Governor of Pennsylvania

Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Seal of the Governor
Flag of the Governor
Residence
Governor's Residence
Term length Four years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holder Thomas Mifflin
Formation December 21, 1790
Deputy Jim Cawley
Salary $174,914 (2010)[1]
Website governor.state.pa.us

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the head of the executive branch of Pennsylvania's government[2] and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[3]

The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to approve or veto bills passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature.[4] and to convene the legislature.[5] The governor may grant pardons except in cases of impeachment, but only when recommended by the Board of Pardons.[6]

There have been seven presidents and 46 governors of Pennsylvania, with two governors serving non-consecutive terms, totaling 55 terms in both offices. The longest term was that of the first governor, Thomas Mifflin, who served three full terms as governor in addition to two years as president. The shortest term belonged to John Bell, who served only 19 days as acting governor after his predecessor resigned. The current governor is Tom Corbett, whose term began on January 18, 2011.

Governors

Pennsylvania was one of the original thirteen colonies, and was admitted as a state on December 12, 1787. Prior to declaring its independence, Pennsylvania was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain; see the list of colonial governors for the pre-statehood period.

The Presidents of the Supreme Executive Council


The first Pennsylvania constitution in 1776 created the Supreme Executive Council as the state's executive branch, with the President as its head.[7] The president was chosen annually by the council, though with no specific term dates.[8]

The original 1776 constitution created the position of "vice-president", though no provision was made if the office of president became vacant, which occurred four times. Contemporary sources continue to label the chief executive in such times as the vice president, without any notion of succeeding to the presidency. One acting president, George Bryan, has since been recognized as a full-fledged governor, due to his acting as president for over six months.

# President Took office Left office Vice President
1 Thomas Wharton Jr. March 5, 1777 May 23, 1778
[note 1]
George Bryan
2 George Bryan May 23, 1778 December 1, 1778 acting as president
[note 2]
3 Joseph Reed December 1, 1778 November 15, 1781 George Bryan
[note 3]
Matthew Smith
[note 3]
William Moore
4 William Moore November 15, 1781 November 7, 1782 James Potter
5 John Dickinson November 7, 1782 October 18, 1785 James Ewing
James Irvine
[note 3]
Charles Biddle
6 Benjamin Franklin October 18, 1785 November 5, 1788 Charles Biddle
Peter Muhlenberg
[note 3]
David Redick
7 Thomas Mifflin November 5, 1788 December 21, 1790 George Ross


Governors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania




The 1790 constitution abolished the council and replaced the president with a governor,[9] and established a three-year term for governor commencing on the third Tuesday of the December following the election, with governors not allowed to serve more than nine out of any twelve years.[10] The 1838 constitution moved the start of the term to the third Tuesday of the January following the election, and allowed governors to only serve six out of any nine years.[11] The 1874 constitution lengthened the term to four years, and prohibited governors from succeeding themselves.[12] The current constitution of 1968 changed this to allow governors to serve two consecutive terms.[13] There are no limits on the number of terms a governor may serve in total as long as there is a four year break after a second term.

If the office of governor becomes vacant through death, resignation, or conviction on impeachment, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term; if the office is only temporarily vacant due to disability of the governor, the lieutenant governor only acts out the duties of governor.[14] Should both offices be vacant, the president pro tempore of the state senate becomes governor.[15] The position of lieutenant governor was created in the 1874 constitution; prior to then, the speaker of the senate would act as governor in cases of vacancy. Originally, the lieutenant governor could only act as governor; it was not until the 1968 constitution that the lieutenant governor could actually become governor in that fashion. The office of governor has been vacant for an extended period once, a 17-day gap in 1848 between the death of the previous governor and the swearing in of his acting successor. Governors and lieutenant governors are elected on the same ticket.[16]

      Anti-Masonic (1)       Democratic (12)       Democratic-Republican (6)        None (1)       Republican (26)       Whig (2)

# Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor
[note 4]
Terms
[note 5]
1   Thomas Mifflin December 21, 1790 December 17, 1799 None
[note 6]
None 3
[note 7]
2   Thomas McKean December 17, 1799 December 20, 1808 Democratic-
Republican
3
3   Simon Snyder December 20, 1808 December 16, 1817 Democratic-
Republican
3
4   William Findlay December 16, 1817 December 19, 1820 Democratic-
Republican
1
5   Joseph Hiester December 19, 1820 December 16, 1823 Democratic-
Republican
1
6   John Andrew Shulze December 16, 1823 December 15, 1829 Democratic-
Republican
2
7   George Wolf December 15, 1829 December 15, 1835 Democratic-
Republican
2
8   Joseph Ritner December 15, 1835 January 15, 1839 Anti-Masonic 1
[note 8]
9   David R. Porter January 15, 1839 January 21, 1845 Democratic 2
[note 9]
10   Francis R. Shunk January 21, 1845 July 9, 1848 Democratic 1 12
[note 10]
  Office vacant July 9, 1848 July 26, 1848
[note 11]
11   William F. Johnston July 26, 1848 January 20, 1852 Whig 1 12
[note 12]
12   William Bigler January 20, 1852 January 16, 1855 Democratic 1
13   James Pollock January 16, 1855 January 19, 1858 Whig 1
14   William F. Packer January 19, 1858 January 15, 1861 Democratic 1
15   Andrew Gregg Curtin January 15, 1861 January 15, 1867 Republican 2
16   John W. Geary January 15, 1867 January 21, 1873 Republican 2
17   John F. Hartranft January 21, 1873 January 21, 1879 Republican   None 2
[note 13]
  John Latta
18   Henry M. Hoyt January 21, 1879 January 16, 1883 Republican   Charles Warren Stone 1
19   Robert E. Pattison January 16, 1883 January 18, 1887 Democratic   Chauncey Forward Black 1
20   James A. Beaver January 18, 1887 January 20, 1891 Republican   William T. Davies 1
19   Robert E. Pattison January 20, 1891 January 15, 1895 Democratic   Louis Arthur Watres 1
21   Daniel H. Hastings January 15, 1895 January 17, 1899 Republican   Walter Lyon 1
22   William A. Stone January 17, 1899 January 20, 1903 Republican   John P. S. Gobin 1
23   Samuel W. Pennypacker January 20, 1903 January 15, 1907 Republican   William M. Brown 1
24   Edwin Sydney Stuart January 15, 1907 January 17, 1911 Republican   Robert S. Murphy 1
25   John K. Tener January 17, 1911 January 19, 1915 Republican   John Merriman Reynolds 1
26   Martin Grove Brumbaugh January 19, 1915 January 21, 1919 Republican   Frank B. McClain 1
27   William Cameron Sproul January 21, 1919 January 16, 1923 Republican   Edward E. Beidleman 1
28   Gifford Pinchot January 16, 1923 January 18, 1927 Republican   David J. Davis 1
29   John Stuchell Fisher January 18, 1927 January 20, 1931 Republican   Arthur James 1
28   Gifford Pinchot January 20, 1931 January 15, 1935 Republican   Edward C. Shannon 1
30   George Howard Earle III January 15, 1935 January 17, 1939 Democratic   Thomas Kennedy 1
31   Arthur James January 17, 1939 January 19, 1943 Republican   Samuel S. Lewis 1
32   Edward Martin January 19, 1943 January 2, 1947 Republican   John C. Bell, Jr. 12
[note 14]
33   John C. Bell, Jr. January 2, 1947 January 21, 1947 Republican   vacant 12
[note 15]
34   James H. Duff January 21, 1947 January 16, 1951 Republican   Daniel B. Strickler 1
35   John S. Fine January 16, 1951 January 18, 1955 Republican   Lloyd H. Wood 1
36   George M. Leader January 18, 1955 January 20, 1959 Democratic   Roy E. Furman 1
37   David L. Lawrence January 20, 1959 January 15, 1963 Democratic   John Morgan Davis 1
38   William Scranton January 15, 1963 January 17, 1967 Republican   Raymond P. Shafer 1
39   Raymond P. Shafer January 17, 1967 January 19, 1971 Republican   Raymond J. Broderick 1
40   Milton Shapp January 19, 1971 January 16, 1979 Democratic   Ernest P. Kline 2
[note 16]
41   Dick Thornburgh January 16, 1979 January 20, 1987 Republican   William Scranton, III 2
42   Robert P. Casey January 20, 1987 January 17, 1995 Democratic   Mark Singel 2
[note 17]
43   Tom Ridge January 17, 1995 October 5, 2001 Republican   Mark S. Schweiker 1 12
[note 18]
44   Mark S. Schweiker October 5, 2001 January 21, 2003 Republican   Robert Jubelirer 12
[note 19]
45   Ed Rendell January 21, 2003 January 18, 2011 Democratic   Catherine Baker Knoll[note 20] 2
  Joe Scarnati[note 21]
46   Tom Corbett January 18, 2011 Incumbent Republican   Jim Cawley 1
[note 22]

Other high offices held

This is a table of other governorships, congressional and other federal offices, and ranking diplomatic positions in foreign countries held by Pennsylvania governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Pennsylvania except where noted.

† Denotes those offices from which the governor resigned to take the governorship.
Name Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held Source
House Senate
Joseph Reed 1778–1781 Delegate to the Continental Congress; elected to the U.S. House but declined his seat. [19]
John Dickinson 1782–1785 President of Delaware, Delegate to the Continental Congress from Delaware, Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania [20]
Benjamin Franklin 1785–1788 Minister to France, Minister to Sweden [21]
Thomas Mifflin 1790–1799 President of the Continental Congress [22]
Thomas McKean 1799–1808 President of Delaware, President of the Continental Congress [23]
Simon Snyder 1808–1817 Some records say he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but some only say state senate. The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress has no record of a U.S. Senate term. [24]
William Findlay 1817–1820 S [25]
Joseph Hiester 1820–1823 H† [26]
George Wolf 1829–1835 H† [27]
William Bigler 1852–1855 S [28]
James Pollock 1855–1858 H [29]
Andrew Gregg Curtin 1861–1867 H Ambassador to Russia [30]
John W. Geary 1867–1876 Governor of Kansas Territory [31]
William A. Stone 1899–1903 H† [32]
John K. Tener 1911–1915 H† [33]
George Howard Earle III 1935–1939 Ambassador to Austria [34]
Edward Martin 1943–1947 S [35]
James H. Duff 1947–1951 S [36]
William Scranton 1963–1967 H Ambassador to the United Nations [37]
Dick Thornburgh 1979–1987 U.S. Attorney General [38]
Tom Ridge 1995–2001 H U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security [39]

Living former governors

As of 28 July 2013, four former governors are alive. The most recent death of a former governor was that of William Scranton (1963–1967), on July 28, 2013. The most recently serving governor to die was Robert Patrick Casey, who served from 1987 to 1995 and died at the age of sixty-eight on May 30, 2000.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Dick Thornburgh 1979–1987 (1932-07-16) July 16, 1932 (age 82)
Tom Ridge 1995–2001 (1945-08-26) August 26, 1945 (age 68)
Mark Schweiker 2001–2003 (1953-01-31) January 31, 1953 (age 61)
Ed Rendell 2003–2011 (1944-01-05) January 5, 1944 (age 70)

See also

  • List of Pennsylvania gubernatorial elections

Notes

References

General
Constitutions
Specific

External links

  • Office of the Governor of Pennsylvania

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