List of governors of Texas

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Governor of Texas
Seal of the Governor of Texas.svg
Gubernatorial seal
Flag of the Governor of Texas.svg
Gubernatorial standard
Greg Abbott 2018 (cropped) (2).jpg
Incumbent
Greg Abbott
since January 20, 2015
Style
ResidenceTexas Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, no term limit
Inaugural holderJames Pinckney Henderson
1846
FormationTexas Constitution
Salary$150,000 (2013)[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The governor of Texas is the head of government of the U.S. State of Texas, the presiding officer over the executive branch of the government of Texas, and the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, the state's militia. The governor has the power to consider bills passed by the Texas Legislature, by signing them into law, or vetoing them, and in bills relating to appropriations, the power of a line-item veto. They may convene the legislature, and grant pardons and reprieves,[2] except in cases of impeachment, and upon the permission of the legislature, in cases of treason. The state provides an official residence, the Governor's Mansion in Austin. The incumbent, Greg Abbott, is the forty-eighth governor to serve in the office since Texas' statehood in 1845.

When compared to those of other states, the governorship of Texas has been described as one of relative weakness.[3][4] In some respects, it is the lieutenant governor of Texas, who presides over the Texas Senate, who possesses greater influence to exercise their prerogatives.[3][4]

The governor is inaugurated on the third Tuesday of January every four years along with the lieutenant governor, and serves a term of four years. Prior to the present laws, in 1845, the state's first constitution established the office of governor, serving a term of two years, but no more than four years of every six.[5] The 1861 constitution, following secession from the Union, established the first Monday of November following election as the term's start.[6] Following the end of the American Civil War, the 1866 constitution increased term length to four years, limiting overall service to no more than eight years of every twelve, moving the term's start to the first Thursday following organization of the legislature, or "as soon thereafter as practicable."[7] The constitution of 1869, enacted during Reconstruction, removed term limitations,[8] to this day making Texas one of sixteen states, territory or jurisdiction (including the U.S. Territory Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia[9] with no limit on gubernatorial terms. The present constitution of 1876 returned terms to two years,[10] but a 1972 amendment again returned them to four.[11]

Rick Perry is the longest-serving governor in state history, having assumed the governorship in 2000 upon the exit of George W. Bush, who resigned to take office as the 43rd president of the United States. Perry was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010 serving for 14 years before choosing to retire in 2014.

Allan Shivers assumed the governorship upon the death of Beauford Jester in July 1949 and was re-elected in 1950, 1952 and 1954, serving for 7+12 years, making him the third longest serving governor before choosing to retire in 1956. Price Daniel was elected to the governorship in 1956 and re-elected in 1958 and 1960 before losing his re-election for an unprecedented fourth term in the 1962 Democratic primary, missing the runoff. John Connally was elected in 1962 and re-elected in 1964 and 1966 before choosing to retire in 1968, leaving office on January 21, 1969. Bill Clements served two non-consecutive four-year terms, having been elected in 1978 but lost re-election in 1982 before winning re-election in 1986, choosing to retire in 1990, was the second longest-serving governor: both of Shivers and Clements' records were surpassed by Perry.

Current Governor Greg Abbott was elected in 2014 and re-elected in 2018 and again in 2022. With his recent re-election, Abbott is on track to becoming the state's second longest-serving governor with 12 years of service by January 19, 2027.

In the case of a vacancy in the office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.[12] Prior to a 1999 amendment, the lieutenant governor only acted as governor until the expiration of the term to which he succeeded.[13][14]

Governors of Spanish Texas[edit]

See: List of Texas Governors and Presidents

Governors of Mexican Texas[edit]

See: List of Texas Governors and Presidents

Governors of Texas[edit]

Number of governors of Texas by party affiliation
Party Governors
  Democratic 39
  Republican 7
  Unionist 1
  Independent 1
  Military 1
No. Governor Term in office Party Election Prior office Lt. Governor
1 James Pinckney Henderson-p.jpg   James Pinckney Henderson
March 31, 1808 – June 4, 1858
February 19, 1846

December 21, 1847
Democratic 1845 Minister to England and France Republic of Texas
(1837–1840)
  Albert Clinton Horton
2 George wood.jpg   George T. Wood
March 12, 1795 – September 3, 1858
December 21, 1847

December 21, 1849
Democratic 1847 Texas state senator
(1846–1847)
  John Alexander Greer
3 Peter bell.jpg   Peter Hansborough Bell
May 11, 1810 – March 8, 1898
December 21, 1849

November 23, 1853
[15]
Democratic 1849 Lieutenant colonel of the Second Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers
(1845–1849)
1851   James W. Henderson
[16]
4 James w henderson.jpg   James W. Henderson
August 15, 1817 – August 30, 1880
November 23, 1853

December 21, 1853
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
3rd lieutenant governor of Texas
(1851–1853)
Office vacant
5 Elisha pease.jpg   Elisha M. Pease
January 3, 1812 – August 26, 1883
December 21, 1853

December 21, 1857
Unionist 1853 Texas state senator
(1849–1851)
  David Catchings Dickson
1855   Hardin Richard Runnels
6 Hardin runnels.jpg   Hardin R. Runnels
August 30, 1820 – December 25, 1873
December 21, 1857

December 21, 1859
Democratic 1857 5th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1855–1857)
  Francis Lubbock
7 Sam Houston c1850-crop.jpg   Sam Houston
March 2, 1793 – July 26, 1863
December 21, 1859

March 16, 1861
[17]
Independent 1859 U.S. senator from Texas
(1846–1859)
  Edward Clark
[16]
8 Edward clark.jpg   Edward Clark
April 1, 1815 – May 4, 1880
March 16, 1861

November 7, 1861
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
7th Lieutenant governor of Texas
(1859–1861)
Office vacant
9 Francis lubbock.jpg   Francis Lubbock
October 16, 1815 – June 22, 1905
November 7, 1861

November 5, 1863
Democratic 1861 6th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1857–1859)
  John McClannahan Crockett
10 Pendleton murrah.jpg   Pendleton Murrah
1824 or 1826 – August 4, 1865
November 5, 1863

June 17, 1865
Democratic 1863
[18]
Texas state representative
(1857)
  Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale
[19]
FLETCHER STOCKDALE.PNG   Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale
1823 or 1825 – February 4, 1890
June 11, 1865

June 16, 1865
Military 9th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1863–1865)
Office vacant
11 Andrew Jackson Hamilton.jpg   Andrew Jackson Hamilton
January 28, 1815 – April 11, 1875
June 17, 1865

August 9, 1866
[20]
Democratic-Military Texas state senator-elect
(1861)
12 James W. Throckmorton - Brady-Handy.jpg   James W. Throckmorton
February 1, 1825 – April 21, 1894
August 9, 1866

August 8, 1867
Democratic 1866
[21]
Captain of the 6th Texas Cavalry Regiment Confederate Army
(1861–1863)
  George Washington Jones
13 Elisha pease.jpg   Elisha M. Pease
January 3, 1812 – August 26, 1883
August 8, 1867

September 30, 1869
[21][22]
Republican 5th governor of Texas
(1853–1857)
Office vacant
14 Edmund Davis.jpg   Edmund J. Davis
October 2, 1827 – February 7, 1883
January 8, 1870

January 15, 1874
Republican 1869
[23]
Brigadier General of the First Texas Cavalry Regiment Union Army
(1862–1865)
15 Richard Coke - Brady-Handy (cropped).jpg   Richard Coke
March 18, 1829 – May 14, 1897
January 15, 1874

December 1, 1876
[24]
Democratic 1873 Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
(1866–1867)
  Richard B. Hubbard
[16]
1876
16 Richard hubbard.jpg   Richard B. Hubbard
November 1, 1832 – July 12, 1901
December 1, 1876

January 21, 1879
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
16th llieutenant governor of Texas
(1874–1876)
Office vacant
17 Oran roberts.jpg   Oran Milo Roberts
July 9, 1815 – May 19, 1898
January 21, 1879

January 16, 1883
Democratic 1878 7th chief justice of the Texas Supreme Court
(1874–1879)
  Joseph D. Sayers
1880   Leonidas Jefferson Storey
18 John ireland.jpg   John Ireland
January 1, 1827 – March 15, 1896
January 16, 1883

January 18, 1887
Democratic 1882 Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
(1875–1876)
  Francis Marion Martin
1884   Barnett Gibbs
19 Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross.jpg   Lawrence Sullivan "Sul" Ross
September 27, 1838 – January 3, 1898
January 18, 1887

January 20, 1891
Democratic 1886 Texas state senator
(1881–1883)
  Thomas Benton Wheeler
1888
20 Jim hogg.jpg   Jim Hogg
March 24, 1851 – March 3, 1906
January 20, 1891

January 15, 1895
Democratic 1890 21st attorney general of Texas
(1887–1891)
  George Cassety Pendleton
1892   Martin McNulty Crane
21 Charles Allen Culberson.jpg   Charles A. Culberson
June 10, 1855 – March 19, 1925
January 15, 1895

January 17, 1899
Democratic 1894 22nd attorney general of Texas
(1891–1895)
  George Taylor Jester
1896
22 GovJosephSayers.jpg   Joseph D. Sayers
September 23, 1841 – May 15, 1929
January 17, 1899

January 20, 1903
Democratic 1898 U.S. representative for Texas' 9th district
(1893–1899)
  James Browning
1900
23 Swtlanham.jpg   S. W. T. Lanham
July 4, 1846 – July 29, 1908
January 20, 1903

January 15, 1907
Democratic 1902 U.S. representative for Texas' 8th district
(1897–1903)
  George D. Neal
1904
24 T.M. Campbell, Governor, Bain portrait bust.jpg   Thomas Mitchell Campbell
April 22, 1856 – April 1, 1923
January 15, 1907

January 17, 1911
Democratic 1906 General Manager of the Railroad
(1892–1897)
  Asbury Bascom Davidson
1908
25 Oscar Branch Colquitt.jpg   Oscar Branch Colquitt
December 16, 1861 – March 8, 1940
January 17, 1911

January 19, 1915
Democratic 1910 Texas railroad commissioner
(1903–1911)
1912   William Harding Mayes
26 James E. Ferguson.jpg   James E. "Pa" Ferguson
August 31, 1871 – September 21, 1944
January 19, 1915

August 25, 1917
[25]
Democratic 1914 Local banker
(since 1906)
  William P. Hobby
[26]
1916
27 William hobby.jpg   William P. Hobby
March 26, 1878 – June 7, 1964
August 25, 1917

January 18, 1921
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
24th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1915–1917)
Office vacant
1918   Willard Arnold Johnson
28 PatMNeff.jpg   Pat Morris Neff
November 26, 1871 – January 20, 1952
January 18, 1921

January 20, 1925
Democratic 1920 Texas state representative
(1899–1903)
  Lynch Davidson
1922   Thomas Whitfield Davidson
29 Miriam A. Ferguson.jpg   Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson
June 13, 1875 – June 25, 1961
January 20, 1925

January 18, 1927
Democratic 1924 First Lady of Texas
(1915–1917)
  Barry Miller
30 DanMoody.jpg   Dan Moody
June 1, 1893 – May 22, 1966
January 18, 1927

January 20, 1931
Democratic 1926 32nd attorney general of Texas
(1931–1935)
1928
31 Ross Sterling.png   Ross S. Sterling
February 11, 1875 – March 25, 1949
January 20, 1931

January 17, 1933
Democratic 1930 Chairman of the Texas Highway Commission
(1930)
  Edgar E. Witt
32 Miriam A. Ferguson.jpg   Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson
June 13, 1875 – June 25, 1961
January 17, 1933

January 15, 1935
Democratic 1932 29th governor of Texas
(1925–1927)
33 James Allred.png   James V. Allred
March 29, 1899 – September 24, 1959
January 15, 1935

January 17, 1939
Democratic 1934 35th attorney general of Texas
(1931–1935)
  Walter Frank Woodul
1936
34 Wilbert Lee O'Daniel.jpg   Wilbert Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel
March 11, 1890 – May 11, 1969
January 17, 1939

August 4, 1941
(resigned)[27]
Democratic 1938 President of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
(1933–1934)
  Coke R. Stevenson
[26]
1940
35 Coke R. Stevenson.jpg   Coke R. Stevenson
March 20, 1888 – June 28, 1975
August 4, 1941

January 21, 1947
(not candidate for election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
31st lieutenant governor of Texas
(1939–1941)
Office vacant
1942   John Lee Smith
1944
36 Beauford H. Jester.jpg   Beauford H. Jester
January 12, 1893 – July 11, 1949
January 21, 1947

July 11, 1949
(died)[28]
Democratic 1946 Member of the Texas Railroad Commission
(1943–1947)
  Allan Shivers
[26]
1948
37 Allan Shivers.jpg   Allan Shivers
October 5, 1907 – January 14, 1985
July 11, 1949

January 15, 1957
(not candidate for election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
33rd lieutenant governor of Texas
(1947–1949)
Office vacant
1950   Ben Ramsey
1952
1954
38 Price Daniel (TX).png   Price Daniel
October 10, 1910 – August 25, 1988
January 15, 1957

January 15, 1963
(lost renomination)
Democratic 1956 U.S. senator from Texas
(1953–1957)
1958
1960
Office vacant
39 John Connally (TX).png   John Connally
February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993
January 15, 1963

January 21, 1969
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1962 56th United States secretary of the Navy
(1961)
  Preston Smith
1964
1966
40 Governor Preston Smith (cropped).jpg   Preston Smith
March 8, 1912 – October 18, 2003
January 21, 1969

January 16, 1973
(lost renomination)
Democratic 1968 35th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1963–1969)
  Ben Barnes
1970
41 Dolph Briscoe, 1976.jpg   Dolph Briscoe
April 23, 1923 – June 27, 2010
January 16, 1973

January 16, 1979
(lost renomination)
Democratic 1972 Texas state representative
(1949–1957)
  William P. Hobby Jr.
1974[a]
42 Bill Clements.jpg   Bill Clements
April 13, 1917 – May 29, 2011
January 16, 1979

January 18, 1983
(lost election)
Republican 1978 15th United States deputy secretary of defense
(1973–1977)
43 Governor Mark White.jpg   Mark White
March 17, 1940 – August 5, 2017
January 18, 1983

January 20, 1987
(lost election)
Democratic 1982 46th attorney general of Texas
(1979–1983)
44 Bill Clements.jpg   Bill Clements
April 13, 1917 – May 29, 2011
January 20, 1987

January 15, 1991
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1986 42nd governor of Texas
(1979–1983)
45 Ann Richards, Governor of Texas.jpg   Ann Richards
September 1, 1933 – September 13, 2006
January 15, 1991

January 17, 1995
(lost election)
Democratic 1990 Treasurer of Texas
(1983–1991)
  Bob Bullock
46 Official Portrait- President George Walker Bush, 43rd President of the United States, Republican - DPLA - 7482eac0e113bf03014d1686a3733f97.jpeg   George W. Bush
July 6, 1946
January 17, 1995

December 21, 2000
(resigned)[29]
Republican 1994 Managing general partner of the Texas Rangers
(1989–1994)
1998   Rick Perry
47 Rick Perry by Gage Skidmore 3 (cropped).jpg   Rick Perry
March 4, 1950
December 21, 2000

January 20, 2015
(not candidate for election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
39th lieutenant governor of Texas
(1999–2000)
  Bill Ratliff
2002   David Dewhurst
2006
2010
48 Greg Abbott 2018 (cropped) (2).jpg   Greg Abbott
November 13, 1957
January 20, 2015

Incumbent[30]
Republican 2014 50th attorney general of Texas
(2002–2015)
  Dan Patrick
2018
2022

Succession[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ First term under a 1972 constitutional amendment, which lengthened terms to four years.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ Upon recommendation of the Board of Pardons and Paroles
  3. ^ a b Suellentrop, Chip (January 5, 2000). "Is George W. Bush a "Weak" Governor?". Slate Magazine - Explainer. Retrieved January 25, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Ivins, Molly; Lou Dubose (2000). Shrub: The Short But Happy Political Life of George W. Bush. New York: Vintage Books. pp. xii–xiii. ISBN 0-375-75714-7.
  5. ^ 1845 Const. Art V sec 4
  6. ^ 1861 Const. art V sec 12
  7. ^ 1866 Const. art V sec 4
  8. ^ 1869 Const. Art IV sec 4
  9. ^ Executive Branch Archived 2011-06-29 at the Wayback Machine retrieved 23-October-2008
  10. ^ TX Const. Art IV sec 4
  11. ^ Texas Politics - The Executive Branch Archived 2009-02-11 at the Wayback Machine. Texaspolitics.laits.utexas.edu. Retrieved on 2013-07-15.
  12. ^ TX Const. art IV sec 16 graf d
  13. ^ Under the 1861 constitution, law provided that the lieutenant governor would be "styled Governor of those state of Republicans" in case of vacancy.
  14. ^ 1861 Const art V sec 12
  15. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
  16. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled an unexpired term
  17. ^ Evicted from office due to his refusal to swear an oath to the Confederate States of America.
  18. ^ Fled Austin as it fell to Union forces.
  19. ^ NGA says he was Lt. Gov who served as Gov after Murrah fled Texas.
  20. ^ Provisional military governor.
  21. ^ a b James Throckmorton was removed from office by General Philip Sheridan, and Elisha Pease installed in his place.
  22. ^ Resigned due to disagreements with General Joseph Reynolds.
  23. ^ Elected in a special election held under military direction.
  24. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the U.S. Senate.
  25. ^ Resigned due to the legislature bringing impeachment proceedings against him.
  26. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected in their own right.
  27. ^ O'Daniel resigned after winning the Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat; he won the election.
  28. ^ Died in office.
  29. ^ Bush resigned to be President of the United States.
  30. ^ Abbott's third term began on January 17, 2023 and will expire January 19, 2027.

External links[edit]

General
Constitutions