Governor of Colorado

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Governor of the State of Colorado
Seal of the Executive Office of Colorado.svg
=
Incumbent
John Hickenlooper

since January 11, 2011
Style The Honorable
Residence Colorado Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, can succeed self once
Inaugural holder John Long Routt
Formation August 1, 1876
Deputy Donna Lynne
Salary $90,000 (2013)[1]
Website www.colorado.gov/governor

The Governor of the State of Colorado is the head of the executive branch of Colorado's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of treason or impeachment.[2]

Seven people served as governor of Colorado Territory over eight terms, appointed by the President of the United States, since statehood, there have been 36 governors, serving 41 distinct terms. The longest-serving governors were Richard "Dick" Lamm and Roy Romer, who each served twelve years over three terms, the shortest term occurred on March 17, 1905, a day when the state had three governors: Alva Adams won the election, but soon after he took office, the legislature declared his opponent, James Peabody, governor, but on the condition that he immediately resign, so that his lieutenant governor, Jesse McDonald, could be governor. Thus, Peabody served only a few minutes as governor.

The current governor is John Hickenlooper, who took office on January 11, 2011.

Governors[edit]

Governor of the Territory of Jefferson[edit]

The self-proclaimed Provisional Government of the Territory of Jefferson was organized on November 7, 1859.[3] Jefferson Territory included all of present-day Colorado, but extended about 3 miles (5 km) farther east, 138 miles (222 km) farther north, and about 50 miles (80 km) farther west.[4] The territory was never recognized by the federal government in the tumultuous days before the American Civil War, the Jefferson Territory had only one governor, Robert Williamson Steele, a pro-union Democrat elected by popular vote. He proclaimed the territory dissolved on June 6, 1861, several months after the official formation of the Colorado Territory, but only days after the arrival of its first governor.[5]

Governors of the Territory of Colorado[edit]

For the period before Colorado Territory was formed, see the lists of Governors of New Mexico Territory, Utah Territory, Kansas Territory, and Nebraska Territory.

The Territory of Colorado was organized on February 28, 1861, from parts of the territories of New Mexico, Utah, and Nebraska, and the unorganized territory that was previously the western portion of Kansas Territory.[6]

# Governor Term in office Appointed by
1 William Gilpin (governor).jpg William Gilpin March 25, 1861[7][a] – March 26, 1862[b] Abraham Lincoln
2 John Evans.gif John Evans March 26, 1862[7] – October 17, 1865[c]
3 Alexander Cummings.gif Alexander Cummings October 17, 1865[11] – April 24, 1867 Andrew Johnson
4 Alexander Hunt.gif Alexander Cameron Hunt April 24, 1867[11] – June 14, 1869
5 Edward M. McCook - Brady-Handy.jpg Edward M. McCook June 14, 1869[12] – Sometime in 1873[d] Ulysses S. Grant
6 Samuel Elbert.gif Samuel Hitt Elbert April 4, 1873[13] – Sometime in 1874[e]
7 Edward M. McCook - Brady-Handy.jpg Edward M. McCook June 19, 1874[12] – March 29, 1875
8 John Routt.gif John Long Routt March 29, 1875[14] – August 1, 1876

Governors of the State of Colorado[edit]

The State of Colorado was admitted to the Union on August 1, 1876.

To serve as governor, one must be at least 30 years old, be a citizen of the United States, and have been a resident of the state for at least two years prior to election, the state constitution of 1876 originally called for election of the governor every two years, with their term beginning on the second Tuesday of the January following the election.[15] An amendment passed in 1956, taking effect in 1959, increased terms to four years.[16] Originally, there was no term limit applied to the governor; a 1990 amendment allowed governors to succeed themselves only once.[17] There is however no limit on the total number of terms one may serve as long as one who has served the two term limit is out of office for four years.

Should the office of governor become vacant, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.[18] If both the offices governor and lieutenant governor are vacant, the line of succession moves down through the senior members of the state senate and state house of representatives of the same party as the governor,[19] the lieutenant governor was elected separately from the governor until a 1968 amendment to the constitution[20] made it so that they are elected on the same ticket.[21]

#[f] Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor[g]
1 John Routt.gif   John Long Routt August 1, 1876

January 14, 1879
Republican 1876   Lafayette Head
2 Frederick Walker Pitkin.jpg Frederick Walker Pitkin January 14, 1879

January 9, 1883
Republican 1878 Horace Austin Warner Tabor
1880
3 James Grant.gif James Benton Grant January 9, 1883

January 13, 1885
Democratic 1882 William H. Meyer[h]
4 Benjamin Eaton.gif Benjamin Harrison Eaton January 13, 1885

January 11, 1887
Republican 1884 Peter W. Breene
5 Alvaadams.jpg Alva Adams January 11, 1887

January 8, 1889
Democratic 1886 Norman H. Meldrum
6 Job Cooper.gif Job Adams Cooper January 8, 1889

January 13, 1891
Republican 1888 William Grover Smith
7 John Routt.gif John Long Routt January 13, 1891

January 10, 1893
Republican 1890 William Story
8 Davis Hanson Waite.gif Davis Hanson Waite January 10, 1893

January 8, 1895
People's 1892 David Hopkinson Nichols
9 Albert Mcintire.gif Albert Washington McIntire January 8, 1895

January 12, 1897
Republican 1894 Jared L. Brush[h]
10 Alvaadams.jpg Alva Adams January 12, 1897

January 10, 1899
Democratic 1896
11 Charles Spalding Thomas.jpg Charles Spalding Thomas January 10, 1899

January 8, 1901
Democratic 1898 Francis Patrick Carney[i]
12 James Orman.gif James Bradley Orman January 8, 1901

January 13, 1903
Democratic 1900 David C. Coates[j]
13 James Hamilton Peabody.jpg James Hamilton Peabody January 13, 1903

January 10, 1905
Republican 1902 Warren A. Haggott[k]
14 Alvaadams.jpg Alva Adams January 10, 1905

March 17, 1905
Democratic 1904
[l]
Arthur Cornforth
15 James Hamilton Peabody.jpg James Hamilton Peabody March 17, 1905

March 17, 1905
Republican Jesse Fuller McDonald
16 Jesse Mcdonald.gif Jesse Fuller McDonald March 17, 1905

January 8, 1907
Republican Vacant
Fred W. Parks
(took office July 5, 1905)
17 Henry Buchtel.gif Henry Augustus Buchtel January 8, 1907

January 12, 1909
Republican 1906 Erastus Harper
18 John Shafroth.gif John F. Shafroth January 12, 1909

January 14, 1913
Democratic 1908 Stephen R. Fitzgarrald
1910
19 Elias Ammons.gif Elias M. Ammons January 14, 1913

January 12, 1915
Democratic 1912
20 George Alfred Carlson in 1914.jpg George Alfred Carlson January 12, 1915

January 9, 1917
Republican 1914 Moses E. Lewis
21 Julius Gunter.gif Julius Caldeen Gunter January 9, 1917

January 14, 1919
Democratic 1916 James A. Pulliam
22 Oliver Henry Shoup.jpg Oliver Henry Shoup January 14, 1919

January 9, 1923
Republican 1918 George Stepham
1920 Earl Cooley
23 William Sweet.gif William Ellery Sweet January 9, 1923

January 13, 1925
Democratic 1922 Robert F. Rockwell[h]
24 Blank.gif Clarence Morley January 13, 1925

January 11, 1927
Republican 1924 Sterling Byrd Lacy[m]
25 Blank.gif Billy Adams January 11, 1927

January 10, 1933
Democratic 1926 George Milton Corlett[h]
1928
1930 Edwin C. Johnson
26 Edwin Johnson.jpg Edwin C. Johnson January 10, 1933

January 1, 1937
Democratic 1932 Ray Herbert Talbot
1934
[n]
27 Blank.gif Ray Herbert Talbot January 1, 1937

January 12, 1937
Democratic Vacant
28 Blank.gif Teller Ammons January 12, 1937

January 10, 1939
Democratic 1936 Frank J. Hayes
29 Gov Ralph L Carr 1940.jpg Ralph Lawrence Carr January 10, 1939

January 12, 1943
Republican 1938 John Charles Vivian
1940
30 Blank.gif John Charles Vivian January 12, 1943

January 14, 1947
Republican 1942 William Eugene Higby
1944
31 Blank.gif William Lee Knous January 14, 1947

April 15, 1950
Democratic 1946 Homer L. Pearson
1948
[o]
Walter Walford Johnson
32 Blank.gif Walter Walford Johnson April 15, 1950

January 9, 1951
Democratic Charles P. Murphy[h]
33 Daniel I.J. Thornton Colorado.jpg Daniel I.J. Thornton January 9, 1951

January 11, 1955
Republican 1950 Gordon L. Allott
1952
34 Edwin Johnson.jpg Edwin C. Johnson January 11, 1955

January 8, 1957
Democratic 1954 Stephen L.R. McNichols
35 Stephen McNichols 1962.jpg Stephen L.R. McNichols January 8, 1957

January 8, 1963
Democratic 1956 Frank L. Hays[h]
1958
[p]
Robert Lee Knous
36 John A. Love.jpg John Arthur Love January 8, 1963

July 16, 1973
Republican 1962
1966 Mark Anthony Hogan[m]
1970
[q]
John David Vanderhoof
37 John D. Vanderhoof Colorado Governor.jpg John David Vanderhoof July 16, 1973

January 14, 1975
Republican Ted L. Strickland
38 Richard Lamm.jpg Richard "Dick" Lamm January 14, 1975

January 13, 1987
Democratic 1974 George L. Brown
1978 Nancy E. Dick
1982
39 Roy Romer Colorado.jpg Roy Romer January 13, 1987

January 12, 1999
Democratic 1986 Mike Callihan
(resigned May 10, 1994)
1990
Vacant
Samuel H. Cassidy
(took office May 11, 1994)
1994 Gail Schoettler
40 Governor of Colorado Bill Owens 060502-N-5324D-001 crop.jpg Bill Owens January 12, 1999

January 9, 2007
Republican 1998 Joe Rogers
2002 Jane E. Norton
41 Bill Ritter official photo.jpg Bill Ritter January 9, 2007

January 11, 2011
Democratic 2006 Barbara O'Brien
42 HickenlooperCropped.JPG John Hickenlooper January 11, 2011

Present
Democratic 2010 Joseph A. Garcia
(resigned May 12, 2016)
2014
[r]
Donna Lynne

Living former governors[edit]

There are four living former governors of Colorado, the oldest being Roy Romer (served 1987–1999, born 1928), the most recent death of a former governor was that of John David Vanderhoof (served 1973–1975, born 1922), who died on September 19, 2013.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Richard "Dick" Lamm 1975–1987 (1935-09-12) September 12, 1935 (age 82)
Roy Romer 1987–1999 (1928-10-31) October 31, 1928 (age 89)
Bill Owens 1999–2007 (1950-10-22) October 22, 1950 (age 67)
Bill Ritter 2007–2011 (1956-09-06) September 6, 1956 (age 61)

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ The territory was formed on February 28, 1861, but no governor was appointed until March 25, 1861. Gilpin himself did not arrive in the territory until May 27, 1861.[8]
  2. ^ Removed from office for improper financial drafts from the federal treasury.[9]
  3. ^ Resigned at the request of President Johnson following the Sand Creek Massacre. The resignation was requested on July 18, 1865.[10]
  4. ^ Removed from office by petition.[12]
  5. ^ Records show Elbert served "less than a year", but his successor was appointed on June 19, 1874, which was 14 months after Elbert took office.[13]
  6. ^ The official numbering includes repeat governors.
  7. ^ Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  8. ^ a b c d e f Represented the Republican Party.
  9. ^ Represented the Populist Party.
  10. ^ The Colorado State Archives labels Coates a Democrat;[22] however, a contemporary New York Times article describes him as a Populist elected on a fusion ticket, and that he had renounced all other parties and become a Socialist.[23]
  11. ^ The Colorado State Archives says Haggott served from 1902 to 1903; however, multiple sources say he served with Peabody[24] well into 1904,[25] so it is assumed the Archives are in error.
  12. ^ The 1904 election was rife with fraud and controversy. Alva Adams won election, but soon after he took office the Republican legislature declared James Peabody to be the actual winner, on the condition that Peabody immediately resign, since Peabody had been governor for a few moments before resigning, it was his lieutenant governor, Jesse McDonald, that succeeded to the governorship. In all, Colorado had three governors on March 17, 1905.
  13. ^ a b Represented the Democratic Party.
  14. ^ Johnson resigned to take an elected seat in the United States Senate; as lieutenant governor, Talbot succeeded him.
  15. ^ Knous resigned to take a seat on the United States District Court for the District of Colorado; as lieutenant governor, Johnson succeeded him.
  16. ^ Terms were lengthened from two to four years beginning with this term.
  17. ^ Love resigned to be Director of the Office of Energy Policy; as lieutenant governor, Vanderhoof succeeded him.
  18. ^ Governor Hickenlooper's second term expires on January 8, 2019; he will be term limited.

References[edit]

General
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ "CSG Releases 2013 Governor Salaries". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ CO Const. art IV
  3. ^ University of Colorado Studies, p. 71
  4. ^ University of Colorado Studies, p. 68
  5. ^ University of Colorado Studies, pp. 75–76
  6. ^ Thirty-sixth United States Congress (February 28, 1861). "An Act to provide a temporary Government for the Territory of Colorado" (PDF). State of Colorado, Department of Personnel and Administration, Colorado State Archives. Retrieved November 29, 2007. 
  7. ^ a b Houston Jr., Robert B. (2005). Two Colorado Odysseys: Chief Ouray Porter Nelson. p. 3. ISBN 0-595-35860-8. 
  8. ^ McGinnis, Ralph Y.; Calvin N. Smith (1994). Abraham Lincoln and the Western Territories. Rowman & Littlefield. p. 58. ISBN 0-8304-1247-6. 
  9. ^ "William Gilpin". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved October 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ "Correspondence from W. H. Seward to Gov. John Evans, re: Request by President for Resignation – 7/18/1865". Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  11. ^ a b "Alexander Cummings". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b c "Edward Moody McCook". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  13. ^ a b "Samuel Hitt Elbert". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  14. ^ "John L. Routt". Colorado Governor's Index. Colorado State Archives. Retrieved September 1, 2007. 
  15. ^ CO Const. art IV, original section 1
  16. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  17. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  18. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 13
  19. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 13, paragraph 7
  20. ^ "Ballot History". Colorado Legislature. Retrieved December 4, 2008. 
  21. ^ CO Const. art IV, sec 1
  22. ^ "Lieutenant Governors of Colorado". Colorado State Archives. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  23. ^ "General Notes". The New York Times. July 13, 1902. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  24. ^ Goodspeed, Weston Arthur (1904). The Province and the States: Missouri, Kansas, Colorado. p. 481. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 
  25. ^ "Shots Fired from Windows". The New York Times. June 6, 1904. Retrieved October 25, 2009. 

External links[edit]