Lieutenant Governor of Texas

The lieutenant governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.

Lieutenant Governor and President of the Senate of Texas
Seal of Lt. Governor of Texas.svg
Dan Patrick Texas (alt crop).jpg
Dan Patrick

since January 20, 2015
StyleThe Honorable
Term lengthFour years, no term limits
Inaugural holderAlbert Clinton Horton
FormationTexas Constitution
WebsiteOffice of the Lieutenant Governor

Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, the lieutenant governor is president of the Texas Senate. Unlike with most other states' senates and the U.S. Senate, the lieutenant governor regularly exercises this function rather than delegating it to the president pro tempore or a majority leader. By the rules of the Senate, the lieutenant governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The lieutenant governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. The lieutenant governor also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.

The lieutenant governor is an ex officio member of several statutory bodies. These include the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, the Legislative Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy. The lieutenant governor is also a member of the Legislative Redistricting Board (together with the speaker of the House, attorney general, comptroller, and land commissioner), which is charged with adopting a redistricting plan for the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives after the decennial census if the Legislature fails to do so.

In the case of a vacancy in the lieutenant governor's office, the Senate elects one of its members to act as President of the Senate until the next statewide office election, in effect becoming the lieutenant governor. A senator elected as presiding officer in this way retains their district seat and the voting privileges entailed with his Senate election. The lieutenant governor is sworn-in on the third Tuesday every four years, the same as the governor.

Dan Patrick has been the lieutenant governor of Texas since January 20, 2015.

The term of office was two years from 1846 to 1972. Voters then increased it to four years, effective for the 1974 election. [1]

The lieutenant governor assumes the powers of the governor of Texas when the governor is out of the state or otherwise unable to discharge the office. The lieutenant governor is elected separately from the governor, rather than on the same ticket; it is therefore possible for the governor and lieutenant governor to be from different political parties (which was the case during Governor George W. Bush's first term and also during Bill Clements's two non-consecutive terms). The lieutenant governor becomes the governor if the elected governor resigns, dies or is removed from office via impeachment and conviction. Former governor Rick Perry took office upon George W. Bush's resignation on December 21, 2000. Bush became US President on January 20, 2001. When Perry became lieutenant governor on 19 January 1999, he became the first Republican since Albert Jennings Fountain in 1873 to serve as lieutenant governor, and the first Republican to be elected as Lieutenant Governor since James W. Flanagan in 1869.

Compared to other lieutenant governorsEdit

Texas is one of the few states that vests significant power in the office of lieutenant governor, making it among the most influential. By contrast, the lieutenant governor position in other states has few (if any) legislative responsibilities, akin to the vice president of the United States. The consequence is that the governor of Texas is weaker than other states' governors.

Lieutenant governors of TexasEdit


  Democratic (39)   Republican (8)

Lt. Governor Years in office Governor(s) served under Party
Albert Clinton Horton 1846–1847 James Pinckney Henderson Democratic
John Alexander Greer 1847–1851 George Tyler WoodPeter Hansborough Bell Democratic
James W. Henderson 1851–1853 Peter Hansborough Bell Democratic
David Catchings Dickson 1853–1855 Elisha M. Pease Democratic
Hardin Richard Runnels 1855–1857 Elisha M. Pease Democratic
Francis Lubbock 1857–1859 Hardin Richard Runnels Democratic
Edward Clark 1859–1861 Sam Houston Democratic
John McClannahan Crockett 1861–1863 Francis Lubbock Democratic
Fletcher Stockdale 1863–1865 Pendleton Murrah Democratic
Vacant 1865–1866 Fletcher Stockdale Andrew Jackson Hamilton   –
George Washington Jones[2] 1866–1867 James W. Throckmorton Democratic
Vacant 1867–1870 Elisha M. Pease   –
James W. Flanagan[3] elected 1869 None Republican
Vacant 1871–1874 Elisha M. PeaseEdmund J. Davis   –
Donald Campbell ex officio 1870–1871 Vacant Republican
Webster Flanagan ex officio 1871 Vacant Republican
Albert Jennings Fountain ex officio 1871–1873 Vacant Republican
Edward Bradford Pickett ex officio 1873–1874 Vacant Democratic
Richard B. Hubbard 1874–1876 Vacant Democratic
Vacant 1876–1879 Vacant   –
Joseph Draper Sayers 1879–1881 Oran Milo Roberts Democratic
Leonidas Jefferson Storey 1881–1883 Oran Milo Roberts Democratic
Francis Marion Martin 1883–1885 John Ireland Democratic
Barnett Gibbs 1885–1887 John Ireland Democratic
Thomas Benton Wheeler January 18, 1887 – January 19, 1891 Lawrence Sullivan Ross Democratic
George C. Pendleton January 19, 1891 – January 17, 1893 Lawrence Sullivan Ross Democratic
Martin McNulty Crane January 17, 1893 – January 15, 1895 Jim Hogg Democratic
George Taylor Jester January 15, 1895 – January 17, 1899 Charles Allen Culberson Democratic
James Browning January 17, 1899 – January 20, 1903 Joseph D. Sayers Democratic
George D. Neal January 20, 1903 – January 15, 1907 S. W. T. Lanham Democratic
Asbury Bascom Davidson January 15, 1907 – January 20, 1913 Thomas Mitchell CampbellOscar Branch Colquitt Democratic
William Harding Mayes January 20, 1913 – August 14, 1914 Oscar Branch Colquitt Democratic
Vacant 1914–1915   –
William P. Hobby Sr. January 19, 1915 – August 25, 1917 James E. Ferguson Democratic
Vacant 1917–1919 William P. Hobby   –
Willard Arnold Johnson January 21, 1919 – January 18, 1921 William P. Hobby Democratic
Lynch Davidson January 18, 1921 – January 16, 1923 Pat Morris Neff Democratic
Thomas Whitfield Davidson January 16, 1923 – January 20, 1925 Pat Morris Neff Democratic
Barry Miller January 20, 1925 – January 20, 1931 Miriam A. FergusonDan Moody Democratic
Edgar E. Witt January 20, 1931 – January 15, 1935 Ross S. SterlingMiriam A. Ferguson Democratic
Walter Frank Woodul January 15, 1935 – January 17, 1939 James V. Allred Democratic
Coke R. Stevenson January 17, 1939 – August 4, 1941 W. Lee O'Daniel Democratic
Vacant 1941–1943 Coke R. Stevenson   –
John Lee Smith January 19, 1943 – January 21, 1947 Coke R. StevensonBeauford H. Jester Democratic
Allan Shivers January 21, 1947 – July 11, 1949 Beauford H. Jester Democratic
Vacant 1949–1951 Allan Shivers   –
Ben Ramsey January 16, 1951 – September 18, 1961 Allan ShiversPrice Daniel Democratic
Vacant 1961–1963 Price Daniel   –
Preston Smith January 15, 1963 – January 21, 1969 John Connally Democratic
Ben Barnes January 21, 1969 – January 16, 1973 Preston Smith Democratic
William P. Hobby Jr. January 16, 1973 – January 15, 1991 Dolph Briscoe (Democratic)

Bill Clements (Republican) Mark White (Democratic) Bill Clements (Republican)

Bob Bullock January 15, 1991 – January 19, 1999 Ann Richards (Democratic)

George W. Bush (Republican)

Rick Perry[4] January 19, 1999 – December 21, 2000 George W. Bush Republican
Bill Ratliff[5] December 28, 2000 – January 21, 2003 Rick Perry Republican
David Dewhurst January 21, 2003 – January 20, 2015 Rick Perry Republican
Dan Patrick January 20, 2015 – present Greg Abbott Republican

Living former lieutenant governors of TexasEdit

As of January 2022, five former lieutenant governors of Texas were alive, the oldest being William P. Hobby Jr. (served 1973–1991, born 1932). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Texas was that of Preston Smith (served 1963–1969, born 1912), on October 18, 2003. The most recent serving lieutenant governor of Texas to die was Bob Bullock (served 1991–1999, born 1929), on June 18, 1999.

Lt. Governor Term Date of birth (and age)
Ben Barnes 1969–1973 (1938-04-17) April 17, 1938 (age 84)
William P. Hobby Jr. 1973–1991 (1932-01-19) January 19, 1932 (age 90)
Rick Perry 1999–2000 (1950-03-04) March 4, 1950 (age 72)
Bill Ratliff 2000–2003 (1936-08-16) August 16, 1936 (age 86)
David Dewhurst 2003–2015 (1945-08-18) August 18, 1945 (age 77)


  1. ^ Lieutenant Governor from the Handbook of Texas Online
  2. ^ Jones was removed by General Philip Sheridan, commander of the Fifth Military District during Reconstruction and the office remained vacant until the 14th Legislature in 1874.
  3. ^ Flanagan was elected Lieutenant Governor in 1869 but was not inaugurated. He presided over the Provisional session, but left office after being selected as an at-large representative to the U.S. Congress.
  4. ^ Perry vacated the office when he succeeded George W. Bush as Governor of Texas on December 21, 2000.
  5. ^ Ratliff was chosen by the Texas Senate to finish the unexpired term due to the vacancy of Rick Perry's succession to the Governorship. Ratliff served until David Dewhurst was elected in 2002 and inaugurated on January 21, 2003.

External linksEdit