Lieutenant Governor of Texas

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Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate of Texas
Seal of Lt. Governor of Texas.svg
Dan Patrick Texas (alt crop).jpg
Dan Patrick
since January 20, 2015
StyleThe Honorable
Term lengthFour years, no term limits
Inaugural holderAlbert Clinton Horton
FormationTexas Constitution
WebsiteOffice of the Lieutenant Governor

The lieutenant governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.

Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, the lieutenant governor is president of the Texas Senate. Unlike with most other states' senates and the U.S. Senate, the lieutenant governor regularly exercises this function rather than delegating it to the president pro tempore or a majority leader. By the rules of the Senate, the lieutenant governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The lieutenant governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. The lieutenant governor also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.

The lieutenant governor is an ex officio member of several statutory bodies. These include the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, the Legislative Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy. The lieutenant governor is also a member of the Legislative Redistricting Board (together with the speaker of the House, attorney general, comptroller, and land commissioner), which is charged with adopting a redistricting plan for the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives after the decennial census if the Legislature fails to do so.

In the case of a vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office, the Senate elects one of its members to act as President of the Senate until the next statewide office election, in effect becoming the lieutenant governor. A senator elected as presiding officer in this way retains their district seat and the voting privileges entailed with his Senate election. The lieutenant governor is sworn-in on the third Tuesday every four years, the same as the governor.

Dan Patrick has been the lieutenant governor of Texas since January 20, 2015.

The term of office was two years from 1846 to 1972. Voters then increased it to four years, effective for the 1974 election. [1]

The lieutenant governor assumes the powers of the governor of Texas when the governor is out of the state or otherwise unable to discharge the office. The lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor, rather than on the same ticket; it is therefore possible for the governor and lieutenant governor to be from different political parties (which was the case during Governor George W. Bush's first term and also during Bill Clements's two non-consecutive terms). The lieutenant governor becomes the governor if the elected governor resigns, dies or is removed from office via impeachment and conviction. Former governor Rick Perry took office upon George W. Bush's resignation on December 21, 2000. Bush became US President on January 20, 2001. When Perry became lieutenant governor on 19 January 1999, he became the first Republican since Albert Jennings Fountain in 1873 to serve as lieutenant governor, and the first Republican to be elected as lieutenant governor since James W. Flanagan in 1869.

Compared to other lieutenant governors[edit]

Texas is one of the few states that vests significant power in the office of lieutenant governor, making it among the most influential. By contrast, the lieutenant governor position in other states has few (if any) legislative responsibilities, akin to the vice president of the United States. The consequence is that the governor of Texas is weaker than other states' governors.

Lieutenant Governors of Texas[2][edit]


  Democratic (38)   Republican (5)

Image Lt. Governor Years in office Governor(s) served under Party
Albert Clinton Horton.jpg Albert Clinton Horton[3] May 2, 1846 – December 21, 1847 James Pinckney Henderson Democratic
John Alexander Greer.JPG John Alexander Greer December 21, 1847 – December 22, 1851 George Tyler Wood
Peter Hansborough Bell
James w henderson.png James W. Henderson[4] December 22, 1851 – November 23, 1853 Peter Hansborough Bell Democratic
David Catchings Dickson.jpg David Catchings Dickson December 21, 1853 – December 21, 1855 Elisha M. Pease Democratic
Hardin runnels.png Hardin Richard Runnels December 21, 1855 – December 21, 1857 Elisha M. Pease Democratic
Francis lubbock.jpg Francis Lubbock December 21, 1857 – December 21, 1859 Hardin Richard Runnels Democratic
Edward clark.jpg Edward Clark December 21, 1859 – March 16, 1861 Sam Houston Democratic
John McClannahan Crockett.jpg John McClannahan Crockett November 7, 1861 – November 5, 1863 Francis Lubbock Democratic
FLETCHER STOCKDALE.PNG Fletcher Stockdale November 5, 1863 – June 17, 1865 Pendleton Murrah Democratic
Vacant June 17, 1865 – August 9, 1866 Fletcher Stockdale
Andrew Jackson Hamilton
George Washington Jones (Texas Congressman).jpg George Washington Jones[5] August 9, 1866 – July 30, 1867 James W. Throckmorton Democratic
Vacant July 30, 1867 – January 8, 1870 Elisha M. Pease   –
James W. Flanagan - Brady-Handy (cropped).jpg James W. Flanagan[6] January 8, 1870 – February 24, 1870 Edmund J. Davis Republican
Vacant[7] February 24, 1870 – January 15, 1874 Edmund J. Davis   –
Richard hubbard.jpg Richard B. Hubbard January 15, 1874 – December 1, 1876 Vacant Democratic
Vacant[8] December 1, 1876 – January 21, 1879 Richard B. Hubbard   –
GovJosephSayers.jpg Joseph Draper Sayers January 21, 1879 – January 18, 1881 Oran Milo Roberts Democratic
Leonidas Jefferson Storey January 18, 1881 – January 16, 1883 Oran Milo Roberts Democratic
Francis Marion Martin January 16, 1883 – January 20, 1885 John Ireland Democratic
Barnett Gibbs January 20, 1885 – January 19, 1887 John Ireland Democratic
Thomas Benton Wheeler January 19, 1887 – January 21, 1891 Lawrence Sullivan Ross Democratic
George Cassety Pendleton.jpg George C. Pendleton January 21, 1891 – January 17, 1893 Lawrence Sullivan Ross Democratic
Martin McNulty Crane.jpg Martin McNulty Crane January 17, 1893 – January 15, 1895 Jim Hogg Democratic
George Taylor Jester.jpg George Taylor Jester January 15, 1895 – January 17, 1899 Charles Allen Culberson Democratic
James Nathan Browning.jpg James Browning January 17, 1899 – January 20, 1903 Joseph D. Sayers Democratic
George D. Neal.jpg George D. Neal January 20, 1903 – January 15, 1907 S. W. T. Lanham Democratic
Asbury Bascom Davidson.jpg Asbury Bascom Davidson January 15, 1907 – January 21, 1913 Thomas Mitchell Campbell
Oscar Branch Colquitt
Mayes William.jpg William Harding Mayes January 21, 1913 – August 14, 1914 Oscar Branch Colquitt Democratic
Vacant August 14, 1914 – January 19, 1915 Oscar Branch Colquitt   –
William hobby.jpg William P. Hobby Sr. January 19, 1915 – August 25, 1917 James E. Ferguson Democratic
Vacant August 25, 1917 – January 21, 1919 William P. Hobby   –
Willard Arnold Johnson.jpg Willard Arnold Johnson January 21, 1919 – January 18, 1921 William P. Hobby Democratic
Lynch Davidson.jpg Lynch Davidson January 18, 1921 – January 16, 1923 Pat Morris Neff Democratic
Thomas Whitfield Davidson January 16, 1923 – January 20, 1925 Pat Morris Neff Democratic
Barry Miller.jpg Barry Miller January 20, 1925 – January 20, 1931 Miriam A. Ferguson
Dan Moody
Edgar E. Witt January 20, 1931 – January 15, 1935 Ross S. Sterling
Miriam A. Ferguson
Walter Frank Woodul January 15, 1935 – January 17, 1939 James V. Allred Democratic
Coke R. Stevenson.jpg Coke R. Stevenson January 17, 1939 – August 4, 1941 W. Lee O'Daniel Democratic
Vacant August 4, 1941 – January 19, 1943 Coke R. Stevenson   –
John Lee Smith January 19, 1943 – January 21, 1947 Coke R. Stevenson
Beauford H. Jester
Allan Shivers.jpg Allan Shivers January 21, 1947 – July 11, 1949 Beauford H. Jester Democratic
Vacant July 11, 1949 – January 16, 1951 Allan Shivers   –
Ben Ramsey January 16, 1951 – September 18, 1961 Allan Shivers
Price Daniel
Vacant September 18, 1961 – January 15, 1963 Price Daniel   –
Governor Preston Smith (cropped).jpg Preston Smith January 15, 1963 – January 21, 1969 John Connally Democratic
Ben Barnes (cropped).jpg Ben Barnes January 21, 1969 – January 16, 1973 Preston Smith Democratic
William P. Hobby Jr..jpeg William P. Hobby Jr. January 16, 1973 – January 15, 1991 Dolph Briscoe (Democratic)
Bill Clements (Republican)
Mark White (Democratic)
Bill Clements (Republican)
Bob Bullock January 15, 1991 – January 19, 1999 Ann Richards (Democratic)
George W. Bush (Republican)
RickPerry2006 (1).jpg Rick Perry[9] January 19, 1999 – December 21, 2000 George W. Bush Republican
Bill Ratliff[10] December 28, 2000 – January 21, 2003 Rick Perry Republican
David Dewhurst head shot.jpg David Dewhurst January 21, 2003 – January 20, 2015 Rick Perry Republican
Dan Patrick Texas (alt crop).jpg Dan Patrick January 20, 2015 – present Greg Abbott Republican


  1. ^ Lieutenant Governor from the Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ "Lieutenant Governors of Texas, 1846 - present".
  3. ^ Horton served as Governor pro tempore during James Pinckney Henderson's absence from May 19 to November 13, 1846.
  4. ^ Henderson vacated the office on November 23, 1853 to succeed Peter Hansborough Bell as Governor. Senate president pro tempore Taylor filled the vacancy for roughly a month before Dickson was sworn into office.
  5. ^ Jones was removed by General Philip Sheridan, commander of the Fifth Military District during Reconstruction and the office remained vacant until the 14th Legislature in 1874.
  6. ^ Flanagan was elected lieutenant governor in 1869 but was not inaugurated. He presided over the Provisional session, but left office after being selected as an at-large representative to the U.S. Congress. Due to this, Flanagan is often omitted from some lists of Lieutenant Governors.
  7. ^ Donald Campbell, Webster Flanagan, Albert Jennings Fountain, and Edward Bradford Pickett all served as ex officio Lieutenant Governors between Flanagan’s and Hubbard’s terms.
  8. ^ Senate president pro tempore Wells Thompson filled in for the vacancy.
  9. ^ Perry vacated the office when he succeeded George W. Bush as Governor of Texas on December 21, 2000.
  10. ^ Ratliff was chosen by the Texas Senate to finish the unexpired term due to the vacancy of Rick Perry's succession to the Governorship. Ratliff served until David Dewhurst was elected in 2002 and inaugurated on January 21, 2003.

External links[edit]