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Speaker of the North Carolina Senate: Wikis


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The President Pro Tempore (more commonly, "Pro-Tem") of the North Carolina Senate is the highest-ranking (internally elected) officer of one house of the North Carolina General Assembly. The President of the Senate is the Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, but the President Pro-Tem actually holds most of the power and presides in the absence of the Lt. Governor. He or she, a senior member of the party with a majority of seats, appoints senators to committees and also appoints certain members of state boards and commissions. Until 1868, North Carolina had no Lieutenant Governor, and the highest ranking officer of the Senate was known as the Speaker. The Speaker of the Senate was next in line if the office of Governor became vacant. This occurred on two occasions.


North Carolina Senate presiding officers



Presidents Pro Tempore

  • Edward J. Warren 1870-72
  • James T. Morehead, Jr. 1872-75
  • James L. Robinson 1876-77
  • William A. Graham 1879-80
  • William T. Dorch 1881-1883
  • E. T. Boykin 1885-1887
  • Edwin W. Kerr 1889
  • W. D. Turner 1891
  • John L. King 1893
  • E. L. Franck, Jr. 1895-1897
  • R. L. Smith 1899-1900
  • F. A. Whitaker 1899-1900
  • Henry A. London 1901-03
  • Charles A. Webb 1905-08
  • Whitehead Klutz 1909
  • Henry N. Pharr 1911-13
  • Oliver Max Gardner 1915
  • Fordyce C. Harding 1917
  • Lindsay C. Warren 1919-20
  • William L. Long 1921-24
  • William H. S. Burgwyn 1925
  • William L. Long 1927
  • Thomas L. Johnson 1929
  • Rivers D. Johnson 1931
  • William G. Clark 1933
  • Paul D. Grady 1935
  • Andrew H. Johnston 1937-38
  • James A. Bell 1937-38
  • Whitman E. Smith 1939
  • John D. Larkins, Jr. 1941
  • John H. Price 1943
  • Archie C. Gay 1945
  • Joseph L. Blythe 1947
  • James C. Pittman 1949
  • Rufus G. Rankin 1951
  • Edwin Pate 1953
  • Paul E. Jones 1955-56
  • Claude Currie 1957
  • Robert F. Morgan 1959
  • William L. Crew 1961
  • Ralph H. Scott 1963 [1]
  • Robert B. Morgan 1965-66
  • Herman A. Moore 1967
  • Neill H. McGeachy 1969
  • Frank N. Patterson, Jr. 1971
  • Gordon Allen 1971-74
  • John T. Henley 1975-78
  • W. Craig Lawing 1979-84
  • J. J. Harrington 1985-88
  • Henson P. Barnes 1989-91
  • Marc Basnight 1992-Present

Historical notes

Presidents Pro Tem are elected at the beginning of each biennial session, in January of odd-numbered years. As is evident from the foregoing list, from 1868 to 1992, it was rare for a President Pro-Tem to serve more than two terms. Marc Basnight, however, has become arguably the most powerful North Carolina Senate leader in history and one of the state's most influential politicians.

See also


  1. ^ Clarence Stone was elected President pro tempore when the 1963 legislature convened, but since President of the Senate (Lt. Governor) Harvey Cloyd Philpott had died, Stone immediately became President of the Senate. The Senate then elected Scott as President pro tem. (News & Observer blog comment by state legislative drafting director Gerry Cohen)


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