List of lieutenant governors of Michigan

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Lieutenant Governor of the State of Michigan
Garlin Gilchrist II in Ann Arbor (alternate crop).jpg
Garlin Gilchrist

since January 1, 2019
AppointerPopularly Elected With the Governor
Term length4 Years
Inaugural holderEdward Mundy
FormationJanuary 26, 1837
President of Senate of the State of Michigan
Garlin Gilchrist

since January 1, 2019
Appointerex officio
Term length4 Years
Inaugural holderEdward Mundy
FormationJanuary 26, 1837

The Lieutenant Governor of Michigan is the second-ranking official in U.S. state of Michigan, behind the governor. The holder of this office is afforded the courtesy title of the Honorable for life.

The current lieutenant governor is Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, who has held the office since January 1, 2019.


In Michigan, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket to serve a term of four years. The election takes place two years after each presidential election; thus, the next election will take place in November 2022.


Following the August primary election in each gubernatorial election year, the state's two largest political parties convene a state convention and nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, among other offices. Because the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket, the party's gubernatorial nominee usually makes the de facto decision as to whom the party will nominate for lieutenant governor, then convention delegates officially confirm the designation.

Historically, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected separately, leading to occasions where Republicans controlled one office and the Democrats another (as with George Romney and T. John Lesinski). This changed with the Michigan Constitution of 1963.

Election and inauguration[edit]

After the November general election, the governor and lieutenant governor take office on January 1. Thus, the winners of the 2018 election began their term on January 1, 2019.

Term limits[edit]

Like the governor, the lieutenant governor is allowed to serve up to two terms in office.


There are three main duties assigned to the lieutenant governor:

  • to serve as acting governor while the governor is out of state;
  • to become governor in the event that the governor is unable to serve due to death, illness or incapacitation; and
  • to preside over the Michigan Senate.

These days, the lieutenant governor also acts as an assistant to the governor. When the governor is unable to attend a function, for instance, the lieutenant governor may be sent in place of the governor. The lieutenant governor will also occasionally head blue-ribbon commissions into pressing public policy issues.

List of lieutenant governors[edit]


  Democratic (18)   Republican (43)   Whig (3)

# Lieutenant Governor Term in office Political Party Governor(s)
1   Edward Mundy 1835–1840 Democratic Stevens T. Mason (D)
2   James Wright Gordon 1840–1841 Whig William Woodbridge (W)
3   Thomas J. Drake 1841–1842 Whig James Wright Gordon (W)
4   Origen D. Richardson 1842–1846 Whig
5   William L. Greenly 1846–1847 Democratic
6   Charles P. Bush 1847–1848 Democratic
7   William M. Fenton 1848–1852 Democratic
8   Calvin Britain 1852–1853 Democratic
9   Andrew Parsons 1853 Democratic Robert McClelland (D)
10   George Griswold 1853–1855 Democratic Andres Parsons (D)
11   George Coe 1855–1859 Republican Kinsley S. Bingham (R)
12   Edmund B. Fairfield 1859–1861 Republican Moses Wisner (R)
13   James M. Birney 1861 Republican Austin Blair (R)
14   Joseph R. Williams 1861 Republican Austin Blair (R)
15   Henry T. Backus 1861–1863 Republican Austin Blair (R)
16   Charles S. May 1863–1865 Republican Austin Blair (R)
17   Ebenezer O. Grosvenor 1865–1867 Republican Henry H. Crapo (R)
18   Dwight May 1867–1869 Republican Henry H. Crapo (R)
19   Morgan Bates 1869–1873 Republican Henry P. Baldwin (R)
20   Henry H. Holt 1873–1877 Republican
21   Alonzo Sessions 1877–1881 Republican Charles Croswell (R)
22   Moreau S. Crosby 1881–1885 Republican David Jerome (R)
Josiah Begole (D)
23   Archibald Buttars 1885–1887 Republican Russell A. Alger (R)
24   James H. MacDonald 1887–1889 Republican Cyrus G. Luce (R)
25   William Ball 1889–1891 Republican Cyrus G. Luce (R)
26   John Strong 1891–1893 Democratic Edwin B. Winans (D)
27   J. Wight Giddings 1893–1895 Republican John T. Rich (R)
28   Alfred Milnes 1895 Republican John T. Rich (R)
29   Joseph R. McLaughlin 1895–1897 Republican John T. Rich (R)
30   Thomas B. Dunstan 1897–1899 Republican Hazen S. Pingree (R)
31   Orrin W. Robinson 1899–1903 Republican Hazen S. Pingree (R)
Aaron T. Bliss (R)
32   Alexander Maitland 1903–1907 Republican Aaron T. Bliss (R)
Fred M. Warner (R)
33   Patrick H. Kelley 1907–1911 Republican Fred M. Warner (R)
34   John Q. Ross 1911–1915 Republican Chase S. Osborn (R)
Woodbridge N. Ferris (D)
35   Luren D. Dickinson 1915–1921 Republican Woodbridge N. Ferris (D)
Albert E. Sleeper (R)
36   Thomas Read 1921–1925 Republican Alex Groesbeck (R)
37   George W. Welsh 1925–1927 Republican Alex Groesbeck (R)
38   Luren D. Dickinson 1927–1933 Republican Fred W. Green (R)
Wilber M. Brucker (R)
39   Allen E. Stebbins 1933–1935 Democratic William A. Comstock (D)
40   Thomas Read 1935–1937 Republican Frank Fitzgerald (R)
41   Leo J. Nowicki 1937–1939 Democratic Frank Murphy (D)
42   Luren D. Dickinson 1939 Republican Frank Fitzgerald (R)
Office vacant 1939–1940
43   Matilda Dodge Wilson 1940–1941 Republican Luren D. Dickinson (R)
44   Frank Murphy 1941–1943 Democratic Murray Van Wagoner (D)
45   Eugene C. Keyes 1943–1945 Republican Harry F. Kelly (R)
46   Vernon J. Brown 1945–1947 Republican Harry F. Kelly (R)
47   Eugene C. Keyes 1947–1949 Republican Kim Sigler (R)
48   John W. Connolly 1949–1951 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
49   William C. Vandenberg 1951–1953 Republican G. Mennen Williams (D)
50   Clarence A. Reid 1953–1955 Republican G. Mennen Williams (D)
51   Philip A. Hart 1955–1959 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
52   John B. Swainson 1959–1961 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
53   T. John Lesinski 1961–1965 Democratic John B. Swainson (D)
George W. Romney (R)
54   William G. Milliken 1965–1969 Republican George W. Romney (R)
55   Thomas F. Schweigert 1970–1971 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
56   James H. Brickley 1971–1975 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
57   James Damman 1975–1979 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
58   James H. Brickley 1979–1983 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
59   Martha W. Griffiths 1983–1991 Democratic James Blanchard (D)
60   Connie Binsfeld 1991–1999 Republican John Engler (R)
61   Dick Posthumus 1999–2003 Republican John Engler (R)
62   John D. Cherry 2003–2011 Democratic Jennifer Granholm (D)
63   Brian Calley 2011–2019 Republican Rick Snyder (R)
64   Garlin Gilchrist 2019–present Democratic Gretchen Whitmer (D)

Living former Lieutenant Governors[edit]

As of January 2019, there are four former lieutenant governors who are currently living, the oldest being William G. Milliken (served 1965–1969, born 1922). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Michigan was that of Connie Binsfeld (served 1991–1999, born 1924), on January 12, 2014.

Lt. Governor Lt. Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
William G. Milliken 1965–1969 (1922-03-26) March 26, 1922 (age 97)
Dick Posthumus 1999–2003 (1950-07-19) July 19, 1950 (age 69)
John D. Cherry 2003–2011 (1951-05-05) May 5, 1951 (age 68)
Brian Calley 2011–2019 (1977-03-25) March 25, 1977 (age 42)


Source: Michigan Manual 2003-2004, Chapter IV, Former Officials of Michigan

External links[edit]