Kathy Hochul has been Governor since August 24, 2021
Kathy Hochul has been Governor since August 24, 2021

The governor of New York is the head of government of the U.S. state of New York and the head of the executive branch of New York's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.[1] The officeholder has a duty to enforce state laws, to convene the New York State Legislature,[1] the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the legislature,[2] as well as to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.[3]

Fifty-seven people have served as state governor, four of whom served non-consecutive terms (George Clinton, DeWitt Clinton, Horatio Seymour, and Al Smith); the official numbering lists each governor only once. There has only been one female governor so far: Kathy Hochul. This numbering includes one acting governor: the lieutenant governor who filled the vacancy after the resignation of the governor, under the 1777 Constitution.[4] The list does not include the prior colonial governors nor those who have acted as governor when the governor was out of state, such as Lieutenant Governor Timothy L. Woodruff during Theodore Roosevelt's vice presidential campaign in 1900, or Acting Speaker of the New York State Assembly Moses M. Weinstein, who acted as governor for 10 days in 1968 while the governor, the lieutenant governor and the senate majority leader were out of the state, attending the Republican National Convention in Miami.[5]

Four men have become president of the United States after serving as governor of New York: Martin Van Buren, Grover Cleveland, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and six were vice president. Van Buren and Theodore Roosevelt held both offices. Two governors have been chief justice: John Jay held that position when he was elected governor in 1795, and Charles Evans Hughes became chief justice in 1930, two decades after leaving the governorship.

The longest-serving governor was the first, George Clinton, who first took office on July 30, 1777, and served seven terms in two different periods, totaling just under 21 years in office. As 18 of those years were consecutive, Clinton also served the longest consecutive period in office for a New York governor. Charles Poletti had the shortest term, serving 29 days following the resignation of the previous governor, Herbert H. Lehman in 1942. David Paterson was the first African American governor of New York, and the first legally blind governor as well. Paterson is only the fourth African American to hold the office of governor in the United States. The current governor is Democrat Kathy Hochul, the state's first female governor, who assumed the office on August 24, 2021 upon the resignation of Andrew Cuomo.[6]

Governors

New York was one of the original thirteen colonies on the east coast of North America, and was admitted as a state on July 26, 1788. Prior to declaring its independence, New York was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain, which it in turn obtained from the Dutch as the colony of New Netherland; see the list of colonial governors and the list of directors-general of New Netherland for the pre-statehood period.

The office of the governor was established by the first New York Constitution in 1777. The governor was originally for a term of three years,[7] though the constitution did not specify when the term began. A 1787 law set the start of the term at July 1.[8] The New York State Constitutional Convention of 1821 amended the state constitution, reducing the term of office to two years,[9] moving the election to November,[10] and moving the beginning and the end of the term to coincide with the calendar year.[11] An 1874 amendment extended the term of office back to three years,[12] but the 1894 constitution again reduced it to two years.[13] The most recent New York Constitution of 1938 extended the term to the current four years.[14] There is no limit to the number of consecutive terms a governor may serve.

The Constitution has provided since 1777 for the election of a lieutenant governor of New York, who is ex officio President of the Senate, to the same term (keeping the same term lengths as the governor throughout all the constitutional revisions). Originally, in the event of the death, resignation or impeachment of the governor, the lieutenant governor would become acting governor until the end of the yearly legislative term, the office being filled in a special election, if there was a remainder of the term.[15] Since the 1821 Constitution, the lieutenant governor explicitly becomes governor upon such vacancy in the office and serves for the entire remainder of the term.[16] Should the office of lieutenant governor become vacant, the president pro tempore of the State Senate[a] performs all the duties of the lieutenant governor until the vacancy is filled either at the next gubernatorial election or by appointment.[b] Likewise, should both offices become vacant at the same time, the president pro tempore acts as governor, with the office of lieutenant governor remaining vacant. Should the presidency pro tempore be vacant too, or the incumbent unable to fulfill the duties, the Speaker of the State Assembly is next in the line of succession.[17] The lieutenant governor is elected on the same ticket as the governor, since the 1954 election with a single joint vote cast for both offices, but is nominated separately.[18]

Governors of the State of New York
No. Governor Term in office Time in office Party Election Lieutenant Governor
1
George Clinton by Ezra Ames (full portrait).jpg
  George Clinton July 30, 1777

June 30, 1795
(not candidate for election)
17 years, 336 days Democratic–
Republican
1777   Pierre Van Cortlandt
1780
1783
1786
1789
1792
2
Portrait of John Jay by John Trumbull, circa 1793.jpg
John Jay July 1, 1795

June 30, 1801
(not candidate for election)
6 years, 0 days Federalist 1795 Stephen Van Rensselaer
1798
(1)
George Clinton by Ezra Ames (full portrait).jpg
George Clinton July 1, 1801

June 30, 1804
(not candidate for election)[c]
3 years, 0 days Democratic–
Republican
1801 Jeremiah Van Rensselaer
3
Morgan Lewis (portrait by Henry Inman).png
Morgan Lewis July 1, 1804

June 30, 1807
(lost election)
3 years, 0 days Democratic–
Republican
1804 John Broome
(died August 8, 1810)
4
DTompkins.png
Daniel D. Tompkins July 1, 1807

February 24, 1817
(resigned)[d]
9 years, 238 days Democratic–
Republican
1807
1810
Vacant
John Tayler
(acting)
(took office January 29, 1811)
[e]
DeWitt Clinton
(elected May 2, 1811)
1813 John Tayler
1816
5
John Tayler, governor of New York (portrait by Ezra Ames).png
John Tayler
(Acting)
February 24, 1817

June 30, 1817
(not candidate for election)
127 days Democratic–
Republican
Lieutenant
Governor
acting as
Governor
Philetus Swift
(acting)
6
DeWitt Clinton by Rembrandt Peale.jpg
DeWitt Clinton July 1, 1817

December 31, 1822
(not candidate for election)
5 years, 184 days Democratic–
Republican
1817 John Tayler
1820[f]
7
JosephCYates.jpg
Joseph C. Yates January 1, 1823

December 31, 1824
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic–
Republican
1822 Erastus Root
(6)
DeWitt Clinton by Rembrandt Peale.jpg
DeWitt Clinton January 1, 1825

February 11, 1828
(died in office)
3 years, 41 days Democratic–
Republican
1824 James Tallmadge Jr.
1826 Nathaniel Pitcher
8 Nathaniel Pitcher February 11, 1828

December 31, 1828
(not candidate for election)
325 days Democratic–
Republican
Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Peter R. Livingston
(acting)
Charles Dayan
(acting from October 17, 1828)
9
Francis Alexander - Martin Van Buren - Google Art Project.jpg
Martin Van Buren January 1, 1829

March 12, 1829
(resigned)[g]
70 days Democratic 1828 Enos T. Throop
10
EThroop.png
Enos T. Throop March 12, 1829

December 31, 1832
(not candidate for election)
3 years, 295 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Charles Stebbins
(acting)
William M. Oliver
(acting)
1830 Edward Philip Livingston
11
WMarcy.png
William L. Marcy January 1, 1833

December 31, 1838
(lost election)
6 years, 0 days Democratic 1832 John Tracy
1834
1836
12
Henry Inman - William H. Seward.jpg
William H. Seward January 1, 1839

December 31, 1842
(not candidate for election)
4 years, 0 days Whig 1838 Luther Bradish
1840
13
WBouck.png
William C. Bouck January 1, 1843

December 31, 1844
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1842 Daniel S. Dickinson
14
Silas Wright, Jr. (Engraved Portrait).jpg
Silas Wright January 1, 1845

December 31, 1846
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1844 Addison Gardiner
(resigned July 5, 1847)
15
New York Governor John Young.jpg
John Young January 1, 1847

December 31, 1848
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Whig 1846
Albert Lester
(acting)
Hamilton Fish
(took office January 1, 1848)
16
Hamilton Fish (portrait by Charles Loring Elliott).png
Hamilton Fish January 1, 1849

December 31, 1850
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Whig 1848 George W. Patterson
17
WashingtonHunt.png
Washington Hunt January 1, 1851

December 31, 1852
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Whig 1850 Sanford E. Church
18
HSeymour cropped.png
Horatio Seymour January 1, 1853

December 31, 1854
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1852
19
Myron H. Clark (portrait by Leon Bonnat).png
Myron H. Clark January 1, 1855

December 31, 1856
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Whig
(fusion)
1854 Henry Jarvis Raymond
20
John Alsop King.jpg
John A. King January 1, 1857

December 31, 1858
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1856 Henry R. Selden
21
Edwin D. Morgan (portrait by George Peter Alexander Healey).png
Edwin D. Morgan January 1, 1859

December 31, 1862
(not candidate for election)[h]
4 years, 0 days Republican 1858 Robert Campbell
1860
(18)
Hon. Horatio Seymour, N.Y - NARA - 528568.jpg
Horatio Seymour January 1, 1863

December 31, 1864
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1862 David R. Floyd-Jones
22
Reuben Fenton - Brady-Handy.jpg
Reuben Fenton January 1, 1865

December 31, 1868
(not candidate for election)
4 years, 0 days Union 1864 Thomas G. Alvord
1866 Stewart L. Woodford
23
John T. Hoffman (portrait by Jacob Lazarus).png
John T. Hoffman January 1, 1869

December 31, 1872
(not candidate for election)
4 years, 0 days Democratic 1868 Allen C. Beach
1870
24
JADix.png
John Adams Dix January 1, 1873

December 31, 1874
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1872 John C. Robinson
25
SamuelTilden.png
Samuel J. Tilden January 1, 1875

December 31, 1876
(not candidate for election)[i]
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1874 William Dorsheimer
26
Lucius Robinson (portrait by George Waters).png
Lucius Robinson January 1, 1877

December 31, 1879
(lost election)
3 years, 0 days Democratic 1876[j]
27
Alonzo B. Cornell.jpg
Alonzo B. Cornell January 1, 1880

December 31, 1882
(not candidate for election)
3 years, 0 days Republican 1879 George Gilbert Hoskins
28
GCleveland.png
Grover Cleveland January 1, 1883

January 6, 1885
(resigned)[k]
2 years, 5 days Democratic 1882 David B. Hill
29
Photo of David B. Hill.jpg
David B. Hill January 6, 1885

December 31, 1891
(not candidate for election)[l]
6 years, 360 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Dennis McCarthy
(acting)
1885 Edward F. Jones
1888
30
Roswell Pettibone Flower (1835-1899) (10506877665) (1).jpg
Roswell P. Flower January 1, 1892

December 31, 1894
(not candidate for election)
3 years, 0 days Democratic 1891 William F. Sheehan
31
LMorton.png
Levi P. Morton January 1, 1895

December 31, 1896
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1894[m] Charles T. Saxton
32
New York and the war with Spain. History of the Empire State regiments (1903) (14759490491).jpg
Frank S. Black January 1, 1897

December 31, 1898
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1896 Timothy L. Woodruff
33
T Roosevelt.jpg
Theodore Roosevelt January 1, 1899

December 31, 1900
(not candidate for election)[n]
2 years, 0 days Republican 1898
34
Benjamin Barker Odell Jr cph.3b20166.jpg
Benjamin Odell January 1, 1901

December 31, 1904
(not candidate for election)
4 years, 0 days Republican 1900
1902 Frank W. Higgins
35
Frank W. Higgins.jpg
Frank W. Higgins January 1, 1905

December 31, 1906
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1904 Matthew Linn Bruce
John Raines
(acting)
36
Charles Evans Hughes cph.3b15401.jpg
Charles Evans Hughes January 1, 1907

October 6, 1910
(resigned)[o]
3 years, 278 days Republican 1906 Lewis Stuyvesant Chanler
1908 Horace White
37
Horace White.jpg
Horace White October 6, 1910

December 31, 1910
(not candidate for election)
87 days Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
George H. Cobb
(acting)
38
John Alden Dix.jpg
John Alden Dix January 1, 1911

December 31, 1912
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1910 Thomas F. Conway
39
William Sulzer, portrait taken by Chicago studio.jpg
William Sulzer January 1, 1913

October 17, 1913
(impeached and removed)[p]
289 days Democratic 1912 Martin H. Glynn
40
Martin H. Glynn.jpg
Martin H. Glynn October 17, 1913

December 31, 1914
(lost election)
1 year, 76 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Robert F. Wagner
(acting)
41
Portrait of Charles S. Whitman.jpg
Charles Seymour Whitman January 1, 1915

December 31, 1918
(lost election)
4 years, 0 days Republican 1914 Edward Schoeneck
1916
42
AlfredSmith.png
Al Smith January 1, 1919

December 31, 1920
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Democratic 1918 Harry C. Walker
43
Portrait of Nathan L. Miller.jpg
Nathan L. Miller January 1, 1921

December 31, 1922
(lost election)
2 years, 0 days Republican 1920 Jeremiah Wood
(resigned September 26, 1922)
Clayton R. Lusk
(acting)
(42)
AlfredSmith.png
Al Smith January 1, 1923

December 31, 1928
(not candidate for election)[q]
6 years, 0 days Democratic 1922 George R. Lunn
1924 Seymour Lowman
1926 Edwin Corning
44
FDR in 1933.jpg
Franklin D. Roosevelt January 1, 1929

December 31, 1932
(not candidate for election)[r]
4 years, 0 days Democratic 1928 Herbert H. Lehman
1930
45
Herbert Lehman.jpg
Herbert H. Lehman January 1, 1933

December 3, 1942
(resigned)[s]
9 years, 336 days Democratic 1932 M. William Bray
1934
1936
1938[t] Charles Poletti
46
Charles Poletti.jpg
Charles Poletti December 3, 1942

December 31, 1942
(not candidate for election)
29 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Joe R. Hanley
(acting)
47
Thomas Dewey.jpg
Thomas E. Dewey January 1, 1943

December 31, 1954
(not candidate for election)
12 years, 0 days Republican 1942 Thomas W. Wallace
1946 Joe R. Hanley
1950 Frank C. Moore
(resigned September 30, 1953)
Arthur H. Wicks
(acting)
Walter J. Mahoney
(acting)
48
William Averell Harriman.jpg
W. Averell Harriman January 1, 1955

December 31, 1958
(lost election)
4 years, 0 days Democratic 1954 George DeLuca
49
NelsonRockefellerBW.png
Nelson Rockefeller January 1, 1959

December 18, 1973
(resigned)[u]
14 years, 351 days Republican 1958 Malcolm Wilson
1962
1966
1970
50
Malcolm Wilson (NY).png
Malcolm Wilson December 18, 1973

December 31, 1974
(lost election)
1 year, 14 days Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Warren M. Anderson
(acting)
51
Hugh Carey (NY).png
Hugh Carey January 1, 1975

December 31, 1982
(not candidate for election)
8 years, 0 days Democratic 1974 Mary Anne Krupsak
1978 Mario Cuomo
52
Mario Cuomo 1987 (cropped).jpg
Mario Cuomo January 1, 1983

December 31, 1994
(lost election)
12 years, 0 days Democratic 1982 Alfred DelBello
Warren M. Anderson
(acting)
1986 Stan Lundine
1990
53
George Pataki.jpg
George Pataki January 1, 1995

December 31, 2006
(not candidate for election)
12 years, 0 days Republican 1994 Betsy McCaughey Ross[v]
1998 Mary Donohue
2002
54
Eliot Spitzer.jpg
Eliot Spitzer January 1, 2007

March 17, 2008
(resigned)[w]
1 year, 76 days Democratic 2006 David Paterson
55
David Paterson 2 by David Shankbone.jpg
David Paterson March 17, 2008

December 31, 2010
(not candidate for election)
2 years, 290 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Joseph Bruno
(acting)
Dean Skelos
(acting)
Malcolm Smith
(acting)
Pedro Espada Jr.
(acting)[x]
Richard Ravitch
(contested)[y]
Malcolm Smith
(acting)[z]
Richard Ravitch[aa]
56
Andrew Cuomo 2019.jpg
Andrew Cuomo January 1, 2011

August 23, 2021
(resigned)[ab]
10 years, 234 days Democratic 2010 Robert Duffy
2014 Kathy Hochul
2018
57
Kathy Hochul, November 2017.jpeg
Kathy Hochul August 24, 2021

Incumbent[ac]
338 days Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
(acting)
Brian Benjamin[19]
Andrea Stewart-Cousins
(acting)
Antonio Delgado

See also

Notes

  1. ^ The state constitutions refer to this position as the "temporary president of the senate".
  2. ^ On September 22, 2009, the New York Court of Appeals upheld the right of the governor to appoint a lieutenant governor to fill the vacancy.
  3. ^ Clinton instead successfully ran for Vice President of the United States.
  4. ^ Tompkins resigned to be Vice President of the United States.
  5. ^ At the time, the position of president pro-tempore of the Senate was only filled during a vacancy in the office of lieutenant governor, so Tayler was not elected to fill the position until January 29, 1811.
  6. ^ First term under the 1821 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
  7. ^ Van Buren resigned to be United States Secretary of State.
  8. ^ Morgan instead successfully ran for United States Senate.
  9. ^ Tilden instead unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States.
  10. ^ First term under an 1874 amendment to the constitution, which lengthened terms to three years.
  11. ^ Cleveland resigned to be President of the United States.
  12. ^ Hill had been elected to the United States Senate for a term starting March 4, 1891, but did not take office until his gubernatorial term expired.
  13. ^ First term under the 1894 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
  14. ^ Roosevelt instead successfully ran for Vice President of the United States.
  15. ^ Hughes resigned to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States.
  16. ^ Sulzer was impeached and removed from office for campaign contribution fraud.
  17. ^ Smith instead unsuccessfully ran for President of the United States.
  18. ^ Roosevelt instead successfully ran for President of the United States.
  19. ^ Lehman resigned to be Director of Foreign Relief and Rehabilitation Operations at the United States Department of State.
  20. ^ First term under the 1938 constitution, which lengthened terms to four years.
  21. ^ Rockefeller resigned to devote himself to his Commission on Critical Choices for Americans.
  22. ^ Elected as Betsy McCaughey, but married and changed name in 1995.
  23. ^ Spitzer resigned due to a prostitution scandal.
  24. ^ Espada was a Democrat, but combined with the Republicans in a change of leadership which triggered the 2009 New York State Senate leadership crisis.
  25. ^ Ravitch was appointed on July 8, 2009, but the appointment was contested in the courts. On August 20, the Appellate Division rejected the appointment; Ravitch vacated the office.
  26. ^ Smith succeeded Espada on July 9 as temporary President of the New York State Senate and claimed to be Acting Lieutenant Governor under the provisions of the New York State Constitution while the appointment of Ravitch was contested.
  27. ^ On September 22, the New York Court of Appeals reversed the Appellate Division's ruling, thus re-instating Ravitch to the lieutenant governorship, beginning on July 8.
  28. ^ Cuomo resigned due to allegations of sexual harassment.[6]
  29. ^ Hochul's first term expires at midnight on January 1, 2023.

References

General
  • "Governors of New York". State of New York. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  • "Governors Database: New York". National Governors Association. National Governors Association. 2008. Archived from the original on November 1, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  • Jenkins, John Stilwell (1851). Lives of the Governors of the State of New York. Auburn N.Y.: Derby and Miller. p. 862.
Constitutions
Specific
  1. ^ a b New York Constitution article IV, § 3.
  2. ^ New York Constitution article IV, § 7.
  3. ^ New York Constitution article IV, § 4.
  4. ^ "Governors of New York". State of New York. Archived from the original on March 15, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  5. ^ McFadden, Robert D. (December 3, 2007). "Moses Weinstein, 95, Legislator and Judge, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved September 7, 2008.
  6. ^ a b "New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns". NBC News. August 10, 2021. Retrieved August 10, 2021.
  7. ^ 1777 New York Constitution, article XVIII.
  8. ^ "Governors of New York". New York Department of State. Archived from the original on March 21, 2008. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  9. ^ 1821 New York Constitution article III, § 1.
  10. ^ 1821 New York Constitution article I, § 15.
  11. ^ 1821 New York Constitution article I, § 16.
  12. ^ John Joseph Lalor, ed. (1883). "New York". Cyclopædia of Political Science, Political Economy, and the Political History of the United States. Vol. II. Chicago: Melbert B. Cary & Company. p. 1017. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  13. ^ 1894 New York Constitution article IV, § 1
  14. ^ New York Constitution article IV, § 1.
  15. ^ 1777 New York Constitution, article X.
  16. ^ New York Constitution, article IV § 5.
  17. ^ New York Constitution, article IV § 6.
  18. ^ "Executive Branch of the Several States". The Green Papers. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
  19. ^ Hogan, Bernadette (September 9, 2021). "Brian Benjamin sworn in to replace Hochul as NY's lieutenant governor".