Before I explore what the duties are of each state’s lieutenant governors, it is important to determine just how many states actually have, as part of their statute or constitution, such an office. Well, 43 states can actually claim to have a full-fledged office titled Lieutenant Governor.  New Jersey is the most recent state to have created such an office, with their first LG assuming office in 2010.That still leaves 7 states unaccounted for, and they have addressed the post of second-in-command in three different ways.

Three states have designated their Secretary of State as the official successor to the Governor: Arizona, Oregon and Wyoming. Arizona twice in recent years has seen the Secretary of State become Governor. First, Rose Mofford in 1988 after the departure of Evan Meacham, and Jane Hull in 1997 after Fife Symington resigned. 

Three additional states-Maine, New Hampshire and West Virginia-have designated their senate president as the official first in line to succeed the governor. Most critically, their is no reference at all to a lieutenant governor.  Finally, Tennessee has created a hybrid of sorts. The Speaker of the Senate in the Volunteer State is designated the immediate successor to the governor, but they also have the title of Lieutenant Governor. Thus the Speaker of the Tennessee Senate is also officially designated as the Lieutenant Governor.

 

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