Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

Last updated

Lieutenant Governor of
North Carolina
Seal of North Carolina.svg
Dan Forest - Flag (cropped).jpg
Dan Forest

since January 7, 2013 (2013-01-07)
Member of
Seat Raleigh, North Carolina
Term length Four years, renewable once consecutively
Constituting instrument North Carolina Constitution of 1868
Inaugural holder Tod R. Caldwell
Salary US$124,676 per year
(2013) [1]
Website Official website

The Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina is the second highest elected official in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is the only elected official to have powers in both the legislative and executive branches of state government. The current Lieutenant Governor is Dan Forest, a Republican.


As of 2008, the administrative offices of the Lieutenant Governor are located in the historic Hawkins-Hartness House on N. Blount Street in Raleigh's Government District. The Lieutenant Governor also maintains an office at the nearby North Carolina State Legislative Building. At one time, the Lieutenant Governor had an office in the North Carolina State Capitol. [2]

Duties and powers

The office of Lieutenant Governor was created by the North Carolina Constitution of 1868. Just as the Vice President of the United States presides (albeit rarely) over the United States Senate, the lieutenant governor's primary responsibility is to preside over the North Carolina Senate; until 1970, this was the lieutenant governor's only major responsibility, and the position was only part-time. The position is now a full-time job.

By virtue of the office (Ex officio), the lieutenant governor is a member of the Council of State, the North Carolina Board of Education, the North Carolina Capital Planning Commission, and the North Carolina Board of Community Colleges, and serves as the Chairman of the eLearning Commission. [3]

From 1868 through 1977, the lieutenant governor, like the governor of North Carolina, was limited to a single four-year term. In 1977, the North Carolina Constitution was amended to allow both the governor and the lieutenant governor to serve two consecutive terms. [4]

Succession to office of governor

The lieutenant governor is the first official in line to succeed the Governor of North Carolina, should that office be vacated. This has occurred five times in the history of the office; four of the first six lieutenant governors were promoted upon the death, impeachment, or resignation of the previously sitting governor.

Lieutenant governors have often run for governor, but few have been successful. Jim Hunt, elected governor in 1976, and Beverly Perdue, elected governor in 2008, are the two most recent exceptions. [5]

The lieutenant governor is elected on a separate ballot from the governor; therefore, it is theoretically possible that the governor and lieutenant governor may be of different political party affiliations. This has happened twice in North Carolina since the 1977 constitutional amendment, once from 1985 to 1989, and during the present 2016 to 2020 term.

List of lieutenant governors


   Democratic (29)   Republican (5)

#PortraitLt. GovernorTerm of officePolitical partyGovernor(s)
1 Tod Caldwell.jpg Tod R. Caldwell [lower-alpha 1] 1868–1870Republican William W. Holden (R)
Office vacant 18701873
2 Curtis Hooks Brogden portrait.jpg Curtis H. Brogden 1873–1874RepublicanTod R. Caldwell (R)
Office vacant 18741877
3 Thomas Jordan Jarvis.jpg Thomas J. Jarvis 1877–1879 Democratic Zebulon B. Vance (D)
Office vacant 18791881
4 James L Robinson.jpg James L. Robinson [lower-alpha 2] 1881–1885DemocraticThomas J. Jarvis (D)
5 Charles M Stedman.jpg Charles M. Stedman 1885–1889Democratic Alfred Moore Scales (D)
6 Thomas Michael Holt Governor of North Carolina.jpeg Thomas M. Holt 1889–1891Democratic Daniel Gould Fowle (D)
Office vacant 18911893
7 Rufus Doughton.jpg Rufus A. Doughton 1893–1897Democratic Elias Carr (D)
8 Charles A. Reynolds.png Charles A. Reynolds 1897–1901Republican Daniel Lindsay Russell (R)
9 W. D. Turner.jpg Wilfred D. Turner 1901–1905Democratic Charles Brantley Aycock (D)
10 Francis D. Winston.jpg Francis D. Winston 1905–1909Democratic Robert Broadnax Glenn (D)
11 William C. Newland.jpg William C. Newland 1909–1913Democratic William Walton Kitchin (D)
12 Elijah Longstreet Daughtridge.png Elijah L. Daughtridge 1913–1917Democratic Locke Craig (D)
13 Oliver Max Gardner.jpg Oliver Max Gardner 1917–1921Democratic Thomas Walter Bickett (D)
14 William Bryant Cooper.jpg William B. Cooper 1921–1925Democratic Cameron A. Morrison (D)
15 No image.svg Jacob E. Long 1925–1929Democratic Angus Wilton McLean (D)
16 Richard Fountain.jpg Richard T. Fountain 1929–1933Democratic Oliver Max Gardner (D)
17 No image.svg Alexander H. Graham 1933–1937Democratic John C. B. Ehringhaus (D)
18 No image.svg Wilkins P. Horton 1937–1941Democratic Clyde R. Hoey (D)
19 Reginald L. Harris.jpg Reginald L. Harris 1941–1945Democratic J. Melville Broughton (D)
20 Lynton Y. Ballentine.jpg Lynton Y. Ballentine 1945–1949Democratic R. Gregg Cherry (D)
21 Hoyt Patrick Taylor.jpg Hoyt Patrick Taylor 1949–1953Democratic W. Kerr Scott (D)
22 N 85 29 L Hodges-Bill Friday-Bob House 56 (8080601640) (cropped).jpg Luther H. Hodges 1953–1954Democratic William B. Umstead (D)
Office vacant 19541957
23 Luther Barnhardt.jpg Luther E. Barnhardt 1957–1961DemocraticLuther H. Hodges (D)
24 Harvey Cloyd Philpott.jpg Harvey Cloyd Philpott [lower-alpha 3] 1961Democratic Terry Sanford (D)
Office vacant 19611965
25 Robert W. Scott official photo (cropped).jpg Robert W. Scott 1965–1969Democratic Dan K. Moore (D)
26 No image.svg Hoyt Patrick Taylor, Jr. 1969–1973Democratic Robert W. Scott (D)
27 Jim Hunt official portrait (cropped).jpg Jim Hunt 1973–1977Democratic James Holshouser (R)
28 No image.svg James C. Green [lower-alpha 4] 1977–1985DemocraticJim Hunt (D)
29 Robert B. Jordan (cropped).jpg Robert B. Jordan 1985–1989Democratic James G. Martin (R)
30 Jim Gardner.png Jim Gardner [lower-alpha 5] 1989–1993Republican
31 Dennis Wicker (cropped).jpg Dennis Wicker 1993–2001DemocraticJim Hunt (D)
32 Beverly Perdue official photo.jpg Bev Perdue [lower-alpha 6] 2001–2009Democratic Mike Easley (D)
33 Walter Dalton.jpg Walter Dalton 2009–2013DemocraticBev Perdue (D)
34 Dan Forest in 2018.jpg Dan Forest 2013–Republican Pat McCrory (R)
Roy Cooper (D)
  1. Became Governor on December 20, 1870.
  2. Robinson is often referred to as "acting Lieutenant Governor" from 1879 through 1881, because, as President Pro Tempore of the Senate at the time that Jarvis succeeded to the governorship, he became President of the Senate, putting him next in line to succeed the governor. However, technically, there is no such office as "acting" lieutenant governor, meaning that the office was vacant, just as it had been in periods such as 1874-1877. Robinson was elected lieutenant governor in his own right in 1880.
  3. Died in office.
  4. First Lt. Governor to serve two terms.
  5. First Republican elected since Reynolds in 1896.
  6. First female Lt. Governor.

See also

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Elections: 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012, 2016, 2020

Living former Lieutenant Governors of North Carolina

As of February 2020, five former lieutenant governors of North Carolina were alive, the oldest being James Carson Gardner (served 19891993, born 1933). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of North Carolina was that of Robert B. Jordan (served 19851989), on February 16, 2020. He was also the most recently serving lieutenant governor to die.

Lt. GovernorLt. Gubernatorial termDate of birth (and age)
Jim Hunt 19731977May 16, 1937 (age 83)
James Carson Gardner 19891993April 8, 1933 (age 87)
Dennis A. Wicker 19932001June 14, 1952 (age 67)
Bev Perdue 20012009January 14, 1947 (age 73)
Walter H. Dalton 20092013May 21, 1949 (age 71)

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  1. "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.
  2. News & Observer: Homeless lt. governors, next on Oprah? Archived 2009-02-28 at the Wayback Machine
  3. eLearningNC
  4. NC Government Records Branch
  5. News & Observer: A curse on lieutenant governors? Archived 2008-10-23 at the Wayback Machine