The Governor of Michigan is the chief executive of the U.S. State of Michigan. The current Governor is Rick Snyder, a member of the Republican Party.
The Governor of Michigan traditionally receives the courtesy title of His/Her Excellency. More commonly, the governor, as with other elected state office-holders, is addressed as The Honorable (abbreviated to Hon. or Hon'ble) for life.
Gubernatorial elections and term of office
From statehood until the election of 1966, governors were elected to two-year terms. Elections are held in November and the governor assumes office the following January, except in the case of death or resignation. From statehood until 1851, elections were held in odd-numbered years. A new state constitution was drafted in 1850 and took effect in 1851. As part of the process bringing the constitution into effect, there was a single one-year term of governor in 1851. Thereafter elections were held on even years.
The constitution adopted in 1963 changed the governor's term to four years, starting in 1967. Since then, gubernatorial elections have been offset by two years from U.S. Presidential elections (e.g., Presidential elections were in 2000 and 2004, gubernatorial elections were in 1998 and 2002). The winner of the gubernatorial election takes office at noon on January 1 of the year following the election.
In 1992, an amendment to the Michigan constitution imposed a lifetime term limit of two four-year terms for the office of governor. Prior to this, they were not limited as to how many terms they could serve; John Engler, the governor at the time, served three terms as his first term occurred prior to the restriction. Engler was reelected in 1994 and 1998 before being term limited in 2002.
History of the office
Forty-eight people have been governors of the state. Prior to statehood, there were five governors of the Michigan Territory. Stevens T. Mason, Michigan's first governor, also served as a territorial governor. He was elected governor at age 24 as a member of the Democratic Party (United States) in 1835 and served until 1840. Mason was the youngest state governor in United States history.
Jennifer Granholm became the first female Governor of Michigan on January 1, 2003, when she succeeded John Engler; she served for 8 years, until January 1, 2011.
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