List of Governors of West Virginia facts for kids

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Governor of West Virginia
Seal of the Governor of West Virginia.svg
Seal of the Governor
Jim Justice.jpg
Incumbent
Jim Justice

since January 16, 2017
Style His Excellency
Residence West Virginia Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder Arthur I. Boreman
Formation June 20, 1863
Deputy None
Salary $150,000 (2013)
Website www.governor.wv.gov

The Governor of West Virginia is the head of the executive branch of West Virginia's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, and the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the West Virginia Legislature, to convene the legislature at any time, and, except when prosecution has been carried out by the House of Delegates, to grant pardons and reprieves.

Since West Virginia became a state, it has had 35 governors; 33 different men have held the office (Arch A. Moore, Jr. and Cecil H. Underwood each served two nonconsecutive governorships). Six governors in the state's history have served multiple terms. The longest-serving governor was Moore, who served for three terms over twelve years. The state's first governor, Arthur I. Boreman, served the most consecutive terms, resigning a week before the end of his third term. Daniel D.T. Farnsworth was Senate President at the time; he filled the last seven days of Boreman's term and remains the shortest-serving governor. Underwood has the unusual distinction of being both the youngest person to be elected as governor (age 34 upon his first term in 1957) and the oldest to both be elected and serve (age 74 upon his second term in 1997; age 78 at the end of his second term in 2001).

The current governor is Democrat Jim Justice, who assumed office on January 16, 2017.

West Virginia was originally part of the state of Virginia, one of the original Thirteen Colonies. The northwestern counties of Virginia broke away during the American Civil War and formed the state, which was admitted to the Union on June 20, 1863. Two more Virginia counties, Berkeley and Jefferson, joined the state on March 10, 1866.

To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, and must have been a citizen of West Virginia for at least five years at the time of inauguration. The Constitution of West Virginia, ratified in 1872, calls for a four-year term for the governor, commencing on the Monday after the second Wednesday in the January following an election. The original constitution of 1863 had only a two-year term for governor.

The constitution makes no mention of a lieutenant governor; if the governorship becomes vacant, the Senate President acts as governor. If more than one year remains in the governor's term at the time of vacancy, a new election is held; otherwise, the Senate President serves the remainder of the term. A bill passed in 2000 grants the Senate President the honorary title of Lieutenant Governor, but this title is rarely used in practice and the terms of the Senate President do not correspond with governorships. The same bill states that the line of succession after the Senate President will be the Speaker of the House of Delegates, followed by the state attorney general, the state auditor and former governors, in inverse order of term, that are in residence in the state at the time of the vacancy.

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional offices held by governors. All representatives and senators listed represented West Virginia. No governor of West Virginia has held any other federal office.

Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to take.
† Denotes those offices that the governor resigned to be governor.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. House U.S. Senate Source
Arthur I. Boreman 1863–1869 S*
George W. Atkinson 1897–1901 H
Henry D. Hatfield 1913–1917 S
Matthew M. Neely 1941–1945 H S†
Arch A. Moore, Jr. 1969–1977
1985–1989
H
Jay Rockefeller 1977–1985 S
Bob Wise 2001–2005 H
Joe Manchin 2005–2010 S*

List of Governors of West Virginia Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.