Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
List of Governors of Massachusetts
Governor of Massachusetts
Part the Second, Chapter II, Section I, Article I of the Massachusetts Constitution reads,
With the writing of that sentence in 1780, the executive branch of the new Commonwealth came into being. The Governor of Massachusetts is the chief executive of the Commonwealth, and is supported by a number of subordinate officers. He, like most other state officers, senators, and representatives, was originally elected annually. Eventually this was changed to a two-year term, and currently rests at a four-year term. Bach Warp The Governor of Massachusetts does not receive a palace, other official residence, or housing allowance. Instead, he continues to reside in his private residence. The title of "His Excellency" is a throwback to the executives of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, Province of New England , and Royal Colony of Massachusetts , all of whom as royal appointees were afforded this title.
The governor also serves as Commander-in-Chief of the Commonwealth's armed forces, a position the power of which has declined as the states of the United States have become less individual nations and more subnational units.
According to the constitution, whenever the chair of the governor is vacant, the lieutenant governor shall take over as governor. The first time this came into use was five years after the constitution's adoption, when in 1785 Governor John Hancock resigned his post with five months remaining before the inauguration of Gov. James Bowdoin.
No Single Governor
Whenever both the governor and his lieutenant left their offices vacant, the Governor's Council was charged with acting as governor. Gov. Increase Sumner died in office on June 7, 1799, leaving Lt. Gov. Moses Gill as Governor of the Commonwealth. Governor Gill never received a lieutenant, and died himself on May 20, 1800.
For the ten days between Governor Gill's death and Gov. Caleb Strong's inauguration, the Governor's Council became the executive arm of the Commonwealth's government. Its chair, Thomas Dawes , was the closest person to governor during this time, but was at no point named governor.
New and Current Line of Succession
Article LV of the Constitution annulled this line of succession and created a new line that did not entrust the governorship to an eight-member council. The new and current line of succession is as follows:
- Governor (Mitt Romney)
- Lieutenant Governor (Kerry Healey)
- Secretary of the Commonwealth (William Francis Galvin )
- Attorney General (Thomas C. Reilly)
- Treasurer and Receiver-General (Tim Cahill)
- Auditor (A. Joseph DeNucci )
List of Massachusetts Governors
Colonial governors can be found at page for the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
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