Lieutenant Governor of Georgia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Lieutenant Governor
Seal of Georgia.svg
Georgia State Seal
GeoffDuncan2018 (cropped).jpg
Geoff Duncan

since January 14, 2019
StyleThe Honorable[1] (formal)
ResidenceNo official residence
AppointerElected by popular vote
Term length4-year term
Inaugural holderMelvin E. Thompson
WebsiteGovernment website

The lieutenant governor of Georgia is a constitutional officer of the State of Georgia, elected to a four-year term by popular vote. Unlike in some other U.S. states, the lieutenant governor is elected on a separate ticket from the Georgia Governor.

Constitutionally, the lieutenant governor's primary job is to serve as President of Georgia's Senate. In the case of incapacity of the governor, the lieutenant governor assumes the powers (but not the title) of the Governor. Should the governor die or otherwise leave office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term of office.

The office of Lieutenant Governor was created by a state constitutional revision in 1945. Prior to that time, Georgia did not have such an office. Elected in 1946 (for a term to begin in 1947) Georgia's first lieutenant governor, Melvin E. Thompson became involved in the Three Governors controversy.

The current lieutenant governor of Georgia is Republican Geoff Duncan.


Article V, Paragraph IV of the Georgia State Constitution details the qualifications for the office of Georgia's lieutenant governor. In order to be eligible for the office a person must have lived in the United States for 15 years and in Georgia for six years and be at least 30 years old.[2] The Lieutenant Governor of Georgia has no restrictions on the number of times an individual can hold the office.[3]

Role of the lieutenant governor[edit]


The lieutenant governor's formal duties are limited by the Georgia State Constitution to being President of the Senate and the successor of the Governor whenever the governor dies, resigns or is removed from office via impeachment. The lieutenant governor assumes the gubernatorial powers & duties as acting governor, whenever the governor is disabled[3] Other, informal duties, were initiated by Lieutenant Governor Marvin Griffin during his tenure and include naming chairmen to senate committees and "taking an active role in the leadership of the senate."[3] He also began the custom of asking the governor's approval of these appointments. These powers lasted until 2003, when Governor Sonny Perdue, a Republican, stripped the lieutenant governor at the time, Democrat Mark Taylor of those powers, giving them to the president pro tempore of the Senate.[3] In November 2010, the Republican majority voted to change the senate rules, stripping the Lieutenant Governor's ability to appoint the membership of senate committees.[4]

President of the Senate[edit]

As President of the Senate the lieutenant governor presides over debate in the Senate and casts a tie-breaking vote in that body if necessary. However, the lieutenant governor is barred from sponsoring legislation.[5] The Rules of the Georgia State Senate assign the president of the Senate to appoint two senators to the Committee on Assignments and to serve as the Chair of the committee, but the Chair may only vote in case of a tie. Additionally, the president is a member of and appoints three other members to the Committee on Administrative Affairs. Under the supervision of the State Senate, the President "shall as a matter of course and without debate, report the reference of bills to the proper committee." Senate pages are supervised by the president who "shall establish a program of familiarization with state government, its procedures and those duties and responsibilities which will be required of pages."[6]

List of lieutenant governors of Georgia[edit]


  Democratic (10)   Republican (2)

No. Lt. Governor Term in office Party Election Governor
1 Melvin Thompson.jpg Melvin E. Thompson January 14, 1947

March 18, 1947
Democratic 1946 Herman Talmadge
Vacant March 18, 1947

November 17, 1948
Melvin E. Thompson
2 Marvingriffin (cropped).gif Marvin Griffin November 17, 1948

January 11, 1955
Democratic 1948
Herman Talmadge
3 Ernest Vandiver (1962).jpg Ernest Vandiver January 11, 1955

January 13, 1959
Democratic 1954 Marvin Griffin
4 Garland T. Byrd (GA).png Garland T. Byrd January 13, 1959

January 15, 1963
Democratic 1958 Ernest Vandiver
5 Peter Z. Geer (GA).png Peter Zack Geer January 15, 1963

January 11, 1967
Democratic 1962 Carl Sanders
6 George T. Smith.jpg George T. Smith January 11, 1967

January 12, 1971
Democratic 1966 Lester Maddox
7 Lester Maddox.jpg Lester Maddox January 12, 1971

January 14, 1975
Democratic 1970 Jimmy Carter
8 Zell Miller 1975.jpg Zell Miller January 14, 1975

January 13, 1991
Democratic 1974 George Busbee
1982 Joe Frank Harris
9 Pierre Howard.png Pierre Howard January 13, 1991

January 11, 1999
Democratic 1990 Zell Miller
10 Marktaylorpic.jpg Mark Taylor January 11, 1999

January 8, 2007
Democratic 1998 Roy Barnes
2002 Sonny Perdue
11 Casey Cagle 2013.jpg Casey Cagle January 8, 2007

January 14, 2019
Republican 2006
2010 Nathan Deal
12 GeoffDuncan2018 (cropped).jpg Geoff Duncan January 14, 2019

Republican 2018 Brian Kemp

Living former lieutenant governors of Georgia[edit]

There are three former living lieutenant governors of Georgia, the oldest lieutenant governor of Georgia being Pierre Howard (served 1991–1999, born 1943). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Georgia was that of Zell Miller (served 1975–1991, born 1932), who died on March 22, 2018.

Lt. Governor Lt. gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Pierre Howard 1991–1999 (1943-02-03) February 3, 1943 (age 79)
Mark Taylor 1999–2007 (1957-05-07) May 7, 1957 (age 65)
Casey Cagle 2007–2019 (1966-01-12) January 12, 1966 (age 56)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hickey, Robert. "How to Address a Lieutenant Governor". The Protocol School of Washington.
  2. ^ Article V - Georgia Constitution, Accessed July 16, 2008
  3. ^ a b c d New Georgia Encyclopedia: Lieutenant Governor, Accessed July 16, 2008
  4. ^ "PolitiFact Georgia | Georgia Senate leaders claim "power sharing" with lieutenant governor". Tampa Bay Times. Retrieved 11 October 2013.
  5. ^ County Snapshots: State of Georgia, Accessed July 17, 2008
  6. ^ "Rules of the Georgia State Senate | 2013 - 2013 Term" (PDF). Secretary of the Senate's Office. Retrieved 11 October 2013.

External links[edit]