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List of governors of Ohio facts for kids

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Governor of the State of Ohio
Flag of the Governor of Ohio.svg
Standard of the Governor of Ohio
Seal of the Governor of Ohio.svg
Seal of the Governor of Ohio
Gov-Mike-DeWine (cropped).jpg
Incumbent
Mike DeWine

since January 14, 2019
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 of Ohio
Salary $148,886 (2015)
Website https://governor.ohio.gov

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

There have been 64 governors of Ohio, serving 70 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 Republican Mike DeWine, who took office on January 14, 2019.

Qualifications

Vern Riffe 02
The governor's working office is in the Vern Riffe State Office Tower in downtown Columbus

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 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. There is a term limit of two consecutive terms as governor.

Powers

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 the 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

Succession

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.

Governors

Governors of Northwest Territory

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.

Throughout its 15-year history, Northwest Territory had only one governor, Arthur St. Clair. He was removed from office by President Thomas Jefferson on November 22, 1802, and no successor was named; Charles Willing Byrd, as Secretary of the Territory, acted as governor until statehood.

Governors of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio
No. Governor Term in office Appointed by
1 ArthurStClairOfficialPortrait.jpg Arthur St. Clair
    March 23, 1737 – August 31, 1818   
(aged 81)
October 5, 1787

November 22, 1802
Continental Congress
2 Charles Willing Byrd
    July 26, 1770 – August 13, 1828   
(aged 58)
November 22, 1802

March 3, 1803

Governors of the State of Ohio

Ohio was admitted to the Union on March 1, 1803. Since then, it has had 64 governors, six of whom (Allen Trimble, Wilson Shannon, Rutherford B. Hayes, James M. Cox, Frank Lausche, and Jim Rhodes) served non-consecutive terms.

The first constitution of 1803 allowed governors to serve for two three-year terms, limited to six of any eight years, commencing on the first Monday in the December following an election. The current constitution of 1851 removed the term limit, and shifted the start of the term to the second Monday in January following an election. In 1908, Ohio switched from holding elections in odd-numbered years to even-numbered years, with the preceding governor (from the 1905 election) serving an extra year. A 1957 amendment lengthened the term to four years and allowed governors to only succeed themselves once, having to wait four years after their second term in a row before being allowed to run again. An Ohio Supreme Court ruling in 1973 clarified this to mean governors could theoretically serve unlimited terms, as long as they waited four years after every second term.

Governors of the State of Ohio
No. Governor Term in office Party Election Lt. Governor
1 Portrait of Senator Edward Tiffin of Ohio.jpg   Edward Tiffin
    June 19, 1766 – August 9, 1829   
(aged 63)
March 3, 1803

March 4, 1807
(resigned)
Democratic-
Republican
1803 Office did not exist
1805
2 Thomas Kirker.png Thomas Kirker
    1760 – February 19, 1837   
(aged 66 or 67)
March 4, 1807

December 12, 1808
(lost election)
Democratic-
Republican
3 Samuel Huntington 002.png Samuel Huntington
    October 4, 1765 – June 8, 1817   
(aged 51)
December 12, 1808

December 8, 1810
(not candidate for election)
Democratic-
Republican
1808
4 Return J. Meigs, Jr.jpg Return J. Meigs Jr.
    November 17, 1764 – January 28, 1823   
(aged 58)
December 8, 1810

March 24, 1814
(resigned)
Democratic-
Republican
1810
1812
5 Othniel Looker 002.png Othniel Looker
    October 4, 1757 – July 23, 1845   
(aged 87)
March 24, 1814

December 8, 1814
(lost election)
Democratic-
Republican
6 Thomas Worthington (governor) 002.png Thomas Worthington
    July 16, 1773 – June 20, 1827   
(aged 53)
December 8, 1814

December 14, 1818
(not candidate for election)
Democratic-
Republican
1814
1816
7 Ethan Brown.jpg Ethan Allen Brown
    July 4, 1776 – February 24, 1852   
(aged 75)
December 14, 1818

January 4, 1822
(resigned)
Democratic-
Republican
1818
1820
8 Allen Trimble 002.png Allen Trimble
    November 24, 1783 – February 3, 1870   
(aged 86)
January 4, 1822

December 28, 1822
(lost election)
Democratic-
Republican
9 Jeremiah Morrow.jpg Jeremiah Morrow
    October 6, 1771 – March 22, 1852   
(aged 80)
December 28, 1822

December 19, 1826
(not candidate for election)
Democratic-
Republican
1822
1824
10 Allen Trimble.png Allen Trimble
    November 24, 1783 – February 3, 1870   
(aged 86)
December 19, 1826

December 18, 1830
(not candidate for election)
National
Republican
1826
1828
11 Duncan McArthur 002.png Duncan McArthur
    January 14, 1772 – April 29, 1839   
(aged 67)
December 18, 1830

December 7, 1832
(not candidate for election)
National
Republican
1830
12 Robert lucas.jpg Robert Lucas
    April 1, 1781 – February 7, 1853   
(aged 71)
December 7, 1832

December 12, 1836
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1832
1834
13 Joseph Vance LCCN2004664072 (cropped).jpg Joseph Vance
    March 21, 1786 – August 24, 1852   
(aged 66)
December 12, 1836

December 13, 1838
(lost election)
Whig 1836
14 WShannon.jpg Wilson Shannon
    February 24, 1802 – August 30, 1877   
(aged 75)
December 13, 1838

December 16, 1840
(lost election)
Democratic 1838
15
.
Thomas Corwin
    July 29, 1794 – December 18, 1865   
(aged 71)
December 16, 1840

December 14, 1842
(lost election)
Whig 1840
16 Wilson Shannon (History of Ohio).png Wilson Shannon
    February 24, 1802 – August 30, 1877   
(aged 75)
December 14, 1842

April 15, 1844
(resigned)
Democratic 1842
17 Thomas W. Bartley.png Thomas W. Bartley
    February 11, 1812 – June 20, 1885   
(aged 73)
April 15, 1844

December 3, 1844
(not candidate for election)
Democratic
18 Mordecai Bartley 002.png Mordecai Bartley
    December 16, 1783 – October 10, 1870   
(aged 86)
December 3, 1844

December 12, 1846
(not candidate for election)
Whig 1844
19 William Bebb.png William Bebb
    December 8, 1802 – October 23, 1873   
(aged 70)
December 12, 1846

January 22, 1849
(not candidate for election)
Whig 1846
20 Seabury Ford 002.png Seabury Ford
    October 5, 1801 – May 8, 1855   
(aged 53)
January 22, 1849

December 12, 1850
(not candidate for election)
Whig 1848
21 Reuben Wood 002.png Reuben Wood
    1792 or 1793 – October 1, 1864   
(aged 71 or 72)
December 12, 1850

July 13, 1853
(resigned)
Democratic 1850
1851   William Medill
22 William Medill 002.png William Medill
    February 1802 –September 2, 1865   
(aged 63)
July 13, 1853

January 14, 1856
(lost election)
Democratic Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
1853 James Myers
23 Salmon-chase.jpg Salmon P. Chase
    January 13, 1808 – May 7, 1873   
(aged 65)
January 14, 1856

January 9, 1860
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1855 Thomas H. Ford
1857 Martin Welker
24 William Dennison, Jr.jpg William Dennison Jr.
    November 23, 1815 – June 15, 1882   
(aged 66)
January 9, 1860

January 13, 1862
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1859 Robert C. Kirk
25 Governor David Tod.jpg David Tod
    February 21, 1805 – November 13, 1868   
(aged 63)
January 13, 1862

January 11, 1864
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1861 Benjamin Stanton
26 JohnBrough.jpg John Brough
    September 17, 1811 – August 29, 1865   
(aged 53)
January 11, 1864

August 29, 1865
(died)
Unionist 1863 Charles Anderson
27 CharlesAnderson1814.jpg Charles Anderson
    June 1, 1814 – September 2, 1895   
(aged 81)
August 29, 1865

January 8, 1866
(not candidate for election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
28 Jacob Dolson Cox.png Jacob Dolson Cox
    October 27, 1828 – August 4, 1900   
(aged 71)
January 8, 1866

January 13, 1868
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1865 Andrew McBurney
29 Rutherford B Hayes - head and shoulders.jpg Rutherford B. Hayes
    October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893   
(aged 70)
January 13, 1868

January 8, 1872
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1867 John C. Lee
1869
30 Edward Follansbee Noyes by Henry Howe.png Edward Follansbee Noyes
    October 3, 1832 – September 4, 1890   
(aged 57)
January 8, 1872

January 12, 1874
(lost election)
Republican 1871 Jacob Mueller
31 WilliamAllen.jpg William Allen
    December 18 or 27, 1803 – July 11, 1879   
(aged 75)
January 12, 1874

January 10, 1876
(lost election)
Democratic 1873 Alphonso Hart
32 Appleton's Hayes Rutherford.jpg Rutherford B. Hayes
    October 4, 1822 – January 17, 1893   
(aged 70)
January 10, 1876

March 2, 1877
(resigned)
Republican 1875 Thomas L. Young
33 TLYoung.jpg Thomas L. Young
    December 14, 1832 – July 20, 1888   
(aged 55)
March 2, 1877

January 14, 1878
(not candidate for election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
H. W. Curtiss
(acting)
34 Richard M. Bishop - Brady-Handy.jpg Richard M. Bishop
    November 4, 1812 – March 2, 1893   
(aged 80)
January 14, 1878

January 12, 1880
(lost renomination)
Democratic 1877 Jabez W. Fitch
35 Charles Foster, Brady-Handy photo portrait, ca1865-1880.jpg Charles Foster
    April 12, 1828 – January 9, 1904   
(aged 75)
January 12, 1880

January 14, 1884
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1879 Andrew Hickenlooper
1881 Rees G. Richards
36 George Hoadly from goss 1912.png George Hoadly
    July 31, 1826 – August 26, 1902   
(aged 76)
January 14, 1884

January 11, 1886
(lost election)
Democratic 1883 John G. Warwick
37 Joseph Benson Foraker.jpg Joseph B. Foraker
    July 5, 1846 – May 10, 1917   
(aged 70)
January 11, 1886

January 13, 1890
(lost election)
Republican 1885 Robert P. Kennedy
(resigned March 3, 1887)
Silas A. Conrad
1887 William C. Lyon
38 James E. Campbell 002.png James E. Campbell
    July 7, 1843 – December 18, 1924   
(aged 81)
January 13, 1890

January 11, 1892
(lost election)
Democratic 1889 Elbert L. Lampson
(replaced January 31, 1890)
William V. Marquis
39 William mckinley.jpg William McKinley
    January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901   
(aged 58)
January 11, 1892

January 13, 1896
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1891 Andrew L. Harris
1893
40 Asa S. Bushnell (Governor) 1896 2.jpg Asa S. Bushnell
    September 16, 1834 – January 15, 1904   
(aged 69)
January 13, 1896

January 8, 1900
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1895 Asa W. Jones
1897
41 George K Nash with signature.png George K. Nash
    August 14, 1842 – October 28, 1904   
(aged 62)
January 8, 1900

January 11, 1904
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1899 John A. Caldwell
1901 Carl L. Nippert
(resigned May 1, 1902)
Harry L. Gordon
42 MTHerrick.jpg Myron T. Herrick
    October 9, 1854 – March 31, 1929   
(aged 74)
January 11, 1904

January 8, 1906
(lost election)
Republican 1903 Warren G. Harding
43 John M. Pattison 002.png John M. Pattison
    June 13, 1847 – June 18, 1906   
(aged 59)
January 8, 1906

June 18, 1906
(died)
Democratic 1905
Andrew L. Harris
44 Andrew Lintner Harris - oval.jpg Andrew L. Harris
    November 17, 1835 – September 13, 1915   
(aged 79)
June 18, 1906

January 11, 1909
(lost election)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
45 JudsonHarmonLOC.jpg Judson Harmon
    February 3, 1846 – February 22, 1927   
(aged 81)
January 11, 1909

January 13, 1913
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1908 Francis W. Treadway
1910 Atlee Pomerene
(resigned March 4, 1911)
Hugh L. Nichols
46 James M. Cox 1920.jpg James M. Cox
    March 31, 1870 – July 15, 1957   
(aged 87)
January 13, 1913

January 11, 1915
(lost election)
Democratic 1912 W. A. Greenlund
47 Frank B Willis 2.jpg Frank B. Willis
    December 28, 1871 – March 30, 1928   
(aged 56)
January 11, 1915

January 8, 1917
(lost election)
Republican 1914 John H. Arnold
48 James M. Cox 1920.jpg James M. Cox
    March 31, 1870 – July 15, 1957   
(aged 87)
January 8, 1917

January 10, 1921
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1916 Earl D. Bloom
1918 Clarence J. Brown
49 HarryLDavis (1).jpg Harry L. Davis
    January 25, 1878 – May 21, 1950   
(aged 72)
January 10, 1921

January 8, 1923
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1920
50 Vic. Donahey LCCN2014717613.jpg A. Victor Donahey
    July 7, 1873 – April 8, 1946   
(aged 72)
January 8, 1923

January 14, 1929
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1922 Earl D. Bloom
1924 Charles H. Lewis
1926 Earl D. Bloom
(resigned April 1928)
William G. Pickrel
(term ended November 1928)
George C. Braden
51 Myers Y. Cooper.png Myers Y. Cooper
    November 25, 1873 – December 6, 1958   
(aged 85)
January 14, 1929

January 12, 1931
(lost election)
Republican 1928 John T. Brown
52 George White (Ohio).png George White
    April 21, 1872 – December 15, 1953   
(aged 81)
January 12, 1931

January 14, 1935
(not candidate for election)
Democratic 1930 William G. Pickrel
1932 Charles W. Sawyer
53 MartinDavey.jpg Martin L. Davey
    July 25, 1884 – March 31, 1946   
(aged 61)
January 14, 1935

January 9, 1939
(lost renomination)
Democratic 1934 Harold G. Mosier
1936 Paul P. Yoder
54 John William Bricker (Gov., Sen. OH).jpg John W. Bricker
    September 6, 1893 – March 22, 1986   
(aged 92)
January 9, 1939

January 8, 1945
(not candidate for election)
Republican 1938 Paul M. Herbert
1940
1942
55 Frank Lausche 87th Congress 1961 (1).jpg Frank Lausche
    November 14, 1895 – April 21, 1990   
(aged 94)
January 8, 1945

January 13, 1947
(lost election)
Democratic 1944 George D. Nye
56 Thomas J. Herbert (OH).jpg Thomas J. Herbert
    October 28, 1894 – October 26, 1974   
(aged 79)
January 13, 1947

January 10, 1949
(lost election)
Republican 1946 Paul M. Herbert
57 Frank Lausche 87th Congress 1961 (1).jpg Frank Lausche
    November 14, 1895 – April 21, 1990   
(aged 94)
January 10, 1949

January 3, 1957
(resigned)
Democratic 1948 George D. Nye
1950
1952 John William Brown
1954
58 John W. Brown (Ohio governor).jpg John William Brown
    December 28, 1913 – October 29, 1993   
(aged 79)
January 3, 1957

January 14, 1957
(successor took office)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
59 C. William O'Neill (OH).png C. William O'Neill
    February 14, 1916 – August 20, 1978   
(aged 62)
January 14, 1957

January 12, 1959
(lost election)
Republican 1956 Paul M. Herbert
60 Governor DiSalle.png Michael DiSalle
    January 6, 1908 – September 16, 1981   
(aged 73)
January 12, 1959

January 14, 1963
(lost election)
Democratic 1958
John W. Donahey
61
Jim Rhodes in Bettsville, Ohio October 15, 1981.jpg
Jim Rhodes
    September 13, 1909 – March 4, 2001   
(aged 91)
January 14, 1963

January 11, 1971
(term limited)
Republican 1962 John William Brown
1966
62 John Gilligan (1973).png John J. Gilligan
    March 22, 1921 – August 26, 2013   
(aged 92)
January 11, 1971

January 13, 1975
(lost election)
Democratic 1970
63
Jim Rhodes in Bettsville, Ohio October 15, 1981.jpg
Jim Rhodes
    September 13, 1909 – March 4, 2001   
(aged 91)
January 13, 1975

January 10, 1983
(term limited)
Republican 1974 Dick Celeste
1978 George Voinovich
(resigned November 1979)
Vacant
64 Sam Brown Action (cropped).jpg Dick Celeste
    (1937-11-11) November 11, 1937 (age 85)
January 10, 1983

January 14, 1991
(term limited)
Democratic 1982 Myrl Shoemaker
(died July 30, 1985)
Vacant
1986 Paul Leonard
65 George Voinovich official portrait.jpg George Voinovich
    July 15, 1936 – June 12, 2016   
(aged 79)
January 14, 1991

December 31, 1998
(resigned)
Republican 1990 Mike DeWine
(resigned November 12, 1994)
Vacant
1994 Nancy Hollister
66 Nancy Hollister (Ohio governor).jpg Nancy Hollister
    (1949-05-22) May 22, 1949 (age 73)
December 31, 1998

January 11, 1999
(successor took office)
Republican Succeeded from
Lieutenant
Governor
Vacant
67 Hyland software thirdfrontiersummit 2002 Taft Hyland close cropped (cropped).jpg Bob Taft
    (1942-01-08) January 8, 1942 (age 81)
January 11, 1999

January 8, 2007
(term limited)
Republican 1998 Maureen O'Connor
(resigned December 31, 2002)
Vacant
2002 Jennette Bradley
(resigned January 5, 2005)
Bruce Johnson
(resigned December 8, 2006)
Vacant
68 Tedstrickland (cropped).JPG Ted Strickland
    (1941-08-04) August 4, 1941 (age 81)
January 8, 2007

January 10, 2011
(lost election)
Democratic 2006 Lee Fisher
69 Governor John Kasich.jpg John Kasich
    (1952-05-13) May 13, 1952 (age 70)
January 10, 2011

January 14, 2019
(term limited)
Republican 2010 Mary Taylor
2014
70 Gov-Mike-DeWine (cropped).jpg Mike DeWine
    (1947-01-05) January 5, 1947 (age 76)
January 14, 2019

Incumbent
Republican 2018 Jon A. Husted
2022

Living former governors of Ohio

As of 28 January 2023, there are five living former governors of Ohio, the oldest being Dick Celeste (served 1983–1991, born 1937). The most recent and most recently serving former Governor of Ohio to die was George Voinovich (served 1991–1998, born 1936) on June 12, 2016, aged 79.

Governor Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Dick Celeste 1983–1991 (1937-11-11) November 11, 1937 (age 85)
Ted Strickland 2007–2011 (1941-08-04) August 4, 1941 (age 81)
Bob Taft 1999–2007 (1942-01-08) January 8, 1942 (age 81)
Nancy Hollister 1998–1999 (1949-05-22) May 22, 1949 (age 73)
John Kasich 2011–2019 (1952-05-13) May 13, 1952 (age 70)

See also

  • Ohio gubernatorial elections
  • List of Ohio state legislatures
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