List of Governors of Illinois
|Governor of Illinois|
|Residence||Illinois Executive Mansion|
|Term length||Four years, no term limits|
|Inaugural holder||Shadrach Bond|
|Formation||October 6, 1818|
The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Illinois. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Illinois's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Illinois Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.
Since becoming a state in 1818, 42 people have served as governor of Illinois; before statehood, it had only one territorial governor, Ninian Edwards. The longest-serving governor was James R. Thompson, who was elected four times to a term lasting 14 years, from 1977 to 1991. Only one governor, Richard J. Oglesby, has served multiple separate terms, having been elected in 1864, 1872, and 1884. One governor, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed from office in 2009. The current governor is Bruce Rauner, elected for a four-year term in 2014.
Governor of the Territory of Illinois
Illinois Territory was formed on March 1, 1809, from Indiana Territory. It had only one governor appointed by the President of the United States before it became a state, Ninian Edwards. From March to June 1809, Territorial Secretary Nathaniel Pope served as acting governor until Edwards arrived in Illinois.
|Portrait||Governor||Term in office||Appointed by|
|Ninian Edwards||March 1, 1809
October 6, 1818
Governors of the State of Illinois
The first Illinois Constitution, ratified in 1818, provided that a governor be elected every four years for a term starting on the first Monday in the December following an election. The constitution of 1848 moved the start of the term to the second Monday in January starting in 1849, thus shortening the term won in the 1844 election to two years. Governors were not allowed to succeed themselves until the 1870 constitution, which removed this limit.
The office of lieutenant governor was created in the first constitution, to exercise the power of governor if that office becomes vacant. The 1848 constitution changed this to say the power "devolves" upon the lieutenant governor in case of a vacancy. The current constitution of 1970 made it so that, in the event of a vacancy, the lieutenant becomes governor, and the governor and lieutenant governor are now elected on the same ticket. If the governor feels seriously impeded in performing their job, they can inform the secretary of state and the next in the line of succession, who becomes acting governor until the governor can resume office.
- Based on the official site labeling Bruce Rauner as the 42nd governor, it is assumed the official numbering includes repeat governors only once; subsequent terms are marked with their original number italicized.
- Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
- When the lieutenant governor is serving as governor, the Illinois Blue Book considers the president pro tempore of the senate to be acting lieutenant governor. However, this only applies to acting lieutenant governors before 1883; after that, there are no acting lieutenant governors noted, and instead these are marked vacant. It is unknown why this changed; the constitution does not appear to have any relevant changes around that time.
- Reynolds resigned to take elected seat in the United States House of Representatives; as acting lieutenant governor, Ewing acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Represented the Democratic Party.
- The election schedule was shifted after this term, shortening it to two years.
- Bissell died in office; as lieutenant governor, Wood acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Oglesby resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Beveridge acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Cullom resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Hamilton acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Horner died in office; as lieutenant governor, Stelle acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- Kerner resigned to take seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit; as lieutenant governor, Shapiro acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
- The schedule for the 1970 constitution provided that the 1976 election would be for a two-year term, shifting the election schedule away from presidential election years.
- Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office on charges of corruption; as lieutenant governor, Quinn succeeded him.
- Governor Rauner's first term expires on January 14, 2019.
- "Governors' Salaries, 2015". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
- IL Const. art. V
- Robert P. Howard (1988), Mostly Good and Competent Men: Illinois Governors, 1818–1988, Illinois Issues and the Illinois State Historical Society, 39–40.
- 3 Stat. 428, 3 Stat. 536
- 1818 Const. art. III, § 2
- 1818 Const. art. III, § 3
- 1848 Const. art. IV, § 3
- 1818 Const. art. III, § 3
- 1818 Const. art. III, § 13
- 1818 Const. art. III, § 18
- 1848 Const. art. IV, § 19
- IL Const. art. V, § 6
- IL Const. art. V, § 4
- "About the Governor". State of Illinos. Retrieved April 25, 2018.
- Illinois Blue Book, p. 360
- "John Reynolds". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "William Henry Bissell". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Richard James Oglesby". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Nomination of Gov. Oglesby for United States Senator". The New York Times. January 10, 1873. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Shelby Moore Cullom". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Henry Horner". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Otto Kerner". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Otto Kerner Goes to Jail Today, His Once‐Shining Career at End". The New York Times. July 29, 1974. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- Lousin, Ann (2011). The Illinois State Constitution. Oxford University Press. p. 130.
- "Rod R. Blagojevich". National Governors Association. Retrieved June 1, 2018.
- "Blagojevich Ousted by Illinois State Senate". The New York Times. January 29, 2009. Retrieved June 1, 2018.