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The Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia
serves as the chief executive of the Commonwealth of Virginia
Virginia
for a four-year term. The current holder of the office is Ralph Northam, who was sworn in on January 13, 2018.

Contents

1 Qualifications 2 Duties 3 Powers 4 History

4.1 Colony 4.2 Commonwealth

5 Style 6 See also 7 References 8 External links

Qualifications[edit] Candidates for governor must be United States citizens who have resided in Virginia
Virginia
and been a registered voter for five years prior to the election in which they are running.[2] The candidates must be at least 30 years of age. Unlike other state governors, Virginia
Virginia
governors are not allowed to serve consecutive terms. They have been barred from immediate re-election since the adoption of Virginia's second constitution, in 1830. However, a former governor is permitted to run for a second term in a future election. Only two governors since 1830, William Smith and Mills Godwin, were elected to additional terms. Smith's second term came after Virginia
Virginia
seceded from the Union, while Godwin became the first ever governor in American history to be elected by both major parties when the former Democrat was elected in 1973 as a Republican. Duties[edit] The governor is the head of government in Virginia. At the beginning of every regular session, they must report the state of the Commonwealth to the Virginia
Virginia
General Assembly (both the House of Delegates and the Senate). They must convene the legislature when two-thirds of each house calls for a special session. The governor must ensure that the laws of the Commonwealth are faithfully executed by either signing, or allowing it to come into law, or vetoing, not allowing it to become law. They are responsible for the safety of the state, as they serve as commander-in-chief of the Virginia
Virginia
Militia. Powers[edit]

The Governor's Mansion in Virginia, 1905

The governor has the legislative power to submit recommendations and to call special sessions when he finds them necessary. The governor has veto powers. All bills must be sent to the governor before becoming law. The governor may sign the bill, let it sit unsigned for seven days, after which it becomes law, or veto the legislation. After a veto, the bill returns to its house of origin and may be overridden by two-thirds of the vote in each house. The governor also has the power to use a line-item veto. He may send legislation back to the legislature with recommendations and amendments. The legislature must either approve the changes by a majority in each house or override the veto with a two-thirds majority in each house. The governor is commander-in-chief of Virginia's militia forces. The governor may also communicate with other states and foreign powers. The governor has the power to fill vacancies in positions unless the position is appointed by the legislature. The governor may commute fines or sentences and issue pardons. The governor may also restore voting rights and overturn other political penalties on individuals.

History[edit] Colony[edit]

The reconstructed colonial Governor's Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia

The position of Governor of Virginia
Virginia
dates back to the first permanent English settlement in America, Jamestown. The Virginia
Virginia
Company of London set up a government run by a council. The President of the Council basically served as governor. The council was based in London and controlled the colony from afar. Nominally, Thomas Smith was the first President of the Council, but he never left England. Edward Maria Wingfield was the first President of the Council in residence, making him the first to exercise the actual authority of governing Virginia. The Virginia
Virginia
Company abandoned governance by council May 23, 1609, and replacing it with a governor, John Smith.[3] In 1624, the English Monarchy took control from the Virginia
Virginia
Company and made Virginia
Virginia
a crown colony. Governors continued to be appointed by the monarch for many years. Most often, the appointed governor would reside in England while a deputy or lieutenant governor actually exercised authority. Royal rule was interrupted during the English Civil War, after which governors were appointed by the Commonwealth of England until the English Restoration. Commonwealth[edit]

Governor's Mansion in Richmond, 1865

Virginia
Virginia
became an independent state during the American Revolution with Patrick Henry
Patrick Henry
as its first Governor. From the Revolution until 1851, the Governor was elected by the Virginia
Virginia
State Legislature. After 1851, the state turned to popular elections. During the American Civil War, Francis Harrison Pierpont
Francis Harrison Pierpont
was the governor of the Union-controlled parts of the state. Pierpont also served as one of the provisional governors during Reconstruction. These governors were appointed by the Federal government. In 1874, Virginia
Virginia
regained its right to self-governance and elected James L. Kemper as governor. After the Republican appointees of the Reconstruction era, Virginia
Virginia
would not actually elect a Republican as governor until A. Linwood Holton Jr.
A. Linwood Holton Jr.
in 1969. However, in 1881 William E. Cameron was elected governor under the banner of the Readjuster Party, a coalition of Republicans and populist Democrats. Douglas Wilder became the first elected and only the second African American Governor of any U.S. state. He served as Governor from 1990 to 1994. Since 1851, Virginia's gubernatorial elections have been held in "off-years"—years in which there are no national (presidential, senatorial, or House) elections; Virginia's gubernatorial elections are held one year after U.S. presidential elections (2001, 2005, 2009, etc.) (Most states hold gubernatorial elections either on presidential-election years or midterm-election years, when there are congressional elections.) In every Virginia
Virginia
gubernatorial election starting with 1977, the governor elected had been from the opposite party as the President elected by the nation in the previous year, even when Virginia
Virginia
had voted for the President in office, as with Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
and Barack Obama. This trend stopped in 2013 with the election of Democrat Terry McAuliffe, following the re-election of President Obama in 2012. Tim Kaine
Tim Kaine
was inaugurated on January 14, 2006. Due to renovations on the Capitol in Richmond, his inauguration was held in Williamsburg, making him the first governor to be inaugurated in Williamsburg since Thomas Jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
in 1779. The current Governor of Virginia
Virginia
is Ralph Northam, who was inaugurated on January 13, 2018. Style[edit] The Governor of Virginia
Virginia
is addressed as "The Honorable", but may occasionally be referred to as "Excellency" if ceremonially appropriate.[4] See also[edit]

List of Governors of Virginia List of colonial governors of Virginia

References[edit]

^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014.  ^ "Constitution of Virginia". Retrieved 16 October 2013.  ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2005-11-22. Retrieved 2005-10-08.  ^ ""A Guide to Virginia
Virginia
Protocol and Traditions"" (PDF). 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Governors of Virginia.

Official site for the Governor of Virginia

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Governors of Virginia

Colony of Virginia

Wingfield Ratcliffe Scrivener Smith Percy Gates De La Warr Dale Yeardley Argall Wyatt West Pott Harvey West Berkeley Bennett Digges Mathews Colepeper Howard of Effingham Andros Nicholson Nott Jenings Hunter Orkney (absentee) Spotswood Drysdale "King" Carter Gooch Albemarle (absentee) Gooch Lee Burwell (acting) Dinwiddie Loudoun Fauquier Amherst (absentee) Fauquier Botetourt W. Nelson Dunmore

Commonwealth of Virginia

Henry Jefferson Fleming T. Nelson B. Harrison Henry E. Randolph B. Randolph H. Lee Brooke Wood Monroe Page Cabell Tyler Sr. G. Smith Monroe G. Smith P. Randolph Barbour Nicholas Preston T. Randolph Pleasants Tyler Jr. Giles J. Floyd Tazewell Robertson Campbell Gilmer Patton Rutherfoord Gregory McDowell W. "EB" Smith J. B. Floyd Johnson Wise Letcher W. "EB" Smith Pierpont Wells Walker Kemper Holliday Cameron F. Lee McKinney O'Ferrall J. H. Tyler Montague Swanson Mann Stuart Davis Trinkle Byrd Pollard Peery Price Darden Tuck Battle Stanley Almond A. Harrison Godwin Holton Godwin Dalton Robb Baliles Wilder Allen Gilmore Warner Kaine McDonnell McAuliffe Northam

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Chief executives of the United States

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President of the United States

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Current governors and executives of U.S. states and territories

President of the United States: Donald Trump
Donald Trump
(R)

AL Ivey (R)

AK B. Walker (I)

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Territories:

AS Moliga (D)

GU Calvo (R)

MP Torres (R)

PR Rosselló (D)

VI Mapp (I)

Political party affiliations:

Republican: 35 (33 states, 2 territories) Democratic: 19 (16 states, 2 territories, 1 district) Independent: 2 (1 state, 1 territory)

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Virginia
Virginia
statewide elected officials

Governor Lieutenant Governor Atto

.