List of Governors of California

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Jerry Brown, 34th and the current 39th Governor of California

The Governor of California is the chief executive of the California state government, whose responsibilities include making annual State of the State addresses to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

There have been 38 governors[a]; many have been influential nationwide in areas far-flung from politics. Leland Stanford founded Stanford University in 1891. Earl Warren, later Chief Justice of the United States, won an election with the nominations of the three major parties – the only person ever to run essentially unopposed for governor of California. Ronald Reagan, who was president of the Screen Actors Guild and later President of the United States, and Arnold Schwarzenegger both came to prominence through acting. Gray Davis, the 37th governor of California, was the second governor in American history to be recalled by voters. The shortest tenure was that of Milton Latham, who served only five days before being elected by the legislature to fill a vacant United States Senate seat. The longest tenure is that of the current governor, Edmund Gerald "Jerry" Brown, Jr., who previously served as governor from 1975 to 1983 and has been serving again since 2011. He is the son of former governor Edmund Gerald "Pat" Brown, Sr. who served from 1959 to 1967.

Governors[edit]

For the governors prior to statehood, see the List of Governors of California before admission.

California was obtained by the United States in the Mexican Cession following the Mexican–American War. Unlike most other states, it was never organized as a territory, and was admitted as the 31st state on September 9, 1850.

The original California Constitution of 1849 called for elections every two years, with no set start date for the term. An amendment ratified in 1862 increased the term to four years,[1] and the 1879 constitution set the term to begin on the first Monday in January following an election. In 1990, Proposition 140 led to a constitutional amendment[2] implementing a term limit of two terms;[3] prior to this limit, only one governor, Earl Warren, served more than two terms. Jerry Brown was able to be elected to a third term in 2010 because his previous terms were before the term limit was enacted. The 1849 constitution also created the office of lieutenant governor, who, in cases of vacancy in the office of governor, becomes governor.[4] The governor and lieutenant governor are not elected on the same ticket.

Governors of the State of California
No. Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[b]
1 Peter Hardeman Burnett - circa 1860.jpg   Peter Hardeman Burnett December 20, 1849

January 9, 1851
Democratic 1849
[c][d]
  John McDougal
2 John McDougall.jpg John McDougal January 9, 1851

January 8, 1852
Democratic David C. Broderick
(acting)
3 John Bigler painting.jpg John Bigler January 8, 1852

January 9, 1856
Democratic 1851 Samuel Purdy
1853
4 JNeelyJohnson.jpg J. Neely Johnson January 9, 1856

January 8, 1858
American 1855 Robert M. Anderson
5 John B Weller by William F Cogswell, 1879.jpg John B. Weller January 8, 1858

January 9, 1860
Democratic 1857 Joseph Walkup
6 MiltonLatham.jpg Milton Latham January 9, 1860

January 14, 1860
Democratic 1859
[e]
John G. Downey
7 John G. Downey.jpg John G. Downey January 14, 1860

January 10, 1862
Democratic Isaac N. Quinn
(acting)
(resigned January 7, 1861)
Pablo de la Guerra
(acting)
8 Leland Stanford p1070023.jpg Leland Stanford January 10, 1862

December 10, 1863
Republican 1861 John F. Chellis
9 FrederickFerdinandLow.png Frederick Low December 10, 1863

December 5, 1867
Republican 1863
[f]
Tim N. Machin
10 HenryHaight.png Henry Huntly Haight December 5, 1867

December 8, 1871
Democratic 1867 William Holden
11 Newton Booth - Brady-Handy.jpg Newton Booth December 8, 1871

February 27, 1875
Republican 1871
[g]
Romualdo Pacheco
12 Romualdo Pacheco - Brady-Handy.jpg Romualdo Pacheco February 27, 1875

December 9, 1875
Republican William Irwin
(acting)
13 William Irwin painting.jpg William Irwin December 9, 1875

January 8, 1880
Democratic 1875 James A. Johnson
14 Senator George Clement Perkins.jpg George Clement Perkins January 8, 1880

January 10, 1883
Republican 1879 John Mansfield
15 General George Stoneman.jpg George Stoneman January 10, 1883

January 8, 1887
Democratic 1882 John Daggett
16 Washington Bartlett.jpg Washington Bartlett January 8, 1887

September 12, 1887
Democratic 1886
[h]
Robert Waterman[i]
17 Robert Waterman.jpg Robert Waterman September 12, 1887

January 8, 1891
Republican Stephen M. White[j]
(acting)
18 HenryMarkham.jpg Henry Markham January 8, 1891

January 11, 1895
Republican 1890 John B. Reddick
19 James H. Budd.jpg James Budd January 11, 1895

January 4, 1899
Democratic 1894 Spencer G. Millard[i]
(died October 24, 1895)
William T. Jeter
20 HenryGage.jpg Henry Gage January 4, 1899

January 7, 1903
Republican 1898 Jacob H. Neff
21 Pardee Portrait1.jpg George Pardee January 7, 1903

January 9, 1907
Republican 1902 Alden Anderson
22 James Gillett.jpg James Gillett January 9, 1907

January 3, 1911
Republican 1906 Warren R. Porter
23 Hiram Johnson.jpg Hiram Johnson January 3, 1911

March 15, 1917
Republican 1910 Albert Joseph Wallace
Progressive 1914
[k]
John M. Eshleman
(died February 28, 1916)
Vacant
William Stephens[i]
(took office July 22, 1916)
24 Portrait of William Stephens.jpg William Stephens March 15, 1917

January 8, 1923
Republican Vacant
1918 C. C. Young
25 Friend Richardson.jpg Friend Richardson January 8, 1923

January 4, 1927
Republican 1922
26 CC Young.jpg C. C. Young January 4, 1927

January 6, 1931
Republican 1926 Buron Fitts
(resigned November 30, 1928)
Vacant
H. L. Carnahan
(appointed December 4, 1928)
27 JamesRolphJrCalifGov.jpg James Rolph January 6, 1931

June 2, 1934
Republican 1930
[l]
Frank Merriam
28 FrankMerriam.jpg Frank Merriam June 2, 1934

January 2, 1939
Republican Vacant
1934 George J. Hatfield
29 Culbert L. Olson-1942.png Culbert Olson January 2, 1939

January 4, 1943
Democratic 1938 Ellis E. Patterson
30 Earl Warren Portrait, half figure, seated, facing front, as Governor.jpg Earl Warren January 4, 1943

October 5, 1953
Republican[m] 1942 Frederick F. Houser
1946 Goodwin Knight
1950
[n]
31 GoodwinKnight.jpg Goodwin Knight October 5, 1953

January 5, 1959
Republican Harold J. Powers
1954
32 Governor Edmund G. "Pat" Brown.jpg Pat Brown January 5, 1959

January 2, 1967
Democratic 1958 Glenn M. Anderson
1962
33 Ronald Reagan with cowboy hat 12-0071M original.tif Ronald Reagan January 2, 1967

January 6, 1975
Republican 1966 Robert Finch
(resigned January 8, 1969)
Edwin Reinecke
(resigned October 2, 1974)
1970
John L. Harmer
34 Jerry Brown 1978 cropped.jpg Jerry Brown January 6, 1975

January 3, 1983
Democratic 1974 Mervyn M. Dymally
1978 Michael Curb[i]
35 George Deukmejian Official Portrait crop 2.jpg George Deukmejian January 3, 1983

January 7, 1991
Republican 1982 Leo T. McCarthy[j]
1986
36 Pete Wilson meeting with Les Aspin, Feb 3, 1993 - cropped to Wilson.JPEG Pete Wilson January 7, 1991

January 4, 1999
Republican 1990
1994 Gray Davis[j]
37 Gray Davis Bio.gif Gray Davis January 4, 1999

November 17, 2003
Democratic 1998 Cruz Bustamante[j]
2002
[o]
38 A. Schwarzenegger.jpg Arnold Schwarzenegger November 17, 2003

January 3, 2011
Republican
2006 John Garamendi[j]
(resigned November 3, 2009)
Mona Pasquil[j]
(acting)
Abel Maldonado[i][p]
(appointed April 27, 2010)
39 Edmund G Brown Jr.jpg Jerry Brown January 3, 2011

Present
Democratic 2010
Gavin Newsom[p]
(took office January 10, 2011)
2014
[q]
40 Gavin Newsom official photo (cropped 2).jpg Gavin Newsom Governor-elect
takes office
January 7, 2019
Democratic 2018
[r]
Eleni Kounalakis

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jerry Brown is counted as the 34th and 39th governor, having served non-consecutive terms
  2. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  3. ^ A civilian government was formed in late 1849 prior to official statehood, and operated as the state government for ten months before official statehood was granted.[5]
  4. ^ Burnett resigned, citing personal reasons; he was reportedly unhappy with the legislature, and wanted more time to manage his business.[6] As lieutenant governor, McDougall succeeded him.
  5. ^ Latham resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Downey succeeded him.
  6. ^ Terms were lengthened from two to four years beginning with this term.
  7. ^ Booth resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Pacheco succeeded him.
  8. ^ Bartlett died in office; as lieutenant governor, Waterman succeeded him.
  9. ^ a b c d e Represented the Republican Party (United States).
  10. ^ a b c d e f Represented the Democratic Party (United States).
  11. ^ Johnson resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Stephens succeeded him.
  12. ^ Rolph died in office; as lieutenant governor, Merriam succeeded him.
  13. ^ Warren ran as a Republican for his first and third terms. For his second term, he won the nomination of the Republican, Democratic, and Progressive parties.
  14. ^ Warren resigned to become Chief Justice of the United States; as lieutenant governor, Knight succeeded him.
  15. ^ Davis was recalled and Schwarzenegger chosen to replace him in a special recall election.[7]
  16. ^ a b Newsom delayed his swearing in as lieutenant governor until January 10, 2011, to remain mayor of San Francisco; Maldonado stayed on as lieutenant governor until then.[8]
  17. ^ Governor Brown's fourth term expires on January 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Governor Newsom's first term begins on January 7, 2019, and expires on January 2, 2023.

References[edit]

General
  • "Governors of California". California State Library. Official Site of the State of California. Archived from the original on December 20, 2008. Retrieved July 18, 2007.
  • "California: Past Governors Bios". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  • "Chronology of California's Lieutenant Governors". Office of the Lieutenant Governor. Retrieved August 10, 2007.
  • JoinCalifornia.com - Dates of birth and death for Governors
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ Henning, W.F. (1899). Constitution of the State of California. C.W. Palm Company. Retrieved January 18, 2008.
  2. ^ "California Ballot Propositions 1990-1999". Los Angeles County Law Library. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved August 2, 2010.
  3. ^ CA Const. art. V, § 2
  4. ^ CA Const. art. V, § 10
  5. ^ "Peter Hardeman Burnett". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 6, 2015.
  6. ^ Durham, Walter T. (1997). Volunteer Forty-niners: Tennesseans and the California Gold Rush. Vanderbilt University Press. p. 193. ISBN 0-8265-1298-4. Retrieved August 4, 2010.
  7. ^ "Statewide Special Election". California Secretary of State. Archived from the original on October 12, 2008. Retrieved October 15, 2008.
  8. ^ Upton Oot, John (January 7, 2011). "Newsom's Dual Role Raises Legal Quandary". The Bay Citizen. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved September 6, 2015.

External links[edit]