Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
The Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts is the first in the line to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor following the incapacitation of the Governor of Massachusetts. The constitutional honorific title for the office is His, or Her, Honor.
|Lieutenant Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|Style||His Honor/ Her Honor|
|Member of||Governor's Council|
|Term length||Four years, no limit|
|Precursor||Deputy Governor of Massachusetts Bay in New England|
|Inaugural holder||Thomas Cushing|
|Formation||October 25, 1780|
The Massachusetts Constitution provides that when a governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the office of governor remains vacant for the rest of the 4-year term. The lieutenant governor discharges powers and duties as Acting Governor and does not actually assume the office of governor. The first time this came into use was five years after the constitution's adoption in 1785, when Governor John Hancock resigned his post five months before the election and inauguration of his successor, James Bowdoin, leaving Lieutenant Governor Thomas Cushing as acting governor. Most recently, Jane Swift became acting governor when Paul Cellucci resigned in 2001 to become the U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
The lieutenant governor serves in place of the governor when he or she is outside the borders of Massachusetts. Historically a one-year term, the office of lieutenant governor now carries a four-year term, the same as that of the governor. The lieutenant governor is not elected independently, but on a ticket with the governor. The 1780 constitution required a candidate for either office to have lived in Massachusetts for at least seven years immediately preceding election, own at least £1,000 worth of real property and to "declare himself to be of the Christian religion". However, only the residency requirement remains in effect, and both men and women have served in the office. Amendment Article LXIV (1918) changed the election from every year to every two years, and Amendment Article LXXXII (1966) changed it again to every four years. The office is currently held by Karyn Polito, who was inaugurated in January 2015.
Any person seeking to become Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts must meet the following requirements:
- Be at least eighteen years of age
- Be a registered voter in Massachusetts
- Be a Massachusetts resident for at least seven years when elected
- Receive 10,000 signatures from registered voters on nomination papers
The role of Lieutenant Governor has its roots in the role of Deputy Governor of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Originally the Deputy, along with the Governor, and the Council of Assistants were elected by freemen of the colony. They served as executives in the governance of the colony but also as executive officers of the Company of Massachusetts Bay. Originally these royal officers were to remain in London, as was the case with other royal colonial companies. However, John Humphrey and John Winthrop, the first Deputy and Governor respectively, traveled to the colony instead. In the colonial era the Governor and Deputy served as chief magistrates along with the Council, and the Governor served as General of the militia and the Deputy as Colonel.
In the early days of the colony the Deputy Governor was elected to a one year term along with the Governor. With the revocation of the charter of 1629 and the establishment of the Dominion of New England, all this was changed. Now the Royal Officers were to be appointed by the King and Privy Council. They were to follow royal directive and serve the interests of the Crown. The Royal Government in Great Britain was frustrated with their lack of control of the New England colonies and sought to reassert their authority.
Now styled "Lieutenant Governor", the new royal appointees came into conflict with the colonists and General Court who wished to regain authority of provincial affairs. The last Lieutenant Governor was Thomas Oliver who served with Gen. Thomas Gage.
There shall be annually elected a lieutenant governor of the commonwealth of Massachusetts, whose title shall be, His Honor and who shall be qualified, in point of religion, property, and residence in the commonwealth, in the same manner with the governor: and the day and manner of his or her election, and the qualifications of the electors, shall be the same as are required in the election of a governor.
Massachusetts law provides for the lieutenant governor to serve as the chairman of the award selection committee for the Madeline Amy Sweeney Award for Civilian Bravery.
The lieutenant governor is typically elected on a joint ticket with the governor, ensuring that they have the same political party affiliation. When the state constitution was first enacted in 1780, elections for the two offices were independent, and were held annually. Constitutional amendments enacted in 1918 extended the terms of both offices to two years, with elections in even-numbered years. In 1964 the constitution was amended again to extend the terms to four years, and in 1966 to allow for the grouping of governor and lieutenant governor on the ballot by political party. Elections are held in even-numbered years that are not presidential election years.
List of lieutenant governorsEdit
Lieutenant governors who acted as governor during a portion of their terms (due to vacancy by death or resignation in the governor's seat) are marked by asterisks (*).
|#||Lieutenant Governor||Term in office||Political party||Governor(s)|
|1||Thomas Cushing*||1780–1788||Independent||John Hancock (I)|
James Bowdoin (I)
|2||Benjamin Lincoln||1788–1789||Federalist||John Hancock (I)|
|3||Samuel Adams||1789–1794||Democratic-Republican||John Hancock (I)|
|4||Moses Gill*||1794–1800||Independent||Samuel Adams (DR)|
Increase Sumner (F)
|Office vacant 1800–1801||Governor's Council|
Caleb Strong (F)
|5||Samuel Phillips Jr.||1801–1802||Federalist||Caleb Strong (F)|
|6||Edward Robbins||1802–1806||Democratic-Republican||Caleb Strong (F)|
|Office vacant 1806–1807||Caleb Strong (F)|
|7||Levi Lincoln Sr.*||1807–1809||Democratic-Republican||James Sullivan (DR)|
|8||David Cobb||1809–1810||Federalist||Christopher Gore (F)|
|9||William Gray||1810–1812||Democratic-Republican||Caleb Strong (F)|
|10||William Phillips Jr.||1812–1823||Federalist||Caleb Strong (F)|
John Brooks (F)
|11||Levi Lincoln Jr.||1823–1824||Democratic-Republican||William Eustis (DR)|
|12||Marcus Morton*||1824–1825||Democratic-Republican||William Eustis (DR)|
|13||Thomas L. Winthrop||1825–1833||Democratic-Republican||Levi Lincoln Jr. (NR,W)|
|14||Samuel T. Armstrong*||1833–1835||Whig||John Davis (W)|
|15||George Hull||1836–1843||Whig||Edward Everett (W)|
Marcus Morton (D)
John Davis (W)
|16||Henry H. Childs||1843–1844||Democratic||Marcus Morton (D)|
|17||John Reed Jr.||1844–1851||Whig||George N. Briggs (W)|
|18||Henry W. Cushman||1851–1853||Democratic||George S. Boutwell (D)|
|19||Elisha Huntington||1853–1854||Whig||John H. Clifford (W)|
|20||William C. Plunkett||1854–1855||Whig||Emory Washburn (W)|
|21||Simon Brown||1855–1856||Know Nothing||Henry Gardner (KN)|
|22||Henry W. Benchley||1856–1858||Republican||Henry Gardner (KN)|
|23||Eliphalet Trask||1858–1861||Republican||Nathaniel Prentice Banks (R)|
|24||John Z. Goodrich||1861||Republican||John Albion Andrew (R)|
|25||John Nesmith||1862||Republican||John Albion Andrew (R)|
|26||Joel Hayden||1863–1866||Republican||John Albion Andrew (R)|
|27||William Claflin||1866–1869||Republican||Alexander H. Bullock (R)|
|28||Joseph Tucker||1869–1873||Republican||William Claflin (R)|
William B. Washburn (R)
|29||Thomas Talbot*||1873–1875||Republican||William B. Washburn (R)|
|30||Horatio G. Knight||1875–1879||Republican||William Gaston (D)|
Alexander H. Rice (R)
|31||John D. Long||1879–1880||Republican||Thomas Talbot (R)|
|32||Byron Weston||1880–1883||Republican||John D. Long (R)|
|33||Oliver Ames||1883–1887||Republican||Benjamin F. Butler (D,Greenback)|
George D. Robinson (R)
|34||John Q. A. Brackett||1887–1890||Republican||Oliver Ames (R)|
|35||William H. Haile||1890–1893||Republican||John Q. A. Brackett (R)|
William Russell (D)
|36||Roger Wolcott*||1893–1896||Republican||William Russell (D)|
Frederic T. Greenhalge (R)
|37||Winthrop M. Crane||1897–1900||Republican||Roger Wolcott (R)|
|38||John L. Bates||1900–1903||Republican||Winthrop Murray Crane (R)|
|39||Curtis Guild Jr.||1903–1906||Republican||John L. Bates (R)|
William L. Douglas (D)
|40||Eben S. Draper||1906–1909||Republican||Curtis Guild Jr. (R)|
|41||Louis A. Frothingham||1909–1912||Republican||Eben S. Draper (R)|
Eugene Noble Foss (D)
|42||Robert Luce||1912–1913||Republican||Eugene Noble Foss (D)|
|43||David I. Walsh||1913–1914||Democratic||Eugene Noble Foss (D)|
|44||Edward P. Barry||1914–1915||Democratic||David I. Walsh (D)|
|45||Grafton D. Cushing||1915–1916||Republican||David I. Walsh (D)|
|46||Calvin Coolidge||1916–1919||Republican||Samuel W. McCall (R)|
|47||Channing H. Cox||1919–1921||Republican||Calvin Coolidge (R)|
|48||Alvan T. Fuller||1921–1925||Republican||Channing H. Cox (R)|
|49||Frank G. Allen||1925–1929||Republican||Alvan T. Fuller (R)|
|50||William S. Youngman||1929–1933||Republican||Frank G. Allen (R)|
|51||Gaspar G. Bacon||1933–1935||Republican||Joseph B. Ely (D)|
|52||Joseph L. Hurley||1935–1937||Democratic||James Michael Curley (D)|
|53||Francis E. Kelly||1937–1939||Democratic||Charles F. Hurley (D)|
|54||Horace T. Cahill||1939–1945||Republican||Leverett Saltonstall (R)|
|55||Robert F. Bradford||1945–1947||Republican||Maurice J. Tobin (D)|
|56||Arthur W. Coolidge||1947–1949||Republican||Robert F. Bradford (R)|
|57||Charles F. Sullivan||1949–1953||Democratic||Paul A. Dever (D)|
|58||Sumner G. Whittier||1953–1957||Republican||Christian Herter (R)|
|59||Robert F. Murphy||1957–1960||Democratic||Foster Furcolo (D)|
|Office vacant 1960–1961||Foster Furcolo (D)|
|60||Edward F. McLaughlin Jr.||1961–1963||Democratic||John A. Volpe (R)|
|61||Francis Bellotti||1963–1965||Democratic||Endicott Peabody (D)|
|62||Elliot Richardson||1965–1967||Republican||John A. Volpe (R)|
|63||Francis Sargent*||1967–1971||Republican||John A. Volpe (R)|
|64||Donald Dwight||1971–1975||Republican||Francis W. Sargent (R)|
|65||Thomas P. O'Neill III||1975–1983||Democratic||Michael Dukakis (D)|
Edward J. King (D)
|66||John Kerry||1983–1985||Democratic||Michael Dukakis (D)|
|Office vacant 1985–1987||Michael Dukakis (D)|
|67||Evelyn Murphy||1987–1991||Democratic||Michael Dukakis (D)|
|68||Paul Cellucci*||1991–1999||Republican||William Weld (R)|
|69||Jane Swift*||1999–2003||Republican||Paul Cellucci (R)|
|70||Kerry Healey||2003–2007||Republican||Mitt Romney (R)|
|71||Tim Murray||2007–2013||Democratic||Deval Patrick (D)|
|Office vacant 2013–2015||Deval Patrick (D)|
|72||Karyn Polito||2015–present||Republican||Charlie Baker (R)|
Living former lieutenant governorsEdit
As of January 2017[update], there are eight former lieutenant governors of Massachusetts who are currently living at this time, the oldest lieutenant governor of Massachusetts being Francis X. Bellotti (served 1963–1965, born 1923). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts was that of Paul Cellucci (served 1991–1999, born 1948), on June 8, 2013.
|Lt. Governor||Lt. Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Francis X. Bellotti||1963–1965||May 3, 1923|
|Donald R. Dwight||1971–1975||March 26, 1931|
|Thomas P. O'Neill III||1975–1983||September 20, 1944|
|John Kerry||1983–1985||December 11, 1943|
|Evelyn Murphy||1987–1991||May 14, 1940|
|Jane M. Swift||1999–2003||February 24, 1965|
|Kerry Healey||2003–2007||April 30, 1960|
|Tim Murray||2007–2013||June 7, 1968|
- "Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts". Massachusetts General Court. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Hall, Van Beck (1972). Politics Without Parties: Massachusetts 1780–1791. Pittsburgh, PA: University of Pittsburgh Press. pp. 136–138. ISBN 978-0-8229-3234-5. OCLC 315459.
- Amendments: Article VII removed the religious oath, Article XXXIV removed the property requirement,
- Rubino, Rich. "The Unusual and Peculiar Office of Lieutenant Governor". TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- "General Laws: Chapter 6, Section 214". Massachusetts General Court. Retrieved October 3, 2013.
- Mass. Const. Amendments Art. LXIV
- Mass. Const. Amendments Art. LXXVI
- Lewis, William (October 7, 1960). "Furcolo Surrenders; Murphy Heads MDC". The Boston Globe.
Hutchinson, Thomas (1749). The History of the Colony (Province) of Massachusetts Bay. 2. Boston: Thomas & John Fleet.
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