List of Governors of Texas

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Governor of Texas
Seal of the Governor of Texas.svg
=
Incumbent
Greg Abbott

since January 20, 2015
Style The Honorable
Residence Texas Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, no term limits
Inaugural holder James Pinckney Henderson
1846
Formation Texas Constitution
Salary $150,000 (2013)[1]
Website Office of the Governor

The Governor of Texas is the chief executive 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. He 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, of whom two have been women, 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 fourteen states[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]

Since its establishment, only one man has served in excess of eight years as governor: Rick Perry. Perry, the longest-serving governor in state history, 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 1/2 years, making him the second longest serving Texas governor. 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.

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

Presidents of the Republic of Texas[edit]

See: President of the Republic of Texas#List of presidents and vice 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
# 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
(Aged 50)
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
(Aged 63)
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
(Aged 87)
December 21, 1849

November 23, 1853
Democratic 1849 Lieutenant colonel of the Second Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers
(1845-1949)
1851
[15]
  James W. Henderson
[16]
4 James w henderson.jpg   James W. Henderson
August 15, 1817 - August 30, 1880
(Aged 63)
November 23, 1853

December 21, 1853
Democratic 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1851-1853)
Office vacant
5 Elisha pease.jpg   Elisha M. Pease
January 3, 1812 - August 26, 1883
(Aged 71)
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
(Aged 53)
December 21, 1857

December 21, 1859
Democratic 1857 3rd Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1855-1857)
  Francis Lubbock
7 Sam Houston c1850-crop.jpg   Sam Houston
March 2, 1793 - July 26, 1863
(Aged 70)
December 21, 1859

March 16, 1861
Independent 1859
[17]
U.S. Senator from Texas
(1846-1859)
  Edward Clark
[16]
8 Edward clark.jpg   Edward Clark
April 1, 1815 - May 4, 1880
(Aged 65)
March 18, 1861

November 7, 1861
Democratic 7th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1859-1861)
Office vacant
9 Francis lubbock.jpg   Francis Lubbock
October 16, 1815 - June 22, 1905
(Aged 89)
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
(Aged about 40)
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
(Aged about 67)
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
(Aged 60)
June 16, 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
(Aged 69)
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
(Aged 71)
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
(Aged 55)
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.jpg   Richard Coke
March 18, 1829 - May 14, 1897
(Aged 68)
January 15, 1874

December 1, 1876
Democratic 1873 Associate Justice of the Texas Supreme Court
(1866-1867)
  Richard B. Hubbard
[16]
1876
[24]
16 Richard hubbard.jpg   Richard B. Hubbard
November 1, 1832 - July 12, 1901
(Aged 68)
December 1, 1876

January 21, 1879
Democratic 16th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1874-1876)
Office vacant
17 Oran roberts.jpg   Oran Milo Roberts
July 9, 1815 – May 19, 1898
(Aged 82)
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
(Aged 69)
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
(Aged 59)
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
(Aged 54)
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
(Aged 69)
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
(Aged 87)
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
(Aged 62)
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
(Aged 66)
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
(Aged 78)
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
(Aged 73)
January 19, 1915

August 25, 1917
Democratic 1914 Local banker
(since 1906)
  William P. Hobby
[25]
1916
[26]
27 William hobby.jpg   William P. Hobby
March 26, 1878 – June 7, 1964
(Aged 86)
August 25, 1917

January 18, 1921
Democratic 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
(Aged 80)
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
(Aged 86)
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
(Aged 72)
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
(Aged 74)
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
(Aged 86)
January 17, 1933

January 15, 1935
Democratic 1932 29th Governor of Texas
(1925-1927)
33 James Allred.png   James Allred
March 29, 1899 – September 24, 1959
(Aged 60)
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
(Aged 79)
January 17, 1939

August 4, 1941
Democratic 1938 President of the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
(1933-1934)
  Coke R. Stevenson
[25]
1940
[27]
35   Coke R. Stevenson
March 20, 1888 – June 28, 1975
(Aged 87)
August 4, 1941

January 21, 1947
Democratic 31st Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1939-1941)
Office vacant
1942   John Lee Smith
1944
36   Beauford H. Jester
January 12, 1893 – July 11, 1949
(Aged 56)
January 21, 1947

July 11, 1949
Democratic 1946 Member of the Texas Railroad Commission
(1943-1947)
  Allan Shivers
[25]
1948
[28]
37
Allan Shivers 1949.jpg
  Allan Shivers
October 5, 1907 – January 14, 1985
(Aged 77)
July 11, 1949

January 15, 1957
Democratic 33rd Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1947-1949)
Office vacant
1950   Ben Ramsey
1952
1954
38 Price Daniel.jpg   Price Daniel
October 10, 1910 – August 25, 1988
(Aged 77)
January 15, 1957

January 15, 1963
Democratic 1956 U.S. Senator from Texas
(1953-1957)
1958
1960
Office vacant
39 Portrait of John Connally.jpg   John Connally
February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993
(Aged 76)
January 15, 1963

January 21, 1969
Democratic 1962 56th United States Secretary of the Navy
(1961)
  Preston Smith
1964
1966
40
Gus Mutscher, Preston Smith, Lyndon Johnson, and Ben Barnes.jpg
  Preston Smith
March 8, 1912 – October 18, 2003
(Aged 91)
January 21, 1969

January 16, 1973
Democratic 1968 35th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1963-1969)
  Ben Barnes
1970
41 Briscoe-p01.jpg   Dolph Briscoe
April 23, 1923 – June 27, 2010
(Aged 87)
January 16, 1973

January 16, 1979
Democratic 1972 Texas State Representative
(1949-1957)
  William P. Hobby Jr.
1974
42 Bill Clements.jpg   Bill Clements
April 13, 1917 – May 29, 2011
(Aged 94)
January 16, 1979

January 18, 1983
Republican 1978 15th United States Deputy Secretary of Defense
(1973-1977)
43 Governor Mark White.jpg   Mark White
March 17, 1940 – August 5, 2017
(Aged 77)
January 18, 1983

January 20, 1987
Democratic 1982 46th Attorney General of Texas
(1979-1983)
44 Bill Clements.jpg   Bill Clements
April 13, 1917 – May 29, 2011
(Aged 94)
January 20, 1987

January 15, 1991
Republican 1986 42nd Governor of Texas
(1979-1983)
45 Ann Richards, Governor of Texas.jpg   Ann Richards
September 1, 1933 – September 13, 2006
(Aged 73)
January 15, 1991

January 17, 1995
Democratic 1990 Treasurer of Texas
(1983-1991)
  Bob Bullock
46 GeorgeWBush.jpg   George W. Bush
July 6, 1946 (Age 71)
January 17, 1995

December 21, 2000
Republican 1994 Managing General Partner of the Texas Rangers
(1989-1994)
1998
[29]
  Rick Perry
47 Rick Perry by Gage Skidmore.jpg   Rick Perry
March 4, 1950 (Age 67)
December 21, 2000

January 20, 2015
Republican 39th Lieutenant Governor of Texas
(1999-2000)
  Bill Ratliff
2002   David Dewhurst
2006
2010
48 Greg Abbott by Gage Skidmore.jpg   Greg Abbott
November 13, 1957 (Age 60)
January 20, 2015

Incumbent
Republican 2014
[30]
50th Attorney General of Texas
(2002-2015)
  Dan Patrick

Other high offices held[edit]

Governor Gubernatorial Term Other high offices held
James Pinckney Henderson 1846–1847 U.S. Senator (1857–1858)
Peter Hansborough Bell 1849–1853 U.S. Representative (1853–1857)
Sam Houston 1859–1861 U.S. Representative from Tennessee (1823–1827), Governor of Tennessee (1827–1829), President of Texas (1836–1838, 1841–1844), U.S. Senator (1846–1859)
Andrew Jackson Hamilton 1865–1866 U.S. Representative (1859–1861)
James W. Throckmorton 1866–1867 U.S. Representative (1875–1879, 1883–1887)
Richard Coke 1874–1876 U.S. Senator (1877–1895)
Richard B. Hubbard 1876–1879 Minister to Japan (1885–1889)
Charles Allen Culberson 1895–1899 U.S. Senator (1899–1923)
Joseph D. Sayers 1899–1903 U.S. Representative (1885–1893, 1893–1899)
S. W. T. Lanham 1903–1907 U.S. Representative (1883–1893, 1897–1903)
W. Lee O'Daniel 1939–1941 U.S. Senator (1941–1949)
Price Daniel 1957–1963 U.S. Senator (1953–1957)
John Connally 1963–1969 U.S. Secretary of the Navy (1961), U.S. Secretary of the Treasury (1971–1972)
Bill Clements 1979–1983
1987–1991
U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defense (1973–1977)
George W. Bush 1995–2000 43rd President of the United States (2001–2009)
Rick Perry 2000–2015 United States Secretary of Energy

Living former governors of Texas[edit]

Currently, there are two living former governors of Texas. The most recent death of a former governor was that of Mark White (1983–1987), who died on August 5, 2017. The most recently serving governor of Texas who has died is Ann Richards (1991–1995, born 1933), who died on September 13, 2006. Pictured in order of service:

Gubernatorial trivia[edit]

Along with the Seal of Office, the governor of Texas also has a flag. It is not in common use.

Background[edit]

Texas has had two female governors: Miriam A. "Ma" Ferguson and Ann Richards. Ferguson was one of the first two women elected governor of a U.S. state (on November 4, 1924), along with Nellie Tayloe Ross of Wyoming. Ross was inaugurated on January 5, 1925, while Ferguson was inaugurated on January 20, so Ross is considered the first female state governor. Ferguson was the wife of former governor Jim "Pa" Ferguson, while Richards was elected "in her own right," being neither the spouse nor widow of a governor.

Texas governors have been born in fourteen states: Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

Baylor University is the most common alma mater of Texas governors, with five of them - Lawrence Sullivan Ross, Pat Morris Neff, Price Daniel, Mark White, and Ann Richards - considered alumni (though Ross attended but never completed a degree). To date, Coke Stevenson is the most recent governor who never attended college, and Bill Clements is the most recent who attended college but did not graduate.

Elections[edit]

Three governors have served non-consecutive terms: Elisha M. Pease, Miriam A. Ferguson, and Bill Clements. As was the case in most Southern states, Texas did not elect any Republican governor from the end of Reconstruction until the late twentieth century. Bill Clements was the state's first Republican governor since Edmund J. Davis left office in 1874, 105 years earlier. Dolph Briscoe was the last governor to be elected to a two-year term, in 1972; he was also the first to be elected to a four-year term, in 1974, since the post-Reconstruction period when two-year terms had first been established. Rick Perry, who ascended to the governorship on December 21, 2000 upon the resignation of then-Governor George W. Bush, won full four-year terms in 2002, 2006 and 2010.

Texas governors in popular culture[edit]

W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel served as the inspiration for the fictional, but similarly named, Mississippi Governor Menelaus "Pappy" O'Daniel, in the film O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ann Richards had a cameo appearance on an episode of the animated comedy series King of the Hill, in which she has a brief romance with Bill Dauterive after he takes the fall for mooning her in the elevator of an Austin hotel (Hank actually mooned her because he thought his friends were going to be mooning the people in the elevator but they set him up).

See also[edit]

Notes[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 (2000-01-05). "Is George W. Bush a "Weak" Governor?". Slate Magazine - Explainer. Retrieved 2010-01-25. 
  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 the State of Texas" 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. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected in their own right.
  26. ^ Resigned due to the legislature bringing impeachment proceedings against him.
  27. ^ Resigned after winning the Democratic primary for a U.S. Senate seat; he won the election.
  28. ^ Died in office.
  29. ^ Resigned to be U.S. President.
  30. ^ Governor Abbott's first term expires on January 15, 2019; he is not term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions