Governor of California

Governor of California
Seal of the 40th Governor of California.png
Seal of the Governor of California
Flag of the Governor of California.svg
Standard of the Governor
Gavin Newsom official photo (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Gavin Newsom

since January 7, 2019
California Executive Branch
StyleThe Honorable
(formal)
ResidenceCalifornia Governor's Mansion
SeatSacramento, California
Term lengthFour-year term, renewable once
Inaugural holderPeter Hardeman Burnett
FormationDecember 20, 1849
SalaryUS$173,987 (2013)[1]
WebsiteOfficial website Edit this at Wikidata

The Governor of California is the head of government of the U.S. state of California. The California Governor is the chief executive of the state government and the commander-in-chief of the California National Guard and the California State Military Reserve.

Established in the Constitution of California, the governor's responsibilities also include making the annual State of the State address to the California State Legislature, submitting the budget, and ensuring that state laws are enforced. The position was created in 1849, the year before California became a state.

The current governor of California is Gavin Newsom who was inaugurated on January 7, 2019.

Gubernatorial elections, oath, and term of office

Governors are elected by popular ballot and serve terms of four years, with a limit of two terms, if served after November 6, 1990.[2] Governors take the following oath:

I (Governor) do solemnly swear that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies foreign and domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California, that I take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which I am about to enter.

Governors take office on the first Monday after January 1 after their election.

Gubernatorial removal

There are two methods available to remove a governor before the expiration of the gubernatorial term of office.

Impeachment and removal by the legislature

The governor can be impeached for "misconduct in office" by the State Assembly and removed by a two-thirds vote of the State Senate.

Recall by the voters

Petitions signed by California state voters equal in number to 12% of the last vote for the office of governor (with signatures from each of 5 counties equal in number to 1% of the last vote for governor in the county) can launch a gubernatorial recall election. The voters can then vote on whether or not to recall the incumbent governor, and on the same ballot they can vote a potential replacement. If a majority of the voters in the election vote to recall the governor, then the person who gains a plurality of the votes in the replacement race will become governor.

The 2003 California recall began with a petition drive that successfully forced sitting Democratic Governor Gray Davis into a special recall election. It marked the first time in the history of California that a governor faced a recall election. He was subsequently voted out of office, becoming the second governor in the history of the United States to be recalled after Lynn Frazier of North Dakota in 1921. He was replaced by Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger.