Virginia& New Jersey elect governors on November 2

United States Elections

Gubernatorial Succession: Who’s Next In Line?

1 Mins read
Gubernatorial Succession

Who is next the line of gubernatorial succession in America if the sitting governor dies or resigns? The answer isn’t the same in every state.

While all states are led by a governor, not every state has a lieutenant governor as the clearly defined second in command. As you’ll see in our video, the vast majority do. Because not every state has a lieutenant governor, the line of succession to the governorship isn’t the same in all 50 states.

Next In Line of Gubernatorial Succession

Out of the 50 states, there are 45 lieutenant governors, leaving five that have their first-in-line for gubernatorial succession somewhere else. Find out what those states are, and how the lieutenant governor is election. It matters, because in some states, you can have a governor and a lieutenant governor of different parties. Not only does it happen, but in 2021 when we made this video, it was the case.

A bit off topic, but the vast majority of states, close to three quarters, elect their governors in the midterm election years (e.g. 2022, 2026, 2030). Most of the rest elect governors during presidential election years (e.g. 2020, 2024, 2028), ostensibly the higher-turnout elections. Just a handful elect their chief executives in odd-numbered years, like 2021.

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