The Governor of Texas is the head of the executive branch of Texas's government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Texas Legislature, and to convene the legislature. The governor may grant pardons in cases other than impeachment (but only when recommended by the Board of Pardons and Paroles) or in the case of treason, with permission by the legislature. The current Governor is Greg Abbott.
|Governor of Texas|
Seal of the Governor
Standard of the Governor
since January 20, 2015
|Residence||Texas Governors Mansion|
|Term length||Four years, no term limit|
|Inaugural holder||James Pinckney Henderson|
The state's first constitution in 1845 established the office of governor, to serve for two years, but no more than four years out of every six (essentially a limit of no more than two consecutive terms). The 1861 secessionist constitution set the term start date at the first Monday in the November following the election. The 1866 constitution, adopted just after the American Civil War, increased terms to 4 years, but no more than 8 years out of every 12, and moved the start date to the first Thursday after the organization of the legislature, or "as soon thereafter as practicable". The Reconstruction constitution of 1869 removed the limit on terms, Texas remains one of 14 states with no gubernatorial term limit. The present constitution of 1876 shortened terms back to two years, but a 1972 amendment increased it again to four years.
The gubernatorial election is held every four years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November and does not coincide with the presidential elections. The governor is sworn in on the third Tuesday of January every four years along with the lieutenant governor, so Abbott and current Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick both took office on January 20, 2015.
Despite the lack of term limits, no Texas governor in the 19th or 20th centuries ever served more than seven and a half consecutive years in office (Allan Shivers) or eight years total service (Bill Clements, in two non-consecutive four-year terms). Former Governor Rick Perry, who served from 2000 to 2015, has now surpassed both these records, becoming the first Texas governor to serve three consecutive four-year terms. When Perry won the general election on November 2, 2010, he joined Shivers, Price Daniel, and John Connally as the only Texas governors elected to three terms (the terms served by Governors Shivers, Daniel, and Connally were 2 year terms). In case of a vacancy in the office of governor, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. This rule was added only in a 1999 amendment, prior to which the lieutenant governor only acted as governor, except during the time of the 1861 constitution, which said that the lieutenant governor would be styled "Governor of the State of Texas" in case of vacancy.
The 1990 Texas gubernatorial election was held on November 6, 1990 to elect the Governor of Texas. Incumbent Republican Governor Bill Clements did not run for re-election, so the election pitted Democrat Ann Richards against Republican Clayton Williams. Richards narrowly defeated Williams on Election Day, winning 50% of the vote to Williams' 47%. As of 2019, this is the most recent election in which a Democrat was elected Governor of Texas.Andrew Jackson Hamilton
This page is about a former politician; for other people named Andrew Hamilton, see Andrew Hamilton (disambiguation).Andrew Jackson Hamilton (January 28, 1815 – April 11, 1875) was a United States politician during the third quarter of the 19th century. He was a lawyer, state representative, military governor of Texas, as well as the 11th Governor of Texas during Reconstruction.Fletcher Stockdale
Fletcher Summerfield Stockdale (c. 1823 – 4 February 1890) was a U.S. politician, lawyer, railroad official and Governor of Texas.Governorship of George W. Bush
George W. Bush served as the 46th Governor of Texas from 1995 until 2000, when he resigned as governor following his election as the 43rd President of the United States. As governor, Bush successfully sponsored legislation for tort reform, increased education funding, set higher standards for schools, and reformed the criminal justice system. Bush also pioneered faith-based welfare programs and helped make Texas the leading producer of wind powered electricity in the US.Greg Abbott
Gregory Wayne Abbott (born November 13, 1957) is an American lawyer and politician who has served as the 48th Governor of Texas since January 2015. A Republican, Abbott previously served as the 50th Attorney General of Texas from 2002 to 2015. He is the first governor of any U.S. state since George Wallace to permanently use a wheelchair.Abbott was the second Republican to serve as Attorney General of Texas since Reconstruction. Prior to assuming the office of attorney general, he was a justice of the Texas Supreme Court, a position to which he was initially appointed in 1995 by then-Governor George W. Bush. He is noted outside of Texas for successfully advocating for the right of the state of Texas to display the Ten Commandments in front of the Texas State Capitol in Austin, in a 2005 United States Supreme Court case known as Van Orden v. Perry.James W. Henderson
James Wilson Henderson (August 15, 1817 – August 30, 1880) was the fourth Governor of Texas from November 23, 1853 to December 21, 1853.Jim Hogg County, Texas
Jim Hogg County is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, the population was 5,300. Its county seat is Hebbronville. The county is named for James Stephen Hogg, the governor of Texas from 1891 to 1895.John Alexander Greer
John Alexander Greer (July 18, 1802 – July 4, 1855) was a Texan politician, and the second Lieutenant Governor of Texas serving under Governors George T. Wood and Peter H. Bell.
Greer was born at Shelbyville, Tennessee on July 18, 1802. He was in Kentucky before moving to Texas in 1830. He represented San Augustine as a senator in the Congress of the Republic of Texas from 1837–1845. Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, appointed him as secretary of the treasury in July 1845. He was the Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1847–1851. He died on July 4, 1855.John A. Greer is the namesake of Greer County, Oklahoma.John Connally
John Bowden Connally Jr. (February 27, 1917 – June 15, 1993) was an American politician. He served as the 39th Governor of Texas and as the 61st United States Secretary of the Treasury. He began his career as a Democrat but switched to the Republican Party in 1973.
Born in Floresville, Texas, Connally pursued a legal career after graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. During World War II, he served on the staff of James Forrestal and Dwight D. Eisenhower before transferring to the Asiatic-Pacific Theater. After the war, he became an aide to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson. When Johnson assumed the vice presidency in 1961, he convinced President John F. Kennedy to appoint Connally to the position of United States Secretary of the Navy. Connally left the Kennedy Administration in December 1961 to run for Governor of Texas, and he held that position from 1963 to 1969. Connally was seriously wounded in November 1963 during the assassination of Kennedy.
In 1971, Republican President Richard Nixon appointed Connally as his Treasury Secretary. In this position, Connally presided over the removal of the U.S. dollar from the gold standard, an event known as the Nixon shock. Connally stepped down from the Cabinet in 1972 to lead the Democrats for Nixon organization, which campaigned for Nixon's re-election. Connally was a candidate to replace Vice President Spiro Agnew after the latter resigned in 1973, but Nixon chose Gerald Ford instead. Connally sought the Republican nomination for president in the 1980 election, but withdrew from the race after the first set of primaries. Connally did not seek public office again after 1980 and died of pulmonary fibrosis in 1993.John McClannahan Crockett
John McClannahan Crockett (December 26, 1816 – August 4, 1887) was a Texan lawyer, mayor of Dallas, and the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Texas. A South Carolina native, Crockett moved to Texas in 1847. He became the second mayor of Dallas, and the eighth Lieutenant Governor of Texas from 1861–1863.Lieutenant Governor of Texas
The Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in the government of Texas, a state in the U.S. It is the second most powerful post in Texas government because its occupant controls the work of the Texas Senate and controls the budgeting process as a leader of the Legislative Budget Board.
Under the provisions of the Texas Constitution, the Lieutenant Governor is President of the Texas Senate. Unlike with most other states' senates and the U.S. Senate, the Lieutenant Governor regularly exercises this function rather than delegating it to the president pro tempore or a Majority Leader. By the rules of the Senate, the Lieutenant Governor establishes all special and standing committees, appoints all chairpersons and members, and assigns all Senate legislation to the committee of his choice. The Lieutenant Governor decides all questions of parliamentary procedure in the Senate. He or she also has broad discretion in following Senate procedural rules.
The Lieutenant Governor is an ex officio member of several statutory bodies. These include the Legislative Budget Board, the Legislative Council, the Legislative Audit Committee, the Legislative Board and Legislative Council, which have considerable sway over state programs, the budget and policy. The Lieutenant Governor is also a member of the Legislative Redistricting Board (together with the Speaker of the House, Attorney General, Comptroller, and Land Commissioner), which is charged with adopting a redistricting plan for the Texas House of Representatives, Texas Senate, or U.S. House of Representatives after the decennial census if the Legislature fails to do so.
In the case of a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's office, the Senate elects one of its members to act as President of the Senate until the next statewide office election, in effect becoming the Lieutenant Governor. A Senator elected as presiding officer in this way retains his district seat and the voting privileges entailed with his Senate election.
The Lieutenant Governor is sworn-in on the third Tuesday every four years, the same as the Governor.
Dan Patrick has been the Lieutenant Governor of Texas since January 20, 2015.
The term of office was two years from 1846 to 1972. Voters then increased it to four years, effective for the 1974 election. The Lieutenant Governor assumes the powers of the Governor of Texas when the governor is out of the state or otherwise unable to discharge the office. The Lieutenant Governor is elected separately from the Governor, rather than on the same ticket; it is therefore possible for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor to be from different political parties (which was the case during Governor George W. Bush's first term and also during Bill Clements's two non-consecutive terms). The Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor if the elected Governor resigns, dies or is removed from office via impeachment and conviction. Former Governor Rick Perry took office upon George W. Bush's resignation on December 21, 2000. Bush became US President on January 20, 2001. When Perry became lieutenant governor on 19 January 1999, he became the first Republican since Albert Jennings Fountain in 1873 to serve as lieutenant governor, and the first Republican to be elected as Lieutenant Governor since James W. Flanagan in 1869.List of Governors of Texas
The Governor of Texas is the chief executive of the U.S. State of Texas, the presiding officer over the executive branch of the Government of Texas, and the commander-in-chief of the Texas National Guard, the state's militia. The governor has the power to consider bills passed by the Texas Legislature, by signing them into law, or vetoing them, and in bills relating to appropriations, the power of a line-item veto. He may convene the legislature, and grant pardons and reprieves, except in cases of impeachment, and upon the permission of the legislature, in cases of treason. The State provides an official residence, the Governor's Mansion in Austin. The incumbent, Greg Abbott, is the forty-eighth governor to serve in the office since Texas' statehood in 1845.
When compared to those of other states, the Governorship of Texas has been described as one of relative weakness. In some respects, it is the Lieutenant Governor of Texas, who presides over the Texas Senate, who possesses greater influence to exercise their prerogatives.The governor is inaugurated on the third Tuesday of January every four years along with the Lieutenant Governor, and serves a term of four years. Prior to the present laws, in 1845, the state's first constitution established the office of governor, serving a term of two years, but no more than four years of every six. The 1861 constitution, following secession from the Union, established the first Monday of November following election as the term's start. Following the end of the American Civil War, the 1866 constitution increased term length to four years, limiting overall service to no more than eight years of every twelve, moving the term's start to the first Thursday following organization of the legislature, or "as soon thereafter as practicable." The constitution of 1869, enacted during Reconstruction, removed term limitations, to this day making Texas one of fourteen states with no limit on gubernatorial terms. The present constitution of 1876 returned terms to two years, but a 1972 amendment again returned them to four.Since its establishment, only one man has served in excess of eight years as governor: Rick Perry. Perry, the longest-serving governor in state history, assumed the governorship in 2000 upon the exit of George W. Bush, who resigned to take office as the 43rd President of the United States. Perry was re-elected in 2002, 2006, and 2010 serving for 14 years before choosing to retire in 2014.
Allan Shivers assumed the governorship upon the death of Beauford Jester in July 1949 and was re-elected in 1950, 1952 and 1954, serving for 7 1/2 years, making him the second longest serving Texas governor. Price Daniel was elected to the governorship in 1956 and re-elected in 1958 and 1960 before losing his re-election for an unprecedented fourth term in the 1962 Democratic primary, missing the runoff. John Connally was elected in 1962 and re-elected in 1964 and 1966 before leaving office on January 21, 1969.
In the case of a vacancy in the office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor. Prior to a 1999 amendment, the lieutenant governor only acted as governor until the expiration of the term to which he succeeded.List of lieutenant governors of Texas
Lieutenant Governor of Texas is the second-highest executive office in state government.
For more information about the office and powers of the Lieutenant Governor see Lieutenant Governor of Texas.Operation Phalanx (2010-2016)
Operation Phalanx was a United States National Guard program to assist the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the security of the United States-Mexico Border. Beginning in 2010, Phalanx was the successor operation to 2006-2008 program known as Operation Jump Start.In November 2016, DHS indefinitely halted the National Guard's aerial surveillance flights amid protests from U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-Texas,) the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, and Senator John Cornyn, (R-Texas), all of whom are pressing the Obama administration to restart the program in 2017.Since the beginning of Operation Phalanx in 2010, National Guard airmen flying UH-72 Lakota helicopters have been credited with stopping 64,000 illegal border crossings in the Rio Grande sector of the United States Mexico border, along with an additional 25,000 in the Laredo sector and 21,000 in the Tucson, Arizona area. More than 300,000 pounds of marijuana has also been seized in Phalanx operations.Rick Perry
James Richard Perry (born March 4, 1950) is an American politician who is the 14th and current United States Secretary of Energy, serving in the Cabinet of Donald Trump. Prior to his cabinet position, Perry served as the 47th Governor of Texas from December 2000 to January 2015. A Republican, he was elected Lieutenant Governor of Texas in 1998 and assumed the governorship in December 2000 when Governor George W. Bush resigned to become president. Perry was the longest-serving governor in Texas history.
Perry was elected three times to full gubernatorial terms and is the fourth Texas Governor (after Allan Shivers, Price Daniel and John Connally) to serve three terms. With a tenure in office of 14 years, 30 days, Perry was, at the time he left office, the second longest-serving current governor (after Terry Branstad of Iowa). Perry ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for president in 2012 and 2016.
On December 14, 2016, President-elect Donald Trump announced his intention to nominate Perry as his Secretary of Energy. On March 2, 2017, he was confirmed by the United States Senate in a 62–37 vote.Rick Perry 2016 presidential campaign
The 2016 presidential campaign of Rick Perry, the 47th Governor of Texas, was officially launched on June 4, 2015. This campaign constituted Perry's second consecutive bid for the Republican nomination for President of the United States. Perry announced on September 11, 2015, that he had suspended his campaign.On January 25, 2016, Perry announced that he will endorse presidential candidate and fellow Texan, Senator Ted Cruz.Texas Senate
The Texas Senate is the upper house of the Texas State Legislature. There are 31 members of the Senate, representing single-member districts across the U.S. state of Texas, with populations of approximately 806,000 per constituency, based on the 2010 U.S. Census. There are no term limits, and each term is four years long. Elections are held in even-numbered years on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. In elections in years ending in 2, all seats are up for election. Half of the senators will serve a two-year term, based on a drawing; the other half will fill regular four-year terms. In the case of the latter, they or their successors will be up for two-year terms in the next year that ends in 0. As such, in other elections, about half of the Texas Senate is on the ballot. The Senate meets at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. The Republicans currently control the chamber, which is made up of 19 Republicans and 12 Democrats.Uvalde, Texas
Uvalde ( yoo-VAL-dee) is a city in and the county seat of Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 15,751 at the 2010 census.Uvalde was founded by Reading Wood Black in 1853 as the town of Encina. In 1856, when the county was organized, the town was renamed Uvalde after Spanish governor Juan de Ugalde (Cádiz, Andalucía, 1729-1816) and was chosen as county seat. It is usually considered the southern limit of the Texas Hill Country or the most northerly part of South Texas. Historically, Uvalde is known as the Honey Capital of the World for production of huajillo (also spelled guajillo) honey, a mild, light-colored honey, dating back to the 1870s.
Uvalde was the home of John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, former Speaker of the House and Vice President of the United States. Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, actress Dale Evans, and former Governor of Texas Dolph Briscoe (after whom the post office is named), were born in Uvalde. The city is also home to the Grammy Award-winning Tejano/Norteño group Los Palominos.Woodville, Texas
Woodville is a town in Tyler County, Texas, United States. The town is intersected by three U.S. highways: U.S. Highway 69, U.S. Highway 190, and U.S. Highway 287. The population was 2,586 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Tyler County. The town was named after George Tyler Wood, governor of Texas from 1847-1849.