Governor of Illinois

The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the State of Illinois, and the various agencies and departments over which the officer has jurisdiction, as prescribed in the state constitution. It is a directly elected position, votes being cast by popular suffrage of residents of the state. The governor is responsible for enacting laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly. Illinois is one of 14 states that does not have a gubernatorial term-limit. The governor is commander-in-chief of the state's land, air and sea forces, when they are in state service.

The current governor is Democrat J. B. Pritzker, who took office on January 14, 2019.

Governor of Illinois
Seal of Illinois
J.B. Pritzker Chicago Hack Night 53 (cropped)
J. B. Pritzker

since January 14, 2019
ResidenceIllinois Governor's Mansion
Term lengthFour years
Inaugural holderShadrach Bond
FormationOctober 6, 1818
Salary$177,412 (2015)[1]
WebsiteGovernment website


The term of office of Governor of Illinois is four years, and there is no limit on the number of terms a governor may serve. Inauguration takes place on the second Monday in January following a gubernatorial election. A single term ends four years later. A governor is required to be:

  • at least twenty-five years old
  • a United States citizen
  • a resident of Illinois for three years prior to election


If the incumbent governor is no longer able or permitted to fulfill the duties of the office of governor, the line of succession is as follows:[2]

# Position Current office holder Party
Juliana Stratton 2018
Lieutenant governor Juliana Stratton Democrat
Kwame Raoul RFCG
Attorney General of Illinois Kwame Raoul Democrat
Jesse White 2018
Secretary of State of Illinois Jesse White Democrat


The governor is allowed the occupancy of the Illinois Governor's Mansion in Springfield, the state capital. Its first occupant was Governor Joel Aldrich Matteson, who took residence at the mansion in 1855. It is one of three oldest governor's residences in continuous use in the United States.

The governor is also given the use of an official residence on the state fair grounds, also located in Springfield. Governors have traditionally used this residence part of the year.

However, some governors, such as Rod Blagojevich, have chosen to not use the governor's homes as their primary residence, instead commuting either by car or plane to Springfield from their home cities.[3] Many Chicago-based governors also have done much of their business out of the governor's office in Chicago's James R. Thompson Center, an office building owned by the state named for former governor James R. Thompson (1977-1991) Illinois' longest-serving governor.


Six Illinois governors have been charged with crimes during or after their governorships; four were convicted, and of those, one (Blagojevich) was the first to be impeached and removed from office.



  • Otto Kerner, Jr. (D), governor from 1961 to 1968; Stratton's successor and later a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, was convicted of 17 counts of bribery, conspiracy, perjury, and income-tax charges from his time as governor,[6] and received three years in prison and a $50,000 fine in 1973. He was prosecuted by future Illinois governor Jim Thompson.[6]
  • Daniel Walker (D), governor from 1973 to 1977, was later involved in the savings and loan scandals and convicted of federal crimes related to fraudulent loans to himself from his own First American Savings & Loan Association of Oak Brook. He was sentenced to seven years in prison with five years of probation following his release.[7]
  • George Ryan (R), governor from 1999 to 2003, was convicted in 2006 of corruption related to his time as Illinois Secretary of State in the 1990s, when commercial driver's licenses were issued to unqualified truckers in exchange for bribes, and one of the truckers was involved in a crash that killed six children. Former governor Jim Thompson, whom Ryan had served under as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the 1980s, was manager of the law firm that defended Ryan.[8] Ryan was released in 2013.
  • Rod Blagojevich (D), governor from 2003 to 2009, and Ryan's successor, was impeached and removed from office by the Illinois General Assembly in a unanimous vote in January 2009 after being tied to multiple "pay to play" schemes, including attempting to sell the former Senate seat of then-President-elect Barack Obama.[9] In August 2010, he was convicted of lying to the FBI in connection with the investigation, but the jury deadlocked on 23 other charges.[10] Blagojevich was retried on 20 counts from his 2010 trial and on June 27, 2011, Blagojevich was convicted on 17 counts of fraud, acquitted on one count and the jury was hung on two. On December 7, 2011, Blagojevich was sentenced to 14 years in prison.


  1. ^ "Governors' Salaries, 2015". The Council of State Governments. June 25, 2013. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  2. ^ "Constitution of the State of Illinois - ARTICLE V - THE EXECUTIVE". Government of Illinois. Retrieved October 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "Illinois Governor Has Pricey Commute". CBS News. February 11, 2009. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  4. ^ Ridings, Jim (June 10, 2010). "Len Small & Rod Blagojevich: A Study in Corruption". Chicago Daily Observer. Retrieved August 17, 2010.
  5. ^ "Other Illinois governors in legal trouble since 1901". Chicago Tribune. June 19, 2011. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  6. ^ a b Frum, David (2000). How We Got Here: The 70's, the Decade That Brought You Modern Life (for Better or Worse). New York: Basic Books. p. 29. ISBN 0-465-04195-7.
  7. ^ Pensoneau, Taylor; Ellis, Bob (August–September 1993). "Remember Dan Walker, the last Democrat to be governor?". Illinois Issues. University of Illinois at Springfield. 19 (8–9): 45–47. ISSN 0738-9663. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  8. ^ Kass, John (February 24, 2006). "Special witness poses a special threat". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved December 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Long, Ray; Pearson, Rick (January 9, 2009). "House impeaches Blagojevich". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Breaking News Center. Archived from the original on April 2, 2011. Retrieved February 15, 2009.
  10. ^ Coen, Jeff; Chase, John; Secter, Bob; St. Clair, Stacy; Mack, Kristen (August 17, 2010). "Guilty on just 1 count, Blago taunts U.S. attorney". Chicago Tribune. Chicago Breaking News Center. Archived from the original on January 19, 2012. Retrieved August 18, 2010.


1.α Current governor of Illinois Bruce Rauner, who is independently wealthy, has previously stated that he would only accept $1 in salary.[1] In 2015, the Council of State Governments reported that Rauner had returned all but $1 of his salary to the State of Illinois.[2] However, the pay rate for the title of governor in Illinois remains at $177,412.

External links

  1. ^ Korecki, Natasha. "For Rauner, it's essential that every dollar matters - Chicago". Chicago. Chicago Sun Times. Retrieved 10 January 2016.
  2. ^ Burnett, Jennifer. "Governors' Salaries, 2015". CSG Knowledge Center. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
2006 Illinois gubernatorial election

The Illinois gubernatorial election of 2006 occurred on November 7, 2006. The Governor of Illinois, Democrat Rod Blagojevich, won re-election for a four-year term scheduled to have ended on January 10, 2011. However, Blagojevich was impeached and convicted in 2009. Many observers expected the race to be close, especially considering the polling, which has shown Governor Blagojevich had a high disapproval rating. However, the Republicans had fared poorly in elections since 2002 due to scandals involving prior Governor George Ryan, and the increasingly unpopular presidency of George W. Bush.

Exit polls showed Topinka won Whites (46%-41%-13%), while Blagojevich performed well among African Americans (80%-16%-2%) and Latinos (83%-12%-4%).

2006 Illinois state elections

The 2006 Election for statewide offices in the State of Illinois were held on 7 November 2006. On that date, registered voters in the State of Illinois were eligible to elect officeholders in six statewide offices: the office of Governor of Illinois, Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, Illinois Attorney General, Illinois Secretary of State, Illinois Treasurer and Illinois Comptroller.

The incumbent Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka, previously the only Republican elected statewide, made an unsuccessful run for Governor rather than stand for re-election. Democrat Alexi Giannoulias was elected to succeed her, and the Democratic incumbents for the other statewide offices won re-election, making Illinois the only Midwestern state in which Democrats hold all statewide offices.

Adlai Stevenson

Adlai Stevenson may refer to:

Adlai Stevenson I (1835–1914), U.S. Vice President (1893–1897) and Congressman (1879–1881)

Adlai Stevenson II (1900–1965), Governor of Illinois (1949–1953), U.S. presidential candidate (1952, 1956, 1960), U.N. Ambassador (1961–1965), grandson of Adlai Stevenson I

Adlai Stevenson III (born 1930), U.S. Senator (1970–1981), candidate for Illinois governor (1982, 1986), son of Adlai Stevenson II

Adlai Stevenson IV (born 1956), journalist, son of Adlai Stevenson III

Frank Orren Lowden

Frank Orren Lowden (January 26, 1861 – March 20, 1943) was a Republican Party politician who served as the 25th Governor of Illinois and as a United States Representative from Illinois. He was also a candidate for the Republican presidential nominations in 1920 and 1928.

Born in Sunrise Township, Minnesota, Lowden practiced law in Chicago after graduating from the University of Iowa. He emerged as a local Republican leader and served in the House of Representatives from 1906 to 1911. He served as Governor of Illinois from 1917 to 1921, earning wide notice for his reorganization of state government and his handling of the Chicago race riot of 1919.

At the 1920 Republican National Convention, Lowden was the preferred candidate of many of the party's conservatives. His supporters coalesced behind Warren G. Harding as a compromise candidate, and Harding won both the nomination and the 1920 presidential election. Lowden was nominated for vice president at the 1924 Republican National Convention, but he declined the nomination. Lowden was a candidate for president at the 1928 Republican National Convention, but Herbert Hoover won the nomination on the first ballot.

Henry Horner

Henry Horner (November 30, 1878 – October 6, 1940) was an American politician. Horner served as the 28th Governor of Illinois, serving from January 1933 until his death in October 1940. Horner was noted as the first Jewish governor of Illinois.

J. B. Pritzker

Jay Robert "J. B." Pritzker (born January 19, 1965) is an American businessman, philanthropist, and politician who is the 43rd and current governor of Illinois, since 2019. He is a private business owner based in Chicago and a managing partner and co-founder of the Pritzker Group. He is a member of the Pritzker family who own the Hyatt hotel chain, and has an estimated personal net worth of $3.5 billion.Pritzker was the Democratic nominee for governor of Illinois in the 2018 gubernatorial election. He defeated Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in the general election on November 6, 2018. As governor, he holds more private wealth than any other governor in U.S. history and is the second-wealthiest U.S. politician to have ever held office, after Michael Bloomberg.

James R. Thompson

James Robert Thompson Jr. (born May 8, 1936), also known as Big Jim Thompson, was the 37th and longest-serving governor of the US state of Illinois, serving from 1977 to 1991. A Republican, Thompson was elected to four consecutive terms and held the office for 14 years. Many years after leaving public office, he served as a member of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission). Many observers have noted in recent years that Thompson was one of the primary politicians responsible for creating the current pension crisis in Illinois, which is the state with the most underfunded pension system in the United States.

Jim Edgar

James Edgar (born July 22, 1946) is an American politician who was the 38th Governor of Illinois from 1991 to 1999. Previously he served as Illinois Secretary of State from 1981 to 1991. As a moderate Republican in a largely blue-leaning state, Edgar was a popular and successful governor, leaving office with high approval ratings. Though still popular, he surprised many by retiring from elected office after his second term as governor, claiming that heart problems he had while governor were not a factor in his decision. Many observers have noted in recent years that Edgar was one of the primary politicians responsible for creating the current pension crisis in Illinois, which is the state with the most underfunded pension system in the United States.

John Henry Stelle

John Henry Stelle (August 10, 1891 – July 5, 1962) was an American politician who served as the National Commander of The American Legion from 1945 to 1946. He previously served as the 29th Governor of Illinois (1940-41), the 34th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (1937-40), and the Treasurer of Illinois (1935-37).

John Marshall Hamilton

Not to be confused with John M. Hamilton (1855–1916) Congressman from West VirginiaJohn Marshall Hamilton (May 28, 1847 – September 22, 1905) was the 18th Governor of Illinois, serving from 1883 to 1885. Born in Union County, Ohio, Hamilton became interested in politics at a young age, joining the Wide Awakes when he was thirteen and the Union Army four years later. After graduating from Ohio Wesleyan University he studied law and was admitted to the bar. A notable attorney in Bloomington, Illinois, Hamilton was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1876. He served there until 1881, when he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Illinois on a ticket with Shelby Moore Cullom. When Cullom resigned after election to the United States Senate, Hamilton became Governor of Illinois. He was not selected as a candidate for re-election, but did serve that year as a delegate to the 1884 Republican National Convention. He spent the rest of his life as an attorney in Chicago, where he died in 1905.

Juliana Stratton

Juliana Stratton (née Wiggins; born September 8, 1965) is an American lawyer and politician, the 48th and current lieutenant governor of Illinois, since 2019. She previously served as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2017 to 2019. She is the first African American woman to become Illinois' lieutenant governor.

Lieutenant Governor of Illinois

The Lieutenant Governor of Illinois is the second highest executive of the State of Illinois. In Illinois, the lieutenant governor and governor run on a joint ticket, and are directly elected by popular vote. Candidates for lieutenant governor ran separately in the primary from candidates for governor until 2014, when the system was changed to allow the gubernatorial nominee of a party to select the nominee for lieutenant governor. When the Governor of Illinois becomes unable to discharge the duties of that office, the lieutenant governor becomes acting governor. If the Governor dies, resigns or is removed from office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. Under the Illinois Constitution, the Attorney General is next in line of succession to the Governor's office after the lieutenant governor, but does not succeed to the Lieutenant Governor's office. From the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich in 2009 until the inauguration of Sheila Simon in 2011, Attorney General Lisa Madigan would have become Governor if Pat Quinn had vacated the office. Historically, the lieutenant governor has been from either the Democratic Party or Republican Party. As of January 14, 2019, the lieutenant governor is Juliana Stratton.

List of Governors of Illinois

The Governor of Illinois is the chief executive of the U.S. state of Illinois. The governor is the head of the executive branch of Illinois's state government and is charged with enforcing state laws. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Illinois Legislature, to convene the legislature, and to grant pardons, except in cases of impeachment. The governor is also the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces.

Since becoming a state in 1818, 42 people have served as governor of Illinois; before statehood, it had only one territorial governor, Ninian Edwards. The longest-serving governor was James R. Thompson, who was elected four times to a term lasting 14 years, from 1977 to 1991. Only one governor, Richard J. Oglesby, has served multiple separate terms, having been elected in 1864, 1872, and 1884. One governor, Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed from office in 2009. The current governor is J. B. Pritzker, who took office on January 14, 2019.

Neil Hartigan

Neil F. Hartigan (born May 4, 1938) is an Illinois Democrat who has served as Illinois Attorney General, the 40th Lieutenant Governor, and a justice of the Illinois Appellate Court. Hartigan also was the Democratic nominee for governor in 1990 but lost the race to Republican Jim Edgar.

Pat Quinn (politician)

Patrick Joseph Quinn Jr. (born December 16, 1948) is an American lawyer and politician who served as the 41st Governor of Illinois, from 2009 to 2015. A Democrat, Quinn began his career as an activist by founding the Coalition for Political Honesty. He is currently working on Take Charge Chicago, a petition for referendums to limit the Mayor of Chicago to two four-year terms and create an elected Consumer Advocate in the city.Born in Chicago, Illinois, Quinn is a graduate of Georgetown University and Northwestern University School of Law. Quinn began his career as a tax attorney in private practice before working as an aide to then-Illinois Governor Dan Walker. He was elected to one term as a commissioner on the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals, serving from 1982 to 1986; he later served as revenue director in the administration of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington.

Quinn served as Treasurer of Illinois from 1991 to 1995. In Illinois' 2002 gubernatorial election, Quinn won the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor of Illinois in the primary and was paired with then-U.S. Representative Rod Blagojevich in the general election. He was sworn into office as Lieutenant Governor in 2003. Quinn assumed the governorship on January 29, 2009, after Governor Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office on corruption charges.

Quinn was narrowly elected to a full term in office in 2010, defeating Republican State Senator Bill Brady by a margin of less than 1% out of about 3.5 million votes cast. Quinn was defeated in 2014 by Republican candidate Bruce Rauner.

Quinn unsuccessfully ran for Attorney General of Illinois in 2018.

Richard B. Ogilvie

Richard Buell Ogilvie (February 22, 1923 – May 10, 1988) was the 35th governor of Illinois and served from 1969 to 1973. A wounded combat veteran of World War II, he became known as the mafia-fighting sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, in the 1960s before becoming governor.

Samuel H. Shapiro

Samuel Harvey Shapiro (born Israel Shapiro; April 25, 1907 – March 16, 1987) was the 34th Governor of Illinois, serving from 1968 to 1969. He was a member of the Democratic Party.

Sheila Simon

Sheila J. Simon (born March 13, 1961) was the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, from 2011 to 2015. In 2014, she was the Democratic nominee for Illinois State Comptroller, losing to Republican incumbent Judy Baar Topinka. She was previously a professor of law at the Southern Illinois University School of Law. Simon is the daughter of former U.S. Senator Paul Simon, who had previously served as Lieutenant Governor of Illinois (1969-1973), and his first wife, former Illinois State Representative Jeanne Hurley Simon.

On September 7, 2015, Simon announced her candidacy for the Illinois Senate seat being vacated by the retiring David Luechtefeld. Simon was defeated by her Republican opponent Paul Schimpf.

William Lee D. Ewing

William Lee Davidson Ewing (August 31, 1795 – March 25, 1846) was a politician from Illinois who served partial terms as the fifth governor of the state and as U.S. Senator.

Ewing was born in Paris, Kentucky and practiced law in Shawneetown, Illinois. James Monroe appointed him to be a land office receiver in Vandalia in 1820. He served as a Colonel of the "Spy Battalion" during the Black Hawk War. In 1830, he was elected to serve in the state House of Representatives as Speaker. He had previously been the clerk of the House. From 1832 to 1834, he was a State Senator, serving as President pro tempore of the State Senate in 1832. In 1833, he was also named acting Lieutenant Governor of Illinois and served as Governor of Illinois for fourteen days in 1834, the shortest gubernatorial term in Illinois history.

Upon the death of Elias Kane in 1835, Ewing was appointed by Joseph Duncan to serve out the rest of Kane's term in the U.S. Senate. In 1838 he was appointed Commissioner to adjust the claims of mixed-bloods and traders at Fort Snelling for the Dakota under the 1837 Dakota treaty. His re-election campaign was unsuccessful and he returned to the Illinois State House, becoming Speaker of the House again. He died in Springfield, Illinois.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.