Open main menu

Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

The Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina is the second highest elected official in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is the only elected official to have powers in both the legislative and executive branches of state government. The current Lieutenant Governor is Dan Forest, a Republican.

Lieutenant Governor of
North Carolina
Seal of North Carolina.svg
Dan Forest in 2018.jpg
Dan Forest

since January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07)
Member of
SeatRaleigh, North Carolina
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Constituting instrumentNorth Carolina Constitution of 1868
Inaugural holderTod R. Caldwell
SalaryUS$124,676 per year
WebsiteOfficial website

As of 2008, the administrative offices of the Lieutenant Governor are located in the historic Hawkins-Hartness House on N. Blount Street in Raleigh's Government District. The Lieutenant Governor also maintains an office at the nearby North Carolina State Legislative Building. At one time, the Lieutenant Governor had an office in the North Carolina State Capitol.[2]

Duties and powersEdit

The office of Lieutenant Governor was created by the North Carolina Constitution of 1868. Just as the Vice President of the United States presides (albeit rarely) over the United States Senate, the lieutenant governor's primary responsibility is to preside over the North Carolina Senate; until 1970, this was the lieutenant governor's only major responsibility, and the position was only part-time. The position is now a full-time job.

By virtue of the office (Ex officio), the lieutenant governor is a member of the Council of State, the North Carolina Board of Education, the North Carolina Capital Planning Commission, and the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges, and serves as the Chairman of the eLearning Commission.[3]

From 1868 through 1977, the lieutenant governor, like the governor of North Carolina, was limited to a single four-year term. In 1977, the North Carolina Constitution was amended to allow both the governor and the lieutenant governor to serve two consecutive terms.[4]

Succession to office of governorEdit

The lieutenant governor is the first official in line to succeed the Governor of North Carolina, should that office be vacated. This has occurred five times in the history of the office; four of the first six lieutenant governors were promoted upon the death, impeachment, or resignation of the previously sitting governor.

Lieutenant governors have often run for governor, but few have been successful. Jim Hunt, elected governor in 1976, and Beverly Perdue, elected governor in 2008, are the two most recent exceptions.[5]

The lieutenant governor is elected on a separate ballot from the governor; therefore, it is theoretically possible that the governor and lieutenant governor may be of different political party affiliations. This has happened twice in North Carolina since the 1977 constitutional amendment, once from 1985 to 1989, and during the present 2016 to 2020 term.

List of lieutenant governorsEdit


  Democratic (29)   Republican (5)

# Image Lt. Governor Term of Office Political Party Governor(s)
1   Tod R. Caldwell[a] 1868–1870 Republican William W. Holden (R)
Office vacant 1870–1873
2   Curtis H. Brogden 1873–1874 Republican Tod R. Caldwell (R)
Office vacant 1874–1877
3   Thomas J. Jarvis 1877–1879 Democratic Zebulon B. Vance (D)
Office vacant 1879–1881
4   James L. Robinson[b] 1881–1885 Democratic Thomas J. Jarvis (D)
5   Charles M. Stedman 1885–1889 Democratic Alfred Moore Scales (D)
6   Thomas M. Holt 1889–1891 Democratic Daniel Gould Fowle (D)
Office vacant 1891–1893
7   Rufus A. Doughton 1893–1897 Democratic Elias Carr (D)
8   Charles A. Reynolds 1897–1901 Republican Daniel Lindsay Russell (R)
9   Wilfred D. Turner 1901–1905 Democratic Charles Brantley Aycock (D)
10   Francis D. Winston 1905–1909 Democratic Robert Broadnax Glenn (D)
11   William C. Newland 1909–1913 Democratic William Walton Kitchin (D)
12   Elijah L. Daughtridge 1913–1917 Democratic Locke Craig (D)
13   Oliver Max Gardner 1917–1921 Democratic Thomas Walter Bickett (D)
14   William B. Cooper 1921–1925 Democratic Cameron A. Morrison (D)
15   Jacob E. Long 1925–1929 Democratic Angus Wilton McLean (D)
16   Richard T. Fountain 1929–1933 Democratic Oliver Max Gardner (D)
17   Alexander H. Graham 1933–1937 Democratic John C. B. Ehringhaus (D)
18   Wilkins P. Horton 1937–1941 Democratic Clyde R. Hoey (D)
19   Reginald L. Harris 1941–1945 Democratic J. Melville Broughton (D)
20   Lynton Y. Ballentine 1945–1949 Democratic R. Gregg Cherry (D)
21   Hoyt Patrick Taylor 1949–1953 Democratic W. Kerr Scott (D)
22   Luther H. Hodges 1953–1954 Democratic William B. Umstead (D)
Office vacant 1954–1957
23   Luther E. Barnhardt 1957–1961 Democratic Luther H. Hodges (D)
24   Harvey Cloyd Philpott[c] 1961 Democratic Terry Sanford (D)
Office vacant 1961–1965
25   Robert W. Scott 1965–1969 Democratic Dan K. Moore (D)
26   Hoyt Patrick Taylor, Jr. 1969–1973 Democratic Robert W. Scott (D)
27   Jim Hunt 1973–1977 Democratic James Holshouser (R)
28   James C. Green[d] 1977–1985 Democratic Jim Hunt (D)
29   Robert B. Jordan 1985–1989 Democratic James G. Martin (R)
30   Jim Gardner[e] 1989–1993 Republican James G. Martin (R)
31   Dennis Wicker 1993–2001 Democratic Jim Hunt (D)
32   Bev Perdue[f] 2001–2009 Democratic Mike Easley (D)
33   Walter Dalton 2009–2013 Democratic Bev Perdue (D)
34   Dan Forest 2013– Republican Pat McCrory (R) (2013–2017)
Roy Cooper (D) (2017–present)
  1. ^ Became Governor on December 20, 1870.
  2. ^ Robinson is often referred to as "acting Lieutenant Governor" from 1879 through 1881, because, as President Pro Tempore of the Senate at the time that Jarvis succeeded to the governorship, he became President of the Senate, putting him next in line to succeed the governor. However, technically, there is no such office as "acting" lieutenant governor, meaning that the office was vacant, just as it had been in periods such as 1874-1877. Robinson was elected lieutenant governor in his own right in 1880.
  3. ^ Died in office.
  4. ^ First Lt. Governor to serve two terms.
  5. ^ First Republican elected since Reynolds in 1896.
  6. ^ First female Lt. Governor.

See alsoEdit

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Elections: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020

Living former Lieutenant Governors of North CarolinaEdit

As of April 2018, six former lieutenant governors of North Carolina were alive, the oldest being Robert B. Jordan, III (served 1985–1989, born 1932). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of North Carolina was that of Hoyt Patrick Taylor Jr. (served 1969–1973), on April 22, 2018. The most recently serving lieutenant governor to die was James C. Green (served 1977–1985), on February 4, 2000.

Lt. Governor Lt. Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
James B. Hunt, Jr. 1973–1977 (1937-05-16) May 16, 1937 (age 82)
Robert B. Jordan, III 1985–1989 (1932-10-11) October 11, 1932 (age 87)
James Carson Gardner 1989–1993 (1933-04-08) April 8, 1933 (age 86)
Dennis A. Wicker 1993–2001 (1952-06-14) June 14, 1952 (age 67)
Beverly Eaves Perdue 2001–2009 (1947-01-14) January 14, 1947 (age 72)
Walter H. Dalton 2009–2013 (1949-05-21) May 21, 1949 (age 70)


  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. ^ News & Observer: Homeless lt. governors, next on Oprah? Archived 2009-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ eLearningNC
  4. ^ NC Government Records Branch
  5. ^ News & Observer: A curse on lieutenant governors? Archived 2008-10-23 at the Wayback Machine

External linksEdit