Pronounciation: /lu’tɛ.nənt/ /gŭv'ər-nər/
Origin: 1585–95
United State colonies: A lieutenant governor under British rule in the original 13 colonies of the U.S. had to live in their colony to hold the position, unlike a royal governor who ruled from Britain and was paid by the crown.

This article pertains to the position held by an United States lieutenant governor.

The lieutenant governor has been gaining power because it is an office that has only recently been constitutionally mandated in 1980. The lieutenant governor serves as the Chief Election officer to keep the integrity of elections intact via supervisory authority. They are also the governor’s advisor, and as a result are also the second highest official in the state. When a governor leaves office the lieutenant becomes governor. This has happened more often recently because governors have increasingly been looked at as a position that leads to a national position. Governors are becoming president, like George W. Bush. Or in the case of former governor Mike O. Leavitt, Utah’s 14th governor and the nation’s longest-serving governor, who left for a position over the EPA. It is not surprising then that a constitutionally mandated law was passed in 1980 that made lieutenant governor an official office.

Both governor and lieutenant governor are seen together on the ballots during elections in 24 states. In 18 states, a separated campaign to run specifically for lieutenant governor is the procedure. In some of the remaining states, “Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Tennessee and West Virginia the President of the state Senate assumes the office of Governor upon a vacancy. In November 2005, New Jersey voters approved a constitutional amendment to create the office of Lieutenant Governor. The office will be officially enacted following the 2009 general election.” ( Three states and a U.S. territory use the Secretary of State: Arizona, Oregon, Wyoming, and Puerto Rico.

A specific case of where the importance of lieutenant governor is growing occurred in Oklahoma in 2000.

“Oklahoma's Lieutenant Governor entered the State Senate chamber and assumed the chair of the Senate on April 5, 2000. For the next three legislative days, the Lieutenant Governor fulfilled her constitutional duty of presiding over the Senate and stood poised to cast the tie breaking vote. However, the strategic motion of the Senate's leadership on the 'Right to Work' referendum succeeded by a tally of twenty-four to twenty-three with one Senator absent. Nevertheless, the Lieutenant Governor, not the President pro tempore of the Senate or one of his designees, had presided over the Senate during an important part of the 2000 legislative session.” (Kevin M. Abel, Oklahoma City University Law Review)

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