List of Governors of Iowa

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Kim Reynolds, 43rd and current Governor of Iowa

Below is a list of Governors of the U.S. state of Iowa. There have been 41 individuals who served as Governor of Iowa, including the current Governor and first female to hold the position, Kim Reynolds, who was sworn in on May 24, 2017. She replaced Terry Branstad, the longest-serving Governor in both Iowa and U.S. history (more than 22 years), surpassing the previous record (21 years) set by George Clinton of the State of New York. The shortest-serving Governor was Robert D. Fulton, who served 16 days in 1969.

Governors of the Territory of Iowa[edit]

For the period before Iowa Territory was formed, see List of Governors of Wisconsin Territory.

Iowa Territory was formed on July 4, 1838, from Wisconsin Territory. It had three governors appointed by the President of the United States. The first governor did not arrive for six weeks after the territory had been created; in the interim, territorial secretary William B. Conway acted as Governor.[1]

# Governor Term in office Appointed by
1 Portrait of a man. Robert Lucas August 15, 1838

May 13, 1841[a]
Martin Van Buren
2 Portrait of a man. John Chambers May 13, 1841[a]

November 18, 1845[b]
William Henry Harrison
3 Portrait of a man. James Clarke November 18, 1845[b]

December 28, 1846[c]
James K. Polk

Governors of the State of Iowa[edit]

The southeast portion of Iowa Territory was admitted to the Union as the state of Iowa on December 28, 1846; the remainder became unorganized territory.

The first state Constitution of 1846 created the office of Governor, to have a four-year term,[4] with no specific start date for the term. The constitution of 1857 reduced this term to two years,[5] but an amendment in 1972 increased this back to four years.[6] The 1857 constitution set the start of the term to the second Monday in the January following the election,[7] which was changed to the day after that by a 1988 amendment.[8]

The office of Lieutenant Governor of Iowa was created in the 1857 Constitution, elected for the same term as the governor.[9] An amendment in 1988 specified that the Lieutenant Governor would be elected on the same ticket as the Governor.[10] If the office of governor becomes vacant, the office devolves upon the lieutenant governor for the remainder of the term or vacancy.[11] Prior to 1857, if the office of Governor became vacant, the Secretary of State would act as Governor.[12] There is no term limit on the number of terms a Governor may serve.

#[d] Governor Term in office Party Election Lieutenant Governor[e][f]
1 Ansel Briggs, First Governor of the State - History of Iowa.jpg   Ansel Briggs December 3, 1846

December 4, 1850
Democratic 1846
[g]
Office did not exist
2 StephenHempstead.jpg Stephen P. Hempstead December 4, 1850

December 9, 1854
Democratic 1850
3 Hon. James W. Grimes, Iowa - NARA - 528410.jpg James W. Grimes December 9, 1854

January 13, 1858
Whig 1854
[h]
4 Ralph P. Lowe, Governor of Iowa - History of Iowa.jpg Ralph P. Lowe January 13, 1858

January 11, 1860
Republican 1857
[i]
  Oran Faville
5 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood.jpg Samuel J. Kirkwood January 11, 1860

January 14, 1864
Republican 1859 Nicholas J. Rusch
1861 John R. Needham
6 Willstone.gif William M. Stone January 14, 1864

January 16, 1868
Republican 1863 Enoch W. Eastman
1865 Benjamin F. Gue
7 Samuelmerrill.jpg Samuel Merrill January 16, 1868

January 11, 1872
Republican 1867 John Scott
1869 Madison Miner Walden
(resigned 1871)[j]
Vacant
Henry C. Bulis
(appointed September 13, 1871)
8 Cyrus Clay Carpenter.jpg Cyrus C. Carpenter January 11, 1872

January 13, 1876
Republican 1871
1873 Joseph Dysart
9 Samuel Jordan Kirkwood.jpg Samuel J. Kirkwood January 13, 1876

February 1, 1877
Republican 1875
[k]
Joshua G. Newbold
10 Governor Newbold with signature.jpg Joshua G. Newbold February 1, 1877

January 17, 1878
Republican Vacant
11 John Henry Gear - Senator.jpg John H. Gear January 17, 1878

January 12, 1882
Republican 1877 Frank T. Campbell
1879
12 Burensherman.jpg Buren R. Sherman January 12, 1882

January 14, 1886
Republican 1881 Orlando H. Manning
1883
13 GovernorLarrabee.jpg William Larrabee January 14, 1886

February 27, 1890
Republican 1885 John A. T. Hull
1887
[l]
14 HBoies.png Horace Boies February 27, 1890

January 11, 1894
Democratic 1889
[l]
Alfred N. Poyneer[m]
1891 Samuel L. Bestow
15 Frankjackson.gif Frank D. Jackson January 11, 1894

January 16, 1896
Republican 1893 Warren S. Dungan
16 FrancisMDrake.jpg Francis M. Drake January 16, 1896

January 13, 1898
Republican 1895 Matt Parrott
17 Leslie Shaw, Bain photo portrait.jpg L. M. Shaw January 13, 1898

January 16, 1902
Republican 1897 James C. Milliman
1899
18 Albert Baird Cummins circa 1917.jpg Albert B. Cummins January 16, 1902

November 24, 1908
Republican 1901 John Herriott
1903
[n]
1906
[o]
Warren Garst
19 Warren Garst.jpg Warren Garst November 24, 1908

January 14, 1909
Republican Vacant
20 Beryl F. Carroll.jpg Beryl F. Carroll January 14, 1909

January 16, 1913
Republican 1908 George W. Clarke
1910
21 Lieutenant Governor George W. Clarke.jpg George W. Clarke January 16, 1913

January 11, 1917
Republican 1912 William L. Harding
1914
22 William Lloyd Harding in 1915.jpg William L. Harding January 11, 1917

January 13, 1921
Republican 1916 Ernest Robert Moore
1918
23 Nathan E. Kendall.png Nathan E. Kendall January 13, 1921

January 15, 1925
Republican 1920 John Hammill
1922
24 John Hammill.png John Hammill January 15, 1925

January 15, 1931
Republican 1924 Clem F. Kimball
(died September 10, 1928)
1926
Vacant
Arch W. McFarlane
(appointed November 15, 1928)
1928
25 Dan W. Turner.png Dan W. Turner January 15, 1931

January 12, 1933
Republican 1930
26 Clyde L. Herring, US Senator.jpg Clyde L. Herring January 12, 1933

January 14, 1937
Democratic 1932 Nelson G. Kraschel
1934
27 Nelson G. Kraschel.png Nelson G. Kraschel January 14, 1937

January 12, 1939
Democratic 1936 John K. Valentine
28 George Allison Wilson.jpg George A. Wilson January 12, 1939

January 14, 1943
Republican 1938 Bourke B. Hickenlooper
1940
29 Bourke B. Hickenlooper.jpg Bourke B. Hickenlooper January 14, 1943

January 11, 1945
Republican 1942 Robert D. Blue
30 Robert Blue - Official Portrait - 49th GA.jpg Robert D. Blue January 11, 1945

January 13, 1949
Republican 1944 Kenneth A. Evans
1946
31 Bill Beardsley.png William S. Beardsley January 13, 1949

November 21, 1954
Republican 1948
1950 William H. Nicholas
1952
[p]
Leo Elthon
32 Leo Elthon.png Leo Elthon November 21, 1954

January 13, 1955
Republican Vacant
33 Leo Hoegh.png Leo Hoegh January 13, 1955

January 17, 1957
Republican 1954 Leo Elthon
34 Herschel C. Loveless.jpg Herschel C. Loveless January 17, 1957

January 12, 1961
Democratic 1956 William H. Nicholas[m]
1958 Edward Joseph McManus
35 Norman A. Erbe.jpg Norman A. Erbe January 12, 1961

January 17, 1963
Republican 1960 W. L. Mooty[q]
36 Harold Hughes, US Senator.jpg Harold Hughes January 17, 1963

January 1, 1969
Democratic 1962
1964 Robert D. Fulton
1966
[r]
37 Robert D. Fulton.png Robert D. Fulton January 1, 1969

January 16, 1969
Democratic Vacant
38 Robert D. Ray 2007.jpg Robert D. Ray January 16, 1969

January 14, 1983
Republican 1968 Roger Jepsen
1970
1972 Arthur A. Neu
1974
[s]
1978 Terry Branstad
39 Terry Branstad attends recommissioning ceremony for USS Iowa, Apr 28, 1984.JPEG Terry Branstad January 14, 1983

January 15, 1999
Republican 1982 Robert T. Anderson[q]
1986 Jo Ann Zimmerman[q]
1990 Joy Corning
1994
40 20110927-OSEC-GS-0002 - Flickr - USDAgov.jpg Tom Vilsack January 15, 1999

January 12, 2007
Democratic 1998 Sally Pederson
2002
41 Chet Culver speaking.jpg Chet Culver January 12, 2007

January 14, 2011
Democratic 2006 Patty Judge
42 Terry Branstad by Gage Skidmore 2 (cropped).jpg Terry Branstad January 14, 2011

May 24, 2017
Republican 2010 Kim Reynolds
2014
[t][u]
43 Kim Reynolds by Gage Skidmore (cropped).jpg Kim Reynolds May 24, 2017

present
Republican Vacant
Adam Gregg[v]
(Acting, appointed May 25, 2017)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Chambers was appointed on March 25 to the position of territorial governor, to take office when sworn in. He arrived in the state on May 12 and took office the next day. Lucas was out of the capital at the time and did not formally resign his commission until June 17, per a letter written to U.S. Secretary of State Daniel Webster.[2]
  2. ^ a b Clark was appointed on November 18;[3] it is unknown what specific date he assumed office.
  3. ^ Although Ansel Briggs was sworn in as governor of the state on December 3, it remained a territory until December 28.[3]
  4. ^ There is no official numbering, and different governors have interpreted it differently, based on if repeat terms are numbered.[13] This article includes numbering for every distinct term in office.
  5. ^ The office of Lieutenant Governor was created in the 1857 constitution.[9]
  6. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  7. ^ Briggs was sworn into office 25 days before the state was formally admitted.[14]
  8. ^ The election schedule changed with this term, switching to odd-numbered years and shortening the term by nearly a year.
  9. ^ Terms were shortened from four to two years beginning with this term.
  10. ^ No source appears to know which date Walden resigned, just that it was to take an elected seat in the United States House of Representatives for a term beginning March 4.
  11. ^ Kirkwood resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Newbold succeeded him.
  12. ^ a b All sources state Boies was sworn in on February 27, 1890, with no explanation given for the delay; it appears from primary sources that the state legislature was deadlocked, performing over one hundred votes to name the speaker, and the certification of election results was delayed,[15] with Larrabee remaining in office until his successor was certified.
  13. ^ a b Represented the Republican Party.
  14. ^ The election schedule changed with this term, switching to odd-numbered years and lenthening the term by nearly a year.
  15. ^ Cummins resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Garst succeeded him.
  16. ^ Beardsley died in office; as lieutenant governor, Elthon succeeded him.
  17. ^ a b c Represented the Democratic Party.
  18. ^ Hughes resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Fulton succeeded him.
  19. ^ Terms were lenthened from two to four years beginning with this term.
  20. ^ Branstad resigned to become United States Ambassador to China; as lieutenant governor, Reynolds succeeded him.
  21. ^ Governor Reynolds' term expires on January 11, 2019.
  22. ^ Reynolds appointed Adam Gregg as Acting Lieutenant Governor but, while he has the full powers and salary of the office, he is not in the line of succession.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ Shambaugh, Benjamin F., ed. (1903). "The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of Iowa". The Messages and Proclamations of the Governors of Iowa. 1. Iowa City, Iowa: State Historical Society of Iowa. p. 208. 
  2. ^ Executive Journal of Iowa 1838–1841, Governor Robert Lucas. State Historical Society of Iowa. 1906. pp. 277–279. 
  3. ^ a b Benjamin F. Gue (1903). Iowa biography. Century History Company. p. 52. 
  4. ^ 1846 Const. article V, § 2.
  5. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 2
  6. ^ IA Const. amendment 32.
  7. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 15
  8. ^ IA Const. amendment 42.
  9. ^ a b IA Const. art. IV, § 3.
  10. ^ IA Const. amendment 41.
  11. ^ IA Const. art. IV, § 17.
  12. ^ 1846 Const. art V, § 18.
  13. ^ "No 41st Governor for Iowa?". The Gazette (Cedar Rapids). November 5, 2010. Retrieved November 8, 2014. 
  14. ^ Secretary Of State, Iowa (1951). Iowa Official Register – 1951–1952. p. 97. 
  15. ^ Journal of the House of the General Assembly of the State of Iowa. 1890. pp. 1–95. Retrieved September 6, 2017. 

External links[edit]