Legality of Cannabis by U.S. Jurisdiction

Governor of Washington
Seal of the Executive Department of Washington.svg
Seal of the Governor
Jay Inslee official portrait 2020 (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Jay Inslee

since January 16, 2013
Style
Status
ResidenceWashington Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, no term limit
Inaugural holderElisha P. Ferry
FormationNovember 11, 1889
DeputyLieutenant Governor of Washington
Salary$ 182,179 2019[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The governor of Washington is the head of the executive branch of the government of the State of Washington and commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[2][3] The officeholder has a duty to enforce state laws,[4] the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Washington Legislature and line-item veto power to cancel specific provisions in spending bills.[5] The Washington Governor may also convene the legislature on "extraordinary occasions".[4]

Washington Territory had 14 territorial governors from its organization in 1853 until the formation of the state of Washington in 1889. Territorial governors were appointed by the President of the United States. Elisha P. Ferry had the longest term of eight years and went on to become the state's first governor. William H. Wallace was appointed governor but never took office due to being elected as the territory's congressional delegate. George Edward Cole was appointed governor and took office, but his appointment was never ratified by the U.S. Senate and he was replaced as governor after four months.

Twenty-two individuals have held the office of Governor of Washington since the state's admission to the Union, with Arthur B. Langlie serving non-consecutive terms. Populist Party candidate John Rankin Rogers is the only non-Democratic or Republican nominee to win office. The most recent governor to be from Eastern Washington was Clarence Martin, elected in 1932.[6] The current governor is Democrat Jay Inslee, who took office on January 16, 2013, and was reelected in 2016 and 2020; his term will expire on January 13, 2025. Washington has had the longest current streak of Democratic governors in the nation, with the last Republican to hold the office being John Spellman in 1985.[7][a]

With the re-election of Inslee in 2020, Langlie, Daniel J. Evans and Inslee are the only three Washington Governors to be elected to three terms.

Governors[edit]

Governors of the Territory of Washington[edit]

Washington Territory was created on March 2, 1853, from the northern half of Oregon Territory. At this point, Washington Territory also included the northern panhandle of modern Idaho and parts of Montana.[8] The southern half of Idaho was assigned to the Washington Territory in 1859 after Oregon was admitted as a state.[9] Idaho Territory was split from Washington Territory in 1863 giving Washington Territory its final borders.[10]

Due to the long distance between Washington, D.C., and Olympia, there was often a lengthy gap between a governor being appointed and his arrival in the territory.

Governor Took office[b] Left office Appointed by Notes
Isaacstevens.jpg   Isaac Stevens December 3, 1853[11] August 11, 1857[12] Franklin Pierce
LaFayette McMullen.jpg   Fayette McMullen September 10, 1857[13] July 1858[14] James Buchanan
Richard D. Gholson.jpg   Richard D. Gholson July 15, 1859[15] February 14, 1861[16] [c]
William H. Wallace.jpg   William H. Wallace Appointed April 9, 1861[18] Abraham Lincoln [d]
William Pickering.jpg   William Pickering June 1862[20] January 8, 1867[21] [e]
George Edward Cole.jpg   George Edward Cole January 8, 1867[21] March 4, 1867[21] Andrew Johnson [e]
MFMoore.jpg   Marshall F. Moore August 26, 1867[23] 1869
Alvan Flanders.jpg   Alvan Flanders April 5, 1869[24] March 14, 1870[25] Ulysses S. Grant
Edward Selig Salomon.jpg   Edward S. Salomon Appointed March 4, 1870[26] April 1872[26]
Elisha Peyre Ferry.jpg   Elisha P. Ferry Appointed April 26, 1872[27] November 1, 1880[28] [f]
William A Newell.jpg   William A. Newell November 1, 1880[28] 1884 Rutherford B. Hayes
Watson C Squire.jpg   Watson C. Squire Appointed July 2, 1884[27] April 1887[30] Chester A. Arthur [f]
Eugene Semple.jpg   Eugene Semple Appointed April 9, 1887[31] 1889 Grover Cleveland
Miles C. Moore.jpg   Miles Conway Moore April 9, 1889[32] November 11, 1889 Benjamin Harrison

Governors of the State of Washington[edit]

Washington was admitted to the Union on November 11, 1889. The term for governor is four years,[2] commencing on the second Monday in the January following the election.[33] If the office of governor is vacant or the governor is unable to discharge their duties, the lieutenant governor assumes the duties of governor, though still officially retains the office of lieutenant governor.[34] If both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor are unable to fulfill their duties, the secretary of state is next in line, and then the treasurer.[35] There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve.[36] The office of lieutenant governor is not elected on the same ticket as the governor.

Parties

  Democratic (11)   Populist (1)   Republican (12)
(above numbering includes one governor twice)[g]

# Governor Took office Left office Office Prior to Ascension Party Election Terms[h]
1   Elisha Peyre Ferry.jpg Elisha P. Ferry
August 9, 1825 – October 14, 1895
(aged 70)
November 11, 1889 January 9, 1893 10th Governor of the Washington Territory Republican 1889 1
2 John McGraw 1890.jpg John McGraw
October 4, 1850 – June 23, 1910
(aged 59)
January 9, 1893 January 11, 1897 King County Sheriff 1892 1
3 John Rankin Rogers.jpg John Rankin Rogers
September 4, 1838 – December 26, 1901
(aged 63)
January 11, 1897 December 26, 1901 Washington House of Representatives Populist 1896 1+12[i][j]
Democratic
4 Governor Henry McBride.jpg Henry McBride
February 7, 1856 – October 7, 1937
(aged 81)
December 26, 1901 January 9, 1905 Lieutenant Governor of Washington Republican 1900 12[k]
5 Governor Albert E. Mead.jpg Albert E. Mead
December 14, 1861 – March 19, 1913
(aged 51)
January 9, 1905 January 27, 1909 Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney 1904 1
6 Samuel Goodlove Cosgrove.jpg Samuel G. Cosgrove
April 10, 1847 – March 28, 1909
(aged 61)
January 27, 1909 March 28, 1909 Mayor of Pomeroy 1908 12[j]
7 Governor Marion E. Hay.jpg Marion E. Hay
December 9, 1865 – November 21, 1933
(aged 67)
March 28, 1909 January 11, 1913 Lieutenant Governor of Washington Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
12[k]
8 Governor Ernest Lister.jpg Ernest Lister
June 15, 1870 – June 14, 1919
(aged 48)
January 11, 1913 February 13, 1919 Chairman of the State Board of Control Democratic 1912 1+12[l]
1916
9 Louis Folwell Hart.jpg Louis F. Hart
January 4, 1862 – December 4, 1929
(aged 67)
February 13, 1919 January 12, 1925 Lieutenant Governor of Washington Republican 1920 1+12[m]
10 Roland Hill Hartley.jpg Roland H. Hartley
June 26, 1864 – September 21, 1952
(aged 88)
January 12, 1925 January 9, 1933 Washington House of Representatives 1924 2
1928
11 Clarence Daniel Martin.jpg Clarence D. Martin
June 29, 1886 – August 11, 1955
(aged 69)
January 9, 1933 January 13, 1941 Mayor of Cheney Democratic 1932 2
1936
12 Arthur Bernard Langlie (cropped).jpg Arthur B. Langlie
July 25, 1900 – July 24, 1966
(aged 65)
January 13, 1941 January 8, 1945 Mayor of Seattle Republican 1940 1
13 Governor Monrad Charles Wallgren (cropped).jpg Monrad Wallgren
April 17, 1891 – September 18, 1961
(aged 70)
January 8, 1945 January 12, 1949 U.S. Senator from Washington Democratic 1944 1
14 Arthur Bernard Langlie (cropped).jpg Arthur B. Langlie
July 25, 1900 – July 24, 1966
(aged 65)
January 12, 1949 January 14, 1957 12th Governor of Washington Republican 1948 2
1952
15 Albert D. Rosellini (cropped).jpg Albert Rosellini
January 21, 1910 – October 10, 2011
(aged 101)
January 14, 1957 January 11, 1965 Washington State Senate Democratic 1956 2
1960
16 Daniel J. Evans.jpg Daniel J. Evans
(1925-10-16) October 16, 1925 (age 95)
January 11, 1965 January 12, 1977 Washington House of Representatives Republican 1964 3
1968
1972
17 Dixy Lee Ray (cropped).jpg Dixy Lee Ray
September 3, 1914 – January 2, 1994
(aged 79)
January 12, 1977 January 14, 1981 Assistant U.S. Secretary of State for Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Democratic 1976 1
18 JohnDSpellman.jpg John Spellman
December 29, 1926 – January 15, 2018
(aged 91)
January 14, 1981 January 16, 1985 King County Executive Republican 1980 1
19 Booth Gardner.jpg Booth Gardner
August 21, 1936 – March 15, 2013
(aged 76)
January 16, 1985 January 13, 1993 Pierce County Executive Democratic 1984 2
1988
20 Michael E. Lowry.jpg Mike Lowry
March 8, 1939 – May 1, 2017
(aged 78)
January 13, 1993 January 15, 1997 U.S. Representative from WA-7th 1992 1
21 Gary Locke.jpg Gary Locke
(1950-01-21) January 21, 1950 (age 71)
January 15, 1997 January 12, 2005 King County Executive 1996 2
2000
22   ChristineGregoireOfficial (cropped).jpg Christine Gregoire
(1947-03-24) March 24, 1947 (age 74)
January 12, 2005 January 16, 2013 Attorney General of Washington 2004 2
2008
23 Jay Inslee official portrait (cropped 2).jpg Jay Inslee
(1951-02-09) February 9, 1951 (age 70)
January 16, 2013[39] Incumbent U.S. Representative from WA-01 2012 3
2016
2020

Succession[edit]

Other high offices held[edit]

Six of Washington's territorial governors and four of its state governors have served higher federal or confederate offices, or as governors of other states. Three represented Washington Territory as delegates to the U.S. House, and one additionally represented Idaho Territory in the same fashion, as well as serving as Governor of Idaho Territory. Two territorial governors represented eastern states, one as a representative from, and governor of, New Jersey, and one represented Virginia both in the United States and Confederate Houses. Three governors represented the state in the U.S. Senate, and two represented the state in the House. One governor has served in the United States Cabinet. Two of the territorial governors (marked with *) resigned their office to serve as territorial delegates.

Governor Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
Isaac Stevens 1853–1857 Delegate from Washington Territory* [40]
Fayette McMullen 1857–1859 Representative and Confederate Representative from Virginia [41]
William H. Wallace 1861–1861 Delegate from Washington Territory*, Delegate from Idaho Territory,
Governor of Idaho Territory
[42]
Alvan Flanders 1869–1870 Delegate from Washington Territory [43]
William A. Newell 1880–1884 Representative from New Jersey, Governor of New Jersey [44]
Watson C. Squire 1884–1887 Senator from Washington [45]
Monrad Wallgren 1945–1949 Senator and Representative from Washington [46]
Daniel J. Evans 1965–1977 Senator from Washington [47]
Mike Lowry 1993–1997 Representative from Washington [48]
Gary Locke 1997–2005 Secretary of Commerce, Ambassador to China [49]
Jay Inslee 2013–present Representative from Washington

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The District of Columbia has been led by elected Democrats since 1975, but is not a state and does not have governors.
  2. ^ Due to the long distance between Washington D.C. and Washington Territory, and the slow speed of communications and travel of the day, weeks or months could go by between the appointment of a governor and the governor actually taking office. The actual dates governors took office are sometimes vague; the ones in this list are cited mostly with contemporary news coverage, but other resources and almanacs give slightly different dates.
  3. ^ Received a leave of absence in May 1860 to move his wife from Texas to Kentucky. He never returned to Washington Territory.[16][17]
  4. ^ Appointed as governor, but did not take office as he was elected as a delegate from Washington Territory.[19]
  5. ^ a b President Johnson removed Governor Pickering in November 1866. Governor Cole arrived on January 8, 1867, after being appointed governor. Governor Pickering would not relinquish power until the U.S. Senate approved of Governor Cole's nomination on the basis that President Johnson was being impeached. However, the state's legislature looked to Governor Cole as the real governor. The U.S. Senate eventually failed to ratify his nomination.[22]
  6. ^ a b Was a resident of Washington Territory at the time of appointment. This could have cut down on the time between appointment and taking office.[29]
  7. ^ The official numbering includes ten Democrats, 12 Republicans, and John Rogers, who served as both a Democrat and a Populist. Rogers' term is counted as both Populist and Democratic.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ Rogers was elected as a Populist for his first term and a Democrat for his second.[37]
  10. ^ a b Died in office.
  11. ^ a b As lieutenant governor, filled unexpired term.
  12. ^ Lister became ill during his second term, relinquished his office to the Lieutenant Governor, and died a few months later.[38]
  13. ^ As lieutenant governor, Hart filled the unexpired term after Lister relinquished his office due to ill health.[38]

References[edit]

General
Constitution
Specific
  1. ^ "2013 and 2014 Salary Schedule, Adopted May 22, 2013" (PDF). Washington Citizens' Commission on Salaries for Elected Officials. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 10, 2013. Retrieved February 12, 2014.
  2. ^ a b WA Const. art. III, § 2.
  3. ^ WA Const. art. III, § 8.
  4. ^ a b WA Const. art. III, § 5.
  5. ^ WA Const. art. III, § 12.
  6. ^ Brunner, Jim (September 20, 2020). "Meet".
  7. ^ Brunner, Jim (August 11, 2012). "McKenna win would end drought for GOP in races for governor". The Seattle Times. Retrieved March 28, 2020.
  8. ^ "Founding of Washington Territory and Washington State". HistoryLink.org. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  9. ^ "Washington Territory". Chronological History of Idaho. State of Idaho. Archived from the original on June 17, 2010.
  10. ^ Brosnan, Cornelius James (1918). History of the State of Idaho. Charles Scribner's Sons. pp. 117–128. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  11. ^ "Glorious News for Washington! Arrival of Governor Stevens" (PDF). Washington Pioneer. Olympia. December 3, 1853. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  12. ^ "Letter from Gov. Stevens" (PDF). Pioneer and Democrat. Olympia. August 14, 1857. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  13. ^ "Arrival of Governor McMullen" (PDF). Pioneer and Democrat. Olympia. September 11, 1857. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  14. ^ Bancroft, Hubert Howe (1890). History of Washington, Idaho, and Montana: 1845–1889, Volume 31. Washington State Library. p. 209. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  15. ^ "Sworn In" (PDF). Pioneer and Democrat. Olympia. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  16. ^ a b McMullin and Walker p. 314
  17. ^ "Granted Leave of Absence" (PDF). Pioneer and Democrat. Olympia. May 18, 1860. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  18. ^ McMullin and Walker p. 315
  19. ^ "Wallace, William". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  20. ^ "Our New Governor" (PDF). Puget Sound Herald. June 12, 1862. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  21. ^ a b c "Gubernatorial War!" (PDF). Puget Sound Weekly. January 14, 1867. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  22. ^ McMullin and Walker pp. 317–318
  23. ^ "Arrival of General Moore" (PDF). The Vancouver Register. August 31, 1867. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  24. ^ "Flanders, Alvan". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  25. ^ McMullin and Walker p. 320
  26. ^ a b McMullin and Walker p. 321
  27. ^ a b McMullin and Walker p. 322
  28. ^ a b "Governor Ferry's Retirement" (PDF). Puget Sound Mail. October 31, 1880. Retrieved July 2, 2010.
  29. ^ McMullin and Walker pp. 322–328.
  30. ^ McMullin and Walker p. 325
  31. ^ McMullin and Walker p. 326
  32. ^ Snowden, Clinton (1911). History of Washington: the rise and progress of an American state. New York: Century History Company. p. 153. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
  33. ^ WA Const. art. III, § 4
  34. ^ "AG, Secretary of State issue joint statement regarding gubernatorial succession in the event of a vacancy". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  35. ^ WA Const. art. III, § 10
  36. ^ "Constitutional and Statutory Provisions for Number of Consecutive Terms of Elected State Officials" (PDF). National Governor's Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 29, 2011. Retrieved July 3, 2010.
  37. ^ "John Rankin Rogers". Washington State University Libraries. Retrieved January 21, 2010.
  38. ^ a b "Change of Governor in Washington". The Christian Science Monitor. February 14, 1919. Retrieved January 21, 2011.
  39. ^ Inslee's third term began on January 13, 2021.
  40. ^ "Stevens, Isaac Ingalls". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  41. ^ "McMullen, Fayette". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  42. ^ "Wallace, William Henson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  43. ^ "Flanders, Alvan". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  44. ^ "Newell, William Augustus". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  45. ^ "Squire, Watson Carvosso". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  46. ^ "Wallgren, Monrad Charles". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  47. ^ "Evans, Daniel Jackson". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  48. ^ "Lowry, Maichael Edward". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and Historian of the United States Senate. Retrieved June 29, 2010.
  49. ^ "U.S. Senate Confirms Gary Locke as Commerce Secretary". United States Department of Commerce. March 24, 2009. Archived from the original on January 29, 2010. Retrieved July 3, 2010.

External links[edit]