Governor of Indiana

Governor of Indiana

The Governor of Indiana is the chief executive officer of the government of Indiana. Elected to a four year term, the Governor is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day management of the functions of the state government. In 2008, Republican Mitch Daniels was the 49th Governor.



The Governor of Indiana has wide ranging executive authority to manage the government of the state and is the chief executive of the Executive Branch of the state government. These powers are established in the Constitution of Indiana.cite web|url=|title=Consitution of Indiana, Article Five|publisher=Indiana University|accessdate=2008-07-23] The Governor works in concert with the Indiana General Assembly and the Supreme Court of Indiana to govern the state. As an independent branch, the governor has the ability to balance the other branches. Among these abilities is the power to veto legislation passed by the General Assembly. If vetoed, a bill is returned to the General Assembly for reconsideration where they may override the veto with a super majority. The Governor also has the ability to call a special session of the General Assembly, who can otherwise not assemble longer than is permitted by the constitution.

The Governor can influence the courts by using the appointment power. The Judicial Nominating Commission creates a list of three candidates from which the Governor chooses one who will serve on the state courts. This authority give the Governor considerable sway in setting the makeup of the judiciary.

Among his other powers, the Governor can call out the state defense force or the Indiana National Guard in times of emergency or disaster. The Governor is also charged with the enforcement of all the state's laws and the Indiana Code which is carried out through the Indiana State Police. The Governor also has the ability to pardon or commute the sentence of any criminal offenders except in cases of treason or impeachment.


To become Governor of Indiana, a candidate must have been a United States Citizen and lived within Indiana for a period of five consecutive years. The candidate must also be at least thirty years old when sworn into office. The Governor may not hold any other state or federal office during his term, and must resign from any such position before being eligible to be sworn in as Governor. Before taking the office, the candidate must swear an Oath of Office administered by the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, promising to uphold the constitution and laws of Indiana.

Term limits

Once elected, a Governor serves a four-year term beginning on the date he is sworn into office. He remains Governor until his successor takes the oath office and ends his term. The Governor's term can be short if he resigns, dies, become incapacitated or impeached. There is no limit to how many terms a Governor may serve, however the Governor is limited to only serving two consecutive terms at a time. To be eligible to run for a third term, the Governor would have to sit out for one election period.


If the Governor becomes incapacitated then the Lieutenant Governor of Indiana becomes acting-Governor until his recovery. If the Governor resigns, dies, or is impeached, tried, and convicted, then the Lieutenant Governor becomes Governor. If the office of the Lieutenant Governor is vacant, then the Senate Pro-Tempore becomes Governor. If the office of Senate Pro-Tempore is also vacant then the Senate must elect a new Pro-Tempore to fill the Governor's office.


The Governor maintains an office of the first floor of the Indiana Statehouse in Indianapolis and from there he manages all the of state's agencies. He shares the building with the Indiana General Assembly and the Supreme Court of Indiana. The other elected executive officers, including the Attorney General and the Lieutenant Governor, are also located in the statehouse, but most of the state's bureaus are located in the state office building. Traditionally, the Governor lives in the Indiana Governor's Residence, also located in Indianapolis; however, the Daniels family maintains their private home, using the Governor's Residence only for official functions.


The first Governor of Indiana, Jonathan Jennings, was elected in August 1816 and assumed office in December of that year. The first capital was in Corydon, and the first three governors maintained homes and offices there. The capital was moved to Indianapolis in December 1824. Governors originally served three-years terms until the constitution was replaced in 1851. The 1851 constitution extended terms to four years but banned governors from serving consecutive terms. The constitution was amended again in 1978 to allow governors to serve consecutive terms but limiting them to two at a time.

There have been forty-nine Governors of Indiana as of 2008. Republicans and Democrats have each held the position twenty-one times. Four have died while in office and seven have resigned from office. Ten Lieutenant Governors have succeed to become Governor. James B. Ray has been the only Senate Pro-Tempore to assume the office of Governor.

Jonathan Jennings was the only Governor to have impeachment proceedings brought against him, in response to his actions as acting as an agent of the federal government during the negotiations of the Treaty of St. Mary's in 1819, illegal under Indiana's constitution. The evidence of his role was destroyed and after two months of investigation the proceeding were dropped. [cite book|url=|title=Biographical and Historical Sketches of Early Indiana|author=Woollen, William Wesley|publisher=Ayer Publishing|year=1975|isbn=0405068964|pages=37]

ee also

*List of Governors of Indiana
*Indiana Governor's Residence
*Lieutenant Governor of Indiana
*Government of Indiana
*Indiana gubernatorial election, 2008


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