution. You can see video from the investiture ceremony (it wasn't called an inauguration) where he takes this oath at [5] starting at about 23:30. Bitmapped (talk) 15:25, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
You both will have to work it out. When sources are equally reliable & conflict, WP:CONSENSUS will have to decide which to use. GoodDay (talk) 15:49, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

The constitution states: In case of the death, [etc.] the president of the Senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled, or the disability removed; ... Whenever a vacancy shall occur in the office of governor before the first three years of the term shall have expired, a new election for governor shall take place to fill the vacancy.

  • The president of the Senate, Tomblin, assumed the role of acting governor upon Manchin's resignation. An oath of office is not required, the transition was automatic.
  • The office itself is vacant, yes, which is why he is acting governor. This is not unusual, nor is it even unique in West Virginia history.
  • He is the 35th governor as stated by the official website; this can be a tricky thing (god knows how many governors Virginia has officially had) but the state's website is nearly always "correct" on this front, and in almost all the cases I've researched, the contemporary press agrees with the state's numbering. West Virginia has thus far counted acting governors, so no reason to believe they'd stop now.
  • Tomblin is governor until such time as he is inaugurated, or is replaced by the person inaugurated, as governor following a special election, Manchin having resigned with more than one year left in his term.
  • We've never noted someone as "acting" in the table before unless it's a case where the state doesn't recognize acting governors as official holders of the office (Alabama being the prime example). West Virginia clearly does, despite them only acting, so I see no reason to complicate the table further than footnote explaining such.
  • The governorship is technically vacant, but its powers are held by an acting governor. I think 99% of cases, when there's an acting holder of a seat, whatever that seat is, you don't call the seat vacant. It's just not entirely filled. There's no reason to be pedantic and say it's vacant; stating that the current governor is serving in an acting capacity is entirely sufficient.
  • There is no dispute; constitutionally, he is an acting governor. That some websites omit that does not change the constitutional fact of the matter, and that is a more reputable source than a website updated in the last week.
  • "Acting" should only be mentioned in the former governors table if the person was not recognized as an official governor (c.f. Alabama). In other words, we should only include qualifiers in the lower tables if they were required in the main table. One is not required in this main table.
  • Long story short: Earl Ray Tomblin is the 35th Governor of West Virginia, serving in an acting capacity until such time that a governor is sworn in following a special election. --Golbez (talk) 17:11, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
I can agree with that. I just want to make sure the article is clear that he is indeed acting as governor because he is Senate President and there isn't currently an elected governor. Bitmapped (talk) 17:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
On a side note, is Tomblin's name in italics because he's an acting governor or because he's the incumbent? —Designate (talk) 20:20, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The italics were there because they hadn't been deleted yet. --Golbez (talk) 20:33, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
He's the 35th Governor of West Virigina, because he's acting as Governor? That's like saying he's 6ft tall, but actually he's 5ft 12inch. Anyways, whatever ya'll prefer. GoodDay (talk) 21:02, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
The state numbering includes acting. Take it up with Charleston, not us. --Golbez (talk) 21:05, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Charleston? they haven't been much help. GoodDay (talk) 21:18, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
Again, it's not like this is unusual. The states that have an acting governor sometimes consider them - when the seat is vacant - to be counted as an actual governor. (Now, when there's an acting governor because the actual governor is out of state or incapacitated, that is not counted, though it is sometimes listed in extraordinary cases, like with Alabama). Two examples are Connecticut and Wisconsin - they count acting governors. Alabama and New Jersey do not. And Arizona doesn't have this problem because it doesn't have acting governors, anyone succeeding to the office actually attains it. There's a difference between "acting governor because the office is vacant and there's no method of becoming governor", and "acting governor because the actual governor is out of state or in the hospital". These are two entirely different concepts. One demands the "acting" modifier before all mentions, because there still is a governor; the other can safely omit it. --Golbez (talk) 21:30, 24 November 2010 (UTC)
In Tomblin's case an Interim-Governor. GoodDay (talk) 21:33, 24 November 2010 (UTC)

We seemed to have an agreement eight months ago, Bitmapped; you yourself said, "I can agree with that. I just want to make sure the article is clear that he is indeed acting as governor" It is clear, multiple times, in stating that he's acting. Now suddenly that's insufficient? Please explain. Thank you --Golbez (talk) 15:50, 22 July 2011 (UTC)

The previous discussion was prior to the West Virginia Supreme Court's ruling on this matter found at [6]. The ruling makes clear there is no position of Acting Governor. The Senate President merely exercises the powers of governor for a temporary duration.[7] If Tomblin does not hold the office of Governor even in acting form, how can he be the 35th person to hold the office?
What is the benefit to listing Tomblin as 35th governor? It's quite clear he is not governor. The Supreme Court of West Virginia has said he is legally not acting governor. Wait until after the special election and Tomblin either attains the office of governor in his own right or a consensus is formed about how to treat Tomblin if his opponent wins. Trying to list a specific number now is confusing and controversial. Bitmapped (talk) 00:10, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
First of all, thank you for finally giving us sources. That said: There is no position of acting governor - but he is acting as governor. His position is precisely the same as it was, president of the senate. But he acts as chief executive when there is none. As such, he is the 35th chief executive of the state. The bigger question is, will his successor be 35th or 36th? One of your links says he's issued a proclamation for an election to pick the 35th, but I haven't been able to confirm that wording; can you? As for the current benefit of labeling him #35? Well, until you shared your sources, all sources I had available to me indicated universal use of the #35 number. Furthermore, West Virginia history indicates he would be #35, since #2 is numbered. So: If you have a source saying he said his successor would be 35, I'll run with that (unless said 35 self-identifies as 36 and no one complains, in which case, oh well, we're going with numbering Tomblin), but otherwise, I have no source saying he isn't numbered as 35, and many sources saying he is, and that numbering fits with West Virginia history. --Golbez (talk) 00:46, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
The language from the 1863 constitution, which was operative during Farnsworth's era, is different than in the current version. That constitution provided that upon a vacancy in office of governor, "the said office[...]shall devolve upon the President of the Senate." (See Page 11 at [8].) In other words, the Senate President became the actual governor. Today's constitution merely states that "the president of the Senate shall act as governor until the vacancy is filled" [9]. Since Farnsworth actually was governor in his own right, so the numbering case applied to him is not precedent for Tomblin's situation. Bitmapped (talk) 01:05, 27 July 2011 (UTC)
The state of West Virginia considers Tomblin the 35th governor with the West Virginia Archives having him at 35th. West Virginia's Encyclopedia has Tomblin as 35th governor. The state of West Virginia would be the ultimate authority if they consider him their 35th governor. We have gone by what the states number their own governors in past articles. WV says 35th, so end of story. Bgwhite (talk) 06:18, 27 July 2011 (UTC)

2012 gubernatorial election[edit]

Since the next gubernatorial election is November 2012 (and would've been even if Manchin hadn't resigned), what's the reasoning of a special gubernatorial election also in November 2012? GoodDay (talk) 04:34, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

The special election will fill whatever time remains between when the election occurs and the end of Manchin's term, about 2 months assuming the November 2012 date holds. West Virginia law doesn't provide for special elections to be held at times other than when a regularly-scheduled election would have occurred; November 2012 is the next regular general election. Bitmapped (talk) 04:46, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
The impression I'm getting is that a special election could be held November 2012. GoodDay (talk) 04:52, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
It could be that there will be two elections on that day; a special election to fill the remainder of Manchin's term (two months at that point), and a general election to elect the governor for the next term. Either way, there's two years of legal wrangling ahead. I have a feeling that the law not allowing an election before the next general could be declared unconstitutional, since it effectively nullifies the constitutional requirement for an election. --Golbez (talk) 05:05, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
I'm getting a handle on this now. If both are held con-currently & assuming with seperate ballots. WVA may get a Governor (36th) serve November 2012 to January 2013 (if it's not Tomblin), then a Governor (37th) serve January 2013 to January 2017. Imagine the comotion if Tomblin were to lose special election, but win the regular election? GoodDay (talk) 05:17, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Heh, weirder things have happened. I know one state had an acting governor for a day because the previous acting governor's senate term expired 1 day before his elected term as governor began. And New Jersey had an acting governor for roughly 90 minutes on January 8, 2002. --Golbez (talk) 05:57, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
What a mix up, indeed. GoodDay (talk) 06:06, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
The same thing just happened in Utah. Utah's previous governor resigned (Huntsman) and the Lt. Gov (Herbert) became the new Governor. Because Huntsman had served under two years of his four year term, a special gubernatorial election was held this month. Herbert won the election and will complete the remaining two years of the term with a regular general election held in 2012. West Virginia's situation is normal with what other states have gone thru, except WV hasn't gone thru it forever and the wording in the constitution.
The legal wrangling is coming down to a sentence in the constitution, "a new election for governor shall take place to fill the vacancy." The constitution doesn't say when the election will be held, but as Bitmapped said, West Virginia's law says special elections will be held at the next state-wide general election, which is 2012. However, because of the recent special Senate election, WV made a law to allow for a special election for parties to choose Senate candidates, so the law isn't set in stone on when special elections can happen. Some people are saying the special election should take place sooner rather than later. However, this special election, regardless when it is held, will only have one gubernatorial election. If it is held sooner, the winner will "fill the vacancy", thus rest of the term with a normal general election in 2012. If the "special" election is held in 2012, there is no vacancy in the term, thus the election will be for a normal four year term. [10] [11]
I have to laugh at the news articles and editorials I've been reading. Alot of people wanting an earlier special election are saying in effect, "how can WV be governed the next two years with a person not elected by the people". I hope President Obama doesn't get hit by a bus, because WV will then have a President that wasn't elected as President for the next two years. I hate to live in WV right now, nothing but ongoing political wrangling and election talk, yuck. Bgwhite (talk) 06:42, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Er, but Joe Biden was elected by the people. --Golbez (talk) 07:55, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Biden was elected by the people, but so was Tomblin. The people for an earlier special election are saying he wasn't elected "Governor" and they want a Governor elected by the people. I agree with you that from my untrained eye, the law will be unconstitutional, allowing for an earlier special election. Bgwhite (talk) 19:10, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
Biden was elected by exactly the same people that elected Obama; Tomblin was elected only by the people of his senate district, as opposed to Manchin who was elected statewide. :) --Golbez (talk) 19:33, 25 November 2010 (UTC)
West Virgina needs to follow New Jersey's lead & pass a 'lieutenant governor' amendment, with full gubernatorial succession clearly spelt out. GoodDay (talk) 22:23, 25 November 2010 (UTC)

Wowsers, still no decision from the W.V. Supreme Court. GoodDay (talk) 04:35, 29 December 2010 (UTC)

Now what?[edit]

If Tomblin is no longer President of the state Senate, shouldn't that mean he's no longer Acting Governor? GoodDay (talk) 01:57, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Stop changing things when the State of West Virginia considers him still Governor and the 35th Governor. We don't decide if he still is governor or not. We don't decide if he is 35th or not. West Virginia decides. We've had this discussion before. Bgwhite (talk) 17:40, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
But there's also conflicting sources, that decribe him as Acting Governor. GoodDay (talk) 19:08, 15 October 2011 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. I'm not entirely sure a featured list has ever been split before. An RM of List of Doctor Who serials oddly closed as split, but that never happened, partially because of this concern. But for now, there's consensus against a simple move. --BDD (talk) 21:34, 24 April 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

List of Governors of West VirginiaGovernor of West Virginia – To reflect scope. The list is just one part of this article. Relisted. BDD (talk) 16:12, 16 April 2013 (UTC) Emmette Hernandez Coleman (talk) 09:01, 29 March 2013 (UTC)

  • Support or restore as a list article. Tiggerjay (talk) 06:54, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose
  1. Article is a list of governors and not about the Governor of West Virginia or the office of governor. The current name perfectly reflects scope.
  2. Governor of Kentucky and List of Governors of Kentucky gives an example of the two types of articles.
  3. It goes against naming convention of the list of governor articles. For example List of Governors of Virginia and List of Governors of Ohio.
Bgwhite (talk) 07:15, 14 April 2013 (UTC)
  • Why not split the article into a one on the office and another containing the list? bd2412 T 03:13, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
    • Nothing to split. List of Governors of West Virginia is a Featured List. The lead contains info required for every FL of Governors... Governor duties, requirements for election, how someone becomes governor, how state was formed and summary of the lists. Also, why create another article that has less information than the current List of Governors? Bgwhite (talk) 07:38, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
      • Ideally, all governors would have two articles: One on the office itself (history of office, powers, notable events, residence, salary, laws, trends, etc.) and one on the list of people who have held it (this one here). Rather than move the list to the main article, a suitable main article should instead be created. So, I oppose. Also, Tiggerjay, what do you mean "restore as a list article"? This article is a list article, with all the necessary surrounding information. Seriously, is there any sentence in this article outside of the lead paragraph that isn't directly relevant with the list of governors? It gives the list and explains how and why it changes. --Golbez (talk) 14:13, 15 April 2013 (UTC)
        • My comment relates to the perspective that the LEAD is a bit too detailed for this list if there was to be a dedicated Governor's page. I would support leaving this as a list an moving some of the article as BD2412 suggested. Tiggerjay (talk) 02:07, 24 April 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.