The following is a list of the Governors of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Virginia's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Virginia General Assembly, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment.
The first constitution of 1776 created the office of governor, to be elected annually by the state legislature. The governor could serve up to three years at a time, and once out of office, could not serve again for four years. The 1830 constitution changed the thrice renewable one-year term length to a non-renewable three-year term, and set the start date at the first day in January following an election. This constitution also prevented governors from succeeding themselves, a prohibition that exists to the present day. The 1851 constitution increased terms to four years and made the office elected by the people, rather than the legislature. The commencement of the governor's term was moved to the first day in February by the 1902 constitution, and then to the Saturday after the second Wednesday in January by the 1971 and current constitution.
If the office of governor is vacant due to disqualification, death, or resignation, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. The office of lieutenant governor was created in 1851 Prior to then, a Council of State existed, which chose a president among its members who would be "Lieutenant-Governor", who would act as governor in a time of absence in the office.
Officially there have been 72 governors of Virginia; the acting governors are not counted.
President of the Committee for Public Safety
Â Â Â Â Â Â No party
List of Governors
Â Â Â Â Â Â Democratic Â Â Â Â Â Â Federalist Â Â Â Â Â Â Democratic-Republican Â Â Â Â Â Â Whig Â Â Â Â Â Â Republican
Living former U.S. governors of Virginia
As of May 2015, there are nine former U.S. governors of Virginia who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. governor of Virginia being A. Linwood Holton, Jr. (1970â"1974, born 1923). The most recent U.S. governor of Virginia to die was Mills E. Godwin, Jr. (1966â"1970 and 1974â"1978), on January 30, 1999. The most recently serving U.S. governor of Virginia to die was John N. Dalton (1978â"1982), on July 30, 1986.
Other high offices held
- *Â Denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.
This is a table of congressional, confederate and other federal offices held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Virginia except where noted.
- Virginia State Government Website
- Congressional Quarterly
- Virginia governors. (2000). In Congressional Quarterly (Ed.), American political leaders 1789-2000. Washington: CQ Press. Retrieved January 10, 2006, from CQ Electronic Library, CQ Voting and Elections Collection, . Document ID: amldrs-147-7136-390228. (Requires Subscription)
- National Governors Association's list of Virginia Governors
- "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia". Virginia General Assembly. 1971. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Scholarly Press. 1902. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Scholarly Press. 1870. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Scholarly Press. 1864. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Scholarly Press. 1851. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia". West Virginia Division of Culture and History. 1830. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â
- "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Virginia". Avalon Project. 1776. Retrieved 2008-06-17.Â