List of Governors of Wisconsin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Governor of Wisconsin
Seal of Wisconsin.svg
Photo of a casually dressed twenty-first-century man
Incumbent
Scott Walker

since January 3, 2011
ResidenceWisconsin Governor's Mansion
Term length4 years, no term limits
Inaugural holderNelson Dewey
FormationJune 7, 1848
DeputyRebecca Kleefisch
Salary$144,423 (2010)[1]
Websitewww.wisgov.state.wi.us
 
Jump to: navigation, search
Governor of Wisconsin
Seal of Wisconsin.svg
Photo of a casually dressed twenty-first-century man
Incumbent
Scott Walker

since January 3, 2011
ResidenceWisconsin Governor's Mansion
Term length4 years, no term limits
Inaugural holderNelson Dewey
FormationJune 7, 1848
DeputyRebecca Kleefisch
Salary$144,423 (2010)[1]
Websitewww.wisgov.state.wi.us

The Governor of Wisconsin is the head of the executive branch of Wisconsin's government [2] and the commander-in-chief of the state's army and air forces.[3] The governor has a duty to enforce state laws,[3] and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Wisconsin Legislature,[4] to convene the legislature,[3] and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.[5]

Forty-four individuals have held the office of governor of Wisconsin since the state's admission to the Union in 1848, one of whom—Philip La Follette—served non-consecutive terms. Nelson Dewey, the first governor, took office on June 7, 1848. The longest-serving governor was Tommy Thompson, who took office on January 5, 1987 and resigned on February 1, 2001, a total of 14 years and 28 days. Arthur MacArthur, Sr. had the shortest term: he was governor for a total of just 5 days—from March 21, 1856 to March 25, 1856.[6] The current governor is Scott Walker, who took office on January 3, 2011 and survived a recall election on June 5, 2012.[6]

Governors[edit]

Initially after the American Revolution, parts of the area now known as Wisconsin were claimed by Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut; however, Virginia ceded its claim in 1784, Massachusetts in 1785 and Connecticut in 1786.[7] On July 13, 1787, the Northwest Territory, including the area now called Wisconsin, was formed; Wisconsin remained part of the territory until 1800.[8] The territorial governor during this period was Arthur St. Clair.[9] As parts of the Northwest Territory were admitted to the Union as states, Wisconsin became part of first the Indiana Territory (1800–1809), then the Illinois Territory (1809–1818), and then the Michigan Territory (1818–1836);[8] see the lists of governors of Indiana, of Illinois, and of Michigan for these periods.

Governors of Wisconsin Territory[edit]

Wisconsin Territory was formed on July 3, 1836. During the time of its existence, the Wisconsin Territory had three territorial governors, one of whom served non-consecutive terms,[8][10] and one who continued on as acting governor after the territory had officially ceased to exist.

PictureNameAppointedLeft office
[note 1]
Appointed byNotes
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century manHenry DodgeApril 30, 1836September 13, 1841[11]Andrew Jackson
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century manJames Duane DotySeptember 30, 1841June 21, 1844John Tyler
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century manNathaniel P. TallmadgeJune 21, 1844April 8, 1845John Tyler
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century manHenry DodgeApril 8, 1845June 23, 1848James Polk[note 2]
No image.svgJohn CatlinJune 23, 1848March 3, 1849none
(acting governor)
[note 2]

Governors of the State of Wisconsin[edit]

Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man
Nelson Dewey, 1st Governor of Wisconsin
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man
Alexander W. Randall, 6th Governor of Wisconsin
Portrait of a well-dressed nineteenth-century man
Jeremiah Rusk, 15th Governor of Wisconsin, and 2nd U.S. Secretary of Agriculture
Portrait of a well-dressed twentieth-century man sitting down
Robert La Follette, Sr., 20th Governor of Wisconsin
Portrait of a well-dressed twentieth-century man sitting down
John J. Blaine, 24th Governor of Wisconsin
Portrait of a well-dressed twentieth-century man sitting down
Gaylord Nelson, 35th Governor of Wisconsin
Portrait of a well-dressed twentieth-first-century man sitting down
Tommy Thompson, 42nd Governor of Wisconsin, and 7th U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

Wisconsin was admitted to the Union on May 29, 1848. Since then, it has had 45 governors, one of whom served non-consecutive terms.[6]

Originally, governors of Wisconsin served for two-year terms, but in 1967 the state constitution was amended to change this to four.[2] Jeremiah McLain Rusk served one three-year term in the 1880s as the constitution was amended during his first term to move elections from odd to even years, and all officers were allowed to serve an extra year, rather than have their terms cut a year short. Patrick Lucey, elected in the 1970 election, was the first governor to serve a four-year term.[6] Governors of Wisconsin are not term limited.

The state constitution provides for the election of a lieutenant governor; originally, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected on different tickets, and thus were not necessarily of the same party. Since the 1967 amendment, however, the two have been nominated, and voted on, together.[2] Originally, if the office of the governor was vacant for any reason, "the powers and duties of the office . . . devolve[d] upon the lieutenant governor." In 1979, the constitution was amended to make this more specific: if the governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor, but becomes acting governor if the governor is absent from the state, impeached, or unable to carry out of duties.[13] If any of these events occur while the office of lieutenant governor is vacant, the secretary of state becomes either governor or acting governor.[14] Two Wisconsin governors have died while in office, one has died after being elected but before taking office, and four have resigned.[6]

      Democratic (12)       Republican (30)       Whig (1)       Wisconsin Progressive (2)

#GovernorTook officeLeft officePartyLt. Governor[15][note 3]Terms
[note 4]
1 Nelson DeweyJune 7, 1848January 5, 1852Democratic John E. Holmes2
 Samuel W. Beall
2 Leonard J. FarwellJanuary 5, 1852January 2, 1854Whig Timothy Burns
[note 5]
1
3 William A. BarstowJanuary 2, 1854March 21, 1856Democratic James T. Lewis1 13
[note 6]
 Arthur MacArthur, Sr.
4 Arthur MacArthur, Sr.March 21, 1856March 25, 1856Democratic vacant13
[note 6]
5 Coles BashfordMarch 25, 1856January 4, 1858Republican Arthur MacArthur, Sr.13
[note 6]
6 Alexander W. RandallJanuary 4, 1858January 6, 1862Republican Erasmus D. Campbell2
 Butler G. Noble
7 Louis P. HarveyJanuary 6, 1862April 19, 1862Republican Edward Salomon12
[note 5]
8 Edward SalomonApril 19, 1862January 4, 1864Republican vacant12
[note 7]
9 James T. LewisJanuary 4, 1864January 1, 1866Republican Wyman Spooner1
10 Lucius FairchildJanuary 1, 1866January 1, 1872Republican Wyman Spooner3
 Thaddeus C. Pound
11 Cadwallader C. WashburnJanuary 1, 1872January 5, 1874Republican Milton H. Pettit
[note 5]
1
12 William Robert TaylorJanuary 5, 1874January 3, 1876Democratic Charles D. Parker1
13 Harrison LudingtonJanuary 3, 1876January 7, 1878Republican Charles D. Parker1
14 William E. SmithJanuary 7, 1878January 2, 1882Republican James M. Bingham2
15 Jeremiah McLain RuskJanuary 2, 1882January 7, 1889Republican Sam S. Fifield3
[note 8]
 George W. Ryland
16 William D. HoardJanuary 7, 1889January 5, 1891Republican George W. Ryland1
17 George W. PeckJanuary 5, 1891January 7, 1895Democratic Charles Jonas2
18 William H. UphamJanuary 7, 1895January 4, 1897Republican Emil Baensch1
19 Edward ScofieldJanuary 4, 1897January 7, 1901Republican Emil Baensch2
 Jesse Stone
20 Robert M. La Follette, Sr.January 7, 1901January 1, 1906Republican Jesse Stone
[note 5]
2 12
[note 9]
 James O. Davidson
21 James O. DavidsonJanuary 1, 1906January 2, 1911Republicanvacant2 12
[note 7]
 William D. Connor
 John Strange
22 Francis E. McGovernJanuary 2, 1911January 4, 1915Republican Thomas Morris2
23 Emanuel L. PhilippJanuary 4, 1915January 3, 1921Republican Edward F. Dithmar3
24 John J. BlaineJanuary 3, 1921January 3, 1927Republican George F. Comings3
 Henry A. Huber
25 Fred R. ZimmermanJanuary 3, 1927January 7, 1929Republican Henry A. Huber1
26 Walter J. Kohler, Sr.January 7, 1929January 5, 1931Republican Henry A. Huber1
27 Philip La FolletteJanuary 5, 1931January 2, 1933Republican Henry A. Huber1
28 Albert G. SchmedemanJanuary 2, 1933January 7, 1935Democratic Thomas J. O'Malley1
29 Philip La FolletteJanuary 7, 1935January 2, 1939Wisconsin
Progressive
 Thomas J. O'Malley
[note 5]
2
 Henry A. Gunderson
[note 10]
 Herman L. Ekern
30 Julius P. HeilJanuary 2, 1939January 4, 1943Republican Walter S. Goodland2
 Orland S. Loomisdid not take officeWisconsin
Progressive
 Walter S. Goodland
[note 11]
31 Walter S. GoodlandJanuary 4, 1943March 12, 1947Republican vacant2 12
[note 5]
 Oscar Rennebohm
32 Oscar RennebohmMarch 12, 1947January 1, 1951Republican vacant1 12
[note 7]
 George M. Smith
33 Walter J. Kohler, Jr.January 1, 1951January 7, 1957Republican George M. Smith3
 Warren P. Knowles
34 Vernon W. ThomsonJanuary 7, 1957January 5, 1959Republican Warren P. Knowles1
35 Gaylord A. NelsonJanuary 5, 1959January 7, 1963Democratic Philleo Nash2
 Warren P. Knowles
36 John W. Reynolds, Jr.January 7, 1963January 4, 1965Democratic Jack B. Olson1
37 Warren P. KnowlesJanuary 4, 1965January 4, 1971Republican Patrick J. Lucey3
 Jack B. Olson
38 Patrick J. LuceyJanuary 4, 1971July 6, 1977Democratic Martin J. Schreiber1 12
[note 12]
[note 13]
39 Martin J. SchreiberJuly 6, 1977January 3, 1979Democratic vacant12
[note 7]
40 Lee S. DreyfusJanuary 3, 1979
[note 14]
January 3, 1983Republican Russell A. Olson1
41 Anthony S. EarlJanuary 3, 1983January 5, 1987Democratic James T. Flynn1
42 Tommy ThompsonJanuary 5, 1987February 1, 2001Republican Scott McCallum3 12
[note 15]
43 Scott McCallumFebruary 1, 2001January 6, 2003Republican Margaret A. Farrow12
[note 16]
44 Jim DoyleJanuary 6, 2003January 3, 2011Democratic Barbara Lawton2
45 Scott WalkerJanuary 3, 2011IncumbentRepublican Rebecca Kleefisch1
[note 17]

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 Wisconsin governors.

* Denotes those offices for which the governor resigned the governorship.
† Denotes those offices from which the governor resigned to take the governorship.
NameGubernatorial termOther offices heldSource
Henry Dodge1836–1841
1845–1848
U.S. Senator from Wisconsin, Delegate from Wisconsin Territory[18]
James Doty1841–1844Delegate from Wisconsin Territory, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin, Governor of Utah Territory[19]
Nathaniel Tallmadge1844–1845Senator from New York[20]
Arthur MacArthur, Sr.1856Justice of the Supreme Court of the District of Columbia[21]
Coles Bashford1856–1858Delegate from Arizona Territory[22]
Alexander Randall1858–1862Minister to the Papal States; Postmaster General[23]
Lucius Fairchild1866–1872Minister to Spain[24]
Cadwallader Washburn1872–1874U.S. Representative from Wisconsin[25]
Jeremiah Rusk1882–1889U.S. Representative from Wisconsin, Secretary of Agriculture[26]
Robert La Follette, Sr.1901–1906U.S. Senator from Wisconsin*, U.S. Representative from Wisconsin[27]
John Blaine1921–1927U.S. Senator from Wisconsin[28]
Albert Schmedeman1933–1935Minister to Norway[29]
Vernon Thomson1957–1959U.S. Representative from Wisconsin[30]
Gaylord Nelson1959–1963U.S. Senator from Wisconsin[31]
John W. Reynolds, Jr.1963–1965District Judge for the Eastern District of Wisconsin[32]
Patrick Lucey1971–1977Ambassador to Mexico*[33]
Tommy Thompson1987–2001Secretary of Health and Human Services*[34]

Living former governors[edit]

As of January 2011, six former governors are alive, the oldest being Patrick Joseph Lucey (1971–1977, born 1918). The most recent death of a former governor was that of Lee S. Dreyfus (1979–1983), on January 2, 2008.[6]

NameGubernatorial termDate of birth
Patrick Joseph Lucey1971–1977(1918-03-21) March 21, 1918 (age 96)
Martin J. Schreiber1977–1979(1939-04-08) April 8, 1939 (age 74)
Anthony S. Earl1983–1987(1936-04-12) April 12, 1936 (age 77)
Tommy Thompson1987–2001(1941-11-19) November 19, 1941 (age 72)
Scott McCallum2001–2003(1950-05-02) May 2, 1950 (age 63)
Jim Doyle2003–2011(1945-11-23) November 23, 1945 (age 68)

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Absent any other sources, it is assumed the governor left office when his successor was appointed.
  2. ^ a b When the State of Wisconsin was formed, part of Wisconsin Territory was not included in the state. This portion likely became unorganized territory; however, the Wisconsin territorial government continued to function there until the land was assigned to Minnesota Territory on March 3, 1849. Henry Dodge ceased to be territorial governor when he took his seat as a U.S. Senator from the state of Wisconsin on June 23, 1848. In the absence of a governor, John Catlin, as Secretary of Wisconsin Territory, acted as governor until the organization of Minnesota Territory.[12]
  3. ^ Vacancies in the office of the lieutenant governor are only listed if they lasted for the entire term. For a full list of vacancies, see List of Lieutenant Governors of Wisconsin.
  4. ^ 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.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Died in office.
  6. ^ a b c Initially, Barstow was declared the winner of the 1855 election, but soon resigned amid claims that he had won through fraudulent means. MacArthur, as lieutenant governor, acted as governor for five days, until the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared Barstow's opponent, Bashford, the legitimate governor. Bashford completed the term, with MacArthur continuing to serve as lieutenant governor.[16]
  7. ^ a b c d As lieutenant governor, acted as governor for remainder of unexpired term.
  8. ^ During Rusk's first term, the Wisconsin Constitution was amended to say that all elections of state and county officers would henceforth take place in even-numbered years. By the provisions of the amendment, the terms of all officials who would have left office in 1884, including Rusk, were extended by one year.
  9. ^ Resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate.
  10. ^ Resigned to take an appointment to the state tax commission.
  11. ^ Loomis was elected in the 1942 election, but died before taking office. Per a ruling of the Wisconsin Supreme Court Goodland, who had been re-elected lieutenant governor in the same election, acted as governor for the term.
  12. ^ As per a 1967 amendment to the Wisconsin Constitution, Lucey's first term was the first gubernatorial term to last 4 years
  13. ^ Resigned to become Ambassador to Mexico
  14. ^ Contemporary newspaper sources indicate that Dreyfus was sworn in on January 3;[17] the Wisconsin Blue Book, however, states that he was sworn in on January 1.[6]
  15. ^ Resigned to become United States Secretary of Health and Human Services
  16. ^ As lieutenant governor, served as governor for remainder of unexpired term.
  17. ^ Governor Walker's first term expires January 5, 2015.

References[edit]

General
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ "Section B 2.03, Pay Administration for Constitutional Officers". 2009–2011 Compensation Plan. Office of State Employment Relations. Retrieved July 5, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 1
  3. ^ a b c Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 4
  4. ^ Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 10
  5. ^ Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 6
  6. ^ a b c d e f g "Wisconsin Governors since 1848" (PDF). State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2005–2006. p. 724. Retrieved October 5, 2007. 
  7. ^ Beck, J. D. (ed.) (1911). The blue book of the state of Wisconsin. Madison, Wisconsin: Democrat Printing Company. p. 512. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  8. ^ a b c "Significant Events in Wisconsin History" (PDF). State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2005–2006. p. 696. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  9. ^ "St. Clair, Arthur". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Government Printing Office. 2005. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  10. ^ Manual for the use of the assembly, of the state of Wisconsin, for the year 1853. Madison, Wisconsin: Brown and Carpenter, Printers. 1853. p. 74. Retrieved December 11, 2007. 
  11. ^ Butterfield, C.W. (1880). The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin. p. 49. Retrieved December 17, 2007. 
  12. ^ The History of Racine and Kenosha Counties, Wisconsin. Racine County, Wisconsin: Western Historical Company. 1879. pp. 54–56. Retrieved January 24, 2008. 
  13. ^ Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 7
  14. ^ Wisconsin Constitution article V, § 8
  15. ^ "Wisconsin Constitutional Officers; Lieutenant Governors" (PDF). State of Wisconsin Blue Book 2005–2006. p. 725. Retrieved October 9, 2007. 
  16. ^ McCann, Dennis (December 10, 1998). "3 governors held office within weeks. Corruption charges helped spark power struggle, office turnover in 1856". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. 
  17. ^ "Inaugural Caps Dreyfus Miracle". Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan). January 4, 1979. p. 3. 
  18. ^ "Dodge, Henry". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Doty, James Duane". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  20. ^ "Tallmadge, Nathaniel Pitcher". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  21. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved July 7, 2007. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Bashford, Coles". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  23. ^ "Randall, Alexander Williams". Wisconsin Historical Society. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  24. ^ "Former U.S. Ambassadors and Presidential Representatives to Spain". Spanish Embassy of the United States. Archived from the original on May 27, 2010. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  25. ^ "Washburn, Cadwallader Colden". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  26. ^ "Rusk, Jeremiah McLain". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  27. ^ "La Follette, Robert Marion". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  28. ^ "Blaine, John 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 7, 2010. 
  29. ^ "Chiefs of Missions to Norway". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  30. ^ "Thomson, Vernon Wallace". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  31. ^ "Nelson, Gaylord". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  32. ^ "Biographical Directory of Federal Judges". Federal Judicial Center. Retrieved July 7, 2007. [dead link]
  33. ^ "Chiefs of Missions to Mexico". U.S. Department of State. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 
  34. ^ "Historical Highlights". U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Retrieved July 7, 2010. 

External links[edit]