The Lieutenant Governor of Washington is the President of the Senate, and serves the state as acting governor in the absence of the Governor. The Lieutenant Governor, first in line of ascension, is elected to a four-year term, which coincides with the terms of the President of the United States.
Since the beginning of statehood, 15 officials have served in this important state office. Three have ascended on the death of the elected Governor.
Before Washington became a state on November 11, 1889, ten men served as Territorial Secretary of State and held the responsibility to act in the absence of the elected governor, but did not have right of ascension.
Here are the people who have served during the history of the Office of Lieutenant Governor:
Brad Owen Democrat (Incumbent since 1997)
Born in Tacoma on May 23, 1950, Owen served four years as Finance Commissioner for the City of Shelton, six years in the House of Representatives and fourteen years in the Washington State Senate, prior to his 1996 election to the office of Lieutenant Governor. A prominent member of his community, Owen was a small businessman for twenty-two years. Lt. Gov. Owen has dedicated his term of service to providing leadership in the field of public health and safety, with an emphasis on substance abuse and prevention. He is the chair of Washington State Mentors, as well as the chair of the Legislative Committee on Economic Development and International Relations. He serves on the advisory board for the Drug Free America Foundation. He has conducted many foreign trade and goodwill missions and promotes stronger ties among Washington State’s economic and international communities.
Joel Pritchard Republican (served 1989-1997)
Born in Seattle on May 5, 1925, Pritchard was a State Representative for eight years and a State Senator for four years. He served 12 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and was a U.S. Delegate to the General Assembly, United Nations. Pritchard was also President of a Seattle envelope manufacturing company.
John A. Cherberg Democrat (served 1957-1989)
Born in Pensacola, Florida on October 17, 1910, Cherberg was a teacher, football coach and television executive in Washington State before his election. He retired after serving eight consecutive terms, 32 years, the longest tenure as Lieutenant Governor of any state in history. Cherberg was a resident of Seattle.
Born in Tacoma on January 17,
1890, Anderson was a printer before his election. Active in civic and
fraternal affairs, he was Past Exalted Ruler of Elks in his hometown of
Born in Little Falls, Montana on
September 7, 1898, Meyers, of Seattle, was an orchestra leader. He served as
Lieutenant Governor for 20 years and as Secretary of State for eight years
Born in Grass Valley, California on July 6, 1869, Gellatly was a prominent citizen of Wenatchee before his election to one term as Lieutenant Governor.
Born in Ozark Mountains, Missouri on November 11, 1882, Johnson was elected to the Washington State Senate from Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties, 1919-1924. After serving one term as Lieutenant Governor he was elected Superior Court Judge.
Born in Sutter Creek, California on March 18, 1888, Coyle was a lawyer and business man. The Seattle resident served for 15 years as manager of the Seattle Civic Auditorium.
Born in High Point, Missouri on
January 4, 1862, Hart, attorney, was twice elected to the office of Lieutenant
Governor. When Governor Ernest Lister died in February 1919, Hart completed
the term and was then elected to a four-year term.
Born in Adams County, Wisconsin on
December 8, 1865, Hay was a Spokane merchant and landowner. He became Governor
of Washington after only a few months as Lieutenant Governor upon the death of
Governor Samuel G. Cosgrove.
Born in Allegheny County, New York
on March 15, 1842, Coon was a federal and civic official. He served for a time
as Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Treasury and Mayor of Port Townsend. He
also was elected to the House of Representatives from Jefferson County in
Born in Farmington, Utah on February 7, 1856, the teacher and lawyer was the first Lieutenant Governor to succeed when Governor John R. Rogers died December 1901. The LaConner resident served as Superior Court Judge for Skagit and Island Counties.
Born in North Yamhill, Oregon on June 10, 1859, Daniels was an editor and publisher. A resident of Vancouver, he served as State Senator from Clark County.
Born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on May 23, 1859, Luce was a doctor, lawyer and banker. The Davenport resident served as State Senator from Lincoln, Okanogan, Franklin and Adams Counties.
Born in Penobscot County, Maine on June 4, 1846, Laughton, a lawyer, served one term as Lieutenant Governor of Nevada (1882-1886). The Okanogan resident was a Representative from Stevens, Okanogan and Spokane Counties before his election to Lieutenant Governor.