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List of Governors of Mississippi facts for kids

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Governor of Mississippi
Seal of Mississippi 2014.svg
Governor Phil Bryant.jpg
Phil Bryant

since January 10, 2012
Style The Honorable
Residence Governor's Mansion,
300 East Capitol St.,
Jackson, Mississippi
Term length Four years, renewable once
Inaugural holder David Holmes
Formation 1817 Constitution of Mississippi
Succession Every four years, unless reelected
Salary $122,160 (2013)
Governors of Mississippi
Five governors of Mississippi in 1976. From left to right: Ross Barnett, James P. Coleman, William L. Waller, John Bell Williams, Paul B. Johnson Jr.

The Governor of Mississippi is the head of the executive branch of Mississippi'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 Mississippi Legislature, to convene the legislature at any time, and, except in cases of treason or impeachment, to grant pardons and reprieves.

To be elected governor, a person must be at least 30 years old, and must have been a citizen of the United States for twenty years and a resident of Mississippi for at least five years at the time of inauguration. The Constitution of Mississippi, ratified in 1890, calls for a four-year term for the governor. He or she may be reelected once. The original constitution of 1817 had only a two-year term for governor; this was expanded to four years in the 1868 constitution. The lieutenant governor is elected at the same time as the governor and serves as president of the Mississippi Senate. When the office of governor becomes vacant for any reason, the lieutenant governor becomes governor for the remainder of the term.


Since Mississippi became a state, it has had 64 governors, including 55 Democrats and 5 Republicans. Democrats dominated after retaking control of the state legislature; they passed a constitution in 1890 that disfranchised most African Americans, excluding them from the political system for nearly 70 years, and made it a one-party state. The state's longest-serving governor was John M. Stone, who served two terms over ten years (his second term was extended to six years by a transitional provision in the 1890 constitution). The shortest-serving governor was James Whitfield, who served 1+12 months from 1851 to 1852. The current governor is Republican Phil Bryant, who took office January 10, 2012. His term will end in January 2020.

Other high offices held

This is a table of congressional, confederate, other governorships, and other federal offices held by governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Mississippi except where noted. * denotes those offices which the governor resigned to take.

Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held
House Senate
William C. C. Claiborne 1801–1805 (territorial) U.S. Representative from Tennessee, U.S. Senator from Louisiana, Governor of Orleans Territory, Governor of Louisiana
Robert Williams 1805–1809 (territorial) U.S. Representative from North Carolina
David Holmes (politician) 1809–1820
S U.S. Representative from Virginia
George Poindexter 1820–1822 H S Territorial Delegate, President pro tempore of the Senate
Walter Leake 1822–1825 S
John A. Quitman 1835–1836
Tilghman Tucker 1842–1844 H
Albert G. Brown 1844–1848 H S Confederate Senator
Henry S. Foote 1852–1854 S Confederate Representative from Tennessee
John J. McRae 1854–1857 H S Confederate Representative
William McWillie 1857–1859 H
Adelbert Ames 1868–1870
James L. Alcorn 1870–1871 S|
Anselm J. McLaurin 1896–1900 S
James K. Vardaman 1904–1908 S
Theodore G. Bilbo 1916–1920
Paul B. Johnson, Sr. 1940–1943 H
James P. Coleman 1956–1960 Fifth Circuit Court Judge
John Bell Williams 1968–1972 H
Ray Mabus 1988–1992 Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, United States Secretary of the Navy
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