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Lieutenant Governor of Virginia
The Liteutenant Governor is a constitutional officer of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The Lieutenant Governor is elected every four years along with the Governor and Attorney General. The governor and lieutenant governor are elected separately and thus may be of different political parties. The lieutenant governor's office is located in the Finance Building on Capitol Square in Richmond, Virginia. The lieutenant governor serves as the President of the Senate of Virginia and is first in the line of succession to the governor; in the event the governor dies, resigns, or otherwise leaves office, the lieutenant governor becomes governor.
The office of Lieutenant Governor is of colonial origin and can be traced to the Virginia Council of London. The Council was appointed by the King, and in turn, the Council appointed the Lieutenant Governor or deputy. When the English crown forbade colonial Governors absence from the colonies without leave in 1680, it became the Councilís duty to designate or send a deputy who could exercise all the powers of the Governor under the written instructions of both the crown and the Governor. Virginiaís first Constitution, adopted in 1776, provided a Council of State from which a President was annually selected from its members. The President acted as Lieutenant Governor in the case of the death, inability, or necessary absence of the Governor from the government. The Virginia Constitution of 1851 abolished the Governorís Council of State and provided for the popular election of the Lieutenant Governor. Shelton Farrar Leake, from Albemarle County, was the first elected Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1852-1856.
Recent Lieutenant Governors of Virginia
- Mills E. Godwin Jr., Democrat from Nansemond County 1962-1966 (Became Governor 1966 as a Democrat; became Governor for a second time in 1974 as a Republican).
- Fred G. Pollard, from the City of Richmond 1966-1970
- Julian Sargeant Reynolds, Democrat from the City of Richmond 1970-1971 (Died in office)
- Henry Evans Howell, Jr., from the City of Norfolk 1971-1974 (Filled the unexpired term of Julian Sargeant Reynolds).
- John N. Dalton, Republican from the City of Radford 1974-1978 (Became Governor in 1978).
- Chuck Robb, Democrat from Fairfax County 1978-1982: U.S Senator, Governor of Virginia, U.S. Marine Corps, son-in-law of Lyndon Johnson (Became Governor in 1982).
- Richard Joseph Davis, from the City of Portsmouth 1982-1986
- Doug Wilder, Democrat from the City of Richmond 1986-1990: Virginia State Senator, Governor of Virginia, Mayor of Richmond, first African-American Governor of any state. (Became Governor in 1990).
- Donald S. Beyer, Jr., Democrat from Fairfax County 1990-1998: Democratic nominee for Governor in 1997, lost to Republican James S. Gilmore III, National Treasurer for the Dean for America presidental campaign of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, who in the 2004 Democratic primary was seeking the nomination of that party for President of the United States.
- John Henry Hager, Republican from the City of Richmond 1998-2002: Assistant to the Governor for Commonwealth Preparedness under Governor Mark R. Warner, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education under President George W. Bush
- Tim Kaine, Democrat from the City of Richmond 2002-2006: Mayor of Richmond, Richmond City Councilor, attorney, son-in-law of Governor A. Linwood Holton Jr.
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