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Governor of Washington
Seal of the Executive Department of Washington.svg
Seal of the Executive Department of Washington
Jay Inslee official portrait.jpg
Jay Inslee

since January 16, 2013
Style The Honorable
Residence Washington Governor's Mansion
Term length Four years, no term limit
Inaugural holder Elisha P. Ferry
Formation November 11, 1889
Deputy Cyrus Habib
Salary $166,891 (2014)

The Governor of Washington is the head of the executive branch of Washington's state government, the commander-in-chief of the state's military forces, and is responsible for appointing the Poet Laureate of Washington. The governor has a duty to enforce state laws, the power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Washington Legislature and line-item veto power to cancel specific provisions in spending bills. The governor may also convene the legislature on "extraordinary occasions".

Washington Territory had 14 territorial governors from its organization in 1853 until the formation of the state of Washington in 1889. Territorial governors were appointed by the President of the United States. Elisha Peyre Ferry had the longest term of eight years and went on to become the state's first governor. William H. Wallace was appointed governor but never took office due to being elected as the territory's congressional delegate. George E. Cole was appointed governor and took office, but his appointment was never ratified by the U.S. Senate and he was replaced as governor after four months.

Twenty-one individuals have held the office of governor of Washington since the state's admission to the Union, with Arthur B. Langlie serving non-consecutive terms. Langlie and Daniel J. Evans are the state's only three term governors. Populist Party candidate John Rankin Rogers is the only non-Democratic or Republican nominee to win office. The current governor is Jay Inslee, who took office on January 16, 2013 and was re-elected in 2016; his term will expire on January 13, 2021. The last Republican to hold the office was John Spellman in 1985.

Other high offices held

Six of Washington's territorial governors and four of its state governors have served higher federal or confederate offices, or as governors of other states. Three represented Washington Territory as delegates to the U.S. House, and one additionally represented Idaho Territory in the same fashion, as well as serving as Governor of Idaho Territory. Two territorial governors represented eastern states, one as a representative from, and governor of, New Jersey, and one represented Virginia both in the United States and Confederate Houses. Three governors represented the state in the U.S. Senate, and two represented the state in the House. One governor has served in the United States Cabinet. Two of the territorial governors (marked with *) resigned their office to serve as territorial delegates.

Governor Gubernatorial term Other offices held Source
Isaac Stevens 1853–1857 Delegate from Washington Territory*
LaFayette McMullen 1857–1859 Representative and Confederate Representative from Virginia
William H. Wallace 1861–1861 Delegate from Washington Territory*, Delegate from Idaho Territory,
Governor of Idaho Territory
Alvan Flanders 1869–1870 Delegate from Washington Territory
William A. Newell 1880–1884 Representative from New Jersey, Governor of New Jersey
Watson C. Squire 1884–1887 Senator from Washington
Monrad Wallgren 1945–1949 Senator and Representative from Washington
Daniel J. Evans 1965–1977 Senator from Washington
Mike Lowry 1993–1998 Representative from Washington
Gary Locke 1997–2005 Secretary of Commerce, Ambassador to China
Jay Inslee 2013–present Representative from Washington
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List of Governors of Washington Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.