Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky
The office of Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky was created under the state's second constitution, which was ratified in 1799. The inaugural officeholder was Alexander Scott Bullitt, who took office in 1800 following his election to serve under James Garrard in 1799. The lieutenant governor serves as governor of Kentucky under circumstances similar to the Vice President of the United States assuming the powers of the presidency. The current Lieutenant Governor is Democrat Jacqueline Coleman, who has been office since December 10, 2019.
|Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky|
|Term length||Four years, renewable once|
|Inaugural holder||Alexander Scott Bullitt (1800)|
Duties of the Kentucky Lt. Governor
as specified in Kentucky Revised Statute 11.400
11.400 Duties of Lieutenant Governor. (1) In addition to the duties prescribed for the office by the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the duties of the Lieutenant Governor shall be as follows: (a) To serve as vice chairman of the State Property and Buildings Commission as prescribed by KRS 56.450; (b) To serve as vice chairman of the Kentucky Turnpike Authority as prescribed in KRS 175.430; (c) To serve as a member of the Kentucky Council on Agriculture in accordance with KRS 247.417; (d) To appoint one (1) member of the Public Officials' Compensation Commission as provided in KRS 64.742; (e) To serve as a member of the Board of the Kentucky Housing Corporation in accordance with KRS 198A.030; and (f) To serve as a member of Kentucky delegations on the following interstate compact commissions or boards: 1. The Southern Growth Policies Board as prescribed by KRS 147.585; 2. The Breaks Interstate Park Commission as provided in KRS 148.225; 3. The Falls of the Ohio Interstate Park Commission pursuant to KRS 148.242; 4. The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority pursuant to KRS 182.305; 5. The Interstate Water Sanitation Control Commissions as prescribed by KRS 224.18-710; and 6. The Kentucky Mining Advisory Council for the Interstate Mining Compact as provided by KRS 350.310. (2) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the Governor and Lieutenant Governor from agreeing upon additional duties within the executive branch of the state government to be performed by the Lieutenant Governor. Effective: June 26, 2007
Changes by 1992 amendment
The role and powers of the Lieutenant Governor of Kentucky were altered by a 1992 amendment to the Constitution of Kentucky. Prior to that 1992 amendment to the Constitution of Kentucky the lieutenant governor became acting governor at any time that the governor was outside of the commonwealth. Lieutenant governors Thelma Stovall (1975–1979) and Happy Chandler (1931–1935) engaged in high-profile use of their powers as acting governor when the elected governor was out of the commonwealth.
Also prior to the 1992 amendment of the Constitution of Kentucky, the lieutenant governor of Kentucky presided over the Kentucky Senate, casting a vote only in the event of a tie. The 1992 constitutional amendment supplanted the office of President pro tempore of the Kentucky Senate with the new office of President of the Kentucky Senate as presiding officer and abolished the lieutenant governor's duties involving the Senate. As a result, the lieutenant governor has no ongoing constitutional duties, and his or her traditional use of the Old Governor's Mansion as an official residence has been phased out.
Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor in Kentucky run together on party slates. This is the result of the same 1992 constitutional amendment; prior to that the candidates for both offices ran separately and, as a result, sometimes the two elected to those offices were not allies and did not work together. This was famously highlighted when then-Lt. Gov. A. B. "Happy" Chandler in 1935 and then-Lt. Gov. Thelma Stovall in 1978 called the Kentucky General Assembly into session to enact legislation that was not advocated by the governors at the time (Ruby Laffoon and Julian Carroll, respectively). In 1967 a Republican, Louie Nunn, was elected governor and a Democrat, Wendell H. Ford, was elected lieutenant governor; they served together in that way for four years.
List of lieutenant governors
Some accounts also indicate that Kentucky's Confederate government had one lieutenant governor, Horatio F. Simrall, who was elected at the Russellville Convention in 1861. Simrall fled to Mississippi shortly thereafter.
Living former lieutenant governors of Kentucky
As of December 2019, eleven former lieutenant governors were alive, the oldest being Julian Carroll (served 1971–1974, born 1931). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor was that of Wendell H. Ford (served 1967–1971, born 1924), on January 22, 2015. The most recently serving lieutenant governor to die was Thelma Stovall (1975–1979) on February 4, 1994.
|Lt. Governor||Lt. Gubernatorial term||Date of birth (and age)|
|Julian M. Carroll||1971–1974||April 16, 1931|
|Martha Layne Collins||1979–1983||December 7, 1936|
|Steve Beshear||1983–1987||September 21, 1944|
|Brereton C. Jones||1987–1991||June 27, 1939|
|Paul E. Patton||1991–1995||May 26, 1937|
|Steve Henry||1995–2003||October 8, 1953|
|Steve Pence||2003–2007||December 22, 1953|
|Daniel Mongiardo||2007–2011||July 4, 1960|
|Jerry Abramson||2011–2014||September 12, 1946|
|Crit Luallen||2014–2015||July 21, 1952|
|Jenean Hampton||2015–2019||May 12, 1958|