List of Governors of Georgia

Governor of Georgia
Seal of Georgia.svg
Nathan Deal, official 110th Congress photo.jpg
Incumbent
Nathan Deal

since January 10, 2011
ResidenceGeorgia Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Inaugural holderArchibald Bulloch
FormationJuly 12, 1775
Salary$139,339 (2013)[1]

The Governor of Georgia is the head of the executive branch of Georgia's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor also has a duty to enforce state laws, the power to either veto or approve bills passed by the Georgia Legislature, and the power to convene the legislature.

The current governor is Republican Nathan Deal who assumed office on January 10, 2011.

Governors

For the period before independence, see the list of colonial governors of Georgia.

Georgia was one of the original Thirteen Colonies and ratified the Constitution of the United States on January 2, 1788.[2] Before it declared its independence, Georgia was a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Like most early states, Georgia had claims to western areas, but did not cede its claims during the formation of the country like the other states. It sold this area, the Yazoo Lands, to the federal government on April 24, 1802,[3] when it was assigned to Mississippi Territory.

In Georgia's Rules and Regulations of 1776, considered by some to be the first constitution, the chief executive was a president chosen by the legislature every six months.[4] This was quickly superseded by the 1777 constitution, which called for a governor to be chosen by the legislature each year,[5] with a term limited to one year out of every three.[6] In the event of a vacancy, the president of the executive council acted as governor.[7] The governor's term was lengthened to two years in the 1789 constitution.[8] The 1798 constitution modified succession so that the president of the senate would act as governor should that office become vacant. An 1818 amendment to that constitution extended the line of succession to the speaker of the house,[9] and an 1824 amendment provided for popular election of the governor.[10]

While the 1861 secessionist constitution kept the office the same, the other constitutions surrounding the American Civil War brought lots of changes. The 1865 constitution, following Georgia's surrender, limited governors to two consecutive terms of two years each, allowing them to serve again after a gap of four years.[11] The Reconstruction constitution of 1868 increased the governor's term to four years.[12] The 1877 constitution, after local rule was re-established, returned the office to the provisions of the 1865 constitution.[13] An amendment in 1941 lengthened terms to 4 years, but governors could no longer succeed themselves, having to wait four years to serve again.[14] The constitution does not specify when terms start, only that the governor is installed at the next session of the General Assembly.[15]

The 1945 constitution provided for a lieutenant governor, to serve the same term as governor and to act as governor if that office became vacant. Should it become vacant within 30 days of the next general election, or if the governor's term would have ended within 90 days of the next election, the lieutenant governor acts out the term; otherwise, a successor is chosen in the next general election.[16] This was retained in the 1976 constitution. The current constitution of 1983 allows governors to succeed themselves once before having to wait four years to serve again,[17] and lieutenant governors now become governor in the event of a vacancy. Should the office of lieutenant governor be vacant, the speaker of the house acts as governor, and a special election to fill the office must happen in 90 days.[18]

The revolutionary government had several names and schisms, and it is unknown who should have been considered the chief executive at various times. This article ignores the Council of Safety of William Ewen in favor of Archibald Bulloch, considered by many to be the first governor of Georgia.[19][20]

Governor Term in office[a] Party Election Lt. Governor[b]
Archibald Bulloch 1.jpg   Archibald Bulloch July 12, 1775

February 22, 1777
None
[c][d]
Office did not exist
Button Gwinnett.jpg Button Gwinnett February 22, 1777

May 8, 1777
None
[d]
John Adam Treutlen.jpg John A. Treutlen May 8, 1777

January 10, 1778
None
Blank.gif John Houstoun January 10, 1778

December 26, 1778
None
Vacant December 26, 1778

January 4, 1780

[e]
Blank.gif   Richard Howly January 4, 1780

February 5, 1780
None
[f]
Blank.gif George Wells February 5, 1780

February 15, 1780
None
[f]
Stephen Heard.jpg Stephen Heard February 15, 1780

August 1780
None
[f]
Blank.gif Myrick Davies August 1780

August 16, 1781
None
[f]
Blank.gif Nathan Brownson August 16, 1781

January 3, 1782
None 1781
Blank.gif John Martin January 3, 1782

January 8, 1783
None 1782
Lyman Hall.jpg Lyman Hall January 8, 1783

January 9, 1784
None 1783
Blank.gif John Houstoun January 9, 1784

January 6, 1785
None 1784
SamuelElbert01.jpg Samuel Elbert January 6, 1785

January 9, 1786
None 1785
Blank.gif Edward Telfair January 9, 1786

January 9, 1787
None 1786
George Mathews from The Nation Makers by Howard Pyle.jpg George Mathews January 9, 1787

January 26, 1788
None 1787
Blank.gif George Handley January 26, 1788

January 7, 1789
None 1788
George Walton.jpg George Walton January 7, 1789

November 11, 1789
Democratic-Republican Jan. 1789
[g]
Blank.gif Edward Telfair November 11, 1789

November 7, 1793
Democratic-Republican Nov. 1789
[g][h]
1791
George Mathews from The Nation Makers by Howard Pyle.jpg George Mathews November 7, 1793

January 15, 1796
Democratic-Republican 1793
Jared Irwin.jpg Jared Irwin January 15, 1796

January 12, 1798
Democratic-Republican 1795
JamesJackson.jpg James Jackson January 12, 1798

March 3, 1801
Democratic-Republican 1797
1799
[i]
Blank.gif David Emanuel March 3, 1801

November 7, 1801
Democratic-Republican
Blank.gif Josiah Tattnall, Sr. November 7, 1801

November 4, 1802
Democratic-Republican 1801
[j]
Milledge.jpg John Milledge November 4, 1802

September 23, 1806
Democratic-Republican
1803
1805
[k]
Jared Irwin.jpg Jared Irwin September 23, 1806

November 10, 1809
Democratic-Republican
1807
Davidbrydiemitchell.jpg David B. Mitchell November 10, 1809

November 5, 1813
Democratic-Republican 1809
1811
GovernorPeterEarly.jpg Peter Early November 5, 1813

November 20, 1815
Democratic-Republican 1813
Davidbrydiemitchell.jpg David B. Mitchell November 20, 1815

March 4, 1817
Democratic-Republican 1815
[l]
Blank.gif William Rabun March 4, 1817

October 24, 1819
Democratic-Republican
1817
[m]
Matthew Talbot.jpg Matthew Talbot October 24, 1819

November 5, 1819
Democratic-Republican
John Clark.jpg John Clark November 5, 1819

November 7, 1823
Democratic-Republican 1819
1821
George M. Troup.jpg George M. Troup November 7, 1823

November 7, 1827
Democratic-Republican 1823
1825
JohnForsythSoS11.jpg John Forsyth November 7, 1827

November 4, 1829
Democratic-Republican 1827
George Rockingham Gilmer.jpg George R. Gilmer November 4, 1829

November 9, 1831
Democratic-Republican 1829
Wilson Lumpkin.jpg Wilson Lumpkin November 9, 1831

November 4, 1835
Union (Democratic) 1831
1833
William Schley.jpg William Schley November 4, 1835

November 8, 1837
Union (Democratic) 1835
George Rockingham Gilmer.jpg George R. Gilmer November 8, 1837

November 6, 1839
State Rights (Whig) 1837
CharlesJamesMcDonald.jpg Charles J. McDonald November 6, 1839

November 8, 1843
Union (Democratic) 1839
1841
GeorgeWCrawford.jpg George W. Crawford November 8, 1843

November 3, 1847
Whig 1843
1845
GeorgeWashTowns.jpg George W. Towns November 3, 1847

November 5, 1851
Democratic 1847
1849
Howell Cobb-crop.jpg Howell Cobb November 5, 1851

November 9, 1853
Constitutional Union 1851
Herschel V. Johnson cph.3a02862.jpg Herschel V. Johnson November 9, 1853

November 6, 1857
Democratic 1853
1855
Joseph Emerson Brown.jpg Joseph E. Brown November 6, 1857

June 17, 1865[n]
Democratic 1857
1859
1861
1863
[o]
JJohnson Governor.jpg James Johnson June 17, 1865

December 14, 1865[p]
Democratic
[q]
CharJenkins.jpg Charles J. Jenkins December 14, 1865

January 13, 1868
Democratic 1865
[r]
Thomas H. Ruger.jpg Thomas H. Ruger January 13, 1868

July 4, 1868
Military
[s]
Rufus Bullock - Brady-Handy.jpg Rufus B. Bullock July 4, 1868[t]

October 30, 1871[u]
Republican 1868
[v][w]
Benjamin Conley.jpg Benjamin F. Conley October 30, 1871

January 12, 1872
Republican
JamesMiltonSmith.jpg James M. Smith January 12, 1872

January 12, 1877
Democratic
1872
Alfred Holt Colquitt.jpg Alfred H. Colquitt January 12, 1877

November 4, 1882
Democratic 1876
1880
[x]
Alexander Stephens.jpg Alexander H. Stephens November 4, 1882

March 4, 1883
Democratic 1882
[y]
James S. Boynton.jpg James S. Boynton March 4, 1883

May 10, 1883
Democratic
HenryDickersonMcDaniel.jpg Henry D. McDaniel May 10, 1883

November 9, 1886
Democratic
1884
Jbgordon.jpg John B. Gordon November 9, 1886

November 8, 1890
Democratic 1886
1888
William J. Northen.jpg William J. Northen November 8, 1890

October 27, 1894
Democratic 1890
1892
William Yates Atkinson.jpg William Y. Atkinson October 27, 1894

October 29, 1898
Democratic 1894
1896
Allen D. Candler.jpg Allen D. Candler October 29, 1898

October 25, 1902
Democratic 1898
1900
JosephMTerrell.jpg Joseph M. Terrell October 25, 1902

June 29, 1907
Democratic 1902
1904
[z]
M. Hoke Smith, 1912.jpg Hoke Smith June 29, 1907

June 26, 1909
Democratic 1906
JosephMacBrown.jpg Joseph M. Brown June 26, 1909

July 1, 1911
Democratic 1908
M. Hoke Smith, 1912.jpg Hoke Smith July 1, 1911

November 15, 1911[aa]
Democratic 1910
[ab]
John Marshall Slaton.jpg John M. Slaton November 16, 1911

January 25, 1912
Democratic
JosephMacBrown.jpg Joseph M. Brown January 25, 1912

June 28, 1913
Democratic
John Marshall Slaton.jpg John M. Slaton June 28, 1913

June 26, 1915
Democratic 1912
Nathaniel Harris 1882.png Nathaniel E. Harris June 26, 1915

June 30, 1917
Democratic 1914
Hugh Dorsey.jpg Hugh Dorsey June 30, 1917

June 25, 1921
Democratic 1916
1918
Senator Thomas Hardwick.jpg Thomas W. Hardwick June 25, 1921

June 30, 1923
Democratic 1920
GovernorCliffWalker.jpg Clifford Walker June 30, 1923

June 25, 1927
Democratic 1922
1924
Hardman222.jpg Lamartine G. Hardman June 25, 1927

June 27, 1931
Democratic 1926
1928
Richard RussellJr.jpg Richard Russell Jr. June 27, 1931

January 10, 1933
Democratic 1930
[ac]
Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge January 10, 1933

January 12, 1937
Democratic 1932
1934
E. D. Rivers Georgia Governor.jpg Eurith D. Rivers January 12, 1937

January 14, 1941
Democratic 1936
1938
Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge January 14, 1941

January 12, 1943
Democratic 1940
Ellis Arnall January 12, 1943

January 14, 1947
Democratic 1942
[ad]
Eugene Talmadge, Georgia Governor.jpg Eugene Talmadge Democratic 1946
[ae]
  Melvin E. Thompson
HermanTalmadge.jpg Herman Talmadge January 14, 1947

March 18, 1947
Democratic
Blank.gif Melvin E. Thompson March 18, 1947

November 17, 1948
Democratic Vacant
HermanTalmadge.jpg Herman Talmadge November 17, 1948

January 11, 1955
Democratic Marvin Griffin
1950
Marvingriffin.gif Marvin Griffin January 11, 1955

January 13, 1959
Democratic 1954 Ernest Vandiver
Ernest Vandiver (1962).jpg Ernest Vandiver January 13, 1959

January 15, 1963
Democratic 1958 Garland T. Byrd
Carl Sanders.jpg Carl Sanders January 15, 1963

January 11, 1967
Democratic 1962 Peter Zack Geer
Lester Maddox.jpg Lester Maddox January 11, 1967

January 12, 1971
Democratic 1966 George Thornewell Smith
Jimmy Carter official portrait as Governor.jpg Jimmy Carter January 12, 1971

January 14, 1975
Democratic 1970 Lester Maddox
George Busbee.jpg George Busbee January 14, 1975

January 11, 1983
Democratic 1974 Zell Miller
1978
Joe Frank Harris.jpg Joe Frank Harris January 11, 1983

January 14, 1991
Democratic 1982
1986
Zell B Miller.jpg Zell Miller January 14, 1991

January 11, 1999
Democratic 1990 Pierre Howard
1994
Governor Roy Barnes.jpg Roy Barnes January 11, 1999

January 13, 2003
Democratic 1998 Mark Taylor[af]
Sonny Perdue at rally.jpg Sonny Perdue January 13, 2003

January 10, 2011
Republican 2002
2006 Casey Cagle
Nathan Deal, official 110th Congress photo.jpg Nathan Deal January 10, 2011

Present
Republican 2010
2014
[ag]