List of Governors of Pennsylvania

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Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Seal of the Governor of Pennsylvania.svg
Standard of the Governor of Pennsylvania.svg
Photo Tom Corbett
Incumbent
Tom Corbett

since January 18, 2011
ResidenceGovernor's Residence
Term lengthFour years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holderThomas Mifflin
FormationDecember 21, 1790
DeputyJim Cawley
Salary$174,914 (2010)[1]
Websitegovernor.state.pa.us
 
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Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
Seal of the Governor of Pennsylvania.svg
Standard of the Governor of Pennsylvania.svg
Photo Tom Corbett
Incumbent
Tom Corbett

since January 18, 2011
ResidenceGovernor's Residence
Term lengthFour years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holderThomas Mifflin
FormationDecember 21, 1790
DeputyJim Cawley
Salary$174,914 (2010)[1]
Websitegovernor.state.pa.us

The Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is the head of the executive branch of Pennsylvania's government[2] and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[3]

The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to approve or veto bills passed by the Pennsylvania Legislature.[4] and to convene the legislature.[5] The governor may grant pardons except in cases of impeachment, but only when recommended by the Board of Pardons.[6]

There have been seven presidents and 46 governors of Pennsylvania, with two governors serving non-consecutive terms, totaling 55 terms in both offices. The longest term was that of the first governor, Thomas Mifflin, who served three full terms as governor in addition to two years as president. The shortest term belonged to John Bell, who served only 19 days as acting governor after his predecessor resigned. The current governor is Tom Corbett, whose term began on January 18, 2011.

Governors[edit]

Pennsylvania was one of the original thirteen colonies, and was admitted as a state on December 12, 1787. Prior to declaring its independence, Pennsylvania was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain; see the list of colonial governors for the pre-statehood period.

The Presidents of the Supreme Executive Council[edit]

The first Pennsylvania constitution in 1776 created the Supreme Executive Council as the state's executive branch, with the President as its head.[7] The president was chosen annually by the council, though with no specific term dates.[8]

The original 1776 constitution created the position of "vice-president", though no provision was made if the office of president became vacant, which occurred four times. Contemporary sources continue to label the chief executive in such times as the vice president, without any notion of succeeding to the presidency. One acting president, George Bryan, has since been recognized as a full-fledged governor, due to his acting as president for over six months.

#PresidentTook officeLeft officeVice President
1Thomas Wharton Jr.March 5, 1777May 23, 1778
[note 1]
George Bryan
2George BryanMay 23, 1778December 1, 1778acting as president
[note 2]
3Joseph ReedDecember 1, 1778November 15, 1781George Bryan
[note 3]
Matthew Smith
[note 3]
William Moore
4William MooreNovember 15, 1781November 7, 1782James Potter
5John DickinsonNovember 7, 1782October 18, 1785James Ewing
James Irvine
[note 3]
Charles Biddle
6Benjamin FranklinOctober 18, 1785November 5, 1788Charles Biddle
Peter Muhlenberg
[note 3]
David Redick
7Thomas MifflinNovember 5, 1788December 21, 1790George Ross


Governors of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania[edit]

Thomas Mifflin, last President and first Governor of Pennsylvania
Thomas McKean, second Governor of Pennsylvania, President of Delaware, and President of the Continental Congress
Andrew Gregg Curtin, 15th Governor of Pennsylvania, and United States Ambassador to Russia
John W. Geary, 16th Governor of Pennsylvania, and first mayor of San Francisco, California
Dick Thornburgh, 41st Governor of Pennsylvania, and U.S. Attorney General
Tom Ridge, 43rd Governor of Pennsylvania, and first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security

The 1790 constitution abolished the council and replaced the president with a governor,[9] and established a three-year term for governor commencing on the third Tuesday of the December following the election, with governors not allowed to serve more than nine out of any twelve years.[10] The 1838 constitution moved the start of the term to the third Tuesday of the January following the election, and allowed governors to only serve six out of any nine years.[11] The 1874 constitution lengthened the term to four years, and prohibited governors from succeeding themselves.[12] The current constitution of 1968 changed this to allow governors to serve two consecutive terms.[13] There are no limits on the number of terms a governor may serve in total as long as there is a four year break after a second term.

If the office of governor becomes vacant through death, resignation, or conviction on impeachment, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term; if the office is only temporarily vacant due to disability of the governor, the lieutenant governor only acts out the duties of governor.[14] Should both offices be vacant, the president pro tempore of the state senate becomes governor.[15] The position of lieutenant governor was created in the 1874 constitution; prior to then, the speaker of the senate would act as governor in cases of vacancy. Originally, the lieutenant governor could only act as governor; it was not until the 1968 constitution that the lieutenant governor could actually become governor in that fashion. The office of governor has been vacant for an extended period once, a 17-day gap in 1848 between the death of the previous governor and the swearing in of his acting successor. Governors and lieutenant governors are elected on the same ticket.[16]

      Anti-Masonic (1)       Democratic (12)       Democratic-Republican (6)        None (1)       Republican (26)       Whig (2)

#GovernorTook officeLeft officePartyLt. Governor
[note 4]
Terms
[note 5]
1 Thomas MifflinDecember 21, 1790December 17, 1799None
[note 6]
None3
[note 7]
2 Thomas McKeanDecember 17, 1799December 20, 1808Democratic-
Republican
3
3 Simon SnyderDecember 20, 1808December 16, 1817Democratic-
Republican
3
4 William FindlayDecember 16, 1817December 19, 1820Democratic-
Republican
1
5 Joseph HiesterDecember 19, 1820December 16, 1823Democratic-
Republican
1
6 John Andrew ShulzeDecember 16, 1823December 15, 1829Democratic-
Republican
2
7 George WolfDecember 15, 1829December 15, 1835Democratic-
Republican
2
8 Joseph RitnerDecember 15, 1835January 15, 1839Anti-Masonic1
[note 8]
9 David R. PorterJanuary 15, 1839January 21, 1845Democratic2
[note 9]
10 Francis R. ShunkJanuary 21, 1845July 9, 1848Democratic1 12
[note 10]
 Office vacantJuly 9, 1848July 26, 1848
[note 11]
11 William F. JohnstonJuly 26, 1848January 20, 1852Whig1 12
[note 12]
12 William BiglerJanuary 20, 1852January 16, 1855Democratic1
13 James PollockJanuary 16, 1855January 19, 1858Whig1
14 William F. PackerJanuary 19, 1858January 15, 1861Democratic1
15 Andrew Gregg CurtinJanuary 15, 1861January 15, 1867Republican2
16 John W. GearyJanuary 15, 1867January 21, 1873Republican2
17 John F. HartranftJanuary 21, 1873January 21, 1879Republican None2
[note 13]
 John Latta
18 Henry M. HoytJanuary 21, 1879January 16, 1883Republican Charles Warren Stone1
19 Robert E. PattisonJanuary 16, 1883January 18, 1887Democratic Chauncey Forward Black1
20 James A. BeaverJanuary 18, 1887January 20, 1891Republican William T. Davies1
19 Robert E. PattisonJanuary 20, 1891January 15, 1895Democratic Louis Arthur Watres1
21 Daniel H. HastingsJanuary 15, 1895January 17, 1899Republican Walter Lyon1
22 William A. StoneJanuary 17, 1899January 20, 1903Republican John P. S. Gobin1
23 Samuel W. PennypackerJanuary 20, 1903January 15, 1907Republican William M. Brown1
24 Edwin Sydney StuartJanuary 15, 1907January 17, 1911Republican Robert S. Murphy1
25 John K. TenerJanuary 17, 1911January 19, 1915Republican John Merriman Reynolds1
26 Martin Grove BrumbaughJanuary 19, 1915January 21, 1919Republican Frank B. McClain1
27 William Cameron SproulJanuary 21, 1919January 16, 1923Republican Edward E. Beidleman1
28 Gifford PinchotJanuary 16, 1923January 18, 1927Republican David J. Davis1
29 John Stuchell FisherJanuary 18, 1927January 20, 1931Republican Arthur James1
28 Gifford PinchotJanuary 20, 1931January 15, 1935Republican Edward C. Shannon1
30 George Howard Earle IIIJanuary 15, 1935January 17, 1939Democratic Thomas Kennedy1
31 Arthur JamesJanuary 17, 1939January 19, 1943Republican Samuel S. Lewis1
32 Edward MartinJanuary 19, 1943January 2, 1947Republican John C. Bell, Jr.12
[note 14]
33 John C. Bell, Jr.January 2, 1947January 21, 1947Republican vacant12
[note 15]
34 James H. DuffJanuary 21, 1947January 16, 1951Republican Daniel B. Strickler1
35 John S. FineJanuary 16, 1951January 18, 1955Republican Lloyd H. Wood1
36 George M. LeaderJanuary 18, 1955January 20, 1959Democratic Roy E. Furman1
37 David L. LawrenceJanuary 20, 1959January 15, 1963Democratic John Morgan Davis1
38 William ScrantonJanuary 15, 1963January 17, 1967Republican Raymond P. Shafer1
39 Raymond P. ShaferJanuary 17, 1967January 19, 1971Republican Raymond J. Broderick1
40 Milton ShappJanuary 19, 1971January 16, 1979Democratic Ernest P. Kline2
[note 16]
41 Dick ThornburghJanuary 16, 1979January 20, 1987Republican William Scranton, III2
42 Robert P. CaseyJanuary 20, 1987January 17, 1995Democratic Mark Singel2
[note 17]
43 Tom RidgeJanuary 17, 1995October 5, 2001Republican Mark S. Schweiker1 12
[note 18]
44 Mark S. SchweikerOctober 5, 2001January 21, 2003Republican Robert Jubelirer12
[note 19]
45 Ed RendellJanuary 21, 2003January 18, 2011Democratic Catherine Baker Knoll[note 20]2
 Joe Scarnati[note 21]
46 Tom CorbettJanuary 18, 2011IncumbentRepublican Jim Cawley1
[note 22]

Other high offices held[edit]

This is a table of other governorships, congressional and other federal offices, and ranking diplomatic positions in foreign countries held by Pennsylvania governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Pennsylvania except where noted.

† Denotes those offices from which the governor resigned to take the governorship.
NameGubernatorial termU.S. CongressOther offices heldSource
HouseSenate
Joseph Reed1778–1781Delegate to the Continental Congress; elected to the U.S. House but declined his seat.[19]
John Dickinson1782–1785President of Delaware, Delegate to the Continental Congress from Delaware, Delegate to the Continental Congress from Pennsylvania[20]
Benjamin Franklin1785–1788Minister to France, Minister to Sweden[21]
Thomas Mifflin1790–1799President of the Continental Congress[22]
Thomas McKean1799–1808President of Delaware, President of the Continental Congress[23]
Simon Snyder1808–1817Some records say he was elected to the U.S. Senate, but some only say state senate. The Biographical Directory of the United States Congress has no record of a U.S. Senate term.[24]
William Findlay1817–1820S[25]
Joseph Hiester1820–1823H†[26]
George Wolf1829–1835H†[27]
William Bigler1852–1855S[28]
James Pollock1855–1858H[29]
Andrew Gregg Curtin1861–1867HAmbassador to Russia[30]
John W. Geary1867–1876Governor of Kansas Territory[31]
William A. Stone1899–1903H†[32]
John K. Tener1911–1915H†[33]
George Howard Earle III1935–1939Ambassador to Austria[34]
Edward Martin1943–1947S[35]
James H. Duff1947–1951S[36]
William Scranton1963–1967HAmbassador to the United Nations[37]
Dick Thornburgh1979–1987U.S. Attorney General[38]
Tom Ridge1995–2001HU.S. Secretary of Homeland Security[39]

Living former governors[edit]

As of 28 July 2013 (2013-07-28), four former governors are alive. The most recent death of a former governor was that of William Scranton (1963–1967), on July 28, 2013. The most recently serving governor to die was Robert Patrick Casey, who served from 1987 to 1995 and died at the age of sixty-eight on May 30, 2000.

NameGubernatorial termDate of birth
Dick Thornburgh1979–1987(1932-07-16) July 16, 1932 (age 81)
Tom Ridge1995–2001(1945-08-26) August 26, 1945 (age 68)
Mark Schweiker2001–2003(1953-01-31) January 31, 1953 (age 60)
Ed Rendell2003–2011(1944-01-05) January 5, 1944 (age 69)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Died in office.
  2. ^ As Vice President of the Supreme Executive Council, acted as president. Four vice presidents acted as president at various times; however, Bryan's lengthy term has caused his term to since be recognized as being equivalent to president. Contemporary sources listed him only as vice president, acting out the duties of president.
  3. ^ a b c d Resigned; no reason was recorded by the Supreme Executive Council.
  4. ^ The office of lieutenant governor was not created until the 1873 Constitution, first being filled in 1875.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ The Federalist Party nominated Mifflin, but he himself carried no party label.
  7. ^ Mifflin was elected governor three times under the 1790 Constitution, having previously been elected once as President of the Supreme Executive Council.
  8. ^ Ritner was the last to serve before the 1838 constitution limited governors to serving six years out of any nine years; that constitution also changed the term to commence the next January from the election, extending Ritner's term by a month.
  9. ^ First governor to serve under the 1838 constitution.
  10. ^ Resigned due to illness; he died of tuberculosis only 11 days later.
  11. ^ Following Francis R. Shunk's resignation, an interregnum of 17 days occurred before the speaker of the state senate, William F. Johnston, was sworn in.
  12. ^ As speaker of the state senate, filled unexpired term, and was subsequently elected governor in his own right.
  13. ^ First governor under the 1874 constitution, which prevented governors from succeeding themselves and lengthened terms to four years. Since Hartranft was originally elected under the previous constitution, he was allowed to succeed himself. Hartranft's first term was shortened from three to two years to fit the electoral schedule of the new constitution.
  14. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate. While official sources state Martin resigned on January 3, most contemporary sources reported his resignation as occurring on January 2.[17][18]
  15. ^ As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for unexpired term.
  16. ^ First governor under the 1968 constitution, and thus eligible to succeed himself.
  17. ^ On June 14, 1993, Casey transferred executive authority to Lieutenant Governor Singel, and later that day underwent a heart-liver transplant operation. Singel acted as governor until Casey resumed the powers and duties of the office six months later on December 13, 1993. Because Casey never officially resigned, Singel was only an acting governor.
  18. ^ Resigned to be Director of the Office of Homeland Security.
  19. ^ As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  20. ^ Died in office.
  21. ^ As president pro tempore of the state senate, acted as lieutenant governor.
  22. ^ Governor Corbett's first term expires on January 20, 2015; he is not yet term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "Statutory Cost of Living Increases for Salaries of State Officials and the Heads of Departments, Boards and Commissions". State of Pennsylvania. Retrieved July 10, 2010. 
  2. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 2
  3. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 7
  4. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 15
  5. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 12
  6. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 9
  7. ^ 1776 Constitution § 3
  8. ^ 1776 Constitution § 19
  9. ^ 1790 Constitution article II, § 1
  10. ^ 1790 Constitution article IV, § 3
  11. ^ 1838 Constitution article II, § 3
  12. ^ 1874 Constitution article IV, § 3
  13. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 3
  14. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 13
  15. ^ PA Constitution article IV, § 14
  16. ^ "Executive Branch of the Several States". The Green Papers. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Martin Quits Today as Penna. Governor; Bell to Take Over". Gettysburg Times. January 2, 1947. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  18. ^ Stevens, Sylvester Kirby (1964). Pennsylvania: Birthplace of a Nation. New York: Random House. p. 375. 
  19. ^ "Joseph Reed". University of Pennsylvania Archives and Records Center. Retrieved July 13, 2010. 
  20. ^ "John Dickinson". Delaware's Governors. State of Delaware. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  22. ^ "Thomas Mifflin". U.S. Army. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Delaware's Governors". State of Delaware. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  24. ^ Wagenseller, George Washington (1919). Snyder County Annals Volume 1. Middleburgh, Pennsylvania: The Middleburgh Post. p. 8. 
  25. ^ "Findlay, John". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  26. ^ "HIESTER, Joseph". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  27. ^ "WOLF, George". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  28. ^ "Bigley, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Pollock, James". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Curtin, Andrew Gregg". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Kansas Governors". Kansas State Historical Society. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  32. ^ "STONE, William Alexis". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  33. ^ "TENER, John Kinley". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved April 30, 2008. 
  34. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors to Austria". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  35. ^ "Martin, Edward". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  36. ^ "Duff, James Henderson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  37. ^ "History of USUN Ambassadors". United States Mission to the U.N. Archived from the original on 2013-05-17. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  38. ^ "Dick Thornburgh". The Dick Thornburgh Papers. University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Tom Ridge, Homeland Security Secretary 2003 - 2005". Division of Homeland Security. Retrieved July 9, 2010. 

External links[edit]