The Process when a Governor’s Position is Unexpectedly Vacated

Each and every state in the US has a constitutional procedure for filing vacancies in governor’s office. Among the 45 states with a lieutenant governor, that person will be the first in line of succession. And among other states in which no such title exists, the main successor to the office of the governor will vary.

When the First-in-Lines will Take Over?

Officers who are first in line to fulfill the governor in the event of unexpected vacancy would be the:

  • President of state senate in 2 states which are New Hampshire and Maine
  • Presidents of Tennessee and West Virginia state senates are first in line also since they are serving as lieutenant governor ex officio and;
  • Secretary of state in 3 other states such as Wyoming, Oregon and Arizona

All in all, constitutional rules for those who are second in line for the governor’s office are more complex compared to those who are first in line. Typical second-in-lines are:

  • Secretary of State
  • Speaker of the House and;
  • President of Senate

On the other hand, 7 states have more complicated succession that is stated by law and another 7 states don’t designate specific successors.

The procedure for vacancy normally addresses the period of absence at which the temporary vacancy has become permanent vacancy.

In most cases, the governor might surrender temporarily if powers while traveling during periods of illness or injury or outside the state. In these instances, the lieutenant governor or the primary successor of the governor normally become the acting governor for the meantime.

Vacancy Procedure

As part of the vacancy procedure, it may also detail:

  • Circumstances to which the appointed governor has completed the current term and that situations are under which special election is called on
  • Whether the person who will replace the elected governor should be of the same party as the former governor
  • Whether the succeeding officer to governorship has full powers of elected governor they will replace and;
  • Privilege of the governors who voluntarily resign, normally accept higher office, to be able to name their replacement

It is important to act swiftly in filling in the vacant spot for the current governor for this will disrupt the county’s economy and those businesses selling agitador, clothing and other industries that are operating under the governor’s territory.