List of governors of Nebraska
|Governor of Nebraska|
Seal of Nebraska
|Residence||Nebraska Governor's Mansion|
|Term length||4 years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||David Butler|
|Formation||Constitution of Nebraska|
The Governor of Nebraska holds the "supreme executive power" of the U.S. state of Nebraska as provided by the fourth article of the Nebraska Constitution. The current office holder is Pete Ricketts, a Republican, who was sworn in on January 8, 2015. The current Lieutenant Governor is Mike Foley, who also assumed office on January 8, 2015.
Governors of Nebraska must be at least 30 years old and have been citizens and residents of the state for five years before being elected. Before 1966, the governor was elected to a two-year term. The state constitution was amended in a 1962 referendum so that beginning with the 1966 election, the governor would be elected to a four-year term; in 1966, this was further amended to place a term limit of two consecutive terms. The lieutenant governor is subject to the same limitations and runs on a combined ticket with the governor. Governors are limited to two consecutive terms but there is no limit on the total number of terms one may serve. Charles W. Bryan is the only Governor to serve non-consecutive terms.
If the governor becomes incapacitated or is out of the state, the Lieutenant Governor acts as Governor; if there is a vacancy or permanent incapacitation, the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor. However, if both offices become vacant, the next person in the line of succession is the Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature.
- See List of Governors of Missouri for the period from 1805 to 1821. Between 1821 and 1854, the land was unorganized territory.
|Party||Took office||Left office||Notes|
|July 23, 1853||October 16, 1854||Not recognized by the federal government|
|Democratic||October 16, 1854||October 18, 1854||Died|
|Thomas B. Cuming
|Democratic||October 18, 1854||February 23, 1855||Acting|
|2||Mark W. Izard
|Democratic||February 23, 1855||October 25, 1857||Resigned|
|Thomas B. Cuming
|Democratic||October 25, 1857||January 12, 1858||Acting|
|3||William A. Richardson
|Democratic||January 12, 1858||December 5, 1858||Resigned|
|J. Sterling Morton
|Democratic||December 5, 1858||May 2, 1859||Acting|
|4||Samuel W. Black
|Democratic||May 2, 1859||February 24, 1861||Resigned|
|J. Sterling Morton
|Democratic||February 24, 1861||March 6, 1861||Acting|
|Algernon S. Paddock
|Republican||March 6, 1861||May 15, 1861||Acting|
|Republican||May 15, 1861||March 1, 1867|
Popularly elected, beginning in 1866, to a two-year term. In 1962, the voters approved a constitutional amendment expanding terms beginning in 1966 to four years. In 1966, the voters limited the number of consecutive full terms that any one governor could serve to two (i.e. only one possible re-election while still in office after election to a full term.)[B]
|Party||Took office||Left office||Lt. Governor||Notes|
|Republican||February 21, 1867||June 2, 1871||None|||
|William H. James
|Republican||June 2, 1871||January 13, 1873||None||Secretary of State|
|2||Robert Wilkinson Furnas
|Republican||January 13, 1873||January 11, 1875||None|
|Republican||January 11, 1875||January 9, 1879||None
Othman A. Abbott
|Republican||January 9, 1879||January 4, 1883||Edmund C. Carns|
|5||James W. Dawes
|Republican||January 4, 1883||January 6, 1887||Alfred W. Agee
Hibbard H. Shedd
|6||John Milton Thayer
|Republican||January 6, 1887||February 8, 1892||Hibbard H. Shedd
George D. Meiklejohn
Thomas J. Majors
|7||James E. Boyd
|Democratic||February 8, 1892||January 13, 1893||Thomas J. Majors|||
|Republican||January 13, 1893||January 3, 1895||Thomas J. Majors|
|9||Silas A. Holcomb
|January 3, 1895||January 5, 1899||Robert E. Moore
James E. Harris
|10||William A. Poynter
|January 5, 1899||January 3, 1901||Edward A. Gilbert|
|11||Charles H. Dietrich
|Republican||January 3, 1901||May 1, 1901||Ezra P. Savage||Resigned|
|12||Ezra P. Savage
|Republican||May 1, 1901||January 8, 1903||None||Lt-Gov.|
|13||John H. Mickey
|Republican||January 8, 1903||January 3, 1907||Edmund G. McGilton|
|14||George L. Sheldon
|Republican||January 3, 1907||January 7, 1909||Melville R. Hopewell|
|15||Ashton C. Shallenberger
|Democratic||January 7, 1909||January 5, 1911||Melville R. Hopewell|
|16||Chester H. Aldrich
|Republican||January 5, 1911||January 9, 1913||Melville R. Hopewell|
|17||John H. Morehead
|Democratic||January 9, 1913||January 4, 1917||Samuel R. McKelvie (Republican)
James Pearson (Democratic)
|Democratic||January 4, 1917||January 9, 1919||Edgar Howard|
|19||Samuel R. McKelvie
|Republican||January 9, 1919||January 3, 1923||Pelham A. Barrows|
|20||Charles W. Bryan
|Democratic||January 3, 1923||January 8, 1925||Fred G. Johnson (Republican)|
|Republican||January 8, 1925||January 3, 1929||George A. Williams|
|22||Arthur J. Weaver
|Republican||January 3, 1929||January 8, 1931||George A. Williams|
|23||Charles W. Bryan
|Democratic||January 8, 1931||January 3, 1935||Theodore Metcalfe (Republican)
Walter H. Jurgensen (Democratic)
|24||Robert Leroy Cochran
|Democratic||January 3, 1935||January 9, 1941||Walter H. Jurgensen (Democratic)
Nate M. Parsons (Democratic)
William E. Johnson (Republican)
|Republican||January 9, 1941||January 9, 1947||William E. Johnson
Roy W. Johnson
|Republican||January 9, 1947||January 8, 1953||Robert B. Crosby
Charles J. Warner
|27||Robert B. Crosby
|Republican||January 8, 1953||January 6, 1955||Charles J. Warner|
|28||Victor E. Anderson
|Republican||January 6, 1955||January 8, 1959||Charles J. Warner
Dwight W. Burney
|29||Ralph G. Brooks
|Democratic||January 8, 1959||September 9, 1960||Dwight W. Burney||Died.|
|30||Dwight W. Burney
|Republican||September 9, 1960||January 5, 1961||Dwight W. Burney||Lt-Gov.|
|31||Frank B. Morrison
|Democratic||January 5, 1961||January 5, 1967||Dwight W. Burney (Republican)
Philip C. Sorensen (Democratic)
|Republican||January 5, 1967||January 7, 1971||John E. Everroad|
|33||J. James Exon
|Democratic||January 7, 1971||January 4, 1979||Frank Marsh (Republican)
Gerald T. Whelan (Democratic)
|Republican||January 4, 1979||January 6, 1983||Roland A. Luedtke|
|35||J. Robert Kerrey
|Democratic||January 6, 1983||January 9, 1987||Donald F. McGinley|
|36||Kay A. Orr
|Republican||January 9, 1987||January 9, 1991||William E. Nichol|||
|Democratic||January 9, 1991||January 7, 1999||Maxine B. Moul
Kim M. Robak
|Republican||January 7, 1999||January 20, 2005||David I. Maurstad
|Republican||January 20, 2005||January 8, 2015||Rick Sheehy
John E. Nelson
|Republican||January 8, 2015||Incumbent||Mike Foley|
- "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
- Elected, but not inaugurated, before Nebraska's statehood. Impeached and removed from office for misappropriation of state funds; the impeachment was expunged six years later.
- As state secretary of state, acted as governor for unexpired term.
- James Boyd won the 1890 election, and was sworn in on January 8, 1891. However, due to a question of his U.S. citizenship and eligibility for the office, he did not take office until February 8, 1892.
- Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
- As lieutenant governor, became governor for unexpired term.
- Died in office.
- First and (as of June 2016) only female governor of Nebraska
- Resigned to become United States Secretary of Agriculture.
- As lieutenant governor, succeeded to the office of governor for Johann's unexpired term, and was later elected in his own right.
- Ricketts' second term began January 10, 2019, and will expire January 2023
Other high offices held
This is a table of other governorships, congressional seats and other national public offices held by governors of Nebraska. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Nebraska except where noted.
- * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.
- p. = Political Party; D = Democrat; R = Republican;
- the footnotes [P 1], etc., indicate the presidential administration(s) under which an unelected Federal office was held (see Appointing presidents below the table).
Living former governors of Nebraska
As of January 2019[update], 5 former U.S. governors of Nebraska are still living. The oldest of these is Kay A. Orr (born 1939; served 1987–1991). The most recent Governor to die was Charles Thone (born 1924; served 1979–1983), on March 7, 2018.
|Name||Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Bob Kerrey||1983–1987||August 27, 1943|
|Kay A. Orr||1987–1991||January 2, 1939|
|Ben Nelson||1991–1999||May 17, 1941|
|Mike Johanns||1999–2005||June 18, 1950|
|Dave Heineman||2005–2015||May 12, 1948|
- List of Lieutenant Governors of Nebraska
- United States congressional delegations from Nebraska
- Political party strength in Nebraska
- 2012-13 Nebraska Blue Book (Nebraska State Government) Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine, page 418
- 2012-13 Nebraska Blue Book Archived 2013-05-15 at the Wayback Machine, pages 418–419
- Nebraska Governor Robert Leroy (Roy) Cochran at the National Governors Association web site, retrieved May 27, 2013.