List of Governors of Ohio facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Governor of Ohio
Seal of the Governor of Ohio.svg
Seal of the Governor
Standard of the Governor of Ohio.svg
Governor John Kasich.jpg
John Kasich

since January 10, 2011
Style The Honorable
Residence Ohio Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, two consecutive with four-year pause thereafter
Inaugural holder Edward Tiffin
Formation March 3, 1803
Deputy Lieutenant Governor
Salary $148,886 (2015)

The Governor of the State of Ohio is the head of the executive branch of Ohio's state government and the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws; the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Ohio Legislature; the power to convene the legislature; and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.

There have been 63 governors of Ohio, serving 69 distinct terms. The longest term was held by Jim Rhodes, who was elected four times and served just under sixteen years in two non-consecutive periods of two terms each (1963–1971 and 1975–1983). The shortest terms were held by John William Brown and Nancy Hollister, who each served for only 11 days after the governors preceding them resigned in order to begin the terms to which they had been elected in the United States Senate; the shortest-serving elected governor was John M. Pattison, who died in office five months into his term. The current governor is John Kasich, who took office on January 10, 2011.


To become governor of Ohio, a candidate must be a qualified elector in the state. This means that any candidate for governor must be at least 18 years old at the time of his/her election, a resident of Ohio for at least 30 days before the election, and a U.S. citizen. Convicted felons and those deemed by the courts as incompetent to vote are not eligible.


The governor is the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws; the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Ohio State Legislature; the power to convene the legislature; and the power to grant pardons, except in cases of treason and impeachment.

Other duties and privileges of the office include:

  • Executing all laws and requiring written information on any office from the head of that office
  • Making an annual address to the General Assembly, with recommendation for legislation
  • Convening extraordinary sessions of the legislature with limited purposes
  • Adjourning the legislature when the two chambers cannot agree to do so themselves, not to include the privilege of adjourning the legislature past the sine die set for the regular session
  • Keeping and using "The Great Seal of the State of Ohio"
  • Signing and sealing all commissions granted in the name of the state of Ohio
  • Nominating, in the event of a vacancy in the Lieutenant Governor's office, a new officer, subject to a confirmatory vote of both chambers of the legislature
  • Making vacancy appointments for all "key state officers" (the Auditor, the Treasurer, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General. Such appointments are for the remainder of the term when the next general election is less than 40 days away and until the next general election otherwise
  • Accepting a report from the head of each executive department at least once a year, not later than five days before the regular session of the legislature convenes, and including the substance of those reports in her annual address to the legislature
  • Making all appointments not otherwise provided for, with the advice and consent of the Senate, unless the Senate refuses to act, in which case the Governor's appointee takes offices by default

Initially after the American Revolution, parts of the area now known as Ohio were claimed by New York, Virginia, and Connecticut; however, New York ceded its claim in 1782, Virginia in 1784, and Connecticut in 1786, though it maintained its Western Reserve in the area until 1800. On July 13, 1787, the Northwest Territory was formed. As territories were split from it, one of them eventually came to represent the area of present-day Ohio.


Should the office of governor become vacant due to death, resignation, or conviction of impeachment, the lieutenant governor assumes the title of governor. Should the office of lieutenant governor also become vacant, the president of the senate becomes the acting governor. If the vacancy of both offices took place during the first twenty months of the term, a special election is to be held on the next even-numbered year to elect new officers to serve out the current term. Prior to 1851, the speaker of the senate acted as governor for the term. Since 1978, the governor and lieutenant governor have been elected on the same ticket; prior to then, they could be (and often were) members of different parties.

Other high offices held

This is a table of other governorships, congressional and other federal offices, and ranking diplomatic positions in foreign countries held by Ohio governors. All representatives and senators mentioned represented Ohio.

* Denotes those offices for which the governor resigned the governorship.
† Denotes those offices from which the governor resigned to take the governorship.
Governor Gubernatorial term U.S. Congress Other offices held Source
House Senate
Arthur St. Clair 1789–1802 President of the United States in Congress Assembled
Edward Tiffin 1803–1807 S* Commissioner of the General Land Office, Surveyor General of the Northwest Territory
Return J. Meigs, Jr. 1810–1814 S† District Judge for Michigan Territory, U.S. Postmaster General
Thomas Worthington 1814–1818 S†
Ethan Allen Brown 1818–1822 S* Commissioner of the General Land Office, Minister to Brazil
Jeremiah Morrow 1822–1826 H S
Duncan McArthur 1830–1832 H
Robert Lucas 1832–1836 Governor of Iowa Territory
Joseph Vance 1836–1838 H
Wilson Shannon 1838–1840
H Minister to Mexico*, Governor of Kansas Territory
Thomas Corwin 1840–1842 H S Minister to Mexico, U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Mordecai Bartley 1844–1846 H
William Medill 1853–1856 H First Comptroller of the United States Treasury, Commissioner of Indian Affairs
Salmon P. Chase 1856–1860 S U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, Chief Justice of the United States
William Dennison 1860–1862 U.S. Postmaster General, President of the D. C. Board of Commissioners
David Tod 1862–1864 Minister to Brazil
Jacob Dolson Cox 1866–1868 H U.S. Secretary of the Interior
Rutherford B. Hayes 1868–1872
H President of the United States*
Edward F. Noyes 1872–1874 Minister to France
William Allen 1874–1876 H S
Thomas L. Young 1877–1878 H
Charles Foster 1880–1884 H U.S. Secretary of the Treasury
Joseph B. Foraker 1886–1890 S
James E. Campbell 1890–1892 H
William McKinley 1892–1896 H President of the United States
Myron T. Herrick 1904–1906 Ambassador to France
John M. Pattison 1906 H
Judson Harmon 1909–1913 U.S. Attorney General
James M. Cox 1913–1915
Frank B. Willis 1915–1917 H† S
A. Victor Donahey 1923–1929 S
George White 1931–1935 H
Martin L. Davey 1935–1939 H
John W. Bricker 1939–1945 S
Frank J. Lausche 1945–1947
John J. Gilligan 1971–1975 H
Dick Celeste 1983–1991 Ambassador to India
George Voinovich 1991–1998 S*
Ted Strickland 2007–2011 H
John Kasich 2011– H

List of Governors of Ohio Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.