The governor of the State of Maryland heads the executive branch of the government of the State of Maryland, and is the commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard units. The governor is the highest-ranking official in the state and has a broad range of appointive powers in both the state and local governments, as specified by the Maryland Constitution (1867, and revisions/amendments). Because of the extent of these constitutional powers, the governor of Maryland has been ranked as being among the most powerful governors in the United States.
|Governor of the|
State of Maryland
Coat of arms of the state of Maryland
since January 21, 2015
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Constituting instrument||Maryland Constitution of 1776|
|Inaugural holder||Thomas Johnson|
|Formation||March 21, 1777|
|Deputy||Lieutenant Governor of Maryland|
Like most state chief executives in the United States, the governor is elected by the citizens of Maryland to serve a four-year term. Under the Constitution of Maryland, the governor can run any number of times, but not more than twice in a row. This makes it possible for a two-term governor to run for the office again after remaining out of office for at least one term. An eligible candidate for governor must be at least 30 years old, and also a resident of and a registered voter in Maryland for the five years preceding the election. If a candidate meets this minimum requirement, he or she must file his or her candidacy with the Maryland State Board of Elections, pay a filing fee, file a financial disclosure, and create a legal campaign financial body. The governor, like all statewide officials in Maryland, is elected in the even-numbered years in which the election for President of the United States does not occur.
As the chief executive of the State of Maryland, the governor heads the executive branch of government, which includes all state executive departments and agencies, as well as advisory boards, commissions, committees, and task forces. The main constitutional responsibility of the governor of Maryland, and any other State's chief executive, is to carry out the business of the state and to enforce the laws passed by the Legislature. The governor also has some say in these laws, since the governor has the ability to veto any bill sent to his or her desk by the Maryland General Assembly, though the assembly may override that veto. The governor is also given a number of more specific powers as relates to appropriations of state funds, the appointment of state officials, and also a variety of less prominent and less commonly utilized powers.
Every year, the governor must present a proposed budget to the Maryland General Assembly. After receiving the proposed budget, the assembly is then allowed to decrease any portion of the budget for the executive branch, but it may never increase it or transfer funds between executive departments. The assembly may, however, increase funds for the Legislative and Judicial branches of government. The governor has the power to veto any law that is passed by the General Assembly, including a "line item veto", which can be used to strike certain portions of appropriations bills. The Legislature then has the power to override a Governor's veto by vote of three-fifths (60%) of the number of members in each house.
The governor also sits on the board of public works, whose other two members are the comptroller and the treasurer. This board has broad powers in overseeing and approving the spending of state funds. They must approve state expenditures of all general funds and capital improvement funds, excluding expenditures for the construction of state roads, bridges, and highways. It has the power to solicit loans on its own accord either to meet a deficit or in anticipation of other revenues, in addition to approving expenditures of funds from loans authorized by the General Assembly.
The governor appoints almost all military and civil officers of the state government, subject to advice and consent of the Maryland State Senate. The governor also appoints certain boards and commissions in each of the 24 Counties and in Baltimore City, such as local Boards of Elections, commissions notaries public, and appoints officers to fill vacancies in the elected offices of Attorney General and Comptroller. Should a vacancy arise in either of the two houses of the General Assembly, the governor also fills that vacancy, though the governor must choose from among the recommendations of the local party organization to which the person leaving the vacancy belonged. Any officer appointed by the governor, except a member of the General Assembly, is removable by him or her, if there is a legitimate cause for removal. Among the most prominent of the governor's appointees are the 24 secretaries and heads of departments that currently make up the governor's Cabinet, also known as the executive council.
The governor of Maryland is the chairman of the governor's executive council (or Cabinet) which coordinates all state government functions. This is composed of the following members, all of whom, except the lieutenant governor, are appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Maryland State Senate as heads of executive departments:
Other members of the governor's staff may be invited to Cabinet meetings as "attendees".
The governor also oversees several sub-cabinets that coordinate the activities of a certain function of state government that involves several state departments or agencies. Currently, these are the Base Realignment and Closure Subcabinet, BayStat Subcabinet, Chesapeake Bay cabinet, Children's Cabinet, Governor's Subcabinet for International Affairs, Smart Growth Subcabinet, and Workforce Creation Subcabinet.
The governor is the commander-in-chief of the military forces of the state: the Maryland Army National Guard and Air National Guard and the Maryland Defense Force, except when these forces have been called into Federal service, which the Federal government under the President of the United States now has the authority to do. In times of public emergency, the governor may exercise emergency powers, including the mobilization of these military forces. In the area of criminal justice, the governor may grant pardons to criminals, commute the sentences of prisoners, or remit fines and forfeitures imposed on people who have been convicted, jailed, or fined for violations of state laws.
In both these areas, and a variety of others, the governor sits on state and interstate boards and commissions with varying powers. The governor is also obligated to report on the conditions of the state at any time during the year, though this traditionally happens in a "State of the State" Address each January at the beginning of the annual General Assembly session.
In addition to the various departments and agencies under gubernatorial control, the governor has an executive administrative staff that assist in coordinating the executive duties. This staff is led by a Chief of Staff, and includes five offices: Intergovernmental Relations, Legal Counsel, Legislative and Policy, Press, and the Governor's Office in Washington, D.C.. The chief of staff has a number of deputies to assist in running these departments. The governor's staff is appointed and therefore largely exempt from state civil service laws.
During the Colonial period, Maryland's Proprietors, the Barons and Lords of Baltimore, who generally remained in the Kingdom of England, chose who would serve as the proprietary Governor of Maryland on their behalf. Leonard Calvert (1606-1647), youngest brother of the second Lord Baltimore, Cecilius Calvert (1605-1675), and the first Lord Proprietor, came with the first settlers in March 1634 to serve as first Governor of the colonial Province of Maryland until his death in 1647. Between 1692, when the Baltimores lost control, and 1715, Maryland was a direct Royal Colony, and the governor was appointed by the British Monarch. The Lords of Baltimore regained their Royal Charter in 1715, under the British monarchs of the German House of Hanover, and then under the fifth and sixth Lord Baltimores, they resumed choosing the governors until the beginning of the American Revolution (1775-1783). The first Governor of an independent state chosen to break this chain of colonial Governors was Thomas Johnson (1732-1819) of Frederick County, who took office on March 21, 1777.  
Under the first Maryland Constitution of 1776 for the independent state, the governor was chosen for one-year terms by both houses of the General Assembly. An 1838 constitutional amendment passed the choice to the citizens allowed voters to elect the governor to a three-year term from one of three rotating gubernatorial districts: eastern, southern, and western parts of the state. At each election, only voters from a single gubernatorial election district selected the governor. A four-year term was established by the second Maryland Constitution of 1851, and geographic requirements were removed by the third Constitution of 1864 during the American Civil War. The fourth and current constitution was ratified by the people after the war in 1867. An amendment in 1922, added article XVII, title "Quadrennial Elections," to the 1867 state constitution and set the next election year to be 1926 and every four years thereafter, thereby shifting from the historical off-year cycle (...1915, 1919, 1923) to the present mid-term election cycle.
From 1777 to 1870, the governor resided in the Jennings House in Annapolis. Located on the site of the future expanded campus of the adjacent United States Naval Academy (founded 1845), the house was later sold to the Academy in 1869 after it returned from its northern hiatus in Rhode Island during the American Civil War (1861-1865). It was unfortunately razed in 1901 for additional USNA buildings. Since 1870, the governor of the Old Line State has resided in the Government House, originally a Victorian style architecture red brick mansion (later rebuilt / renovated in the 1930s into a Georgian styled mansion to match other colonial / Georgian-Federal era styled architecture state buildings and residences in the historic city). It is located on State Circle adjacent to the colonial era Maryland State House built 1772-1797. In addition to being the residence for the governor and his family, Government House has a number of public rooms that are used by the governor on official occasions.
Spiro T. Agnew, who was the 55th governor of Maryland from 1967–1969, later served as the 39th Vice-President of the United States for a time of four years under 37th President Richard M. Nixon during his first term and beginning of second, and Agnew is, thus far, the highest-ranking Marylander (along with 19th century Chief Justice Roger B. Taney) in public service in the history of the United States. Following his resignation due to pleading "nolo contender / no contest" to federal legal charges of corruption during his earlier terms as Baltimore County Executive, Maryland Governor and into the Vice Presidency, Agnew's official gubernatorial portrait was removed Damnatio memoriae from the Maryland State House Governor's Reception Room from 1979 until 1995. Then-Governor Parris Glendening stated that in re-including Agnew's portrait that it was not up to anyone to alter history, whether for good or bad, citing the famous novel by George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four. 
As of 2015, Maryland has yet to have been served by a female governor. However, women were the runners-up in four gubernatorial elections (in 1974, 1994, 1998, and 2002), three Republicans and one Democrat. In addition, one woman has served as the lieutenant governor, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, under Democratic Gov. Parris Glendening from 1995 to 2003. Another woman, Kristen Cox, who was the Secretary of Disabilities, unsuccessfully ran for Lieutenant Governor as the running mate of then incumbent Republican Governor Robert Ehrlich, when the lieutenant governor at that time, Michael Steele, left office to run for the U.S. Senate. Cox was a unique person to run for that office, not only because she is a woman, but also because she is legally blind.
In 1971, the office of Lieutenant Governor of Maryland, which had existed for only a few years in the 1860s, was re-instituted by an amendment to the Maryland Constitution. The lieutenant governor is a weak office compared to other counterparts (in other states including Texas, the lieutenant governor is the president of the state's Senate, while in California the lieutenant governor assumes all of the governor's powers when the sitting governor is out of the state), as it only possesses the powers and duties that the governor assigns to him or her. The lieutenant governor is elected on the same ballot with the governor, and to the same term of office as the governor. The lieutenant governor succeeds to the governorship only if there is a vacancy in that office.
Despite the governor and Lieutenant Governor being elected on the same party ticket, very often there have been public rifts between the two; for instance Gov. Marvin Mandel and Lt. Gov. Blair Lee IV; Gov. Harry R. Hughes and Lt. Gov. Samuel W. Bogley III; Gov. Schaefer and Lt. Gov. Melvin A. Steinberg., and Gov. Parris Glendening and Lt. Gov. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.  No Lieutenant Governor of Maryland has yet been elected as the governor in future elections, or permanently succeeded to the governor's office due to a vacancy (which would be created by the resignation, death, or removal of the sitting Governor), although Blair Lee III served as acting Governor from June 4, 1977, until January 15, 1979 while Governor Marvin Mandel was serving a sentence for mail fraud and racketeering (consequently, in a modern example of Damnatio memoriae, Mandel's official gubernatorial portrait was not hung in the Maryland State House Governor's Reception Room until 1993).
Benjamin Ogle (January 27, 1749 – July 7, 1809) was the ninth Governor of Maryland from 1798 to 1801.Blair Lee III
Francis Preston Blair Lee III (May 19, 1916 – October 25, 1985), popularly known as Blair Lee III, was an American Democratic politician. He served as the Secretary of State of Maryland from 1969 to 1971. He was the second ever Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1971 to 1979, and the first to hold that office in over a century, and served as the Acting Governor of Maryland from 1977 to 1979, during Marvin Mandel's self-imposed suspension of gubernatorial powers and duties.Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore
Cecil Calvert, 2nd Baron Baltimore (8 August 1605 – 30 November 1675), was an English nobleman who was the first Proprietor of the Province of Maryland, ninth Proprietary Governor of the Colony of Newfoundland and second of the colony of Province of Avalon to its southeast. His title was "First Lord Proprietary, Earl Palatine of the Provinces of Maryland and Avalon in America". He received the proprietorship after the death of his father, George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore, (1579 – 15 April 1632), for whom it had been intended. Cecil Calvert established and managed the Province of Maryland from his home, Kiplin Hall, in North Yorkshire, England. As an English Roman Catholic, he continued the legacy of his father by promoting religious tolerance in the colony.
Maryland became a haven for Catholics in the New World, particularly important at a time of religious persecution in England. Calvert governed Maryland for forty-two years. He also continued to be Lord Proprietor and Governor of Newfoundland for the Province of Avalon. He died in England on 30 November 1675, aged 70 years. Parish records state that he is buried at St. Giles-in-the-Fields Church, London, UK, though the exact location of his grave is unknown. A plaque commemorating Cecil Calvert was placed in St. Giles in 1996 by the Governor of Maryland. However, genealogists for Kiplin Hall state, "A number of the early Calverts were buried at St Giles in the Fields, Charing Cross Road, London. We cannot yet be certain whether Cecil is one of them." This is possibly due to poor record keeping of Catholic burials or numerous outbreaks of disease that overwhelmed burial staff and led to confusion in parish registers.Daniel Martin (politician)
Daniel Martin (December 1780 – July 11, 1831) served as the 20th Governor of the state of Maryland in the United States from January 15, 1829 to January 15, 1830, and from January 3, 1831 until his death. He also served in the Maryland House of Delegates in 1813, 1815, 1817, 1819 and 1820. He was the second governor of Maryland to die in office.Edward Lloyd (Colonial Governor of Maryland)
Major General Edward Lloyd was the 11th Royal Governor of Maryland from 1709 to 1714. He succeeded John Seymour, being elected President of the Council when the senior member of the council, Colonel Francis Jenkins, failed to assert his rights of seniority. Lloyd was succeeded by John Hart. Lloyd spawned a long line of Edward Lloyd's who were active in Maryland politics, including Edward Lloyd IV, a delegate to the Continental Congress, and Edward Lloyd V, who would serve as Governor of Maryland from 1809 to 1811.Edward Lloyd (Governor of Maryland)
Edward Lloyd V (July 22, 1779 – June 2, 1834) served as the 13th Governor of Maryland from 1809 to 1811, and as a United States Senator from Maryland between 1819 and 1826. He also served as a U.S. Congressman from the seventh district of Maryland from 1807 to 1809.Emerson Harrington
Emerson Columbus Harrington (March 26, 1864 – December 15, 1945) was the 48th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1916 to 1920. He also served as Comptroller of the Maryland Treasury from 1912 to 1916.George Howard (Governor of Maryland)
George Howard (November 21, 1789 – August 2, 1846) was the 22nd Governor of the State of Maryland in the United States from 1831 to 1833. Howard was well known as a fervent anti-Jacksonian during his term in office. He was the only son of a governor to have been elected governor.James Thomas (Governor of Maryland)
James Thomas (March 11, 1785 – December 25, 1845) served as the 23rd Governor of the state of Maryland in the United States from 1833 to 1836. He practiced medicine and served as judge in several courts throughout Maryland, and served in the Maryland State Senate from 1824 to 1830.John Coode (Governor of Maryland)
John Coode (c. 1648, Cornwall – February or March 1709) best known for leading a rebellion, that overthrew Maryland's colonial government in 1689. He participated in four separate uprisings and briefly served as Maryland's governor (1689–1691) as the 1st Leader of the Protestant Associators.John Hart (Governor of Maryland)
John Hart served as the 12th Royal Governor of Maryland from 1714–1715 and continued as the 12th Proprietary Governor of Maryland from 1715–1720, after the restoration of proprietary control to Charles Calvert, 5th Baron Baltimore. His governorship marked the beginnings of the restoration of the Calvert family's control of Maryland.Kathleen Kennedy Townsend
Kathleen Hartington Kennedy Townsend (born July 4, 1951) is an American attorney who was the sixth Lieutenant Governor of Maryland from 1995 to 2003. She ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Maryland in 2002. In 2010 Townsend became the chair of the non-profit American Bridge, an organization whose focus is to raise funds for Democratic candidates and causes. She is a member of the prominent political Kennedy family.Lieutenant Governor of Maryland
The Lieutenant Governor of Maryland is the second highest-ranking official in the executive branch of the state government of Maryland in the United States. He or she is elected on the same ticket as the Governor of Maryland and must meet the same qualifications.
The current Lieutenant Governor is Boyd Rutherford.List of colonial governors of Maryland
The following is a list of the colonial governors of the Province of Maryland.
Maryland began as a proprietary colony of the Catholic Calvert family, the Lords Baltimore under a royal charter, and its first eight governors were appointed by them. When the Catholic King of England, James II, was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, the Calverts lost their charter and Maryland became a royal colony. It was governed briefly by local Protestants before the arrival of the first of 12 governors appointed directly by the English crown. The royal charter was restored to the Calverts in 1715 and Governors were again appointed by the Calverts through the American Revolution.Martin O'Malley
Martin Joseph O'Malley (born January 18, 1963) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 61st Governor of Maryland from 2007 to 2015. He previously served as Mayor of Baltimore from 1999 to 2007, and was a councilman from the Third Council District in the northeast section of the city on the Baltimore City Council from 1991 to 1999.
O'Malley served as the chair of the Democratic Governors Association from 2011 to 2013, while being governor of Maryland. Following his departure from public office in early 2015, he was appointed to The Johns Hopkins University's Carey Business School as a visiting professor focusing on government, business and urban issues.
As governor, in 2011, he signed a law that would make illegal immigrants brought to the United States as children eligible for in-state college tuition. In 2012, he signed a law to legalize same-sex marriage in Maryland. Each law was put to a voter referendum in the 2012 general election, and was upheld by the majority of the state electorate.
Long rumored to have presidential ambitions, O'Malley publicly announced his candidacy in the 2016 presidential election on May 30, 2015, in Baltimore, after filing his candidacy forms seeking the Democratic Party presidential nomination with the Federal Election Commission the day before. He struggled to attract significant support as one of three major party candidates, however, and eight months later on February 1, 2016, he suspended his campaign after finishing third in the Iowa caucuses.Phillips Lee Goldsborough
Phillips Lee Goldsborough I (August 6, 1865 – October 22, 1946), was a Republican member of the United States Senate representing State of Maryland from 1929 to 1935. He was also the 47th Governor of Maryland from 1912 to 1916 and Comptroller of the Maryland Treasury from 1898 to 1900.Robert Milligan McLane
Robert Milligan McLane (June 23, 1815 – April 16, 1898) was an American politician, military officer, and diplomat. He served as Ambassador to Mexico, France, and China, as a member of the House of Representatives from the fourth district of Maryland, as chairman of the Democratic National Committee, and as the 39th Governor of Maryland.Thomas Lawrence (Governor of Maryland)
Sir Thomas Lawrence, 3rd Baronet (c. 1645–1714) was the 2nd Royal Governor of Maryland in 1693, elected by the Governor's Council following the death of Sir Lionel Copley, (1648-1693). He governed the colony for only a few weeks before the new royally appointed governor, Edmund Andros, (1637-1714), arrived from his trans-Atlantic trip to take over control of the colony. He was briefly the 6th Royal Governor of Maryland a second time when Andros then left the colony in 1694 (later also served as governor in the Dominion of New England and Virginia.
Thomas Lawrence was born in 1645 in Chelsea, Middlesex, England. He was the eldest son of Sir John Lawrence, 2nd Baronet. He emigrated in 1692 in Province of Maryland, settling in Mary's City (St. Mary's County) and Annapolis, while his family probably stayed in England. In 1693 he was President of the Council and acting Royal Governor of Province of Maryland. Lawrence returned to England in 1705/6. He died in 1714, and at his death the baronetcy became extinct.William Thomas Hamilton
William Thomas Hamilton (September 8, 1820 – October 26, 1888), a member of the United States Democratic Party, was the 38th Governor of Maryland in the United States from 1880 to 1884. He also served in the United States Senate, representing the State of Maryland, from 1868–1874, and in the House of Representatives, representing the second district (1849–1853) and fourth district (1853–1855) of Maryland.
Maryland statewide elected officials
Chief executives of the United States