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|Lieutenant Governor of |
the State of Oklahoma
Great Seal of Oklahoma
|Term length||Four years, unlimited number of terms|
|Inaugural holder||George W. Bellamy|
|Formation||November 16, 1907|
|Website||Lieutenant Governor's Website|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
The Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma is the second-highest executive official of the state government of Oklahoma. As first in the gubernatorial line of succession, the lieutenant governor becomes the new governor of Oklahoma upon the death, resignation, or removal of the governor. The lieutenant governor also serves as the president of the Oklahoma Senate, and may cast a vote to break ties in that chamber.
The government of the U.S. State of Oklahoma, established by the Oklahoma Constitution, is a republican democracy modeled after the federal government of the United States. The state government has three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. Through a system of separation of powers or "checks and balances," each of these branches has some authority to act on its own, some authority to regulate the other two branches, and has some of its own authority, in turn, regulated by the other branches.
The Governor of Oklahoma is the head of state for the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Under the Oklahoma Constitution, the governor is also the head of government, serving as the chief executive of the Oklahoma executive branch, of the government of Oklahoma. The governor is the ex officio Commander-in-Chief of the Oklahoma National Guard when not called into federal use. Despite being an executive branch official, the governor also holds legislative and judicial powers. The governor's responsibilities include making yearly "State of the State" addresses to the Oklahoma Legislature, submitting the annual state budget, ensuring that state laws are enforced, and that the peace is preserved. The governor's term is four years in length.
The Oklahoma Senate is the upper house of the two houses of the Legislature of Oklahoma, the other being the Oklahoma House of Representatives. The total number of senators is set at 48 by the Oklahoma Constitution.
The office of the lieutenant governor was created upon the adoption of the state constitution in 1907 and was preceded by a Secretary of Oklahoma Territory office. The 17th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma is Republican Matt Pinnell. His first term began on January 14, 2019.
Matt Pinnell is an American politician. He is the 17th lieutenant governor of Oklahoma, since 2019. Pinnell is also serving as the first and current Oklahoma Secretary of Tourism & Branding.
Although there was no lieutenant governor in Oklahoma Territory prior to the creation of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, a territorial secretary served as the immediate successor to the governorship of Oklahoma Territory if the position became vacant. Two territorial secretaries succeeded territorial governors. Secretary Robert Martin became acting governor of the territory after Governor George Washington Steele's resignation in 1890 and Secretary William C. Grimes served as acting governor of the territory in 1901.
The Territory of Oklahoma was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from May 2, 1890, until November 16, 1907, when it was joined with the Indian Territory under a new constitution and admitted to the Union as the State of Oklahoma.
In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.
Robert Martin (1833–1897), a Republican lawyer and native of Pennsylvania who moved to Oklahoma Territory in 1889, served as Secretary (1890–1893) and Acting Governor of Oklahoma Territory.
When the Oklahoma Constitution was adopted in 1907, it authorized the office of the Oklahoma lieutenant governor.The office, like that of other state lieutenant governors, was modeled after the office of the Vice President of the United States. The authors of the Oklahoma Constitution placed the lieutenant governor as the ex officio president of the Oklahoma Senate, giving the office limited legislative power that included a tie-breaking vote. George W. Bellamy, a pharmacist, served as the first lieutenant governor.
The vice president of the United States is the second-highest officer in the executive branch of the U.S. federal government, after the president of the United States, and ranks first in the presidential line of succession. The vice president is also an officer in the legislative branch, as president of the Senate. In this capacity, the vice president presides over Senate deliberations, but may not vote except to cast a tie-breaking vote. The vice president also presides over joint sessions of Congress.
George W. Bellamy (1867–1920) was the first Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. He served from 1907 until 1911 alongside Oklahoma's first governor, Charles Haskell.
The Republican-dominated Oklahoma House of Representatives brought impeachment charges against Oklahoma's third lieutenant governor, but the Democratic-dominated Oklahoma Senate did not sustain the charges.Lieutenant Governor Martin E. Trapp went on to succeed Governor Jack C. Walton, who was suspended on October 23, 1923, and convicted of impeachment charges and removed from office on November 19, 1923.
The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP, is one of the two major political parties in the United States; the other is its historic rival, the Democratic Party.
The Oklahoma House of Representatives is the lower house of the legislature of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Its members introduce and vote on bills and resolutions, provide legislative oversight for state agencies, and help to craft the state's budget. The upper house of the Oklahoma Legislature is the Oklahoma Senate.
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with its rival, the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party.
In 1929, impeachment charges were brought against the governor, leading to Lieutenant Governor William J. Holloway to become acting governor and later governor when the impeachment charges led to a conviction.
Impeachment is the process by which a legislative body levels charges against a government official. It does not mean removal from office; it is only a statement of charges, akin to an indictment in criminal law. Once an individual is impeached, he or she must then face the possibility of conviction by a legislative vote, which judgment entails removal from office.
William Judson Holloway was an American principal, lawyer, and politician who served as the fourth Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. Following Henry S. Johnston’s impeachment and removal from office, Holloway became the eighth governor of Oklahoma.
George Nigh, Oklahoma's eighth lieutenant governor was the youngest lieutenant governor in the United States when he took office on January 12, 1959.
Today, the lieutenant governor presides over the first day of the legislative session, has a tie-breaking vote, and serves as a chief aid to the governor.
The lieutenant governor is elected directly by the people of Oklahoma every four years on the same day as the election of the governor. The governor and lieutenant governor are elected on separate ballots and are not running mates. This presents a chance that they may represent different political parties, as was the case from 2003 to 2007 when Democratic Governor Brad Henry and Republican Lieutenant Governor Mary Fallin were in office. The election of Democratic Lieutenant Governor Leo Winters and Republican Governor Henry Bellmon in the 1960s was the first instance of this occurrence. It also occurred in 1967 with Republican Governor Dewey F. Bartlett and Democratic Lieutenant Governor George Nigh and in 1987 with Republican Governor Henry Bellmon and Democratic Lieutenant Governor Robert S. Kerr III.
To hold the office, the lieutenant governor must satisfy the same constitutional qualifications as the governor. He or she must be a citizen of the U.S. state of Oklahoma, at least thirty-one years of age and a resident of the United States for ten years.
The lieutenant governor's term lasts for four years and runs coequal with the term of the governor, beginning on the first Monday in January following their election. As originally written, the Oklahoma Constitution placed no limits on the number of terms an individual could serve as lieutenant governor. Following the results of the 2010 state elections, the state constitution was amended to limit the lieutenant governor to no more than two terms, consecutive or not.
Democratic Lieutenant Governor James E. Berry holds the record for the most terms served in the office, having served for five consecutive terms from 1935 to 1955. George Nigh also held the lieutenant governorship from 1959 to 1963 and again from 1967 to 1979, and Republican Mary Fallin held the lieutenant governorship for 12 years from 1995 to 2007 with strict lifetime term limits limiting statewide officeholders to two four-year terms, it's unlikely that anyone will surpass these records.
"I, . . . . . . . , do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support, obey, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Oklahoma, and that I will not, knowingly, receive, directly or indirectly, any money or other valuable thing, for the performance or nonperformance of any act or duty pertaining to my office, other than the compensation allowed by law; I further swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully discharge my duties as Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma to the best of my ability."
Great Seal of the State of Oklahoma
|Headquarters|| Oklahoma State Capitol |
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
|Website||Office of the Lieutenant Governor|
The lieutenant governor is the ex officio president of the Oklahoma Senate. As state senate president, he or she oversees procedural matters and may cast a vote in the event of a tie.The lieutenant governor also receives a vote during a joint-session of both the Oklahoma House of Representatives and Oklahoma Senate. By tradition, the lieutenant governor presides less frequently than the President pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate.
Despite the lieutenant governor's legislative role, his or her main function lies in the executive branch as the immediate successor to the governorship in the event of a vacancy.In case of impeachment of the governor, or of his or her death, failure to qualify, or resignation, the governorship, with its compensation and responsibilities, devolves upon the lieutenant governor for the remainder of the gubernatorial term. In the event of the governor's absences from Oklahoma, or inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office, the lieutenant governor becomes the "acting governor" until the governor returns to the state or the disability is removed.
The lieutenant governor presides over or is a member of ten state boards and commissions as per state statute and the Oklahoma Constitution.
|Tourism and Recreation Commission||Chair|
|Film Office Advisory Commission||Chair|
|Oklahoma State Board of Equalization||Vice-Chair|
|School Land Commission||Vice-Chair|
|Oklahoma Linked Deposit Board||Vice-Chair|
|State Insurance Fund||Member|
|Archives and Records||Member|
|Oklahoma Capitol Complex Centennial Commission||Member|
|Capital Improvement Authority||Member|
|Native American Cultural & Education Authority||Member|
When a governor and lieutenant governor are of the same party, the governor often uses the lieutenant governor as the head of board, agency, or commission. This can be seen when Governor Frank Keating appointed Mary Fallin to serve as his Small Business Advocate within his Cabinet. However, when the governor and lieutenant governor are of different parties, the role of the lieutenant governor is minimal.
The lieutenant governor can serve as the acting governor. When acting as the governor, the Oklahoma Constitution provides the lieutenant governor with the full powers of the governor, including the power to sign or veto legislation, make political appointments, call out the Oklahoma National Guard, or grant pardons. The need for the lieutenant governor to act as the governor may come about due to the governor's absences from Oklahoma, or his or her inability to discharge the powers and duties of the office. The lieutenant governor holds the powers of the governor until the governor returns to the state or the period of disability ends.
Democratic (14) Republican (3)
|#||Lt. Governor||Term||Party||Governor(s) Served Under|
|1||George W. Bellamy||1907–1911||Democrat||Charles N. Haskell|
|2||J. J. McAlester||1911–1915||Democrat||Lee Cruce|
|3||Martin E. Trapp||1915–1923||Democrat|| Robert L. Williams |
James B. A. Robertson
John C. Walton
|vacant||1923–1927||Martin E. Trapp|
|4||William J. Holloway||1927–1929||Democrat||Henry S. Johnston|
|vacant||1929–1931||William J. Holloway|
|5||Robert Burns||1931–1935||Democrat||William H. Murray|
|6||James E. Berry||1935–1955||Democrat|| E. W. Marland |
Leon C. Phillips
Robert S. Kerr
Roy J. Turner
|7||Cowboy Pink Williams||1955–1959||Democrat||Raymond D. Gary|
|8||George Nigh||1959–1963||Democrat||J. Howard Edmondson|
|9||Leo Winters||1963–1967||Democrat||Henry Bellmon|
|10||George Nigh||1967–1979||Democrat||Dewey F. Bartlett|
| David Hall |
David L. Boren
|11||Spencer Bernard||1979–1987||Democrat||George Nigh|
|12||Robert S. Kerr III||1987–1991||Democrat||Henry Bellmon|
|13||Jack Mildren||1991–1995||Democrat||David Walters|
|14||Mary Fallin||1995–2007||Republican||Frank Keating|
|15||Jari Askins||2007–2011||Democrat||Brad Henry|
|16||Todd Lamb||2011–2019||Republican||Mary Fallin|
|17||Matt Pinnell||2019–present||Republican||Kevin Stitt|
As of January 2019 [update] , five former lieutenant governors of Oklahoma were alive, the oldest being George Nigh (served 1959–1963 and 1967–1979, born 1927). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Oklahoma was that of Jack Mildren (served 1991–1995, born 1949), on May 22, 2008.
|Lt. Governor||Lt. Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|June 9, 1927|
|Robert S. Kerr III||1987–1991||October 2, 1952 (age 65)|
|Mary Fallin||1995–2007||December 9, 1954|
|Jari Askins||2007–2011||April 27, 1953|
|Todd Lamb||2011–2019||October 19, 1971|
Henry Simpson Johnston was an American lawyer and politician who served as a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention, the first President pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate, and the seventh governor of Oklahoma. He would become the second governor in Oklahoma history to be impeached and removed from office.
Henry Louis Bellmon was an American Republican politician from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. A member of the Oklahoma Legislature, he went on to become both the 18th and 23rd Governor of Oklahoma, mainly in the 1960s and again in the 1980s, as well as a two-term United States Senator in the 1970s. He was the first Republican to serve as Governor of Oklahoma and, after his direct predecessor George Nigh, only the second Governor to be reelected.
George Patterson Nigh is an American politician and civic leader from the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Nigh served as the 17th and the 22nd Governor of Oklahoma and as the 8th and 10th Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma. He was the first Oklahoma governor to be re-elected and the first to win all 77 counties in the state. Additionally, short term vacancies in the governor's office twice resulted in Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma Nigh assuming gubernatorial duties while serving as lieutenant governor.
Martin Edwin Trapp was an American state auditor, governor and lieutenant governor of the U.S. state of Oklahoma. Oklahoma's third lieutenant governor, he was the first to become governor not through an election but instead due to the previous governor's impeachment and removal from office.
The Oklahoma Republican Party is a political party affiliated with the United States Republican Party (GOP). Along with the Oklahoma Democratic Party, it is one of the two major parties in Oklahoma politics.
The President pro tempore of the Oklahoma Senate is the second-highest-ranking official of the Oklahoma Senate and the highest-ranking state senator. The Oklahoma Constitution designates the Lieutenant Governor of Oklahoma as the highest-ranking official, serving ex officio as President of the Senate, even though he or she only votes in the case of a tie. During the lieutenant governor's absence, the president pro tempore presides over sessions. The lieutenant governor presides over sessions devoted to ceremonial purposes, while the bulk of the management and political power is reserved for the president pro tempore.
The Lieutenant Governor of Indiana is a constitutional office in the US State of Indiana. Republican Suzanne Crouch, who assumed office 9 January 2017, is the incumbent. The office holder's constitutional roles are to serve as President of the Indiana Senate, become acting governor during the incapacity of the governor, and become governor should the incumbent governor resign, die in office, or be impeached and removed from office. Lieutenant governors have succeeded ten governors following their deaths or resignations. The lieutenant governor holds statutory positions, serving as the head of the state agricultural and rural affairs bureaus, and as the chairman of several state committees. The annual salary of the lieutenant governor is $88,000.
The following table indicates the party of elected officials in the U.S. state of Louisiana: