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Joe Manchin, current Governor of West Virginia

The Governor of West Virginia is the head of the executive branch of West Virginia's government[1] and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[2] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws,[1] and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the West Virginia Legislature,[3] to convene the legislature at any time,[4] and, except when prosecution has been carried out by the House of Delegates, to grant pardons and reprieves.[5]

To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, and must have been a citizen of West Virginia for at least five years at the time of inauguration.[6] The Constitution of West Virginia, ratified in 1872, calls for a four-year term for the governor, commencing on the Monday after the second Wednesday in the January following an election.[6] The original constitution of 1863 had only a two-year term for governor.[7]

The constitution makes no mention of a lieutenant governor; if the governorship becomes vacant, the Senate President takes the position of acting governor. If more than one year remains in the governor's term at the time of vacancy, a new election is held; otherwise, the Senate President serves the remainder of the term.[8] A bill passed in 2000 grants the Senate President the honorary title of Lieutenant Governor,[9] but this title is rarely used in practice and the terms of the Senate President do not correspond with governorships. The current Senate President is Democrat Earl Ray Tomblin, who has served since 1995. (See List of Presidents of the West Virginia Senate.)

Since West Virginia became a state, it has had 34 governors; 32 men have held the office (Arch A. Moore, Jr. and Cecil H. Underwood each served two nonconsecutive governorships). Six governors in the state's history have served multiple terms. The longest-serving governor was Moore, who served for three terms over twelve years. The state's first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, served the most consecutive terms, resigning a week before the end of his third term; he is the only governor so far to leave office before the end of his term. Daniel D.T. Farnsworth was Senate President at the time; he filled the last seven days of Boreman's term and remains the shortest-serving governor.

Underwood has the unusual distinction of being both the youngest person to be elected as Governor (age 34 upon his first term in 1957) and the oldest to both be elected and serve (age 74 upon his second term in 1997; age 78 at the end of his second term in 2001).

The current governor is Joe Manchin, who took office on January 17, 2005; his second term expires in January 2013.

Contents

Governors

West Virginia was originally part of the state of Virginia, one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The northwestern counties of Virginia broke away during the American Civil War and formed the state, which was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863. Two more Virginia counties, Berkeley and Jefferson, joined the state on March 10, 1866.

      Democratic (19)       Independent (1)       Republican (15)

Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man, sitting.
Arthur I. Boreman, first Governor of West Virginia
Upper-body portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man.
John J. Jacob, fourth Governor of West Virginia, served his first term as a Democrat and his second as an Independent.
Upper-body portrait of a mid-twentieth-century man in a suit.
William C. Marland, 24th Governor of West Virginia
Upper-body photograph of a twenty-first-century man in a suit.
Jay Rockefeller, 29th Governor of West Virginia
# Governor Party Term start Term end Terms[N 1]
1   Arthur I. Boreman Republican June 20, 1863 February 26, 1869 2+12[N 2]
2 Daniel D. T. Farnsworth Republican February 26, 1869 March 4, 1869 12[N 3]
3 William E. Stevenson Republican March 4, 1869 March 4, 1871 2
4 John J. Jacob Democratic March 4, 1871 March 4, 1877 2[N 4][N 5]
  Independent
5 Henry M. Mathews Democratic March 4, 1877 March 4, 1881 1
6 Jacob B. Jackson Democratic March 4, 1881 March 4, 1885 1
7 Emanuel Willis Wilson Democratic March 4, 1885 February 6, 1890 1[N 6]
8 Aretas B. Fleming Democratic February 6, 1890 March 4, 1893 1
9 William A. MacCorkle Democratic March 4, 1893 March 4, 1897 1
10 George W. Atkinson Republican March 4, 1897 March 4, 1901 1
11 Albert B. White Republican March 4, 1901 March 4, 1905 1
12 William M. O. Dawson Republican March 4, 1905 March 4, 1909 1
13 William E. Glasscock Republican March 4, 1909 March 14, 1913 1
14 Henry D. Hatfield Republican March 14, 1913 March 5, 1917 1
15 John J. Cornwell Democratic March 5, 1917 March 4, 1921 1
16 Ephraim F. Morgan Republican March 4, 1921 March 4, 1925 1
17 Howard M. Gore Republican March 4, 1925 March 4, 1929 1
18 William G. Conley Republican March 4, 1929 March 4, 1933 1
19 Herman G. Kump Democratic March 4, 1933 January 18, 1937 1
20 Homer A. Holt Democratic January 18, 1937 January 13, 1941 1
21 Matthew M. Neely Democratic January 13, 1941 January 15, 1945 1
22 Clarence W. Meadows Democratic January 15, 1945 January 17, 1949 1
23 Okey L. Patteson Democratic January 17, 1949 January 19, 1953 1
24 William C. Marland Democratic January 19, 1953 January 14, 1957 1
25 Cecil H. Underwood Republican January 14, 1957 January 16, 1961 1
26 William Wallace Barron Democratic January 16, 1961 January 18, 1965 1
27 Hulett C. Smith Democratic January 18, 1965 January 13, 1969 1
28 Arch A. Moore, Jr. Republican January 13, 1969 January 17, 1977 2
29 Jay Rockefeller Democratic January 17, 1977 January 14, 1985 2
30 Arch A. Moore, Jr. Republican January 14, 1985 January 16, 1989 1
31 Gaston Caperton Democratic January 16, 1989 January 13, 1997 2
32   Cecil H. Underwood Republican January 13, 1997 January 15, 2001 1
33 Bob Wise Democratic January 15, 2001 January 17, 2005 1
34 Joe Manchin Democratic January 17, 2005 incumbent 2[N 7]

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional offices held by governors. All representatives and senators listed represented West Virginia. No governor of West Virginia has held any other federal office.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
† Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to be governor.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. House U.S. Senate Source
Arthur I. Boreman 1863–1869 S* [10]
George W. Atkinson 1897–1901 H [13]
Henry D. Hatfield 1913–1917 S [14]
Matthew M. Neely 1941–1945 H S† [15]
Arch A. Moore, Jr. 1969–1977, 1985–1989 H [16]
Jay Rockefeller 1977–1985 S [17]
Bob Wise 2001–2005 H [18]

Living former governors

As of August 2009, five former governors are alive, the oldest of whom is Hulett C. Smith (1965–1969, born 1918). The most recent governor to die was Cecil H. Underwood (1957–1961, 1997–2001), who died on November 24, 2008.[19]

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Hulett C. Smith 1965–1969 October 21, 1918 (1918-10-21) (age 91)
Arch A. Moore, Jr. 1969–1977, 1985–1989 April 16, 1923 (1923-04-16) (age 86)
Jay Rockefeller 1977–1985 June 18, 1937 (1937-06-18) (age 72)
Gaston Caperton 1989–1997 February 21, 1940 (1940-02-21) (age 69)
Bob Wise 2001–2005 January 6, 1948 (1948-01-06) (age 62)

Notes

  1. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  2. ^ Resigned to run for the United States Senate, winning election.[10]
  3. ^ As president of the state senate, filled unexpired term.[11]
  4. ^ Jacob's second term was under the 1872 constitution, which increased term lengths from two to four years.
  5. ^ Jacob was elected as a Democrat for his first term, and as an independent for his second.
  6. ^ Did not run for re-election in 1888, but due to the election being disputed, remained in office until the investigation was completed.[12]
  7. ^ Governor Manchin's second term expires on January 14, 2013; he is term limited.

References

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ a b WV Const. art. VII, § 5.
  2. ^ WV Const. art. VII, § 12.
  3. ^ WV Const. art. VII, § 14.
  4. ^ WV Const. art. VI, § 18–19.
  5. ^ WV Const. art. VII, § 11.
  6. ^ a b WV Const. art. VII, § 1.
  7. ^ WV Const. (1863) art. V, § 1.
  8. ^ WV Const. art. VII, § 16.
  9. ^ H.B. 4781 (Enrolled March 11, 2009). West Virginia Legislature, 2000 Sessions. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  10. ^ a b "Boreman, Arthur Ingram." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  11. ^ "West Virginia Governor Daniel Duane Tompkins Farnsworth." National Governors Association. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  12. ^ "West Virginia Governor Emanuel Willis Wilson." National Governors Association. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  13. ^ "Atkinson, George Wesley." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  14. ^ "Hatfield, Henry Drury." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  15. ^ "Neely, Matthew Mansfield." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  16. ^ "Moore, Arch Alfred, Jr." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  17. ^ "Rockefeller, John Davison IV (Jay)." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 16, 2009.
  18. ^ "Wise, Robert Ellsworth, Jr." Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved August 18, 2009.
  19. ^ "Former Gov. Cecil Underwood has died at 86." Charleston Daily Mail. November 24, 2008. Retrieved August 12, 2009.

See also

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Governor of West Virginia
Incumbent
Joe Manchin

since January 17, 2005
Residence West Virginia Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Arthur I. Boreman
Formation June 20, 1863
Website http://www.wvgov.org/

The Governor of West Virginia is the chief executive of West Virginia. That person serves a term of four years, and may serve more than two consecutive terms. He or she is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces and is charged by the West Virginia Constitution with carrying out the state's laws.[1]

The 34th and current Governor of West Virginia is Joe Manchin, a Democrat, who was elected on November 2, 2004. He was reelected by a wide margin on November 4, 2008, and his second term is to expire in January 2013. There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms a governor can serve in office.

See also

References

  1. ^ http://www.legis.state.wv.us/wvcode/wv_con.cfm


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