List of Governors of Idaho
|Governor of Idaho|
|Residence||The Idaho House|
|Term length||Four years, no term limit|
|Inaugural holder||George Laird Shoup|
|Formation||October 1, 1890|
The Governor of Idaho is the head of the executive branch of Idaho's state government and commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the duty to see state laws are executed, power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Idaho Legislature.
Idaho Territory had 16 territorial governors appointed by the President of the United States from the territory's organization in 1863 until the formation of the state of Idaho in 1890. Four of these never took office, resigning before reaching the territory.
Thirty individuals have held the office of governor of Idaho since the state's admission to the Union in 1890, two of whom—C. A. Bottolfsen and Cecil D. Andrus—served non-consecutive terms. The state's first governor, George Laird Shoup, had the shortest term of three months, and Cecil D. Andrus served as governor the longest at 14 years. Four governors resigned, but none have died while in office. There have been 20 Republican and 12 Democratic governors. The current governor is Republican C. L. "Butch" Otter, who took office on January 1, 2007.
Governors of the Territory of Idaho
Idaho Territory was created from Dakota Territory, Nebraska Territory, and Washington Territory on March 4, 1863. Initially, the territory included all of modern-day Idaho and Montana, and most of Wyoming. On May 26, 1864, Montana Territory was split from Idaho Territory, and most of the Wyoming portion was reassigned to Dakota Territory. The portion east of the 111th meridian was split off as part of the new Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868, giving Idaho Territory its final borders.
|No.||Portrait||Governor||Term in office||Appointed by||Notes|
|1||William H. Wallace||July 1863
|2||Caleb Lyon||August 1, 1864
|3||David W. Ballard||June 14, 1866
|—||Samuel Bard||Appointed March 30, 1870||Ulysses S. Grant||[b]|
|—||Gilman Marston||Appointed June 7, 1870||[c]|
|—||Alexander H. Conner||Appointed January 12, 1871||[d]|
|4||Thomas M. Bowen||July 1871
August 15, 1871
|5||Thomas W. Bennett||December 1871
December 4, 1875
|6||David P. Thompson||April 1876
|7||Mason Brayman||July 1876
July 24, 1880
|—||John P. Hoyt||Appointed June 8, 1878
Appointed August 7, 1878
|Rutherford B. Hayes||[i]|
|8||John Baldwin Neil||August 3, 1880
March 2, 1883
|9||John N. Irwin||April 1883
December 20, 1883
|Chester A. Arthur||[j]|
|10||William M. Bunn||June 26, 1884
July 3, 1885
|11||Edward A. Stevenson||September 29, 1885
April 1, 1889
|12||George Laird Shoup||April 30, 1889
July 3, 1890
Governors of the State of Idaho
Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890. Since then, the state has had 32 governors, two of whom served non-consecutive terms. The terms for governor and lieutenant governor are four years, commencing on the first Monday in the January following the election. Prior to 1946, the offices were elected to terms of two years. If the office of governor is vacant or the governor is out of state or unable to discharge his duties, the lieutenant governor acts as governor until such time as the disability is removed. If both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor are vacant or both those officers are unable to fulfill their duties, the President pro tempore of the Idaho Senate is next in line, and then the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. After the change to four-year terms, self-succession (re-election) was not initially allowed; newly elected Governor Robert E. Smylie, formerly the state's attorney general, successfully lobbied the 1955 legislature to propose an amendment to the state constitution to allow gubernatorial re-election, which was approved by voters in the 1956 general election. There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve.
Living former governors
There are three living former governors of Idaho, the oldest being Phil Batt (served 1995–1999, born 1927). The most recent death of a former governor was that of Cecil D. Andrus (served 1971–1977 and 1987–1995, born 1931), at age 85 on August 24, 2017.
|Governor||Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Phil Batt||1995–1999||March 4, 1927|
|Dirk Kempthorne||1999–2006||October 29, 1951|
|Jim Risch||2006–2007||May 3, 1943|
- Resigned to take an elected seat as delegate from Idaho Territory.
- Appointed governor but resigned in April 1870 to become postmaster of Atlanta, Georgia, before arriving in Idaho.
- Appointed governor but resigned in December 1870 before arriving in Idaho.
- Appointed governor but declined the offer.
- Upon arriving in Idaho, Bowen did not like the looks of the landscape, so he decided to stay only a few weeks.
- Resigned to take an elected seat as delegate from Idaho Territory.
- Thompson left Idaho in May 1876 to attend the Republican National Convention in Cincinnati, Ohio. He resigned in Cincinnati after he learned federal officers couldn't hold government contracts.
- Brayman was suspended by President Hayes on June 8, 1878 and John P. Hoyt was appointed Governor of Idaho. After Hoyt refused the appointment, Brayman was allowed to serve out the remainder of his term.
- Appointed governor on June 8, 1878, but was rejected by the United States Senate for taking too long to respond to the offer. Appointed again on August 7, 1878, but declined the offer after researching the suspension of Governor Brayman.
- Irwin left Idaho Territory in May 1883, never to return. He returned his paychecks from July 1883 through December 1883 to the U.S. Treasury.
- Bunn left Idaho on April 17, 1885 for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he subsequently resigned on July 3, 1885.
- Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
- Shoup resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Willey acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Part of a fusion ticket that was also endorsed by the Populist Party.
- Represented the Republican Party.
- Gossett resigned to let Lieutenant Governor Williams succeed him and then appoint him to the United States Senate.
- Terms were lengthened to four years beginning with this term.
- Represented the Democratic Party.
- Andrus resigned to be United States Secretary of the Interior; as lieutenant governor, Evans acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Kempthorne resigned to become United States Secretary of the Interior; as Lieutenant Governor, Risch acted as Idaho Governor for the remainder of the term.
- Governor Otter's third term expires on January 5, 2019.
- "Governors of Idaho". National Governors Association. Archived from the original on September 11, 2016. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
- Brosnan, C. J. (1918). History of the State of Idaho. Charles Scribner's Sons. Retrieved September 15, 2010.
- "Executive Branch" (PDF). Idaho Bluebook. State of Idaho. pp. 70–72. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Hailey, John (1910). History of Idaho. Boise, Idaho: Syms-York Company. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Limbaugh, Ronald H. (1982). Rocky Mountain Carpetbaggers: Idaho's Territorial Governors, 1863–1890. Moscow, Idaho: University Press of Idaho. ISBN 0-89301-082-0. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- ID Const. art. IV, § 5
- ID Const. art. IV, § 4
- "Election 2010: Idaho's governors race pits well-known governor against a relative unknown". Idaho Statesman. Boise. August 31, 2010. Retrieved September 6, 2010.[dead link]
- Brosnan, Cornelius James (1918). History of the State of Idaho. Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 117–128. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 47
- Hailey p. 166
- "Wallace, William Henson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 65
- "Territorial Government in Idaho, 1863–1869" (PDF). Idaho State Historical Society. 1963. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 11, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 90
- Hailey p. 165
- Limbaugh p. 92
- Limbaugh p. 103
- Poore, Perley (1875). Congressional Directory. Washington D.C.: Congressional Printing Office. p. 71. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- "Bennett, Thomas Warren". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 106
- Limbaugh p. 114
- Limbaugh p. 130
- Limbaugh pp. 127–129
- "Territorial Governors who did not server" (PDF). Idaho State Historical Society. 1988. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 13, 2010. Retrieved September 24, 2010.
- "Executive Branch" (PDF). Idaho Bluebook. State of Idaho. pp. 70–71. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 17, 2010. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 139
- Limbaugh p. 147
- Limbaugh p. 148
- "Notes from Washington". The New York Times. December 28, 1883. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Donaldson, Thomas (1941). Idaho of Yesterday. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, Ltd. p. 271. OCLC 100976.
- "Resignation of Gov. Bunn". The New York Times. July 14, 1885. p. 4. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
- Limbaugh p. 172
- Limbaugh pp. 179–180
- Limbaugh p. 181
- "Idaho Constitutional Amendment History". Idaho Secretary of State. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- ID Const. art. IV, § 12
- ID Const. art. IV, § 14
- "Idaho voters adopt three amendments". Lewiston Morning Tribune. Associated Press. November 7, 1956. p. 1.
- Corlett, John (March 31, 1963). "It's mystery why law barring self-succession not repealed". Lewiston Morning Tribune. p. 5.
- "Idaho Makes Term Limits History". National Conference of State Legislatures. February 1, 2002. Retrieved June 30, 2010.
- "Idaho Shake-Up Draws Criticism". Spokane Daily Chronicle. November 30, 1945. Retrieved August 14, 2010.
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