California’s office of lieutenant governor provides quite a contrast to its contemporaries discussed previously in this blog, the lieutenant governors of Alaska and Hawaii. As the reader will see, California’s second-in-command does not by either statute or constitutional mandate direct a state agency, and the lieutenant governor in California does not have to be elected on the same ticket as the governor, which has made for some unique relationships over the years.

Specifically, I will focus on the following aspects of the Lieutenant Governor of California: 1) constitutional responsibilities; 2) statutory responsibilities; 3) the formal process of election to the office; 4) the formal rule of appointment to the office in case of a vacancy, and an assessment of the three vacancies that have occurred in the lieutenant governor’s office, in 1969, 1974, and 2009, and how those vacancies were filled; 4) the personalities who have held the office between 1959 and the present, and the nature of their relationship with the governor under whom they have served.

Thus, this should be an interesting look at California’s lieutenant governor, and I invite you to follow along over the next few weeks and months.