Governor of Colorado

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Governor of the State of Colorado
Seal of the Executive Office of Colorado.svg
=
Incumbent
John Hickenlooper

since January 11, 2011
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceColorado Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holderJohn Long Routt
FormationAugust 1, 1876
DeputyJoseph A. Garcia
Salary$90,000 (2009)[1]
Websitewww.colorado.gov/governor
 
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Governor of the State of Colorado
Seal of the Executive Office of Colorado.svg
=
Incumbent
John Hickenlooper

since January 11, 2011
StyleThe Honorable
ResidenceColorado Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holderJohn Long Routt
FormationAugust 1, 1876
DeputyJoseph A. Garcia
Salary$90,000 (2009)[1]
Websitewww.colorado.gov/governor

The Governor of the State of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of U.S State of Colorado's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason or impeachment.[2]

Seven people served as governor of Colorado Territory over eight terms, appointed by the President of the United States. Since statehood, there have been 36 governors, serving 41 distinct terms. The longest-serving governors were Richard "Dick" Lamm and Roy Romer, who each served twelve years over three terms. The shortest term occurred on March 17, 1905, a day when the state had three governors: Alva Adams won the election, but soon after he took office, the legislature declared his opponent, James Peabody, governor, but on the condition that he immediately resign, so that his lieutenant governor, Jesse McDonald, could be governor. Thus, Peabody served only a few minutes as governor.

The current governor is John Hickenlooper, who took office on January 11, 2011.

Governors[edit]

Governor of the Territory of Jefferson[edit]

The self-proclaimed Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson was organized on November 7, 1859.[3] Jefferson Territory included all of present-day Colorado, but extended about 3 miles (5 km) farther east, 138 miles (222 km) farther north, and about 50 miles (80 km) farther west.[4] The territory was never recognized by the federal government in the tumultuous days before the American Civil War. The Jefferson Territory had only one governor, Robert Williamson Steele, a pro-union Democrat elected by popular vote. He proclaimed the territory dissolved on June 6, 1861, several months after the official formation of the Colorado Territory, but only days after the arrival of its first governor.[5]

Governors of the Territory of Colorado[edit]

William Gilpin, first Governor of the Territory of Colorado
For the period before Colorado Territory was formed, see the lists of Governors of New Mexico Territory, Utah Territory, Kansas Territory, and Nebraska Territory.

The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, from parts of the territories of New Mexico, Utah, and Nebraska, and the unorganized territory that was previously the western portion of Kansas Territory.[6]

#GovernorTook officeLeft officeAppointed byNotes
1 Gilpin, WilliamWilliam GilpinMarch 25, 1861[7]March 26, 1862Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln[a][b]
2 Evans, JohnJohn EvansMarch 26, 1862[7]October 17, 1865Lincoln, AbrahamAbraham Lincoln[c]
3 Cummings, AlexanderAlexander CummingsOctober 17, 1865[11]April 24, 1867Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson
4 Hunt, Alexander CameronAlexander Cameron HuntApril 24, 1867[11]June 14, 1869Johnson, AndrewAndrew Johnson
5 McCook, Edward M.Edward M. McCookJune 14, 1869[12]1873Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant[d]
6 Elbert, Samuel HittSamuel Hitt ElbertApril 4, 1873[13]1874Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant[e]
7 McCook, Edward M.Edward M. McCookJune 19, 1874[12]March 29, 1875Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant
8 Routt, John LongJohn Long RouttMarch 29, 1875[14]August 1, 1876Grant, Ulysses S.Ulysses S. Grant

Governors of the State of Colorado[edit]

Davis Hanson Waite, Eighth Governor of the State of Colorado
Charles Spalding Thomas, 11th Governor of the State of Colorado
George Alfred Carlson, 20th Governor of the State of Colorado
Ralph Lawrence Carr, 29th Governor of the State of Colorado
Richard "Dick" Lamm, 38th Governor of the State of Colorado

The State of Colorado was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876.

To serve as Governor, one must be at least 30 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and have been a resident of the state for at least two years prior to election. The state constitution of 1876 originally called for election of the governor every two years, with their term beginning on the second Tuesday of the January following the election.[15] An amendment passed in 1956, taking effect in 1959, increased terms to four years.[16] Originally, there was no term limit applied to the governor; a 1990 amendment allowed governors to succeed themselves only once.[17] There is however no limit on the total number of terms one may serve as long as one who has served the two term limit is out of office for four years.

Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.[18] If both the offices governor and lieutenant governor are vacant, the line of succession moves down through the senior members of the state senate and state house of representatives of the same party as the governor.[19] The lieutenant governor was elected separately from the governor until a 1968 amendment to the constitution[20] made it so that they are elected on the same ticket.[21]

      Republican (19)[f]       Democratic (22)[g]       People's (1)

#[h]GovernorTerm startTerm endPartyLt. Governor[i]Terms[j]
1 John Long RouttAugust 1, 1876January 14, 1879Republican Lafayette Head1
2Frederick Walker PitkinJanuary 14, 1879January 9, 1883RepublicanHorace Austin Warner Tabor2
3James Benton GrantJanuary 9, 1883January 13, 1885DemocraticWilliam H. Meyer[k]1
4Benjamin Harrison EatonJanuary 13, 1885January 11, 1887RepublicanPeter W. Breene1
5Alva AdamsJanuary 11, 1887January 8, 1889DemocraticNorman H. Meldrum1
6Job Adams CooperJanuary 8, 1889January 13, 1891RepublicanWilliam Grover Smith1
7John Long RouttJanuary 13, 1891January 10, 1893RepublicanWilliam Story1
8Davis Hanson WaiteJanuary 10, 1893January 8, 1895People'sDavid Hopkinson Nichols1
9Albert Washington McIntireJanuary 8, 1895January 12, 1897RepublicanJared L. Brush1
10Alva AdamsJanuary 12, 1897January 10, 1899DemocraticJared L. Brush[k]1
11Charles Spalding ThomasJanuary 10, 1899January 8, 1901DemocraticFrancis Patrick Carney[l]1
12James Bradley OrmanJanuary 8, 1901January 13, 1903DemocraticDavid C. Coates[m]1
13James Hamilton PeabodyJanuary 13, 1903January 10, 1905RepublicanWarren A. Haggott[n]1
14Alva AdamsJanuary 10, 1905March 17, 1905DemocraticArthur Cornforth13[o]
15James Hamilton PeabodyMarch 17, 1905March 17, 1905RepublicanJesse Fuller McDonald13[o]
16Jesse Fuller McDonaldMarch 17, 1905January 8, 1907RepublicanFred W. Parks13[o]
17Henry Augustus BuchtelJanuary 8, 1907January 12, 1909RepublicanErastus Harper1
18John F. ShafrothJanuary 12, 1909January 14, 1913DemocraticStephen R. Fitzgarrald2
19Elias M. AmmonsJanuary 14, 1913January 12, 1915DemocraticStephen R. Fitzgarrald1
20George Alfred CarlsonJanuary 12, 1915January 9, 1917RepublicanMoses E. Lewis1
21Julius Caldeen GunterJanuary 9, 1917January 14, 1919DemocraticJames A. Pulliam1
22Oliver Henry ShoupJanuary 14, 1919January 9, 1923RepublicanGeorge Stepham2
Earl Cooley
23William Ellery SweetJanuary 9, 1923January 13, 1925DemocraticRobert F. Rockwell[k]1
24Clarence MorleyJanuary 13, 1925January 11, 1927RepublicanSterling Byrd Lacy[p]1
25Billy AdamsJanuary 11, 1927January 10, 1933DemocraticGeorge Milton Corlett[k]3
Edwin C. Johnson
26Edwin C. JohnsonJanuary 10, 1933January 1, 1937DemocraticRay Herbert Talbot1 12[q]
27Ray Herbert TalbotJanuary 1, 1937January 12, 1937Democraticvacant12[r]
28Teller AmmonsJanuary 12, 1937January 10, 1939DemocraticFrank J. Hayes1
29Ralph Lawrence CarrJanuary 10, 1939January 12, 1943RepublicanJohn Charles Vivian2
30John Charles VivianJanuary 12, 1943January 14, 1947RepublicanWilliam Eugene Higby2
31William Lee KnousJanuary 14, 1947April 15, 1950DemocraticHomer L. Pearson1 12[s]
Walter Walford Johnson
32Walter Walford JohnsonApril 15, 1950January 9, 1951DemocraticCharles P. Murphy[k]12[r]
33Daniel I.J. ThorntonJanuary 9, 1951January 11, 1955RepublicanGordon L. Allott2
34Edwin C. JohnsonJanuary 11, 1955January 8, 1957DemocraticStephen L.R. McNichols1
35Stephen L.R. McNicholsJanuary 8, 1957January 8, 1963DemocraticFrank L. Hays[k]2[t]
Robert Lee Knous
36John Arthur LoveJanuary 8, 1963July 16, 1973RepublicanRobert Lee Knous[p]2 12[u]
Mark Anthony Hogan[p]
John David Vanderhoof
37John David VanderhoofJuly 16, 1973January 14, 1975RepublicanTed L. Strickland12[r]
38Richard "Dick" LammJanuary 14, 1975January 13, 1987DemocraticGeorge L. Brown3
Nancy E. Dick
39Roy RomerJanuary 13, 1987January 12, 1999DemocraticMike Callihan3
Samuel H. Cassidy
Gail Schoettler
40Bill OwensJanuary 12, 1999January 9, 2007RepublicanJoe Rogers2
Jane E. Norton
41Bill RitterJanuary 9, 2007January 11, 2011DemocraticBarbara O'Brien1
42John HickenlooperJanuary 11, 2011IncumbentDemocraticJoseph A. Garcia1[v]

Other high offices held[edit]

Three of Colorado's governors have served other high offices, all three representing Colorado in the U.S. Senate and one of those also representing the state in the U.S. House. One (marked with *) resigned to take his seat in the Senate.

GovernorGubernatorial termOther offices heldSource
Thomas, Charles SpaldingCharles Spalding Thomas1899–1901Senator[26]
Shafroth, John FranklinJohn Franklin Shafroth1909–1913Representative, Senator[27]
Johnson, Edwin CarlEdwin Carl Johnson1933–1937, 1955–1957Senator*[28]

Living former governors[edit]

As of October 2013, four former governors were alive. The most recent death of a former governor was that of John David Vanderhoof (1973–1975), who died on September 19, 2013.

GovernorTerm of officeDate of birth
Richard "Dick" Lamm1975–1987(1935-09-12) September 12, 1935 (age 78)
Roy Romer1987–1999(1928-10-31) October 31, 1928 (age 85)
Bill Owens1999–2007(1950-10-22) October 22, 1950 (age 63)
Bill Ritter2007–2011(1956-09-06) September 6, 1956 (age 57)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The territory was formed on February 28, 1861, but no governor was appointed until March 25, 1861. Gilpin himself did not arrive in the territory until May 27, 1861.[8]
  2. ^ Removed from office for improper financial drafts from the federal treasury.[9]
  3. ^ Resigned at the request of President Johnson following the Sand Creek Massacre. The resignation was requested on July 18, 1865.[10]
  4. ^ Removed from office by petition.[12]
  5. ^ Records show Elbert served "less than a year", but his successor was appointed on June 19, 1874, which was 14 months after Elbert took office.[13]
  6. ^ Includes two terms served by repeat governors.
  7. ^ Includes three terms served by repeat governors.
  8. ^ The official numbering includes repeat governors.
  9. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  10. ^ The fractional terms of some governors are not to be understood absolutely literally; rather, they are meant to show single terms during which multiple governors served, due to resignations, deaths and the like.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Represented the Republican Party.
  12. ^ Represented the Populist Party.
  13. ^ The Colorado State Archives labels Coates a Democrat;[22] however, a contemporary New York Times article describes him as a Populist elected on a fusion ticket, and that he had renounced all other parties and become a Socialist.[23]
  14. ^ The Colorado State Archives says Haggott served from 1902 to 1903; however, multiple sources say he served with Peabody[24] well into 1904,[25] so it is assumed the Archives are in error.
  15. ^ a b c The 1904 election was rife with fraud and controversy. Alva Adams won election, but soon after he took office the Republican legislature declared James Peabody to be the actual winner, on the condition that Peabody immediately resign. Since Peabody had been governor for a few moments before resigning, it was his lieutenant governor, Jesse McDonald, that succeeded to the governorship. In all, Colorado had three governors on March 17, 1905.
  16. ^ a b c Represented the Democratic Party.
  17. ^ Resigned to take elected seat in the United States Senate.
  18. ^ a b c As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  19. ^ Resigned to take seat on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado.
  20. ^ Gubernatorial terms changed from two to four years during McNichols' term; his first term was two years, his second term was four years.
  21. ^ Resigned to be Director of the Office of Energy Policy.
  22. ^ Governor Hickenlooper's first term expires on January 13, 2015; he is not yet term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "Salaries of elected state officials". Colorado Revised Statutes. Michie's Legal Resources. Retrieved June 3, 2010. 
  2. ^ CO Const. art IV
  3. ^ University of Colorado Studies, p. 71
  4. ^ University of Colorado Studies, p. 68
  5. ^ University of Colorado Studies, pp. 75–76
  6. ^ Thirty-sixth United States Congress (February 28, 1861). "An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado" (PDF). State of Colorado, Department of Personnel and Administration, Colorado State Archives. Retrieved November 29, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Houston Jr., Robert B. (2005). Two Colorado Odysseys: Chief Ouray Porter Nelson. p. 3. ISBN 0-595-35860-8. 
  8. ^ McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 58. ISBN 0-8304-1247-6. 
  9. ^ "William Gilpin". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved October 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Correspondence from W. H. Seward to Gov. John Evans, re: Request by President for Resignation – 7/18/1865". Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Alexander Cummings". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c "Edward Moody McCook". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b "Samuel Hitt Elbert". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  14. ^ "John L. Routt". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  15. ^ CO Const. art IV, original section 1
  16. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  18. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 13
  19. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 13, paragraph 7
  20. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  21. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 1
  22. ^ "Lieutenant Governors of Colorado". Colorado State Archives. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  23. ^ "General Notes". The New York Times. July 13, 1902. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  24. ^ Goodspeed, Weston Arthur (1904). The Province and the States: Missouri, Kansas, Colorado. p. 481. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Shots Fired from Windows". The New York Times. June 6, 1904. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  26. ^ "Thomas, Charles Spalding". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 
  27. ^ "Shafroth, John Franklin". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Johnson, Edwin Carl". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved October 22, 2008. 

External links[edit]