If we skip the three black governors of the Virgin Islands, and only 3, even though they became a US Territory in 1916, at any rate…. Four governors. In over 200 years, in 50 states. It actually mirrors what we see in the Senate. 10 Senators, 4 Governors.
I have found a few articles that talk about this phenomenon, and I will share excerpts here, then give some details into the lives and legacies of our 4 black governors.
Then I’m also going to present some information about the black Lt. Governors that we’ve had. There have been 18 of them, including 4 right now. THREE of them became governor, two due to resignation and Wilder won in popular election. So perhaps they deserve a closer look. If we can have 3 African-Americans in the Senate at one time, perhaps we can have a few more governors.
The Powers of a Governor
States are the primary subdivisions of the United States, and possess a number of powers and rights under the United States Constitution, such as regulating intrastate commerce, running elections, creating local governments, and ratifying constitutional amendments. Each state has its own constitution, grounded in republican principles, and government, consisting of three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial. Also, due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government, Americans are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside.
The governor heads the government’s executive branch in each state or territory and, depending on the individual jurisdiction, may have considerable control over government budgeting, the power of appointment of many officials (including department and agency heads and many judges- in most cases from a list of names submitted by a nominations committee), and a considerable role in legislation. The governor may also have additional roles, such as that of commander-in-chief of the state’s National Guard (when not federalized) and of that state’s respective defense force (which is not subject to federalization). In many states and territories the governor also has partial or absolute power to commute or pardon a criminal sentence. As state leaders, governors advance and pursue new and revised policies and programs using a variety of tools, among them executive orders, executive budgets, and legislative proposals and vetoes. Not only can governors veto state bills, but in all but seven states they have the power of the line-item veto on appropriations bills (a power the President does not have). In some cases legislatures can override a gubernatorial veto by a two-thirds vote, in others by three-fifths.
In all states, the governor is directly elected and serve four-year terms except those in New Hampshire and Vermont, who serve two-year terms.
There have been a total of four black governors. Two who were lieutenant governors and two elected governors.
• P. B. S. Pinchback held the office in Louisiana for 34 days in 1872, stepping in when the incumbent governor faced impeachment.
• Governor Douglas Wilder was the first African-American elected to the office. He served as governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994 .In Virginia, governors are only allowed one term.
• Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts was the second African-American elected to the office. He served as governor of Massachusetts from 1 2007 to 2015.
• Governor David Paterson of New York took office in 2008 after Eliot Spitzer’s resignation. Paterson served for three years, the remainder of Spitzer’s term.
Obstacles to Becoming Governor
So why aren’t there more governors? Here are two reasons.
• “‘Representing a primarily black constituency sets you on a political path that makes it hard to recalibrate for a statewide race,’ It’s a challenge for Black gubernatorial candidates playing the balancing act between Black voter expectations and needs, and building a multi-cultural coalition”. There is a traditional need for black candidates to establish an identity in liberal, majority-black districts while courting a white, less-liberal base by incorporating conservative tendencies or associations. However, if they gain traction wit this larger audience and seek statewide or higher office, they commonly have to distance themselves from their Black-liberal foundation to forge a successful political identity that “transcends race.”
• ‘As long as minority congressional members represent districts that tend to be lower income, then your funding base is going to be smaller, which will put you at a dollar disadvantage when you want to run for statewide office. Also, the Democratic party commonly throws less of a party for its African-American statewide office seekers. “State Democratic parties don’t seem all that inclined to either groom, support or encourage Black Statewide nominees, even in states with large concentrations of Black voters, and a high coalition-building potential that would make a black gubernatorial candidate much more competitive.
The Four Governors
P.B.S. Pinchback (R-LA) was born 5/10/1837, as a free man, in Macon Georgia, to a white planter who raised Pinchback as his son. After his death, Pinchback and his mother fled to Ohio. During the Civil War, Pinchback went to Louisiana, in Union-occupied New Orleans, to raise troops. In 1868, he served in the State Senate, became President pro tempore; at the time Louisiana’s state senate included 42 representatives of African-American descent (half of the House, and seven of 36 seats in the Senate). then acting lieutenant governor upon the death of Oscar Dunn, the first elected African-American lieutenant governor of a US state. When the governor was impeached Pinchback served as governor. He also won the US Senate seat in 1872 but wasn’t seated. Overall, the mid- to late 1870s marked an acceleration of the reversal of the political gains which African Americans in Louisiana had achieved since the end of the Civil War. In 1877, Democrats fully regained control of the state legislature after the withdrawal of federal troops, as a result of a national Democratic compromise marking the end of Reconstruction. Republican blacks continued to be elected to state and local offices, but elections were accompanied by violence and fraud. Most blacks were totally disfranchised by a new state constitution in 1898 and were effectively excluded from politics for decades.
Douglas Wilder (D-VA) was born in 1/17/1931 in Richmond, VA, the grandson of slaves. He graduated from Virginia Union University, served in the Army during the Korean war, then earned a law degree from Howard University and practiced Law. He was elected to the Virginia Senate from 1969-1986, won the Lieutenant governor’s race, serving from 1986-1990. Wilder was the first African American to win a statewide election in Virginia. Aware that he needed to reach the swath of the state’s majority-white electorate, Wilder had undertaken a two-month “back roads” campaign tour of the state, visiting Virginia’s predominantly rural central and western regions and enhancing his name recognition across the state., then ran and won the governorship in 1990, winning by a spread of less than half a percent. The narrow victory margin prompted a recount, which reaffirmed Wilder’s election. Some observers believed the close election was caused by the Bradley effect, and suggested that white voters were reluctant to tell pollsters that they did not intend to vote for Wilder.
During his tenure as governor, Wilder worked on crime and gun control initiatives. He also worked to fund Virginia’s transportation initiatives, effectively lobbying Congress to reallocate highway money to the states with the greatest needs. Much residential and office development had taken place in Northern Virginia without its receiving sufficient federal money for infrastructure improvements to keep up. He also succeeded in passing state bond issues to support improving transportation. In May 1990 Wilder ordered state agencies and universities to divest themselves of any investments in South Africa because of its policy of apartheid, making Virginia the first Southern state to take such action.
During his term, Wilder carried out Virginia’s law on capital punishment, although he had stated his personal opposition to the death penalty. There were 14 executions by the electric chair, including the controversial case of Roger Keith Coleman. In January 1994 Wilder commuted the sentence of Earl Washington, Jr, an intellectually disabled man, to life in prison based on testing of DNA evidence that raised questions about his guilt. Virginia law has strict time limits on when such new evidence can be introduced post-conviction. But in 2000, under a new governor, an STR-based DNA test led to the exclusion of Washington as the perpetrator of the murder for which he had been sentenced. He was fully exonerated by Governor Jim Gilmore for the capital murder and he was released from prison. As Virginia only allows one term, Wilder moved on from the governorship as mayor of Richmond, then retired from politics. He briefly made news for not supporting Obama in the 2012 election, stating his term had been a disappointment.
Deval Patrick (D-MA), the third black governor, was born in 7/31/1956 on the South Side of Chicago. He attended Harvard and Harvard Law School. After graduating, he practiced law with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and later joined a Boston law firm, where he was named a partner, at age 34. In 1994, Bill Clinton appointed him as the United States assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the United States Department of Justice, Deval became governor in 2007 and served for 8 years. During his governorship, Patrick oversaw the implementation of the state’s 2006 health care reform program which had been enacted under Mitt Romney; increased funding to education and life sciences; won a federal Race to the Top education grant; passed an overhaul of governance of the state transportation function, signing a law to create the Massachusetts Department of Transportation; increased the state sales tax from 5% to 6.25%; and raised the state’s minimum wage from $8 per hour to $11 per hour by 2017. In 2010, Patrick pushed for legislation to limit the purchase of firearms, citing a series of gun violence incidents and violent crime in Boston Drug addiction: In September 2014, Patrick signed a law requiring health insurers to extend coverage to people struggling with drug addiction by covering up to two weeks of inpatient treatment Under Patrick, Massachusetts joined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in an effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and the planned introduction of casinos in Massachusetts. He argued that these casinos would generate over $2 billion for the state economy. He also touted that the casinos would create 30,000 construction jobs and 20,000 permanent jobs.
Patrick proposed that the revenue generated would be spent to beef up local law enforcement, create a state gambling regulatory agency, repair roads and bridges, gambling addiction treatment and the remainder would go towards property tax relief.[
David Paterson (D-NY), born 5.20.1954, was born in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of three months, Paterson contracted an ear infection that spread to his optic nerve, leaving him sightless in his left eye and severely limited vision in his right. Paterson received a B.A. degree in history from Columbia College of Columbia University in 1977 and a J.D. degree from Hofstra Law School in 1983. However, he was unable to pass the bar due to his limited vision and lack of accommodation from the New York bar.
Paterson campaigned for David Dinkins, then won a seat in the State Senate. He served between 1985 – 2006. Paterson was elected by the Democratic caucus of the Senate as Minority Leader on November 20, 2002, becoming both the first non-white state legislative leader and the highest-ranking black elected official in the history of New York State, He was elected lieutenant governor in 2006. Paterson was a very active lieutenant governor. During his time as lieutenant governor, Paterson also served as an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School for International and Public Affairs. When Spitzer resigned in the wake of a prostitution scandal, Paterson was sworn in as governor of New York on March 17, 2008.
Paterson ascended to the governor’s office during the busiest legislative period of the year. The state is required by law to pass its budget prior to April 1. He had only two weeks to negotiate with lawmakers a proposal to close a $4.7 billion deficit and pass a $124 billion budget from the Spitzer administration. On Tuesday, July 29, 2008, Paterson gave a rare televised address that was broadcast on all of New York’s major news networks, stating that the state budget deficit had gone up $1.4 billion over the 90 days since his original budget submission, citing rising costs due to the poor economy and a struggling Wall Street. He also warned that the budget deficit is estimated to grow 22 percent by 2011. With AIG on the verge of collapse on September 16, 2008, and in the aftermath of Lehman Brothers filing for bankruptcy, Paterson publicly lobbied for a government bailout of the insurance giant.
Although Paterson is a lifelong Democrat who was considered a liberal during his time in the state Senate, he earned praise from conservatives during his time as governor for his efforts to combat the 2008 New York fiscal crisis by major reductions in spending and the enaction of an inflation-indexed property tax cap, a school tax “circuit breaker,” and unfunded mandate relief, as well as his appointment of Blue Dog Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand to the United States Senate to fill the vacancy created by Hillary Clinton’s appointment as United States Secretary of State.
A lieutenant governor in the United States is the highest officer of a state after the governor, and he/she stands in for the governor when he/ she is absent from the state or is incapacitated–dies, resigns or is removed from office. Many states have lieutenant governors with varying functions and methods of succession. With few exceptions, the lieutenant governor automatically becomes governor by law, appointment or as acting governor until the next or special election. There have been 18 Black lieutenant governors in the U.S.; some ascended to become governors and others were elected as lieutenant governors. During the 19th century, they were all Republicans and three of the five were from Louisiana. In the 20th century, there were four and were all Democrats. And thus far in the 21st century, there have been nine. Three of the have been from the state of Maryland.
The type of relationship between the governor and the lieutenant governor greatly varies by state. In some states the governor and lieutenant governor are completely independent of each other, while in others the governor gets to choose (prior to the election) who would be his or her lieutenant governor.
• Five states do not have a lieutenant governor. In those states, a different constitutional officer assumes the office of the governor should there be a vacancy in the office. Those states are Arizona (Sec. of State), Maine (Pres. of Senate), New Hampshire (Pres. of Senate), Oregon (Sec. of State), and Wyoming (Sec. of State).
• Eighteen states have separate elections for the governor and the lieutenant governor, which may lead to the governor and the lieutenant governor being from different parties. Those states are Alabama, Arkansas, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and Washington.
• Two states have the State Senate appoint the lieutenant governor, which may mean that the governor and the lieutenant governor are from different parties. Those states are Tennessee and West Virginia.
• Eight states have the governor and lieutenant governor run together on the same ticket, but the governor does not get to choose his/her running mate. In those states, the winners of the governor primaries and the winners of the lieutenant governor primaries run together as joint tickets in the general election. The governor and lieutenant governor would therefore be from the same party, but may not necessarily be political allies. Those states are Alaska, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Connecticut, and Wisconsin.
• Seventeen states have the governor and lieutenant governor run together on the same ticket similar to the President and Vice President of the United States. In those states, the governor gets to pick (prior to the elections) who would be the lieutenant governor. Those states are Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Utah.
The Eighteen Lieutenant Governors
1. Oscar Dunn of Louisiana in 1868-1871 – Louisiana has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Dunn was elected in his own right.
2. Alonzo Ransier of South Carolina: 1870-1872 South Carolina has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Ransier was elected in his own right.
3. Pinckney Pinchback of Louisiana: 1871-1872 Louisiana has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Pinchback was elected in his own right.
4. Richard Gleaves of South Carolina: 1872-1876 South Carolina has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Gleaves was elected in his own right.
5. Caesar Antoine of Louisiana: 1873-1877 Louisiana has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Antoine was elected in his own right.
6. Mervyn Dymally of California: 1975-1979 California has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Dymally was elected in his own right.
7. George Brown of Colorado: 1975-1979 Colorado has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
8. Douglas Wilder of Virginia 1986-1990 Virginia has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Wilder was elected in his own right.
9. Joe Rogers of Colorado: 1999-2003 Colorado has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
10. Jennette Bradley of Ohio 2003-2005 Ohio has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
11. Michael Steele of Maryland 2003-2007 Maryland has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
12. David Paterson of New York 2007-2008 Paterson won his primary, and ended up on a joint ticket.
13. Anthony Brown of Maryland 2007-2015 Maryland has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
14. Jennifer Carroll of Florida 2011-2013 Florida has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
15. Boyd Rutherford of Maryland 2015-present Maryland has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
16. Jenean Hampton of Kentucky 2015-present Kentucky has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
17. Justin Fairfax of Virginia 2018 to present Virginia has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Dunn was elected in his own right
18. Sheila Oliver of New Jersey 2018 to present New Jersey has a joint ticket – the gubernatorial candidate picks his running mate.
Oscar J. Dunn was the first Black lieutenant governor in the U.S.; he was elected in the state of Louisiana and served from 1868 to 1871. Dunn was a self-educated man who rose from slavery and purchased his own freedom. He also served in Union Army for the First Louisiana Guard during the Civil War and rose to the rank of captain. He played a vital role in the post- Civil War era in Louisiana speaking at mass meetings where he would demand equality and suffrage for Blacks particularly in the state government. Dunn was one of the Blacks who attended the convention that drafted Louisiana’s constitution in 1868 and was elected lieutenant governor on the Republican ticket. He presided over the senate and developed a distaste for graft and corruption in office, which placed him in a strong position to become the next governor of the state. However in 1871, Dunn died suddenly and mysteriously after serving three years in office.
Though,Pinckney Benton Stewart “P.B.S” Pinchback is remembered as the nation’s first Black governor, upon Dunn’s death, Pinchback became acting lieutenant- governor of Louisiana. (Like Dunn, he too was a captain in the U.S. Army and after the war became active in the Republican Party, attended the 1868 convention and was elected state senator).
During the same period, Alonzo J. Ransier–born a free Black man–became a shipping clerk before being appointed the state registrar of elections in South Carolina in 1865. The following year, he attended the state’s first Republican convention which helped to establish its first racially integrated government. Ransier also held a series of political posts during the Reconstruction era including state representative before being elected lieutenant-governor in 1870. There he served for two years and was then elected a Republican Congressman. He served in Congress from 1873 to 1875 fighting tirelessly for civil rights.
Caesar Carpenter “C.C.” Antoine was born in New Orleans to a Black father and a West Indian mother. His grandmother was from Africa, the daughter of a captured African chief, who bought her own freedom and became an acute businesswoman. Her minor fortune allowed Antoine and his father to operate a successful grocery business and to live out their lives as free Blacks. During the Civil War, he joined the Union Army and quickly rose to the rank of Captain. At the end of the Civil War, Antoine moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, opened a family grocery store, bought land and became a farmer. He soon entered politics and held his first office as a delegate to Louisiana’s Constitutional Convention in 1868. Under the protection of federal troops, black voting rights were established and Antoine became a Republican state senator serving from 1868 to 1872. He then became lieutenant-governor in 1872–briefly acting as governor in 1876–until 1877. His tenure ended soon after the Compromise of 1877 which withdrew federal troops from Louisiana, allowing the Democrats to return to power. Though he remained active in party politics, he never again held public office. In 1921, Antoine died of natural causes at his home in Shreveport.
In 1974, George L. Brown and Mervyn M. Dymally were the first two lieutenant-governors elected in 20th century in Colorado and California respectively. Brown was born in July 1926, in Lawrence, Kansas, on a farm and he was a star athlete in basketball, football and track before graduating from high school in 1944. During World War II, he served as a Tuskegee Airman. Though they were sworn in within an hour of each other in 1975, their beginnings were miles apart. Dymally was born in Cedros, Trinidad, an island/country in the then British West Indies.
They both started off with degrees in journalism. Brown also did graduate work at Harvard Business School, the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. He worked as a writer, was the first Black editor at The Denver Post and hosted his own radio talk show. Brown served as the assistant executive director for Denver’s Public Housing Program for four years and taught at the University of Colorado and the University of Denver. Brown started in politics in 1955 as a member of the Colorado House of Representatives and the state senate where he served a total of 18 years. Then in 1974, during his 5th term as a state senator, he was elected as lieutenant-governor, the first in the nation in the 20th century.
Dymally received his secondary education in Trinidad, did his undergraduate at Lincoln University, Jefferson City, Missouri and Los Angeles State College, his Master’s degree from California State University, Sacramento, and his doctorate from United States International University (now Alliant International University), San Diego. He entered politics as a California State Assemblyman in 1963 and as the first Black State Senator (1967-1975). In 1974, he was elected as California’s first Black lieutenant-governor. He also served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1981-1993) and after a 10-year retirement, returned to politics as a California State Assemblyman (2002-2008).
Brown and Dymally’s careers as lieutenant-governors seemed to have traveled parallel historical paths. In addition to the close proximity of them being elected and sworn in, they each served one torturous and embattled four-year term.
L. Douglas Wilder is well known as the first Black governor to ever be elected the governor of a U.S. state; he served as governor of Virginia from 1990 to 1994. Born January 17, 1931, he began his career in politics as a state senator in 1969 where he served until 1985 when he was narrowly elected as the state’s lieutenant-governor, the first African-American to be elected to a statewide office.
In 2003 at the dawn of the 21st century, Jennette Bradley of Ohio and Michael S. Steele of Maryland became lieutenant-governors of their respective states. Bradley was not only was the first African American to serve in that capacity in her state, but she was also the first Black woman ever elected as lieutenant-governor in the history of the United States. Steele was the first African American to be elected in that capacity in his state. They were both Republicans.
Bradley earned a Bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio and started her career as an executive at a banking company. She entered the political arena as a member of the city council of Columbus, Ohio, where she served for 11 years.
In 2002, Governor Bob Taft of Ohio placed Bradley on his gubernatorial ticket as lieutenant-governor since his previous lieutenant-governor decided to run for another officer. That move sparked protests from his own party on the grounds that Bradley was too liberal, having supported abortion and homosexual rights. However, the ticket prevailed. From 2003 to 2005, she and Steele were the two highest-ranking African American Republicans in the United States.
Born in 1958 at Andrews Air Force Base, Steele attended a Roman Catholic school in the Washington D.C. area eventually winning a scholarship to John Hopkins University. He later on earned a law degree at Georgetown University and worked as a corporate lawyer through much of his career before entering politics. Though he grew up in a Democratic household, he switched to the Republican Party as an adult. Steele worked on several political campaigns until he was chosen to attend the Republican National Conventions as an alternate delegate in 1996 and 2000. He also became the chairman of the Maryland Republican Party, the first African American to be so named.
In 2002, Steele was chosen as a running mate and nominee for Lieutenant Governor in the campaign against Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, who was then the Lieutenant Governor of Maryland. He resigned his chairmanship of the Maryland Republican Party to campaign full-time and was described as bringing “little to the team but the color of his skin.”
The top statewide tickets in Ohio and Maryland won, and Bradley and Steele were elected lieutenant-governors of their respective states. Like Brown and Dymally in 1975, they were both sworn in, in 2003. Bradley was sworn in on January 13, 2003 and Steele, on January 15, 2003. She served from 2003 to 2005, resigning in 2005 to become Ohio State Treasurer. Afterwards, Bradley became involved with the Girl Scouts Council.
Steele served from 2003 to 2007. Since leaving office, he remained active in Republican politics. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate seat for Maryland and is currently serving as the first African American chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Anthony G. Brown, currently in the House of Representatives, was the lieutenant-governor of Maryland having succeeded Steele. A member of the Democratic Party, he was elected in 2006 and was sworn in the following January. Brown was born in New York and is the highest-ranking elected official in the nation to have served a tour of duty in Iraq. He is a 25-year veteran of the U.S. Army and a colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.
He attended public school on Long Island, graduating from Huntington High School in 1979. After high school, Brown attended Harvard College, where he enrolled in the U.S. Army ROTC program at MIT. Brown spent five years in active duty with the U.S. Army before enrolling in Harvard Law School, where he was a year behind President Barack Obama.
Brown first entered politics when he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1998 representing Prince George’s County District 25. There he focused heavily on veterans-oriented issues and legislation. He ran on the gubernatorial ticket in 2007 and won defeating the incumbent(s). He was sworn in as the state’s 8th lieutenant-governor on January 17, 2008,
David A. Paterson was the governor of the state of New York. He ascended to that position in 2008 when the governor resigned and he was the lieutenant-governor. The son of a former N.Y. state senator, Paterson brought to both the governor’s and lieutenant-governor’s offices, a long record of effective leadership and public service making history among Black elected officials in the State of New York. He entered public service as a New York State Senator representing Harlem in 1985 becoming its Minority Leader and the first non-White legislative leader in New York’s history. In 2004, he became the first visually impaired person to address the Democratic National Convention and in 2006, he was elected New York’s first African-American lieutenant governor. As lieutenant-governor, he continued to champion the important legislative issues that he did as a state senator including stem cell research, alternative energy, reducing domestic violence and increasing the role minority and women-owned businesses play in New York State. When he was on the threshold of becoming the state’s first Black governor, he told a New York newspaper, “You never get to any level of leadership where your race is not a factor. You don’t want to be the first; you want to be the first of many.”
Jennifer Carroll of Florida served a lieutenant governor between 2011-2013. Carroll is the first black person to be elected to a statewide office in Florida since Reconstruction. Carroll was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She moved to the United States at the age of eight. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1979. In 1981, she received an Associate of Arts degree from Leeward Community College. She followed this in 1985 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science from the University of New Mexico. She moved to Florida in 1986. She received a Master of Business Administration degree from unaccredited and now defunct Kensington University in 1995. She retired from the U.S. Navy in 1999 as a lieutenant commander. Carroll previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2003 until 2010. Although cleared later, Carroll came under scrutiny for public relations work for a charity that involved itself in gambling and for $24,000 in income she failed to report on financial disclosure forms and her federal taxes that was a bookkeeper’s oversight she fixed during the investigation. She resigned her post as lieutenant governor on March 12, 2013, at the request of Governor Rick Scott. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement subsequently concluded that she did not break any laws.
Boyd Rutherford of Maryland 2015-present . Rutherford was born in Washington, DC. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from Howard University, which he earned in 1979. In 1990, Rutherford earned both a law degree and a master’s degree in communications management from the University of Southern California. Although Rutherford had never previously run for elective office, he has experience in both state and federal government. Rutherford was nominated by President George W. Bush to serve as Associate Administrator in the U.S. General Services Administration, serving from 2001 to 2003. Rutherford then joined the administration of Governor Bob Ehrlich, serving as the Secretary of General Services from 2003 to 2006. He was again appointed by President Bush to serve as Assistant Secretary for Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he served from 2006 to 2009. Rutherford is the third consecutive African American elected to the office of Lieutenant Governor in Maryland. While Governor Larry Hogan was going through treatment for lymphoma, Rutherford often acted as governor.
Jenean Hampton of Kentucky 2015-present Hampton is the first African-American to hold any statewide office in Kentucky history, and only the third African-American woman to serve as lieutenant-governor of any U.S. state (after Jennette Bradley and Jennifer Carroll). Hampton was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. After Hampton graduated from high school, she worked for five years in the automotive industry in order to help pay for her college. She earned an Industrial Engineering degree from Wayne State University in 1985. Soon after graduating from Wayne State University, Hampton joined the Air Force. She served for seven years as a computer systems officer, eventually attaining the rank of Captain. She was deployed to Operation Desert Storm in Saudi Arabia. After serving in the Air Force, Hampton spent nineteen years working in the corrugated packaging industry. Hampton has been active in her local party and in the Tea Party Movement. Hampton was selected by Matt Bevin as his running mate for Governor of Kentucky. On November 3, 2015 Bevin and Hampton defeated the Democratic ticket of Attorney General Jack Conway and State Representative Sannie Overly in the 2015 Kentucky gubernatorial election.
Justin Fairfax of Virginia 2018 to present Virginia has separate elections for governor and lieutenant governor – Fairfax was elected in his own right. Fairfax moved with his family from Pittsburgh to northeast Washington, D.C. when he was five years old. Fairfax graduated from Duke University in 2000, with a degree in public policy. He served on the staff of the Senate Judiciary Committee for two years before attending Columbia Law School, where he was a member of the Columbia Law Review. Fairfax then served as law clerk to Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2005. He worked in the Washington office of the law firm WilmerHale before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia in 2010. Fairfax worked for two years as a federal prosecutor in Alexandria, Virginia. He served as deputy coordinator of the Northern Virginia Human Trafficking Task Force during this time.
Fairfax ran for public office for the first time in 2013, seeking the Democratic nomination for state attorney general. He lost to Mark Herring, but surprised party insiders with his strong performance in the primary. After the race, Fairfax co-chaired the 2014 re-election campaign of Virginia Senator Mark Warner. The following year, he was recruited to work at the law firm of Venable LLP, In 2017, Fairfax ran for Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. Fairfax won the Democratic nomination and defeated Republican nominee Jill Vogel, a state senator from Fauquier County in the general election. Fairfax is only the second African-American in Virginia history to be elected to statewide office . The lieutenant governor’s position is part-time; Fairfax initially planned to continue his law practice while in office, but announced in December 2017 that he will be leaving his firm.
Sheila Oliver of New Jersey – 2018 to present. Oliver was born and grew up in Newark. She graduated cum laude with a B.A. from Lincoln University in 1974 in Sociology and was awarded an M.S. from Columbia University in Planning and Administration in 1976. She served on the Board of Education of the East Orange School District from 1994 to 2000. In 1997, she became the first woman to launch a competitive campaign for mayor in the City of East Orange, losing the election by a mere 51 votes. Oliver was one of the founders of the Newark Coalition for Low Income Housing, an organization that successfully sued the Newark Housing Authority and the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development in federal court to block the demolition of all publicly subsidized low income housing in Newark, as there was no plan in place for the construction of replacement housing for low-income Newark residents. in 2003, Oliver was chosen to be the party-backed candidates in the June 2003 primary election for General Assembly from the 34th District. Until she ran for lieutenant governor, she had been re-elected six times to two-year terms in every cycle after her initial election in 2003. On November 23, 2009, Oliver was elected unanimously by Assembly Democrats to become the 169th Speaker of the Assembly. In July 2017, Phil Murphy chose Oliver as his running mate on the Democratic ticket for the governor’s race. After winning the election Murphy announced he would appoint Oliver to serve as Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, a cabinet appointment, made under a provision of the New Jersey Constitution that allows the governor to appoint his lieutenant governor to a cabinet post without requiring the approval of the New Jersey Senate.