Book of the States Articles

Lieutenant Governors’ Elections By Julia Hurst
Lieutenant governors lead today and prepare for tomorrow. Most have significant state leadership roles and all are first in line of succession to become governor. The 2004 election factors and results indicate this office is continuing to grow in influence and that lieutenant governors will further impact state legislative trends and governments.

Lieutenant Governors: Significant and Visible By Julia Hurst
Forty-five states now have an officeholder using the title “lieutenant governor.” The experience and profile of the candidates for the office have grown for two years, and that trend continues in the 2006 elections. The duties of the office are also increasing: USA Today newspaper reported in August 2005 that the office of lieutenant governor is a significant, visible and often controversial office. As the office gains attention, future trends indicate state officials will examine the most effective uses of the office.

Lieutenant Governors: Quantified as Risen Powers By Julia Nienaber Hurst
For an office traditionally understudied by academics, 2006 was a year which saw three new reports quantifying the office. Each shows that the office of lieutenant governor is a risen power. Data shows approximately one in every four governors in the nation for the past 100 years once served as lieutenant governor, and no office in the past 25 years had a better success rate of becoming governor. In addition, the office of lieutenant governor was the only statewide elected office to see an increase in real income in the 30-year period ending in 2005.

Pathways and Powers: The Office of Lieutenant Governor By Julia Nienaber Hurst
Is the office of lieutenant governor a springboard to higher office? Research shows the office may be key to becoming governor. Attention to duties and pursuit of opportunities can help propel these officials to higher office. The list of duties and powers for the office is diverse, impressive and growing.

Executive Branch Successors & the Line of Succession By Julia Nienaber Hurst
Crises demand leadership. The time to address an orderly succession of
executive branch power is before a crisis occurs. This decade offers states examples of questions and legal challenges which may arise if Constitutional language or statute on executive branch succession is incomplete, unclear, or in conflict with other statutes. The governor’s office may be vacated before the official completion of a term due to death, resignation, incapacitation, impeachment, or recall. State law should define a clear and sufficiently deep line of gubernatorial succession. State leaders should consider establishing a specific process to declare a governor incapacitated, either temporarily or permanently. States may also review to ensure statute surrounding impeachment and recall provisions are not in conflict with Constitutional and other statutory language on succession.