Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
|Lieutenant Governor of Indiana|
|Term length||4 years
(term limited to serving no more than eight years in any twelve-year period)
|Inaugural holder||Christopher Harrison
November 7, 1816
|Formation||Constitution of Indiana
The Lieutenant Governor of Indiana is a constitutional office in the US State of Indiana. Republican Eric Holcomb, who assumed office in March 2016, is the incumbent. The office holder's constitutional roles are to serve as President of the Indiana Senate, become acting governor during the incapacity of the governor, and became governor should the incumbent governor resign, die in office, or be impeached and removed from office. Lieutenant governors have succeeded ten governors following their deaths or resignations. The lieutenant governor holds statutory positions, serving as the head of the state agricultural and rural affairs bureaus, and as the chairman of several state committees. The annual salary of the lieutenant governor of Indiana is $88,000.
The lieutenant governor is elected on the same election ticket as the Governor in a statewide election held every four years, concurrent with United States presidential elections. Should a lieutenant governor die while in office, resign, or succeed to the governorship, the constitution specifies no mechanism by which to fill vacancies in the lieutenant governor's office. Historically, the position has generally remained vacant during such events. The last attempt to fill such a vacancy in 1887 led to the outbreak of violence in the state legislature known as the Black Day of the General Assembly.
The position of lieutenant governor was created with the adoption of the first Constitution of Indiana in August 1816. The position was filled by an October election. The position was retained and the current requirements established in the state's second and current constitution adopted in 1851.
To become lieutenant governor of Indiana, a candidate must have been a United States citizen and lived within Indiana for the period of five consecutive years before the election. The candidate must also be at least thirty years old when sworn into office. The lieutenant governor may not hold any federal office during his term, and must resign from any such position before being eligible to be sworn in as lieutenant governor. Before taking the office, the candidate must swear an oath of office administered by the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, promising to uphold the constitution and laws of Indiana.
The lieutenant governor of Indiana serves as acting governor when the governor becomes incapacitated. In the state's early history, lieutenant governors would serve as acting governor while the governor was away from the capital. Christopher Harrison was the first lieutenant governor to serve as acting governor while Jonathan Jennings negotiated treaties far from the capital.
If the governor dies in office, becomes permanently incapacitated, resigns, or is impeached, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. In total, ten lieutenant governors become governor by succession. The first occurrence was when Jonathan Jennings resigned to become a congressman and was succeeded by Ratliff Boon.
In the event that both the governorship and lieutenant-governorship are vacant, the constitution stipulates that the Senate President pro tempore becomes governor. Historically, governors appointed the pro tempore to serve as acting lieutenant governor as a formality. This practice ended in the early twentieth century. Although the constitution did not specify a method to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governorship, an attempt to fill a vacancy occurred in 1887. When the winner of the election attempted to be seated, the Senate erupted into violence known as the Black Day of the General Assembly; the lieutenant governor-elect was sworn in but never seated.
Should the lieutenant governorship become vacant for any reason, including death, resignation, or succession, the governor may nominate a replacement who must be approved by both houses of the General Assembly.
The lieutenant governor has two constitutional functions. The primary function is to serve as the President of the Indiana Senate. In the Senate the lieutenant governor is permitted to debate on legislation, introduce legislation, and vote on matters to break ties. As presiding officer in the Senate, lieutenant governors also have partial control over what legislation will be considered, and influence on the legislative calendar. Unless a special session is called by the governor, the Senate meets for no more than 91 days in any two years period, leaving the lieutenant governor free from his or her senatorial duties in the remainder of the year.
The secondary function is to serve as a successor to the governorship should it become vacant, or act as governor if necessary. If a lieutenant governor should succeed to the governorship, the office of lieutenant governor and President of the Senate become vacant; the duties are taken over by the Senate President pro tempore.
The majority of the powers exercised by the lieutenant governor are statutory and have been assigned by the Indiana General Assembly. The first additional powers granted to the lieutenant governor were added in 1932 when the office holder was made the head of the state's agricultural commission. The office's powers have since expanded to include the chairmanship of the Office of Community and Rural Affairs, the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority, Office of Energy and Defense Development, and the Office of Tourism Development. As head of the various office and committees, the lieutenant governor controls many patronage positions and is permitted to fill them by appointment. Important positions filled by the lieutenant governor include the members of the Corn Marketing Council, the Main Street Council, Steel Advisory Commission, and the Indiana Film Commission.
In addition to the chairmanship of the committees, the lieutenant governor is also a participating member of the Natural Resources Committee, State Office Building Commission, Air Pollution Control Board, Water Pollution Control Board, and Solid Waste Management Board.
List of Lieutenant Governors of Indiana
There have been forty-nine Lieutenant Governors of Indiana since Indiana became a state in 1816.
|#||Lt. Governor||Took office||Left office||Party||Governor||Notes|
|1||Christopher Harrison||November 7, 1816||December 17, 1818||Democratic-Republican||Jonathan Jennings||[N 1][N 2][N 3]|
|2||Ratliff Boon||December 8, 1819||September 12, 1822||Democratic-Republican||Jonathan Jennings||[N 2][N 4]|
|3||Ratliff Boon||September 12, 1822||January 30, 1824||Democratic-Republican||William Hendricks||[N 2][N 4]|
|4||John H. Thompson||January 30, 1824||December 3, 1828||Democratic-Republican||William Hendricks||[N 5]|
|5||Milton Stapp||December 3, 1828||December 7, 1831||Independent||James B. Ray|
|6||David Wallace||December 7, 1831||December 6, 1837||Whig||Noah Noble|
|7||David Hillis||December 6, 1837||December 9, 1840||Whig||David Wallace|
|8||Samuel Hall||December 9, 1840||December 6, 1843||Whig||Samuel Bigger|
|9||Jesse D. Bright||December 6, 1843||March 4, 1845||Democrat||James Whitcomb||[N 2][N 6][N 7]|
|10||Paris C. Dunning||December 9, 1846||December 26, 1848||Democrat||James Whitcomb||[N 4][N 8]|
|11||James Henry Lane||December 5, 1849||January 10, 1853||Democrat||Joseph A. Wright|
|12||Ashbel P. Willard||January 10, 1853||January 12, 1857||Democrat||Joseph A. Wright|
|13||Abram A. Hammond||January 12, 1857||October 3, 1860||Democrat||Ashbel P. Willard||[N 4][N 9]|
|14||Oliver P. Morton||January 14, 1861||January 16, 1861||Republican||Henry Smith Lane||[N 4]|
|—||John R. Cravens||January 16, 1861||October 9, 1863||Republican||Oliver P. Morton||acting[N 10]|
|—||Paris C. Dunning||October 9, 1863||January 9, 1865||Democrat||Oliver P. Morton||acting[N 11]|
|15||Conrad Baker||January 9, 1865||January 23, 1867||Republican||Oliver P. Morton||[N 4][N 1]|
|16||William Cumback||January 11, 1869||January 13, 1873||Republican||Conrad Baker||[N 2][N 12][N 13]|
|17||Leonidas Sexton||January 13, 1873||January 13, 1877||Republican||Thomas A. Hendricks|
|18||Isaac P. Gray||January 13, 1877||November 2, 1880||Democrat||James D. Williams||[N 4]|
|—||Fredrick Vieche||November 20, 1880||January 8, 1881||Democrat||Isaac P. Gray||acting[N 14]|
|19||Thomas Hanna||January 10, 1881||January 12, 1885||Republican||Albert G. Porter|
|20||Mahlon Dickerson Manson||January 12, 1885||August 3, 1886||Democrat||Isaac P. Gray||[N 2]|
|21||Robert S. Robertson||January 10, 1887||January 13, 1889||Republican||Isaac P. Gray|
|–||Alonzo G. Smith||November 8, 1886||January 14, 1889||Democrat||Isaac P. Gray||acting[N 15]|
|22||Ira Joy Chase||January 14, 1889||November 24, 1891||Republican||Alvin Peterson Hovey||acting[N 4][N 16]|
|—||Francis M. Griffith||November 23, 1891||January 9, 1893||Republican||Ira Joy Chase||acting[N 17]|
|23||Mortimer Nye||January 9, 1893||January 11, 1897||Democrat||Claude Matthews|
|24||William S. Haggard||January 11, 1897||January 14, 1901||Republican||James A. Mount|
|25||Newton W. Gilbert||January 14, 1901||January 9, 1905||Republican||Winfield T. Durbin|
|26||Hugh Thomas Miller||January 9, 1905||January 11, 1909||Republican||Frank Hanly|
|27||Frank J. Hall||January 11, 1909||January 13, 1913||Democrat||Thomas R. Marshall|
|28||William P. O'Neill||January 13, 1913||January 8, 1917||Democrat||Samuel M. Ralston|
|29||Edgar D. Bush||January 8, 1917||January 10, 1921||Republican||James P. Goodrich|
|30||Emmett Forrest Branch||January 10, 1921||April 30, 1924||Republican||Warren T. McCray||[N 4]|
|—||James J. Nejdl||April 30, 1924||January 12, 1925||Republican||Warren T. McCray||acting[N 18]|
|31||F. Harold Van Orman||January 12, 1925||January 14, 1929||Republican||Edward L. Jackson|
|32||Edgar D. Bush||January 14, 1929||January 9, 1933||Republican||Harry G. Leslie|
|33||M. Clifford Townsend||January 9, 1933||January 11, 1937||Democrat||Paul V. McNutt|
|34||Henry F. Schricker||January 11, 1937||January 13, 1941||Democrat||M. Clifford Townsend|
|35||Charles M. Dawson||January 13, 1941||January 8, 1945||Democrat||Henry F. Schricker|
|36||Richard T. James||January 8, 1945||January 10, 1948||Republican||Ralph F. Gates|
|37||Rue J. Alexander||April 14, 1948||January 2, 1949||Republican||Henry F. Schricker||[N 2]|
|38||John A. Watkins||January 10, 1949||January 12, 1953||Democrat||Henry F. Schricker|
|39||Harold W. Handley||January 12, 1953||January 14, 1957||Republican||George N. Craig|
|40||Crawford F. Parker||January 14, 1957||January 9, 1961||Republican||Harold W. Handley|
|41||Richard O. Ristine||January 9, 1961||January 11, 1965||Republican||Matthew E. Welsh|
|42||Robert L. Rock||January 11, 1965||January 13, 1969||Democrat||Roger D. Branigin|
|43||Richard E. Folz||January 13, 1969||January 8, 1973||Republican||Edgar Whitcomb|
|44||Robert D. Orr||January 8, 1973||January 12, 1981||Republican||Otis R. Bowen|
|45||John Mutz||January 12, 1981||January 9, 1989||Republican||Robert D. Orr|
|46||Frank O'Bannon||January 9, 1989||January 13, 1997||Democrat||Evan Bayh|
|47||Joe E. Kernan||January 13, 1997||September 13, 2003||Democrat||Frank O'Bannon||[N 1][N 4]|
|48||Kathy Davis||October 20, 2003||January 10, 2005||Democrat||Joe E. Kernan|
|49||Becky Skillman||January 10, 2005||January 14, 2013||Republican||Mitch Daniels|
|50||Sue Ellspermann||January 14, 2013||March 2, 2016||Republican||Mike Pence||[N 19]|
|51||Eric Holcomb||March 3, 2016||Incumbent||Republican||Mike Pence|
Living former U.S. Lieutenant Governors of Indiana
As of August 2014[update], there are five former U.S. lieutenant governors of Indiana who are currently living at this time, the oldest U.S. lieutenant governor of Indiana being John Mutz (served 1981–1989, born 1935). The most recent death of a former U.S. lieutenant governor of Indiana was that of Robert L. Rock (served 1965–1969, born 1927), on January 9, 2013.
|Lt. Governor||Lt. Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|John Mutz||1981–1989||November 5, 1935|
|Joseph E. Kernan||1997–2003||April 8, 1946|
|Katherine "Kathy" Davis||2003–2005||June 24, 1956|
|Becky Skillman||2005–2013||September 26, 1950|
|Sue Ellspermann||2013–2016||April 29, 1960|
- Was acting Governor
- Resigned from office
- James Beggs was elected Senate President pro tempore by the Senate to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Christopher Harrison. He held the position until the election of Ratliff Boon (Funk, p. 206)
- Was elevated to Governor during his term
- Served two terms
- Became a United States Senator
- Godlove S. Orth, a Whig, was elected Senate President pro tempore by the Senate to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Jesse B. Bright. He held the position until the election of Paris Dunning (Funk, p. 206)
- James G. Read was elected Senate President pro tempore by the Senate to fill the vacancy created by the elevation of Paris Dunning to the governorship. He held the position until the election of James Lane (Funk, p. 206)
- The Senate did not elect a Senate President pro tempore following Hammond's succession as governor and the position remained vacant until the election of Oliver Morton (Funk, p. 206)
- After Morton's elevation to Governor, John R. Cravens served as acting lieutenant governor from 1861 to 1863(Funk, p. 206)
- After the resignation of John R. Cravens, Paris C. Dunning served as acting lieutenant governor from 1863 to 1865 (Funk, p. 206)
- After Bakers elevation to the governorship William Cumback served as acting lieutenant governor until his election in 1869
- George W. Finley served as acting lieutenant governor following the resignation of William Cumback until the election of Leonidas Sexton. (Funk, p. 206)
- Fredrick Vieche served as acting lieutenant governor following the elevation of Isaac Gray to the governorship until the election of Thomas Hanna.
- At the general election in November 1886 both parties entered candidates to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of Mahlon Manson. Robert S. Robertston, Republican, was elected and sworn into office on January 10, 1886. The Democrat-controlled Senate refused to seat him, declaring that the seat was not vacant and the election was invalid. The Senate then elected Alonzo G. Smith to serve as acting lieutenant governor until the election of Ira Chase. The Indiana Supreme Court ordered the senate to seat Robertson, but violence broke out when he attempted to enter the chamber, preventing him from ever taking office. (Funk, p 204)
- Francis M. Griffin served as acting lieutenant governor following the elevation of Ira Chase to the governorship, he served until the election of Mortimer Nye.
- Francis M. Griffin served as acting lieutenant governor following the elevation of Ira Chase to the governorship, he served until the election of Mortimer Nye. (Funk, p. 204)
- James J. Nejdl served as acting lieutenant governor following the elevation of Emmett Branch to the governorship until the election of Harold Van Orman.
- Sue Ellspermann resigned to become President of Ivy Tech Community College
- Gugin, p. 10
- Constitution of Indiana, 5-7
- Gugin, p. 47
- Constitution of Indiana, 5-10(b)
- Gugin, p. 12
- Gugin, p. 49
- Constitution of Indiana, 5-10(c)
- Gugin, p. 14
- Gugin, pp. 176–177
- Indiana Chamber, p. 13
- Indiana Chamber, p. 14
- Indiana Chamber, p. 12
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