List of Governors of Georgia

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Governor of Georgia
Seal of Georgia.svg
Seal of the State of Georgia
Nathan Deal, official 110th Congress photo.jpg
Incumbent
Nathan Deal

since January 10, 2011
Residence Georgia Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder William Ewen
1775
Formation Georgia State Constitution
Salary $139,339 (2013)[1]

The Governor of Georgia is the head of the executive branch of Georgia's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

The current governor is Nathan Deal. Governor Deal is only the second governor of Georgia from the Republican Party since the Reconstruction era.

Governors[edit]

For the period before independence, see the list of colonial governors of Georgia.

Georgia was one of the original Thirteen Colonies and ratified the Constitution of the United States on January 2, 1788.[2] Before it declared its independence, Georgia was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Like most early states, Georgia had claims to western areas, but did not cede its claims during the formation of the country like the other states. It sold this area, the Yazoo Lands, to the federal government on April 24, 1802,[3] when it was assigned to Mississippi Territory.

In Georgia's Rules and Regulations of 1776, considered by some to be the first constitution, the chief executive was a president chosen by the legislature every six months.[4] This was quickly superseded by the 1777 constitution, which called for a governor to be chosen by the legislature each year,[5] with a term limited to one year out of every three.[6] In the event of a vacancy, the president of the executive council acted as governor.[7] The governor's term was lengthened to two years in the 1789 constitution.[8] The 1798 constitution modified succession so that the president of the senate would act as governor should that office become vacant. An 1818 amendment to that constitution extended the line of succession to the speaker of the house,[9] and an 1824 amendment provided for popular election of the governor.[10]

While the 1861 secessionist constitution kept the office the same, the other constitutions surrounding the American Civil War brought lots of changes. The 1865 constitution, following Georgia's surrender, limited governors to two consecutive terms of two years each, allowing them to serve again after a gap of four years.[11] The Reconstruction constitution of 1868 increased the governor's term to four years.[12] The 1877 constitution, after local rule was re-established, returned the office to the provisions of the 1865 constitution.[13] An amendment in 1941 lengthened terms to 4 years, but governors could no longer succeed themselves, having to wait four years to serve again.[14] The constitution does not specify when terms start, only that the governor is installed at the next session of the General Assembly.[15]

The 1945 constitution provided for a lieutenant governor, to serve the same term as governor and to act as governor if that office became vacant. Should it become vacant within 30 days of the next general election, or if the governor's term would have ended within 90 days of the next election, the lieutenant governor acts out the term; otherwise, a successor is chosen in the next general election.[16] This was retained in the 1976 constitution. The current constitution of 1983 allows governors to succeed themselves once before having to wait four years to serve again,[17] and lieutenant governors now become governor in the event of a vacancy. Should the office of lieutenant governor be vacant, the speaker of the house acts as governor, and a special election to fill the office must happen in 90 days.[18]

The revolutionary government had several names and schisms, and it is unknown who should have been considered the chief executive at various times. This article ignores the Council of Safety in favor of Archibald Bulloch, considered by many to be the first governor of Georgia.

Parties

  No party   Military   Democratic-Republican   Democratic   Whig   Republican

#[a] Picture Governor Term in office[b] Party Term[c] Lt. Governor[d]
1 Archibald Bulloch 1.jpg   Archibald Bulloch July 12, 1775

February 22, 1777
None
[e][f]
Office did not exist
2 Button Gwinnett.jpg Button Gwinnett February 22, 1777

May 8, 1777
None
[f]
3 John Adam Treutlen.jpg John A. Treutlen May 8, 1777

January 10, 1778
None
4 Blank.gif John Houstoun January 10, 1778

December 26, 1778
None
Interregnum December 26, 1778

January 4, 1780

[g]
5 Blank.gif   Richard Howly January 4, 1780

February 5, 1780
None
[h]
6 Blank.gif George Wells February 5, 1780

February 15, 1780
None
[h]
7 Stephen Heard.jpg Stephen Heard February 15, 1780

August 1780
None
[h]
8 Blank.gif Myrick Davies August 1780

August 16, 1781
None
[h]
9 Blank.gif Nathan Brownson August 16, 1781

January 3, 1782
None 1781
10 Blank.gif John Martin January 3, 1782

January 8, 1783
None 1782
11 Lyman hall.jpg Lyman Hall January 8, 1783

January 9, 1784
None 1783
12 Blank.gif John Houstoun January 9, 1784

January 6, 1785
None 1784
13 SamuelElbert01.jpg Samuel Elbert January 6, 1785

January 9, 1786
None 1785
14 Blank.gif Edward Telfair January 9, 1786

January 9, 1787
None 1786
15 George Mathews from The Nation Makers by Howard Pyle.jpg George Mathews January 9, 1787

January 26, 1788
None 1787
16 Blank.gif George Handley January 26, 1788

January 7, 1789
None 1788
17 George Walton.jpg George Walton January 7, 1789

November 11, 1789
Democratic-Republican 1st 1789
[i]
18 Blank.gif Edward Telfair November 11, 1789

November 7, 1793
Democratic-Republican 2nd 1789
[i][j]
1791
19 George Mathews from The Nation Makers by Howard Pyle.jpg George Mathews November 7, 1793

January 15, 1796
Democratic-Republican 1793
20 Jared Irwin.jpg Jared Irwin January 15, 1796

January 12, 1798
Democratic-Republican 1795
21 JamesJackson.jpg James Jackson January 12, 1798

March 3, 1801
Democratic-Republican 1797
1799
[k]
22 Blank.gif David Emanuel March 3, 1801

November 7, 1801
Democratic-Republican
23 Blank.gif Josiah Tattnall, Sr. November 7, 1801

November 4, 1802
Democratic-Republican 1801
[l]
24 Milledge.jpg John Milledge November 4, 1802

September 23, 1806
Democratic-Republican
1803
1805
[m]
25 Jared Irwin.jpg Jared Irwin September 23, 1806

November 10, 1809
Democratic-Republican
1807
26 Davidbrydiemitchell.jpg David B. Mitchell November 10, 1809

November 5, 1813
Democratic-Republican 1809
1811
27 GovernorPeterEarly.jpg Peter Early November 5, 1813

November 20, 1815
Democratic-Republican 1813
28 Davidbrydiemitchell.jpg David B. Mitchell November 20, 1815

March 4, 1817
Democratic-Republican 1815
[n]
29 Blank.gif William Rabun March 4, 1817

October 24, 1819
Democratic-Republican
1817
[o]
30 Matthew Talbot.jpg Matthew Talbot October 24, 1819

November 5, 1819
Democratic-Republican
31 John Clark.jpg John Clark November 5, 1819

November 7, 1823
Democratic-Republican 1819
1821
32 George M. Troup.jpg George M. Troup November 7, 1823

November 7, 1827
Democratic-Republican 1823
1825
33 JohnForsythSoS11.jpg John Forsyth November 7, 1827

November 4, 1829
Democratic-Republican 1827
34 George Rockingham Gilmer.jpg George R. Gilmer November 4, 1829

November 9, 1831
Democratic-Republican 1829
35 Wilson Lumpkin.jpg Wilson Lumpkin November 9, 1831

November 4, 1835
Union (Democratic) 1831
1833
36 William Schley.jpg William Schley November 4, 1835

November 8, 1837
Union (Democratic) 1835
37 George Rockingham Gilmer.jpg George R. Gilmer November 8, 1837

November 6, 1839
State Rights (Whig) 1837
38 CharlesJamesMcDonald.jpg Charles J. McDonald November 6, 1839

November 8, 1843
Union (Democratic) 1839
1841
39 GeorgeWCrawford.jpg George W. Crawford November 8, 1843

November 3, 1847
Whig 1843
1845
40 GeorgeWashTowns.jpg George W. Towns November 3, 1847

November 5, 1851
Democratic 1847
1849
41 Howell Cobb-crop.jpg Howell Cobb November 5, 1851

November 9, 1853
Constitutional Union 1851
42 Herschel V. Johnson cph.3a02862.jpg Herschel V. Johnson November 9, 1853

November 6, 1857
Democratic 1853
1855
43 Joseph Emerson Brown.jpg Joseph E. Brown November 6, 1857

June 17, 1865
Democratic 1857
1859
1861
1863
[p]
44 JJohnson Governor.jpg James Johnson June 17, 1865

December 14, 1865[q]
Democratic
45 CharJenkins.jpg Charles J. Jenkins December 14, 1865

January 13, 1868
Democratic 1865
[r]
Thomas H. Ruger.jpg Thomas H. Ruger January 13, 1868

July 4, 1868
Military
[s]
46 Rufus Bullock - Brady-Handy.jpg Rufus B. Bullock July 4, 1868[t]

October 30, 1871[u]
Republican 1868
[v]
47 Benjamin Conley.jpg Benjamin F. Conley October 30, 1871

January 12, 1872
Republican
48 JamesMiltonSmith.jpg James M. Smith January 12, 1872

January 12, 1877
Democratic
1872
49 Alfred Holt Colquitt.jpg Alfred H. Colquitt January 12, 1877

November 4, 1882
Democratic 1876
1880
[w]
50 Alexander Stephens.jpg Alexander H. Stephens November 4, 1882

March 4, 1883
Democratic 1882
[x]
51 James S. Boynton.jpg James S. Boynton March 4, 1883

May 10, 1883
Democratic
52 HenryDickersonMcDaniel.jpg Henry D. McDaniel May 10, 1883

November 9, 1886
Democratic
1884
53 Jbgordon.jpg John B. Gordon November 9, 1886

November 8, 1890
Democratic 1886
1888
54 William J. Northen.jpg William J. Northen November 8, 1890

October 27, 1894
Democratic 1890
1892
55 William Yates Atkinson.jpg William Y. Atkinson October 27, 1894

October 29, 1898
Democratic 1894
1896
56 Allen D. Candler.jpg Allen D. Candler October 29, 1898

October 25, 1902
Democratic 1898
1900
57 JosephMTerrell.jpg Joseph M. Terrell October 25, 1902

June 29, 1907
Democratic 1902
1904
[y]
58 M. Hoke Smith, 1912.jpg Hoke Smith June 29, 1907

June 26, 1909
Democratic 1906
59 JosephMacBrown.jpg Joseph M. Brown June 26, 1909

July 1, 1911
Democratic 1908
60 M. Hoke Smith, 1912.jpg Hoke Smith July 1, 1911

November 15, 1911[z]
Democratic 1910
[aa]
61 John Marshall Slaton.jpg John M. Slaton November 16, 1911

January 25, 1912
Democratic
62 JosephMacBrown.jpg Joseph M. Brown January 25, 1912

June 28, 1913
Democratic
63 John Marshall Slaton.jpg John M. Slaton June 28, 1913

June 26, 1915
Democratic 1912
64 Nathaniel Harris 1882.png Nathaniel E. Harris June 26, 1915

June 30, 1917
Democratic 1914
65 Hugh Dorsey.jpg Hugh Dorsey June 30, 1917

June 25, 1921
Democratic 1916
1918
66 Senator Thomas Hardwick.jpg Thomas W. Hardwick June 25, 1921

June 30, 1923
Democratic 1920
67 GovernorCliffWalker.jpg Clifford Walker June 30, 1923

June 25, 1927
Democratic 1922
1924
68 Hardman222.jpg Lamartine G. Hardman June 25, 1927

June 27, 1931
Democratic 1926
1928
69 Richard RussellJr.jpg Richard Russell Jr. June 27, 1931

January 10, 1933
Democratic 1930
[ab]
70 Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge January 10, 1933

January 12, 1937
Democratic 1932
1934
71 E. D. Rivers Georgia Governor.jpg Eurith D. Rivers January 12, 1937

January 14, 1941
Democratic 1936
1938
72 Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge January 14, 1941

January 12, 1943
Democratic 1940
73 Ellis Arnall.jpg Ellis Arnall January 12, 1943

January 14, 1947
Democratic 1942
[ac]
Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge Democratic 1946
[ad]
  Melvin E. Thompson
74 HermanTalmadge.jpg Herman Talmadge January 14, 1947

March 18, 1947
Democratic
75 Blank.gif Melvin E. Thompson March 18, 1947

November 17, 1948
Democratic Vacant
76 HermanTalmadge.jpg Herman Talmadge November 17, 1948

January 11, 1955
Democratic Marvin Griffin
1950
77 Marvingriffin.gif Marvin Griffin January 11, 1955

January 13, 1959
Democratic 1954 Ernest Vandiver
78 Ernest Vandiver (1962).jpg Ernest Vandiver January 13, 1959

January 15, 1963
Democratic 1958 Garland T. Byrd
79 Blank.gif Carl Sanders January 15, 1963

January 11, 1967
Democratic 1962 Peter Zack Geer
80 Lester Maddox (Georgia Governor).jpg Lester Maddox January 11, 1967

January 12, 1971
Democratic 1966 George Thornewell Smith
81 JimmyCarterPortrait2.jpg Jimmy Carter January 12, 1971

January 14, 1975
Democratic 1970 Lester Maddox
82 GeorgeBusbee.png George Busbee January 14, 1975

January 11, 1983
Democratic 1974 Zell Miller
1978
83 Joe Frank Harris speaks at commissioning ceremony for USS Georgia, Feb 11, 1984.JPEG Joe Frank Harris January 11, 1983

January 14, 1991
Democratic 1982
1986
84 Zell B Miller.jpg Zell Miller January 14, 1991

January 11, 1999
Democratic 1990 Pierre Howard
1994
85 Governor Roy Barnes.jpg Roy Barnes January 11, 1999

January 13, 2003
Democratic 1998 Mark Taylor[ae]
86 Sonny Perdue at rally.jpg George E. "Sonny" Perdue January 13, 2003

January 10, 2011
Republican 2002
2006 Casey Cagle
87 Nathan Deal, official 110th Congress photo.jpg Nathan Deal January 10, 2011

Incumbent
Republican 2010
2014
[af]

Other high offices held[edit]

This table lists congressional seats, other federal offices, and Confederate offices. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Georgia. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. House U.S. Senate Other offices held
George Walton 1775–1776
1779–1780
1789–1790
S Continental Delegate
Archibald Bulloch 1776–1777 Continental Delegate
Button Gwinnett 1777 Continental Delegate
John Houstoun 1778–1779
1784–1785
Continental Delegate
Richard Howly 1780 Continental Delegate
Nathan Brownson 1781–1782 Continental Delegate
Lyman Hall 1783–1784 Continental Delegate
Samuel Elbert 1785–1786 Elected to the Continental Congress but declined to serve
Edward Telfair 1786–1786
1790–1793
Continental Delegate
George Mathews 1787–1788
1793–1796
H
James Jackson 1798–1801 H S*
Josiah Tattnall 1801–1802 S
John Milledge 1802–1806 H S*
Peter Early 1813–1815 H
George Troup 1823–1827 H S
John Forsyth 1827–1829 H† S Minister to Spain, U.S. Secretary of State[27]
George R. Gilmer 1829–1831
1837–1839
H
Wilson Lumpkin 1831–1835 H S
William Schley 1835–1837 H
George W. Crawford 1843–1847 H U.S. Secretary of War
George W. Towns 1847–1851 H
Howell Cobb 1851–1853 H Speaker of the House, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, President of the Provisional Confederate Congress
Herschel V. Johnson 1853–1857 S Confederate Senator
Joseph E. Brown 1857–1865 S
James Johnson 1865 H
James Milton Smith 1872–1877 Confederate Representative
Alfred H. Colquitt 1877–1882 H S
Alexander H. Stephens 1882–1883 H Confederate Representative, Vice President of the Confederate States of America; elected to the U.S. Senate but was refused his seat
John Brown Gordon 1886–1890 S
Allen D. Candler 1898–1902 H
Joseph M. Terrell 1902–1907 S
Hoke Smith 1907–1909
1911
S* U.S. Secretary of the Interior[28]
Thomas W. Hardwick 1921–1923 H S
Richard Russell, Jr. 1931–1933 S President pro tempore of the Senate
Herman Talmadge 1947
1948–1955
S
Jimmy Carter 1971–1975 President of the United States
Zell Miller 1991–1999 S United States Senator
Nathan Deal 2011– H

Living former governors[edit]

There are five living former governors, the oldest being Jimmy Carter (served 1971–1975, born 1924). The governor to die most recently was Carl Sanders (served 1963–1967, born 1926), on November 16, 2014; the most recently serving governor to die was George Busbee (served 1975–1983, born 1929), on July 16, 2004.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Jimmy Carter 1971–1975 (1924-10-01) October 1, 1924 (age 92)
Joe Frank Harris 1983–1991 (1936-02-16) February 16, 1936 (age 80)
Zell Miller 1991–1999 (1931-02-24) February 24, 1931 (age 85)
Roy Barnes 1999–2003 (1948-03-11) March 11, 1948 (age 68)
George E. "Sonny" Perdue 2003–2011 (1946-12-20) December 20, 1946 (age 69)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Deal is officially the 82nd governor; however, it is unknown what numbering rules allow for that.[19]
  2. ^ Sourcing on term dates in the 18th century is very light and often contradictory; this article uses the dates from the National Governors Association for that period unless otherwise noted.
  3. ^ Each term for which a governor is elected is listed here; if multiple governors served in a single term, due to resignations, deaths, and the like, then that term will be shared among those governors. If a governor was elected multiple times, then there will be multiple terms listed for that governor.
  4. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in 1945, first being filled in 1947.
  5. ^ The revolutionary government did not necessarily follow any schedule or term lengths, and thus the election year is omitted until 1781, when it becomes easier to determine.
  6. ^ a b Bulloch died in office; Gwinnett was elected by the council to succeed him.
  7. ^ The fall of Savannah threw the government into disarray, leading to a schism which chose two separate chief executives; it was not fully resolved until early 1780.
  8. ^ a b c d Howly resigned to be a delegate to the Continental Congress. George Wells succeeded him, but was killed in a duel ten days later, at which time Stephen Heard took over. In August 1780, exact day unknown, Myrick Davies then became president of the council.
  9. ^ a b There is much confusion among sources as to who served as governor in 1789 and 1790. At least one contemporary source states that George Walton served from January 9, 1789, to November 9, 1790;[20] however, other sources state Telfair was elected governor in 1789, including one citing election returns from 1789.[21] Term lengths began to be two years long beginning with this term, so it further seems incorrect for a term to have ended in 1790. This article assumes Telfair's term began in 1789, as it is the most logical solution.
  10. ^ The 1789 constitution took effect beginning with this term, lengthening terms from one to two years.
  11. ^ Jackson resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as president of the senate, Emanuel filled the position for the remainder of the term.
  12. ^ Tattnall resigned due to declining health. Milledge was chosen in a special election to fill the term.[22]
  13. ^ Millege resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as president of the senate, Irwin filled the position for the remainder of the term.
  14. ^ Mitchell resigned to be agent to the Creek Indians; as president of the senate, Rabun assumed the position for the remainder of the term.
  15. ^ Rabun died in office; as president of the senate, Talbot assumed the position for the remainder of the term.
  16. ^ Brown resigned following the defeat of the Confederate States of America. Johnson was a provisional governor appointed by President Andrew Johnson following the American Civil War.
  17. ^ At least one source states Johnson left office "five days after" Jenkins took office, which would be December 19.[23] However, more contemporary sources say he left office on December 14.[20]
  18. ^ Jenkins was removed from office by the military because he refused to allow state funds to be used for a racially integrated state constitutional convention; the state was still under military occupation during Reconstruction.
  19. ^ Provisional governor appointed by General George Meade.
  20. ^ Some sources state Bullock took office on July 21, but more contemporary sources say July 4.[20]
  21. ^ Some sources state Bullock resigned on October 23, but that is when he secretly submitted his resignation; it did not take effect until October 30.[24]
  22. ^ Bullock resigned and fled the state to avoid impeachment; he was arrested in 1876 and found not guilty of embezzlement. As president of the senate, Conley acted as governor until a special election was held, in which Smith was elected to fill the remainder of the term.
  23. ^ The 1877 constitution came into effect during this term, shortening term lengths to two years.
  24. ^ Stephens died in office. As president of the senate, Boynton acted as governor until a special election was held, in which Gordon was elected to fill the remainder of the term.
  25. ^ The start of a gubernatorial term has always been set by the legislature, rather than the constitution; it appears the start of the this term changed from the last Saturday in October to the last Saturday in June, lengthening it by eight months.
  26. ^ Sources are split on whether Smith resigned on November 15 or November 16, with contemporary sources leaning towards November 15.[25]
  27. ^ Smith resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. As president of the senate, Slaton acted as governor until a special election was held, in which Brown was elected to fill the remainder of the term.
  28. ^ The start of the term changed from the last Saturday in June to the second Tuesday in January, shortening this term by five months.[26]
  29. ^ A constitutional amendment took effect starting with this term, lengthening terms from two to four years.
  30. ^ Eugene Talmadge was elected to a third term in 1946, but died before taking office. Ellis Arnall, governor at the time, claimed the office, as did Lieutenant Governor Melvin Thompson. The state legislature chose Eugene Talmadge's son, Herman Talmadge, to be governor, but during what came to be called the "Three Governors controversy", the state supreme court declared this unconstitutional and declared Thompson rightful governor, and Talmadge stepped down after 67 days. Talmadge later defeated Thompson in a special election.
  31. ^ Represented the Democratic Party.
  32. ^ Governor Deal's second term expires January 14, 2019; he will be term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Ratification of the Constitution by the State of Georgia - January 2, 1788". The Avalon Project at Yale Law School. Retrieved January 9, 2011. 
  3. ^ "Yazoo Land Fraud". Our Georgia History. Retrieved 2006-08-04. 
  4. ^ 1776 Const. art. I
  5. ^ 1777 Const. art. II
  6. ^ 1777 Const. art. XXIII
  7. ^ 1777 Const. art. XXIX
  8. ^ 1789 Const. art. 2, § 1
  9. ^ 1798 Const. Amendment 4
  10. ^ 1798 Const. Amendment 7
  11. ^ 1865 Const. art III, § 1
  12. ^ 1868 Const. art. IV, § 1
  13. ^ 1877 Const. art. 5, § 1 par. 2
  14. ^ [1]
  15. ^ GA Const. art V, § 1 par. 2
  16. ^ 1945 Const. art. V, § 1 par. 7
  17. ^ GA Const. art V, § 1 par 4
  18. ^ GA Const. art. V, § 1 par 5
  19. ^ "Nathan Deal". Archived from the original on December 25, 2010. He was elected on Nov. 2 as the 82nd Governor of Georgia and will be inaugurated on January 10, 2011 
  20. ^ a b c The Government of the People of the State of Georgia. 1896. pp. 184–186. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  21. ^ "Georgia 1789 Governor". Tufts University. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  22. ^ "Georgia 1802 Governor, Special". Tufts University. Retrieved August 28, 2016. 
  23. ^ "James Johnson". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  24. ^ "This Day in Georgia History - October 23, 1871: Rufus Bullock Resigned". Georgia Library Learning Online. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  25. ^ Official Congressional Directory. 1919. p. 17. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  26. ^ "Richard Brevard Russell". National Governors Association. Retrieved August 27, 2016. 
  27. ^ [2]
  28. ^ [3]