Governor of Massachusetts

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Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Seal of the Governor of Massachusetts.svg
Seal of the Governor
Flag of the Governor of Massachusetts.svg
Standard of the Governor
Maura Healey, official portrait, governor.jpg
Maura Healey
since January 5, 2023
Government of Massachusetts
Status Head of state
Head of government
Member of Governor's Council
Residence None official
Seat State House, Boston, Massachusetts
Nominator Political parties
Appointer Popular vote
Term length Four years, no term limits [1]
Constituting instrument Constitution of Massachusetts
Formation Original post:
April 30, 1629
Current form:
October 25, 1780
First holder John Endecott
Deputy Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts
Salary$185,000 (2018) [2]
Website Official website OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg

The governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the chief executive officer of the government of Massachusetts. The governor is the head of the state cabinet and the commander-in-chief of the commonwealth's military forces.


Massachusetts has a republican system of government that is akin to a presidential system. The governor acts as the head of government while having a distinct role from that of the legislative branch. The governor has far-reaching political obligations, including ceremonial and political duties. The governor also signs bills into law and has veto power. The governor is a member of the Massachusetts Governor's Council, a popularly elected council with eight members who provide advice and consent on certain legal matters and appointments. [3]

Beginning with the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629, the role of the governor has changed throughout its history in terms of powers and selection. The modern form of the position was created in the 1780 Constitution of Massachusetts, which called for the position of a "supreme executive magistrate". [4]

Governors of Massachusetts are elected every four years during state elections that are held on the first Tuesday of November after November 1. As of November 2022, the most recent Massachusetts gubernatorial election was held in 2022. Following each gubernatorial election, the elected governor is inaugurated on the Thursday after the first Wednesday following the next January 1. [5] There are no term limits restricting how long a governor may serve. [6] [7] [8] The longest-serving Massachusetts governor is Michael Dukakis, who served 12 years; Dukakis was in office from 1975 to 1979 and from 1983 to 1991. The current governor is Maura Healey, a Democrat who won the 2022 gubernatorial election.


Any person seeking to become Governor of Massachusetts must meet the following requirements: [9]


The role of governor has existed in Massachusetts since the Royal Charter of 1628. The original role was one of a president of the board of a joint-stock company, namely the Massachusetts Bay Company. The governor would be elected by freemen, who were shareholders of the company. These shareholders were mostly colonists themselves who fit certain religious requirements. The governor acted in a vice-regal manner, overseeing the governance and functioning of the colony. Originally they were supposed to reside in London, as was the case with other colonial company governors, although this protocol was broken when John Winthrop was appointed Governor. The governor served as the executive of the colony, originally elected annually, they were joined by a Council of Assistants. This council was a group of magistrates who performed judicial functions, acted as an upper house of the General Court, and provided advice and consent to the governor. The early governors of Massachusetts Bay were staunchly Puritan colonists who wished to form a state that coincided with religious law. [10]

With the founding of the Dominion of New England, the New England colonies were combined with the Province of New York, Province of West Jersey, and the Province of East Jersey. During this period (1686-1689) Massachusetts had no governor of its own. Instead there existed a royally appointed governor who resided in Boston and served at the King's pleasure. Though there existed a council which served as a quasi-legislature, however the logistics of calling the council to meet were so arduous that the Dominion was essentially governed by the Crown through the Royal Governor. The reason for the creation of such a post was there existed tremendous hostility between the Kingdom of England and the colonists of Massachusetts Bay. In an effort to bring the colonies under tighter control the Crown dismantled the old assembly system and created the Viceroy system based on the Spanish model in New Spain. This model of government was greatly disliked by the colonists all throughout British North America but especially in New England where colonists at one time did have some semblance of democratic and local control. With the Glorious Revolution and the Boston Revolt the Dominion was abolished in 1689. [11]

With the creation of the Massachusetts Charter in 1691, the role of civilian governor was restored in Massachusetts Bay. Now the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the colony then encompassed the territory of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, and areas of what is now the state of Maine. The governor however would not be chosen by the electorate, instead the position would remain a royal appointment. In order to ease tensions with royal authorities and the colonists the General Court was reestablished and given significant powers. This created acrimony between the governors and the assembly of the General Court. The governor could veto any decision made by the assembly and had control over the militia, however the General Court had authority of the treasury and provincial finances. This meant that in the event the governor did not agree with or consent with the rulings and laws of the General Court then the assembly would threaten to withhold any pay for the governor and other Royal Officers. [12]

From 1765 on the unraveling of the Province into a full political crisis only increased the tensions between the governor and the people of Massachusetts Bay. Following the passage of the Stamp Act Governor Thomas Hutchinson had his home broken into and ransacked. The early stages of the American Revolution saw political turmoil in Massachusetts Bay. With the passage of the Intolerable Acts the then Royal Governor Thomas Gage dissolved the General Court and began to govern the province by decree. In 1774 the Massachusetts Provincial Congress was formed as an alternative revolutionary government to the royal government in Boston. With Massachusetts Bay declaring its independence in May 1776 the role of Governor was vacant for four years. The executive role during this time was filled by the Governor's Council, the Committee of Safety, and the president of the Congress when in session. [12]

With the adoption of the Constitution of Massachusetts in 1780 the role of an elected civilian governor was restored. John Hancock was elected as the first governor of the independent commonwealth on October 25, 1780. [12]

Constitutional role

Part the Second, Chapter II, Section I, Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution reads,

There shall be a supreme executive magistrate, who shall be styled, The Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts; and whose title shall be – His Excellency.

The governor of Massachusetts is the chief executive of the commonwealth, and is supported by a number of subordinate officers. He, like most other state officers, senators, and representatives, was originally elected annually. In 1918 this was changed to a two-year term, and since 1966 the office of governor has carried a four-year term. The governor of Massachusetts does not receive a mansion or other official residence and resides in their own private residence. The governor does receives a housing allowance/stipend for $65,000. The title "His Excellency" is a holdover from the royally appointed governors of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. The first governor to use the title was Richard Coote, 1st Earl of Bellomont, in 1699; since he was an Earl, it was thought proper to call him "Your Excellency." The title was retained until 1742, when an order from King George II forbade its further use. However, the framers of the state constitution revived it because they found it fitting to dignify the governor with this title. [13]

The governor also serves as commander-in-chief of the commonwealth's armed forces.


According to the Massachusetts State Constitution:

Whenever the chair of the governor shall be vacant, by reason of his death, or absence from the commonwealth, or otherwise, the lieutenant governor, for the time being, shall, during such vacancy, perform all the duties incumbent upon the governor, and shall have and exercise all the powers and authorities, which by this constitution the governor is vested with, when personally present. [14]

The Constitution does not use the term "acting governor," but the practice in Massachusetts has been that the lieutenant governor retains his or her position and title as "lieutenant governor" and becomes acting governor, not governor. The lieutenant governor, when acting as governor, is referred to as "the lieutenant-governor, acting governor" in official documents. [15]

Despite this terminology, the Massachusetts courts have found that the full authority of the office of the governor devolves to the lieutenant governor upon vacancy in the office of governor, and that there is no circumstance short of death, resignation, or impeachment that would relieve the acting governor from the full gubernatorial responsibilities.[ citation needed ]

The first use of the succession provision occurred in 1785, five years after the constitution's adoption, when Governor John Hancock resigned the post, leaving Lieutenant Governor Thomas Cushing as acting governor. Most recently, Jane Swift became acting governor upon the resignation of Paul Cellucci.

When the constitution was first adopted, the Governor's Council was charged with acting as governor in the event that both the governorship and lieutenant governorship were vacant. This occurred in 1799 when Governor Increase Sumner died in office on June 7, 1799, leaving Lieutenant Governor Moses Gill as acting governor. Acting Governor Gill never received a lieutenant and died on May 20, 1800, between that year's election and the inauguration of Governor-elect Caleb Strong. The Governor's Council served as the executive for ten days; the council's chair, Thomas Dawes was at no point named governor or acting governor.

Article LV of the Constitution, enacted in 1918, created a new line of succession:


The governor has a 10-person cabinet, each of whom oversees a portion of the government under direct administration (as opposed to independent executive agencies). See Government of Massachusetts for a complete listing.


The front doors of the State House are only opened when a governor leaves office, a head of state or the president of the United States comes to visit the State House, or for the return of flags from Massachusetts regiments at the end of wars. The tradition of the ceremonial door originated when departing governor Benjamin Butler kicked open the front door and walked out by himself in 1884.[source?]

Incoming governors usually choose at least one past governor's portrait to hang in their office.

Immediately before being sworn into office, the governor-elect receives four symbols from the departing governor: the ceremonial pewter "Key" for the governor's office door, the Butler Bible, the "Gavel", and a two-volume set of the Massachusetts General Statutes with a personal note from the departing governor to their successor added to the back of the text. The governor-elect is then escorted by the sergeant-at-arms to the House Chamber and sworn in by the President of the Senate before a joint session of the House and Senate. [16]

Lone walk

Upon completion of their term, the departing governor takes a "lone walk" down the Grand Staircase, through the House of Flags, into Doric Hall, out the central doors, and down the steps of the Massachusetts State House. The governor then crosses the street into Boston Common, thereby symbolically rejoining the commonwealth as a private citizen. Benjamin Butler started the tradition in 1884. [17] Some walks have been modified with some past governors having their wives, friends, or staff accompany them. [18] A 19-gun salute is offered during the walk, and frequently the steps are lined by the outgoing governor's friends and supporters. [19]

In January 1991, outgoing lieutenant governor Evelyn Murphy, the first woman elected to statewide office in Massachusetts, walked down the stairs before Governor Michael Dukakis. In a break from tradition, the January 2007 inauguration of Governor Deval Patrick took place the day after outgoing governor Mitt Romney took the lone walk down the front steps. [19]

Governor's residence

Despite several proposals for establishing an official residence for the governor of Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts does not have a governor's mansion.

In 1955, Governor Foster Furcolo turned down a proposal to establish the Shirley–Eustis House in Roxbury, built by royal Governor William Shirley, as the official residence. [20]

At one time, Governor John A. Volpe accepted the donation of the Endicott Estate in Dedham from the heirs of Henry Bradford Endicott. He intended to renovate the 19th-century mansion into a splendid governor's residence. [21] After Volpe resigned to become United States Secretary of Transportation in the Nixon administration, the plan was aborted by his successor in consideration of budgetary constraints and because the location was considered too far from the seat of power, the State House in Boston.

Prior to their respective demolitions in 1922 and 1863, the Province House and the Hancock Manor [21] were also proposed as official residences.

Since the governor has no official residence, the expression "corner office," rather than "governor's mansion," is commonly used in the press as a metonym for the office of governor. This refers instead to the governor's office on the third floor of the State House. [22]

List of governors

Since 1780, 65 people have been elected governor, six to non-consecutive terms (John Hancock, Caleb Strong, Marcus Morton, John Davis, John Volpe, and Michael Dukakis), and seven lieutenant governors have acted as governor without subsequently being elected governor. Thomas Talbot served a stint as acting governor, but later was elected governor several years later. Prior to 1918 constitutional reforms, both the governor's office and that of lieutenant governor were vacant on one occasion, when the state was governed by the Governor's Council.

Colonial Massachusetts

The colonial history of Massachusetts begins with the founding first of the Plymouth Colony in 1620, and then the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1628. The Dominion of New England combined these and other New England colonies into a single unit in 1686, but collapsed in 1689. In 1692 the Province of Massachusetts Bay was established, merging Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, which then included the territory of present-day Maine.

Colonial governors of Plymouth and the Massachusetts Bay Colony were elected annually by a limited subset of the male population (known as freemen), while Dominion officials and those of the 1692 province were appointed by the British crown. In 1774 General Thomas Gage became the last royally appointed governor of Massachusetts. He was recalled to England after the Battle of Bunker Hill in June 1775, by which time the Massachusetts Provincial Congress exercised de facto control of Massachusetts territory outside British-occupied Boston. Between 1775 and the establishment of the Massachusetts State Constitution in 1780 the state was governed by the provincial congress and an executive council.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts: 1780–present

In the table below, acting governors are denoted in the leftmost column by the letter "A", and are not counted as actual governors. The longest-serving governor was Michael Dukakis, who served twelve years in office, although they were not all consecutive. The longest period of uninterrupted service by any governor was nine years, by Levi Lincoln Jr. The shortest service period by an elected governor was one year, achieved by several 19th century governors. Increase Sumner, elected by a landslide to a third consecutive term in 1799, was on his deathbed and died not long after taking the oath of office; this represents the shortest part of an individual term served by a governor. Sumner was one of four governors to die in office; seven governors resigned, most of them to assume another office.

Political partyNumber of governors
Democratic 22
Democratic-Republican 5
Federalist 5
Know Nothing 1
National Republican 2
No party affiliation 6
Republican 34
Whig 6

#GovernorPartyYears Lieutenant Governor Electoral history
1 John Hancock 1770-crop.jpg
John Hancock
NoneOctober 25, 1780

February 17, 1785
Thomas Cushing
Resigned due to claimed illness (recurring gout).
A [23] Thomas Cushing, Member of Continental Congress.jpg
Thomas Cushing
NoneFebruary 17, 1785

May 27, 1785
Acted as governor for the remainder of Hancock's term.

Lost election in his own right.
2 James Bowdoin II by Feke full length.jpg
James Bowdoin
NoneMay 27, 1785

May 30, 1787
Lost re-election.
3 John Hancock 1770-crop.jpg
John Hancock
NoneMay 30, 1787

October 8, 1793
Benjamin Lincoln
Samuel Adams
4 Samuel Adams by John Singleton Copley.jpg
Samuel Adams
NoneOctober 8, 1793

June 2, 1797
Acted as governor for the remainder of Hancock's term.

Elected and re-elected in his own right until retirement.
Moses Gill
5 IncreaseSumnerBySharples.jpg
Increase Sumner
Federalist June 2, 1797

June 7, 1799
A [23] John Singleton Copley - Portrait of Govenor Moses Gill - 07.117 - Rhode Island School of Design Museum.jpg
Moses Gill
NoneJune 7, 1799

May 20, 1800
Acted as governor for most of the remainder of Sumner's term.

Died ten days before its end.
A [23] Seal of Massachusetts.svg
Governor's Council
NoneMay 20, 1800

May 30, 1800
None.The council was headed by Thomas Dawes.
this is the only time both the governorship and the lieutenant governorship were vacant.
6 Portrait of Caleb Strong (1745-1819) (frame cropped).jpg
Caleb Strong
FederalistMay 30, 1800

May 29, 1807
Samuel Phillips Jr.
Lost re-election.
Edward Robbins
7 James Sullivan.jpg
James Sullivan
May 29, 1807

December 10, 1808
Levi Lincoln Sr. Died.
A [23] LeviLincoln.gif
Levi Lincoln Sr.
December 10, 1808

May 1, 1809
Acted as governor for the remainder of Sullivan's term.

Lost election in his own right.
8 ChristopherGoreByTrumbull.jpg
Christopher Gore
FederalistMay 1, 1809

June 10, 1810
David Cobb Lost re-election.
9 Nathaniel Jocelyn - Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814) - 1943.1816 - Harvard Art Museums.jpg
Elbridge Gerry
June 10, 1810

June 5, 1812
William Gray Lost re-election.
10 Portrait of Caleb Strong (1745-1819) (frame cropped).jpg
Caleb Strong
FederalistJune 5, 1812

May 30, 1816
William Phillips Jr. Retired.
11 Gilbert Stuart, Govenor John Brooks, c. 1820, HAA.jpg
John Brooks
FederalistMay 30, 1816

May 31, 1823
12 William Eustis.jpg
William Eustis
May 31, 1823

February 6, 1825
Levi Lincoln Jr.
Marcus Morton
A [23] Marcus Morton.jpg
Marcus Morton
February 6, 1825

May 26, 1825
Acted as governor for the remainder of Eustis's term.

13 LLincolnJr.jpg
Levi Lincoln Jr.
May 26, 1825

January 9, 1834
Thomas L. Winthrop
14 John Davis (Massachusetts Governor).jpg
John Davis
January 9, 1834

March 1, 1835
Samuel Turell Armstrong Resigned to become U.S. Senator.
A [23] Samuel Turell Armstrong.png
Samuel Turell Armstrong
WhigMarch 1, 1835

January 13, 1836
Acted as governor for the remainder of Davis's term.

Lost nomination.
lost election as independent.
15 Edward Everett.jpg
Edward Everett
WhigJanuary 13, 1836

January 18, 1840
George Hull Lost re-election
16 Marcus Morton.jpg
Marcus Morton
DemocraticJanuary 18, 1840

January 7, 1841
Lost re-election.
17 John Davis (Massachusetts Governor).jpg
John Davis
WhigJanuary 7, 1841

January 17, 1843
Lost re-election.
18 Marcus Morton.jpg
Marcus Morton
DemocraticJanuary 17, 1843

January 9, 1844
Henry H. Childs Lost re-election.
19 George Nixon Briggs.jpg
George N. Briggs
WhigJanuary 9, 1844

January 11, 1851
John Reed Jr. Lost re-election.
20 George Boutwell, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1870-1880.jpg
George S. Boutwell
DemocraticJanuary 11, 1851

January 14, 1853
Henry W. Cushman Retired.
21 JohnCliffordByBenoni.jpg
John H. Clifford
WhigJanuary 14, 1853

January 12, 1854
Elisha Huntington Retired.
22 EmoryWashburn.jpg
Emory Washburn
WhigJanuary 12, 1854

January 4, 1855
William C. Plunkett Lost re-election.
23 GovHenryJGardner.jpg
Henry Gardner
Know-NothingJanuary 4, 1855

January 7, 1858
Simon Brown
Lost re-election.
Henry W. Benchley
24 Nathaniel Prentice Banks.jpg
Nathaniel Prentice Banks
RepublicanJanuary 7, 1858

January 3, 1861
Eliphalet Trask Retired to run for president.
25 Houghton MS Am 1084 (59) - Andrew - edit.jpg
John Albion Andrew
RepublicanJanuary 3, 1861

January 4, 1866
John Z. Goodrich
John Nesmith
Joel Hayden
26 Alexander H. Bullock.png
Alexander H. Bullock
RepublicanJanuary 4, 1866

January 7, 1869
William Claflin Retired.
27 William Claflin - Brady-Handy.jpg
William Claflin
RepublicanJanuary 7, 1869

January 4, 1872
Joseph Tucker
28 William B. Washburn - Brady-Handy.jpg
William B. Washburn
RepublicanJanuary 4, 1872

April 29, 1874
Resigned to become U.S. Senator.
Thomas Talbot
A [23] GovThomasTalbot.jpg
Thomas Talbot
RepublicanApril 29, 1874

January 7, 1875
Acted as governor for the remainder of Washburn's term.

Lost election in his own right.
29 GovWilliamGaston.jpg
William Gaston
DemocraticJanuary 7, 1875

January 6, 1876
Horatio G. Knight Lost re-election.
30 AHRice.jpg
Alexander H. Rice
RepublicanJanuary 6, 1876

January 2, 1879
31 GovThomasTalbot.jpg
Thomas Talbot
RepublicanJanuary 2, 1879

January 8, 1880
John Davis Long Retired.
32 JDLong.jpg
John Davis Long
RepublicanJanuary 8, 1880

January 4, 1883
Byron Weston Retired.
33 BenFrankButler.jpg
Benjamin F. Butler
DemocraticJanuary 4, 1883

January 3, 1884
Oliver Ames Lost re-election.
34 GovGeorgeDRobinson.jpg
George D. Robinson
RepublicanJanuary 3, 1884

January 6, 1887
35 Oliver Ames 1831-1895.jpg
Oliver Ames
RepublicanJanuary 6, 1887

January 7, 1890
John Q. A. Brackett Retired.
36 JohnQABrackett.jpg
John Q. A. Brackett
RepublicanJanuary 7, 1890

January 8, 1891
William H. Haile
Lost re-election.
37 GovWilliamERussell.jpg
William E. Russell
DemocraticJanuary 8, 1891

January 4, 1894
Roger Wolcott
38 Frederick T. Greenhalge.jpg
Frederic T. Greenhalge
RepublicanJanuary 4, 1894

March 5, 1896
39 Roger Wolcott by Frederic Porter Vinton.jpg
Roger Wolcott
RepublicanMarch 5, 1896

January 4, 1900
Acted as governor for the remainder of Greenhalge's term.

Elected and re-elected in own right until retirement.
Winthrop Murray Crane
40 Winthrop Murray Crane.jpg
Winthrop Murray Crane
RepublicanJanuary 4, 1900

January 8, 1903
John L. Bates Retired.
41 GovJohnLBates.jpg
John L. Bates
RepublicanJanuary 8, 1903

January 5, 1905
Curtis Guild Jr. Retired.
42 WilliamLewisDouglas.jpg
William L. Douglas
DemocraticJanuary 5, 1905

January 4, 1906
43 Curtis Guild Jr.jpg
Curtis Guild Jr.
RepublicanJanuary 4, 1906

January 7, 1909
Eben Sumner Draper Retired.
44 Ebenezer Sumner Draper crop.jpg
Eben Sumner Draper
RepublicanJanuary 7, 1909

January 5, 1911
Louis A. Frothingham Lost re-election.
45 Governor Foss.png
Eugene Noble Foss
DemocraticJanuary 5, 1911

January 8, 1914
Louis A. Frothingham
Did not stand for renomination as Democrat.
defeated as independent in general election.
Robert Luce
David I. Walsh
46 David I. Walsh (MA).jpg
David I. Walsh
DemocraticJanuary 8, 1914

January 6, 1916
Edward P. Barry
Lost re-election.
Grafton D. Cushing
47 SamuelMcCall.jpg
Samuel W. McCall
RepublicanJanuary 6, 1916

January 2, 1919
Calvin Coolidge Retired.
48 John Calvin Coolidge, Bain bw photo portrait.jpg
Calvin Coolidge
RepublicanJanuary 2, 1919

January 6, 1921
Channing H. Cox Retired

Vice President of the United States


President of the United States


49 Channing H Cox.png
Channing H. Cox
RepublicanJanuary 6, 1921

January 8, 1925
Alvan T. Fuller Elected in 1920 (first two-year term).

Re-elected in 1922.

50 Alvin T Fuller.png
Alvan T. Fuller
RepublicanJanuary 8, 1925

January 3, 1929
Frank G. Allen Retired.
51 Frank G Allen.png
Frank G. Allen
RepublicanJanuary 3, 1929

January 8, 1931
William S. Youngman Lost re-election.
52 Joseph B. Ely (MA).png
Joseph B. Ely
DemocraticJanuary 8, 1931

January 3, 1935
William S. Youngman
Gaspar G. Bacon
53 James Michael Curley.jpg
James Michael Curley
DemocraticJanuary 3, 1935

January 7, 1937
Joseph L. Hurley Retired to run unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate
54 Charles Francis Hurley 1937.png
Charles F. Hurley
DemocraticJanuary 7, 1937

January 5, 1939
Francis E. Kelly Lost renomination.
55 Leverett Saltonstall (MA).jpg
Leverett Saltonstall
RepublicanJanuary 5, 1939

January 4, 1945
Horace T. Cahill Retired to run successfully for U.S. Senate
56 Mjtobin.jpg
Maurice J. Tobin
DemocraticJanuary 4, 1945

January 2, 1947
Robert F. Bradford Lost re-election.
57 Robert F. Bradford (Massachusetts Governor).jpg
Robert F. Bradford
RepublicanJanuary 2, 1947

January 6, 1949
Arthur W. Coolidge Elected in 1946.

Lost re-election.
58 PaulADever.jpg
Paul A. Dever
DemocraticJanuary 6, 1949

January 8, 1953
Charles F. Sullivan Elected in 1948.

Re-elected in 1950.

Lost re-election.
59 Christian Archibald Herter (politician).jpg
Christian A. Herter
RepublicanJanuary 8, 1953

January 3, 1957
Sumner G. Whittier Elected in 1952.

Re-elected in 1954.

60 Foster Furcolo, 60th Governor of Massachusetts.jpg
Foster Furcolo
DemocraticJanuary 3, 1957

January 5, 1961
Robert F. Murphy
Elected in 1956.

Re-elected in 1958.

Retired to run for U.S. Senator.
61 John Volpe (1970).jpg
John A. Volpe
RepublicanJanuary 5, 1961

January 3, 1963
Edward F. McLaughlin Jr. Elected in 1960.

Lost re-election.
62 Endicott Peabody (MA).png
Endicott Peabody
DemocraticJanuary 3, 1963

January 7, 1965
Francis Bellotti Elected in 1962.

Lost renomination.
63 John Volpe (1970).jpg
John A. Volpe
RepublicanJanuary 7, 1965

January 22, 1969
Elliot Richardson
Elected in 1964.

Re-elected in 1966 (first four-year term).

Resigned to become U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
Francis Sargent
64 Governor Francis Sargent (cropped).jpg
Francis Sargent
RepublicanJanuary 22, 1969

January 2, 1975
Acted as governor for the remainder of Volpe's term.

Elected in own right in 1970.

Lost re-election.
Donald Dwight
65 Governor Dukakis speaks at the 1976 Democratic National Convention (cropped).jpg
Michael Dukakis
DemocraticJanuary 2, 1975

January 4, 1979
Thomas P. O'Neill III Elected in 1974.

Lost renomination.
66 Edward J. King.jpg
Edward J. King
DemocraticJanuary 4, 1979

January 6, 1983
Elected in 1978.

Lost renomination.
67 Governor Michael Dukakis (1).jpg
Michael Dukakis
DemocraticJanuary 6, 1983

January 3, 1991
John Kerry
Elected in 1982.

Re-elected in 1986.

Evelyn Murphy
68 William F. Weld (MA).jpg
Bill Weld
RepublicanJanuary 3, 1991

July 29, 1997
Paul Cellucci
Elected in 1990.

Re-elected in 1994.

Resigned when nominated U.S. Ambassador to Mexico, but was not confirmed to the office.
A [23]
Paul Cellucci gubernatorial photo.jpg
Paul Cellucci
RepublicanJuly 29, 1997

April 10, 2001
Acted as governor for the remainder of Weld's term.

Elected in own right in 1998.

Resigned to become U.S. Ambassador to Canada.
Jane Swift (1999–2003)
A [23] Jane Swift gubernatorial photo.jpg
Jane Swift
RepublicanApril 10, 2001

January 2, 2003
Acted as governor for the remainder of Cellucci's term.

70 Mitt Romney's official gubernatorial portrait (cropped).jpg
Mitt Romney
RepublicanJanuary 2, 2003

January 4, 2007
Kerry Healey Elected in 2002.

71 Deval Patrick official photo.jpg
Deval Patrick
DemocraticJanuary 4, 2007

January 8, 2015
Tim Murray
Elected in 2006.

Re-elected in 2010.

72 Charlie Baker official photo (cropped).jpg
Charlie Baker
RepublicanJanuary 8, 2015

January 5, 2023
Karyn Polito Elected in 2014.

Re-elected in 2018.

73 Maura Healey, official portrait, governor (cropped).jpg
Maura Healey
DemocraticJanuary 5, 2023

Kim Driscoll Elected in 2022.

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massachusetts General Court</span> Legislative branch of the state government of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts General Court is the state legislature of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The name "General Court" is a hold-over from the earliest days of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, when the colonial assembly, in addition to making laws, sat as a judicial court of appeals. Before the adoption of the state constitution in 1780, it was called the Great and General Court, but the official title was shortened by John Adams, author of the state constitution. It is a bicameral body. The upper house is the Massachusetts Senate which is composed of 40 members. The lower body, the Massachusetts House of Representatives, has 160 members. It meets in the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill in Boston.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">North Carolina General Assembly</span> Legislative branch of the state government of North Carolina

The North Carolina General Assembly is the bicameral legislature of the State government of North Carolina. The legislature consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The General Assembly meets in the North Carolina Legislative Building in Raleigh, North Carolina, United States.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Province of Massachusetts Bay</span> British colony in North America from 1691 to 1776

The Province of Massachusetts Bay was a colony in British America which became one of the thirteen original states of the United States. It was chartered on October 7, 1691, by William III and Mary II, the joint monarchs of the kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland. The charter took effect on May 14, 1692, and included the Massachusetts Bay Colony, the Plymouth Colony, the Province of Maine, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick; the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is the direct successor. Maine has been a separate state since 1820, and Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are now Canadian provinces, having been part of the colony only until 1697.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Moses Gill</span> Massachusetts state legislator (1733–1800)

Moses Gill was an American merchant and politician who served as the acting governor of Massachusetts from 1799 to 1800, when he died in office, the only acting governor to do so. A successful businessman, he became one of the most prominent colonists in Princeton, Massachusetts, entering politics shortly before the American Revolutionary War. He served on the Massachusetts Provincial Congress's executive committee until the state adopted its constitution in 1780, after which he continued to serve on the state's Governor's Council.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts</span> Position

The lieutenant governor of Massachusetts is the first in the line to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor following the incapacitation of the Governor of Massachusetts. The constitutional honorific title for the office is His, or Her, Honor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey</span> Elected US official

The lieutenant governor of New Jersey is an elected constitutional officer in the executive branch of the state government of New Jersey in the United States. The lieutenant governor is the second highest-ranking official in the state government and is elected concurrently on a ticket with the governor for a four-year term. The position itself does not carry any powers or duties other than to be next in the order of succession, but the state constitution requires that the lieutenant governor also be appointed to serve as the head of a cabinet-level department or administrative agency within the governor's administration, other than the position of Attorney General.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massachusetts Governor's Council</span> Governmental body in Massachusetts, US

The Massachusetts Governor's Council is a governmental body that provides advice and consent in certain matters – such as judicial nominations, pardons, and commutations – to the Governor of Massachusetts. Councillors are elected by the general public and their duties are set forth in the Massachusetts Constitution.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania</span> Constitutional officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

The lieutenant governor is a constitutional officer of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The lieutenant governor is elected for a four-year term in the same year as the governor. Each party picks a candidate for lieutenant governor independently of the gubernatorial primary. The winners of the party primaries are then teamed together as a single ticket for the fall general election. The lieutenant governor presides in the Pennsylvania State Senate and is first in the line of succession to the governor; in the event the governor dies, resigns, or otherwise leaves office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.

Connecticut is known as "The Constitution State". The origin of this title is uncertain, but the nickname is assumed to be a reference to the Fundamental Orders of 1638–39 which represent the framework for the first formal government written by a representative body in Connecticut. Connecticut's government has operated under the direction of five separate documents in its history. The Connecticut Colony at Hartford was governed by the Fundamental Orders, and the Quinnipiac Colony at New Haven had its own Constitution in The Fundamental Agreement of the New Haven Colony which was signed on June 4, 1639.

The government of Virginia combines the executive, legislative and judicial branches of authority in the Commonwealth of Virginia. The current governor of Virginia is Glenn Youngkin. The State Capitol building in Richmond was designed by Thomas Jefferson, and the cornerstone was laid by Governor Patrick Henry in 1785. Virginia currently functions under the 1971 Constitution of Virginia. It is Virginia's seventh constitution. Under the Constitution, the government is composed of three branches: the legislative, the executive and the judicial.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massachusetts Provincial Congress</span> Provisional government of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts Provincial Congress (1774–1780) was a provisional government created in the Province of Massachusetts Bay early in the American Revolution. Based on the terms of the colonial charter, it exercised de facto control over the rebellious portions of the province, and after the British withdrawal from Boston in March 1776, the entire province. When Massachusetts Bay declared its independence in 1776, the Congress continued to govern under this arrangement for several years. Increasing calls for constitutional change led to a failed proposal for a constitution produced by the Congress in 1778, and then a successful constitutional convention that produced a constitution for the state in 1780. The Provincial Congress came to an end with elections in October 1780.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Massachusetts Charter</span>

The Massachusetts Charter of 1691 was a charter that formally established the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Issued by the government of William III and Mary II, the corulers of the Kingdom of England, the charter defined the government of the colony, whose lands were drawn from those previously belonging to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth Colony, and portions of the Province of New York. The territorial claims embodied in the charter also encompassed all of present-day Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.


  1. "Which States Have Term Limits On Governor?". Term Washington, DC: U.S. Term Limits. Retrieved December 3, 2020. Thirty-six states have some form of term limit on the office of governor. Fourteen states do not. They are: Connecticut, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.
  2. Michaels, Matthew (June 22, 2018). "Here's the salary of every governor in the United States". Business Insider.
  3. Morison 1917, p.22-28.
  4. "Massachusetts Constitution".
  5. William, Galvin. "Elected Officials' Effective Dates of Office". Elected Officials’ Effective Dates of Office. Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  6. "A Third Term For Governor Charlie Baker?". News. June 8, 2019. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  7. "What Charlie Baker faces should he seek a third term". Boston Herald. July 4, 2020. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  8. "Term Limits on Governor". U.S. Term Limits. Retrieved August 3, 2020.
  9. "How to Run for Office in Massachusetts" (PDF). Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. March 2017. Retrieved December 26, 2022.
  10. Adams 1913, p.444-445.
  11. Adams 1913, p.430-445
  12. 1 2 3 Morison 1917, p.9-22.
  13. Frothingham, Louis Adams. A Brief History of the Constitution and Government of Massachusetts, p. 74. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1916.
  14. Constitution of Massachusetts, Chapter II, Section II, Article III.
  15. An example of this is found in Chapter 45 of the Acts of 2001, where a veto by Swift was overridden by the General Court.
  16. Massachusetts State Library Information, Governor Transfer of Power, Retrieved February 14, 2007.
  17. "A Tour of the Grounds of the Massachusetts State House". Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved June 8, 2012.
  18. Braun, Stephen (December 3, 2011). "Mitt Romney not alone in destroying records". The Herald News.
  19. 1 2 "Romney takes 'lone walk' out of office". Bangor Daily News. January 4, 2007.
  20. "Shirley Eustis House". Archived from the original on September 28, 2007.
  21. 1 2 "Commonwealth Magazine, Fall 1999".
  22. "State House 3rd Floor information, floor plan, and room listing". The 191st General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Acting governors are not counted.