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Lieutenant Governor of Michigan facts for kids

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Lieutenant Governor of the State of Michigan
Garlin Gilchrist in Grand Rapids.jpg
Garlin Gilchrist

since January 1, 2019
Appointer Popularly Elected With the Governor
Term length 4 Years
Inaugural holder Edward Mundy
Formation January 26, 1837
President of Senate of the State of Michigan
Garlin Gilchrist

since January 1, 2019
Appointer ex officio
Term length 4 Years
Inaugural holder Edward Mundy
Formation January 26, 1837

The lieutenant governor of Michigan is the second-ranking official in U.S. state of Michigan, behind the governor.

The current lieutenant governor by default is Garlin Gilchrist, a Democrat, who has held the office since January 1, 2019.


In Michigan, the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket to serve a term of four years. The election takes place two years after each presidential election; thus, the next election will take place in November 2026.


Following the August primary election in each gubernatorial election year, the state's two largest political parties convene a state convention and nominate candidates for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and attorney general, among other offices. Because the governor and lieutenant governor are elected as a ticket, the party's gubernatorial nominee usually makes the de facto decision as to whom the party will nominate for lieutenant governor, then convention delegates officially confirm the designation.

Historically, the governor and lieutenant governor were elected separately, leading to occasions where Republicans controlled one office and the Democrats another (as with George Romney and T. John Lesinski). This changed with the Michigan Constitution of 1963.

Election and inauguration

After the November general election, the governor and lieutenant governor take office on January 1. Thus, the winners of the 2018 election began their term on January 1, 2019.

Term limits

Like the governor, the lieutenant governor is allowed to serve up to two terms in office.


There are three main duties assigned to the lieutenant governor:

  • to serve as acting governor while the governor is out of state;
  • to become governor if the governor is unable to serve due to death, illness or incapacitation; and
  • to preside over the Michigan Senate.

These days, the lieutenant governor also acts as an assistant to the governor. When the governor is unable to attend a function, for instance, the lieutenant governor may be sent in place of the governor. The lieutenant governor will also occasionally head blue-ribbon commissions into pressing public policy issues.

List of lieutenant governors


      Democratic (18)       Republican (43)       Whig (3)

# Lieutenant Governor Term in office Political Party Governor(s)
1 Edward Mundy.png   Edward Mundy 1835–1840 Democratic Stevens T. Mason (D)
2 J Wright Gordon.JPG   James Wright Gordon 1840–1841 Whig William Woodbridge (W)
3 No image.svg   Thomas J. Drake 1841–1842 Whig James Wright Gordon (W)
4 Origen D. Richardson.jpg   Origen D. Richardson 1842–1846 Whig John S. Barry (D)
5 William Greenly.png   William L. Greenly 1846–1847 Democratic Alpheus Felch (D)
6 No image.svg   Charles P. Bush 1847–1848 Democratic William L. Greenly (D)
7 William M. Fenton.png   William M. Fenton 1848–1852 Democratic Epaphroditus Ransom (D)
John S. Barry (D)
8 No image.svg   Calvin Britain 1852–1853 Democratic Robert McClelland (D)
9 Andrew parsons.jpg   Andrew Parsons 1853 Democratic Robert McClelland (D)
10 No image.svg   George Griswold 1853–1855 Democratic Andrew Parsons (D)
11 No image.svg   George Coe 1855–1859 Republican Kinsley S. Bingham (R)
12 Edmund Burke Fairfield.png   Edmund Burke Fairfield 1859–1861 Republican Moses Wisner (R)
13 James Birney (Michigan Lieutenant Governor).jpg   James M. Birney 1861 Republican Austin Blair (R)
14 Joseph R. Williams.jpg   Joseph R. Williams 1861 Republican Austin Blair (R)
15 Henry Titus Backus.jpg   Henry T. Backus 1861–1863 Republican Austin Blair (R)
16 Charles S. May.png   Charles S. May 1863–1865 Republican Austin Blair (R)
17 Ebenezer Oliver Grosvenor portrait.jpg   Ebenezer O. Grosvenor 1865–1867 Republican Henry H. Crapo (R)
18 Dwight May.png   Dwight May 1867–1869 Republican Henry H. Crapo (R)
19 Morgan Bates.png   Morgan Bates 1869–1873 Republican Henry P. Baldwin (R)
20 Henry H. Holt.png   Henry H. Holt 1873–1877 Republican John J. Bagley (R)
21 Alonzo Sessions.png   Alonzo Sessions 1877–1881 Republican Charles Croswell (R)
22 No image.svg   Moreau S. Crosby 1881–1885 Republican David Jerome (R)
Josiah Begole (D)
23 Archibald Buttars.png   Archibald Buttars 1885–1887 Republican Russell A. Alger (R)
24 No image.svg   James H. MacDonald 1887–1889 Republican Cyrus G. Luce (R)
25 Michigan Lieutenant Governor William Ball.png   William Ball 1889–1891 Republican Cyrus G. Luce (R)
26 John Strong Michigan.png   John Strong 1891–1893 Democratic Edwin B. Winans (D)
27 J. Wight Giddings.png   J. Wight Giddings 1893–1895 Republican John Treadway Rich (R)
28 Alfred Milnes - Livingstone.png   Alfred Milnes 1895 Republican John Treadway Rich (R)
29 Joseph R. McLaughlin.png   Joseph R. McLaughlin 1895–1897 Republican John Treadway Rich (R)
30 Thomas B. Dunstan.png   Thomas B. Dunstan 1897–1899 Republican Hazen S. Pingree (R)
31 Orrin W. Robinson.png   Orrin W. Robinson 1899–1903 Republican Hazen S. Pingree (R)
Aaron T. Bliss (R)
32 Alexander Maitland LG.png   Alexander Maitland 1903–1907 Republican Aaron T. Bliss (R)
Fred M. Warner (R)
33 PatrickHKelley.jpg   Patrick H. Kelley 1907–1911 Republican Fred M. Warner (R)
34 John Q. Ross 2.png   John Q. Ross 1911–1915 Republican Chase Osborn (R)
Woodbridge N. Ferris (D)
35 Luren D. Dickinson.jpg   Luren Dickinson 1915–1921 Republican Woodbridge N. Ferris (D)
Albert Sleeper (R)
36 Thomas Read Politician.jpg   Thomas Read 1921–1925 Republican Alex J. Groesbeck (R)
37 George W. Welsh.png   George W. Welsh 1925–1927 Republican Alex J. Groesbeck (R)
38 Luren D. Dickinson.jpg   Luren Dickinson 1927–1933 Republican Fred W. Green (R)
Wilber M. Brucker (R)
39 Allen E. Stebbins.png   Allen E. Stebbins 1933–1935 Democratic William Comstock (D)
40 Thomas Read Politician.jpg   Thomas Read 1935–1937 Republican Frank Fitzgerald (R)
41 Leo J. Nowicki.png   Leo J. Nowicki 1937–1939 Democratic Frank Murphy (D)
42 Luren D. Dickinson.jpg   Luren Dickinson 1939 Republican Frank Fitzgerald (R)
Office vacant 1939–1940
43 Matildadodge.jpg   Matilda Dodge Wilson 1940–1941 Republican Luren Dickinson (R)
44 Lieutenant Governor Frank Murphy.png   Frank Murphy 1941–1943 Democratic Murray Van Wagoner (D)
45 Eugene C. Keyes.png   Eugene C. Keyes 1943–1945 Republican Harry Kelly (R)
46 Vernon J. Brown.jpg   Vernon J. Brown 1945–1947 Republican Harry Kelly (R)
47 Eugene C. Keyes.png   Eugene C. Keyes 1947–1949 Republican Kim Sigler (R)
48 John W. Connolly.png   John W. Connolly 1949–1951 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
49 William C. Vandenberg.png   William C. Vandenberg 1951–1953 Republican G. Mennen Williams (D)
50 Clarence A. Reid.png   Clarence A. Reid 1953–1955 Republican G. Mennen Williams (D)
51 Philip Hart 1965.png   Philip Hart 1955–1959 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
52 John Swainson (1961 portrait).png   John Swainson 1959–1961 Democratic G. Mennen Williams (D)
53 T. John Lesinski.png   T. John Lesinski 1961–1965 Democratic John Swainson (D)
George W. Romney (R)
54 William Milliken 1969.png   William G. Milliken 1965–1969 Republican George W. Romney (R)
Office vacant 1969–1970
55 Thomas F. Schweigert.png   Thomas F. Schweigert 1970–1971 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
56 James H. Brickley.png   James H. Brickley 1971–1975 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
57 James Damman.png   James Damman 1975–1979 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
58 James H. Brickley.png   James H. Brickley 1979–1982 Republican William G. Milliken (R)
Office vacant 1982–1983
59 Martha Wright Griffiths.jpg   Martha Griffiths 1983–1991 Democratic James Blanchard (D)
60 Connie Binsfeld.png   Connie Binsfeld 1991–1999 Republican John Engler (R)
61 Dick Posthumus (cropped).jpeg   Dick Posthumus 1999–2003 Republican John Engler (R)
62 JohnDCherryMichigan.jpg   John D. Cherry 2003–2011 Democratic Jennifer Granholm (D)
63 Michigan Lt. Governor Brian Calley in Detroit 2016.jpg   Brian Calley 2011–2019 Republican Rick Snyder (R)
64 Garlin Gilchrist in Grand Rapids.jpg   Garlin Gilchrist 2019–present Democratic Gretchen Whitmer (D)
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