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Governor of Washington

Governor of Washington
Seal of Washington
The Honorable
Residence Washington Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years
Inaugural holder Elisha P. Ferry
Formation November 11, 1889
Deputy Brad Owen
Salary $166,891 (2010)[1]

The Governor of Washington is the head of the executive branch of Washington's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[2][3] The governor 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 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 Peyre 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 E. 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-one 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. Langlie and Daniel J. Evans are the state's only three term governors. Populist Party candidate John Rankin Rogers is the only non Democratic or Republican nominee to win office. The current governor is Jay Inslee, who took office at 10:30 am, January 16, 2013; his term will expire in January 2017.


Governors of the Territory of Washington

For the period before Washington Territory was formed, see the List of Governors of Oregon Territory.

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.[6] The southern half of Idaho was assigned to the Washington Territory in 1859 after Oregon was admitted as a state.[7] Idaho Territory was split from Washington Territory in 1863 giving Washington Territory its final borders.[8]

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.

Picture Governor Took office[lower-alpha 1] Left office Appointed by Notes
Isaac Stevens December 3, 1853[9] August 11, 1857[10] Franklin Pierce
LaFayette McMullen September 10, 1857[11] July 1858[12] James Buchanan
Richard D. Gholson July 15, 1859[13] February 14, 1861[14] James Buchanan [lower-alpha 2]
William H. Wallace Appointed April 9, 1861[16] Abraham Lincoln [lower-alpha 3]
William Pickering June 1862[18] January 8, 1867[19] Abraham Lincoln [lower-alpha 4]
George E. Cole January 8, 1867[19] March 4, 1867[19] Andrew Johnson [lower-alpha 4]
Marshall F. Moore August 26, 1867[20] 1869 Andrew Johnson
Alvan Flanders April 5, 1869[21] March 14, 1870[22] Ulysses S. Grant
Edward Selig Salomon Appointed March 4, 1870[23] April 1872[23] Ulysses S. Grant
Elisha Peyre Ferry Appointed April 26, 1872[24] November 1, 1880[25] Ulysses S. Grant [lower-alpha 5]
William Augustus Newell November 1, 1880[25] 1884 Rutherford B. Hayes
Watson Carvasso Squire Appointed July 2, 1884[27] April 1887[28] Chester A. Arthur [lower-alpha 5]
Eugene Semple Appointed April 9, 1887[29] 1889 Grover Cleveland [lower-alpha 5]
Miles Conway Moore April 9, 1889[30] November 11, 1889 Benjamin Harrison

Governors of the State of Washington

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.[31] If the office of governor is vacant or the governor is unable to discharge their duties, the lieutenant governor assumes the office of governor. 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.[32] There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve.[33] The office of lieutenant governor is not elected on the same ticket as the governor.

      Democratic (10)       Populist (1)       Republican (12)
(above numbering includes one governor twice)[lower-alpha 6]

# Picture Governor Took office Left office Party Lt. Governor Terms[lower-alpha 7]
1   Elisha Peyre Ferry November 11, 1889 January 9, 1893 Republican   Charles E. Laughton 1
2 John McGraw January 9, 1893 January 11, 1897 Republican F.H. Luce 1
3 John Rogers January 11, 1897 December 26, 1901 Populist Thurston Daniels 1 12[lower-alpha 8][lower-alpha 9]
Democratic Henry McBride
4 Henry McBride December 26, 1901 January 9, 1905 Republican Vacant 12[lower-alpha 10]
5 Albert E. Mead January 9, 1905 January 27, 1909 Republican Charles E. Coon 1
6 Samuel G. Cosgrove January 27, 1909 March 28, 1909 Republican Marion E. Hay 12[lower-alpha 9]
7 Marion E. Hay March 28, 1909 January 11, 1913 Republican Vacant 12[lower-alpha 10]
8 Ernest Lister January 11, 1913 February 13, 1919 Democratic Louis Folwell Hart[lower-alpha 11] 1 12[lower-alpha 12]
9 Louis Folwell Hart February 13, 1919 January 12, 1925 Republican Vacant 1 12[lower-alpha 13]
William J. Coyle
10 Roland H. Hartley January 12, 1925 January 9, 1933 Republican W. Lon Johnson 2
John Arthur Gellatly
11 Clarence D. Martin January 9, 1933 January 13, 1941 Democratic Victor A. Meyers 2
12 Arthur B. Langlie January 13, 1941 January 8, 1945 Republican Victor A. Meyers[lower-alpha 14] 1
13 Monrad C. Wallgren January 8, 1945 January 12, 1949 Democratic Victor A. Meyers 1
14 Arthur B. Langlie January 12, 1949 January 14, 1957 Republican Victor A. Meyers[lower-alpha 14] 2
Emmett T. Anderson
15 Albert D. Rosellini January 14, 1957 January 11, 1965 Democratic John A. Cherberg 2
16 Daniel J. Evans January 11, 1965 January 12, 1977 Republican John A. Cherberg[lower-alpha 14] 3
17 Dixy Lee Ray January 12, 1977 January 14, 1981 Democratic John A. Cherberg 1
18 John D. Spellman January 14, 1981 January 16, 1985 Republican John A. Cherberg[lower-alpha 14] 1
19 Booth Gardner January 16, 1985 January 13, 1993 Democratic John A. Cherberg 2
Joel Pritchard[lower-alpha 11]
20 Mike Lowry January 13, 1993 January 15, 1997 Democratic Joel Pritchard[lower-alpha 11] 1
21 Gary Locke January 15, 1997 January 12, 2005 Democratic Brad Owen 2
22   Christine Gregoire January 12, 2005 January 16, 2013 Democratic Brad Owen 2
23 Jay Inslee January 16, 2013 Incumbent Democratic Brad Owen 1[lower-alpha 15]

Other high offices held

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.

Name Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
Isaac Stevens 1853–1857 Delegate from Washington Territory* [36]
LaFayette McMullen 1857–1859 Representative and Confederate Representative from Virginia [37]
William H. Wallace 1861–1861 Delegate from Washington Territory*, Delegate from Idaho Territory,
Governor of Idaho Territory
Alvan Flanders 1869–1870 Delegate from Washington Territory [39]
William A. Newell 1880–1884 Representative from New Jersey, Governor of New Jersey [40]
Watson C. Squire 1884–1887 Senator from Washington [41]
Monrad Wallgren 1945–1949 Senator and Representative from Washington [42]
Daniel J. Evans 1965–1977 Senator from Washington [43]
Mike Lowry 1993–1998 Representative from Washington [44]
Gary Locke 1997–2005 Secretary of Commerce, Ambassador to China [45]
Jay Inslee 2013–present Representative from Washington

Living former governors

As of March 2013, five former governors are alive. The most recent former governor to die was Booth Gardner (1985–1993), on March 15, 2013. The most recently serving governor to die was Dixy Lee Ray (1977–1981), on January 2, 1994. Albert Rosellini lived to be 101 years and 262 days old, making him the longest lived United States governor.

Name Gubernatorial term Date of birth
Daniel J. Evans 1965–1977 (1925-10-16) October 16, 1925 (age 88)
John D. Spellman 1981–1985 (1926-12-29) December 29, 1926 (age 87)
Mike Lowry 1993–1997 (1939-03-08) March 8, 1939 (age 75)
Gary Locke 1997–2005 (1950-01-21) January 21, 1950 (age 64)
Christine Gregoire 2005–2013 (1947-03-24) March 24, 1947 (age 67)





External links

  • Office of the Governor of Washington
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