Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi
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The Lieutenant Governor of Mississippi is the second-highest ranking executive officer in Mississippi, right below the Governor of Mississippi. The office of lieutenant governor was established when Mississippi became a state, abolished for a few decades in the first half of the 19th century, and restored later in the century.
The Lieutenant Governor is President of the (state) Senate and presides over that body, only voting to break a tie. Compared to the lieutenant governors in other states, Mississippi's has a great deal of power concerning the state Senate. The Lieutenant Governor has the sole ability to appoint members, vice-chairmen, and chairmen to the various Senate committees, regardless of each party's strength in the chamber. For example, former Lt. Gov. Amy Tuck, a Republican, appointed other Republicans to the chairmanships of some committees, even though the Democrats had a four-seat majority. Given that power, it is argued that the office is more powerful than the governorship.
In the event of the death, resignation, or removal of the Governor, the Lieutenant Governor assumes the higher office. Also, if the Governor is out of state, then the Lieutenant Governor can act in the Governor's place.
There is a two-term limit, with each term being four years long.
The majority of Mississippi Lieutenant Governors have been Democrats. Since the end of Reconstruction, there have been only four Republicans – Eddie Briggs, who served from 1992 to 1996, Amy Tuck, who served from 2000 to 2008. Tuck was originally elected as a Democrat before switching to the Republican Party in December 2002. She was re-elected as a Republican in 2003, Phil Bryant, who took office in January 2008, and Tate Reeves who was elected in November, 2011 and assumed office on January 10, 2012.