Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

Last updated
Lieutenant Governor of Illinois
Seal of Illinois.svg
Juliana Stratton (cropped).jpg
Juliana Stratton

since January 14, 2019
Term length 4 years, no term limits
Inaugural holder Pierre Menard

The lieutenant governor of Illinois is the second highest executive of the State of Illinois. In Illinois, the lieutenant governor and governor run on a joint ticket and are directly elected by popular vote. Gubernatorial candidates select their running mates when filing for office and appear on the primary election ballot together. When the governor of Illinois becomes unable to discharge the duties of that office, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor. If the governor dies, resigns or is removed from office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. [1] [2] Under the Illinois Constitution, the Attorney General is next in line of succession to the Governor's office after the lieutenant governor, but does not succeed to the lieutenant governor's office. From the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich in 2009, until the inauguration of Sheila Simon in 2011, Attorney General Lisa Madigan would have become governor if Pat Quinn had vacated the office. Historically, the lieutenant governor has been from either the Democratic Party or Republican Party. The current lieutenant governor is Democrat Juliana Stratton.


Prior to the 1970 Constitution, governors and lieutenant governors were separately elected. [3] The 1970 Constitution introduced joint elections for governor and lieutenant governor, though the candidates were nominated in separate primaries. Following the 1986 and 2010 elections, in which the Democratic nominees for Governor were forced to run with extreme or disfavored lieutenant-gubernatorial nominees, the Illinois General Assembly abolished the separate-primary requirement. [4] The 2014 gubernatorial election was the first one to take place in which gubernatorial and lieutenant gubernatorial candidates ran on the same ticket in the primary election.


The lieutenant governor of Illinois handles a variety of responsibilities which have been delegated to the office via statute. These duties include serving as Chairman of the Governor's Rural Affairs Council, [5] Chairman of Rural Bond Bank of Illinois, head of the Illinois Main Street Program, and Chairman of the Illinois River Coordinating Council.

In addition to these duties, the lieutenant governor can take on other duties as assigned by the governor or initiate duties of his or her own. An example of this is work by former Lt. Gov. Corrine Wood on women's health issues. The lieutenant governor also serves as a surrogate speaker for the governor around the state and as a representative for state government. The lieutenant governor is a member of the National Lieutenant Governors Association.

Prior to the adoption of the Illinois Constitution of 1970, the lieutenant governor also served as the president of the Senate. Losing this position made the lieutenant governor's job less significant, and contributed to the "boredom" cited by Jim Thompson's first lieutenant governor, Dave O'Neal, who resigned from the office in 1981. [6]

Under the Illinois state Constitution Article V section 7. "If the Lieutenant Governor fails to qualify or if his office becomes vacant, it shall remain vacant until the end of the term." Illinois thus had no lieutenant governor during the two-year interim between Pat Quinn's elevation to the governor's office upon Rod Blagojevich's impeachment conviction, and Sheila Simon's election and inauguration as lieutenant governor.

Like the governor, the lieutenant governor has suites of offices in both Springfield and Chicago.


The lieutenant governor of Illinois serves four-year terms. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election. A lieutenant governor is

List of lieutenant governors of Illinois

On three occasions, prior to a 1970 change to the state constitution, the lieutenant governor was of a different political party from the governor. In each instance a Democratic lieutenant governor served under a Republican governor. After the lieutenant governor comes the attorney general.

#Lt. governorPartyCommission dateEnd dateGovernorPartyTerm
1 Pierre Menard Democratic-Republican October 6, 1818December 5, 1822 Shadrach Bond Democratic-


2 Adolphus Hubbard Democratic-


December 5, 1822December 6, 1826 Edward Coles Democratic-


3 William Kinney DemocraticDecember 6, 1826December 9, 1830 Ninian Edwards Democratic-


4 Zadok Casey DemocraticDecember 9, 1830March 1, 1833 John Reynolds Democratic 1830–1834
5 William Lee D. Ewing DemocraticMarch 1, 1833December 5, 1834
Office vacantNovember 17, 1834December 5, 1834 William Lee Davidson Ewing Democratic1834
6 Alexander Jenkins DemocraticDecember 5, 1834December 9, 1836


Joseph Duncan Democratic1834–1838
7 William H. Davidson DemocraticDecember 9, 1836


December 7, 1838
8 Stinson Anderson DemocraticDecember 7, 1838December 8, 1842 Thomas Carlin Democratic1838–1842
9 John Moore DemocraticDecember 8, 1842December 9, 1846 Thomas Ford Democratic1842–1846
10 Joseph Wells DemocraticDecember 9, 1846January 8, 1849 Augustus C. French Democratic1846–1853
11 William McMurtry DemocraticJanuary 8, 1849January 10, 1853
12 Gustavus Koerner DemocraticJanuary 10, 1853January 12, 1857 Joel Aldrich Matteson Democratic1853–1857
13 John Wood RepublicanJanuary 12, 1857March 20, 1860 William Henry Bissell Republican 1857–1860
14 Thomas Marshall DemocraticJanuary 7, 1861January 14, 1861 John Wood Republican1860–1861
15 Francis Hoffmann RepublicanJanuary 14, 1861January 16, 1865 Richard Yates Republican1861–1865
16 William Bross RepublicanJanuary 16, 1865January 11, 1869 Richard J. Oglesby Republican1865–1869
17 John Dougherty RepublicanJanuary 11, 1869January 13, 1873 John M. Palmer Republican1869–1873
18 John Lourie Beveridge RepublicanJanuary 13, 1873January 23, 1873

Succeeded Oglesby

Richard J. Oglesby Republican1873
19 John Early RepublicanJanuary 23, 1873


January 8, 1875 John Lourie Beveridge Republican1873–1877
20 Archibald Glenn DemocraticJanuary 8, 1875


January 8, 1877 John Lourie Beveridge Republican1873–1877
21 Andrew Shuman RepublicanJanuary 8, 1877January 10, 1881 Shelby Moore Cullom Republican1877–1883
22 John Marshall Hamilton RepublicanJanuary 10, 1881February 6, 1883

Succeeded Cullom

23 William J. Campbell RepublicanFebruary 6, 1883


January 30, 1885 John Marshall Hamilton Republican1883–1885
24 John Smith RepublicanJanuary 30, 1885January 14, 1889 Richard J. Oglesby Republican1885–1889
25 Lyman Ray RepublicanJanuary 14, 1889January 10, 1893 Joseph W. Fifer Republican1889–1893
26 Joseph B. Gill DemocraticJanuary 10, 1893January 11, 1897 John Peter Altgeld Democratic1893–1897
27 William Northcott RepublicanJanuary 11, 1897January 9, 1905 John R. Tanner Republican1897–1901
Richard Yates Republican1901–1905
28 Lawrence Sherman RepublicanJanuary 9, 1905January 18, 1909 Charles S. Deneen Republican1905–1913
29 John G. Oglesby RepublicanJanuary 18, 1909February 3, 1913
30 Barratt O'Hara DemocraticFebruary 3, 1913January 8, 1917 Edward F. Dunne Democratic1913–1917
31 John G. Oglesby RepublicanJanuary 8, 1917January 10, 1921 Frank O. Lowden Republican1917–1921
32 Fred E. Sterling RepublicanJanuary 10, 1921January 9, 1933 Len Small Republican1921–1929
Louis L. Emmerson Republican1929–1933
33 Thomas Donovan DemocraticJanuary 9, 1933January 4, 1937 Henry Horner Democratic1933–1940
34 John H. Stelle DemocraticJanuary 4, 1937October 6, 1940

Succeeded Horner

Office vacantOctober 6, 1940January 13, 1941 John H. Stelle Democratic1940–1941
35 Hugh W. Cross RepublicanJanuary 13, 1941January 10, 1949 Dwight H. Green Republican1941–1949
36 Sherwood Dixon DemocraticJanuary 10, 1949January 12, 1953 Adlai E. Stevenson II Democratic1949–1953
37 John William Chapman RepublicanJanuary 12, 1953January 9, 1961 William G. Stratton Republican1953–1961
38 Samuel H. Shapiro DemocraticJanuary 9, 1961May 21, 1968

Succeeded Kerner

Otto Kerner, Jr. Democratic1961–1968
Office vacantMay 21, 1968January 13, 1969 Samuel H. Shapiro Democratic1968–1969
39 Paul Simon DemocraticJanuary 13, 1969January 8, 1973 Richard Buell Ogilvie Republican1969–1973
40 Neil Hartigan DemocraticJanuary 8, 1973January 10, 1977 Dan Walker Democratic1973–1977
41 Dave O'Neal RepublicanJanuary 10, 1977July 31, 1981


James R. Thompson Republican1977–1991
Office vacantJuly 31, 1981January 10, 1983
42 George H. Ryan RepublicanJanuary 10, 1983January 14, 1991
43 Bob Kustra RepublicanJanuary 14, 1991July 1, 1998


James Edgar Republican1991–1999
Office vacantJuly 1, 1998January 11, 1999
44 Corinne Wood RepublicanJanuary 11, 1999January 13, 2003 George H. Ryan Republican1999–2003
45 Pat Quinn DemocraticJanuary 13, 2003January 29, 2009

Succeeded Blagojevich

Rod R. Blagojevich Democratic2003–2009
Office vacantJanuary 29, 2009January 10, 2011 Pat Quinn Democratic2009–2015
46 Sheila Simon DemocraticJanuary 10, 2011January 12, 2015
47 Evelyn Sanguinetti RepublicanJanuary 12, 2015January 14, 2019 Bruce Rauner Republican2015–2019
48 Juliana Stratton DemocraticJanuary 14, 2019Incumbent J.B. Pritzker Democratic2019–Present

Living former lieutenant governors of Illinois

As of July 2021, there are six former lieutenant governors of Illinois who are living, the oldest lieutenant governor of Illinois being George Ryan (served 1983–1991, born 1934). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Illinois was that of Dave O'Neal (served 1977–1981, born 1937), on July 10, 2021. The most recent serving lieutenant governor of Illinois to die was Corinne Wood (served 1999–2003, born 1954), on May 18, 2021.

Lt. governorLt. gubernatorial termDate of birth (and age)
Neil Hartigan 1973–1977May 4, 1938 (age 84)
George Ryan 1983–1991February 24, 1934 (age 88)
Bob Kustra 1991–1998March 21, 1943 (age 79)
Pat Quinn 2003–2009December 16, 1948 (age 73)
Sheila Simon 2011–2015March 13, 1961 (age 61)
Evelyn Sanguinetti 2015–2019November 12, 1970 (age 51)

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  1. "Constitution of the State of Illinois". Illinois General Assembly . Retrieved August 22, 2019.
  2. "Illinois Compiled Statutes 15 ILCS 5 — Governor Succession Act". Illinois General Assembly . Retrieved August 23, 2019.
  3. Yeargain, T. Quinn (2021). "One Vote, Two Winners: Team-Ticket Gubernatorial Elections and the Need for Further Reform". University of Miami Law Review. 75 (3): 377–78. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  4. Yeargain 2021, p. 779, 782-83, 794.
  5. "Governor's Rural Affairs Council". State of Illinois. Retrieved 12 October 2020.
  6. Hawkins, Karen (January 9, 2010). "Candidates line up for lieutenant governor ... but why?". The Pantagraph . Retrieved October 12, 2020.