Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
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Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Lieutenant Governor of Vermont
Coat of arms of Vermont.svg
Coat of Arms of Vermont
Lt Gov David Zuckerman (cropped).jpg
David Zuckerman

since January 5, 2017
Term lengthTwo years, no term limit
Inaugural holderJonathan Hunt
Formation1791; Constitution of Vermont
SuccessionEvery two years, unless re-elected.

The Lieutenant Governor of Vermont is elected for a two-year term and chosen separately from the Governor. The Vermont Lieutenant Governor's main responsibilities include acting as governor when the latter is out of state or incapacitated, presiding over the Vermont Senate, casting tie-breaking votes in the Senate when required, and acceding to the governorship in case of a vacancy.[1][2][3]. As a member of the State Senate's Committee on Committees, the Lieutenant Governor of Vermont plays a role in determining committee assignments for individual Senators, as well as selecting committee chairmen, vice chairmen, and clerks.[4][5][6]

Mountain rule

From the founding of the Republican Party in the 1850s until the 1960s only Republicans won general elections for Vermont's statewide offices. One method that made this possible was imposition of the "Mountain Rule." Under the provisions of the Mountain Rule, one U.S. Senator was a resident of the east side of the Green Mountains and one resided on the west side, and the governorship and lieutenant governorship alternated between residents of the east and west side. Nominees for governor and lieutenant governor were allowed two one-year terms, and later one two-year term. For nearly 100 years likely Republican candidates for office in Vermont agreed to abide by the Mountain Rule in the interests of party unity. Several factors led to the eventual weakening of the Mountain Rule, including: the longtime political dispute between the Proctor (conservative) and Aiken-Gibson (liberal) wings of the party; primaries rather than conventions to select nominees; the direct election of U.S. Senators; and several active third parties, including the Progressives, the Prohibition Party, and the Local Option movement. In the 1960s the rise of the Vermont Democratic Party and the construction of Interstate 89 also contributed to the end of the Mountain Rule. Though I-89 is a north-south route, it traverses Vermont from east to west and changed the way Vermonters view how the state is divided.[7][8]


Vermont has no provision for filling the lieutenant governor's office in the event of a vacancy,[9] and it has been vacant four times.[10]Thomas Chittenden died in August 1797 while serving as governor, and Lieutenant Governor Paul Brigham served until the end of Chittenden's term in October.[10] Brigham, the winner of that year's September election for lieutenant governor, began his new term in October and was succeeded as governor by Isaac Tichenor.[10] In February 1870, Governor Peter T. Washburn died and George Whitman Hendee became governor.[10] The lieutenant governor's office remained vacant until George N. Dale, the winner of that September's election, took office in October.[10] In January 1950, Governor Ernest W. Gibson Jr. resigned and Harold J. Arthur became governor.[10] The lieutenant governor's office was vacant until Joseph B. Johnson, the winner of the 1950 election, took office in January 1951.[10] In August 1991, Governor Richard A. Snelling died and Howard Dean succeeded him.[9] The lieutenant governorship remained vacant until Snelling's widow Barbara, the winner of the 1992 election, took office in January 1993.[11]


Here is a list of lieutenant governors of Vermont in chronological order:[12][13]

As the independent Vermont Republic

# Name Party Term Governor(s) served under
1 Joseph Marsh -- 1778-1779 Thomas Chittenden
2 Benjamin Carpenter -- 1779-1781 Thomas Chittenden
3 Elisha Payne -- 1781-1782 Thomas Chittenden
4 Paul Spooner -- 1782-1787 Thomas Chittenden
5 Joseph Marsh -- 1787-1790 Moses Robinson
6 Peter Olcott -- 1790-1794 Thomas Chittenden

As the U.S. state of Vermont


  Democratic (6)   Democratic-Republican (5)   Federalist (1)   Republican/National Union (57)   Whig/National Republican/Anti-Masonic (10)   Progressive (1)

# Name Party Term Governor(s) served under
1 Jonathan Hunt -- 1794-1796 Thomas Chittenden
2 Paul Brigham Democratic-Republican 1796-1813 Thomas Chittenden
Isaac Tichenor
Israel Smith
Isaac Tichenor
Jonas Galusha
3 William Chamberlain Federalist 1813-1815 Martin Chittenden
4 Paul Brigham Democratic-Republican 1815-1820 Jonas Galusha
5 William Cahoon Democratic-Republican 1820-1822 Richard Skinner
6 Aaron Leland Democratic-Republican 1822-1827 Richard Skinner
Cornelius P. Van Ness
Ezra Butler
7 Henry Olin Democratic-Republican 1827-1830 Ezra Butler
8 Mark Richards National Republican 1830-1831 Samuel C. Crafts
9 Lebbeus Egerton Anti-Masonic 1831-1835 William A. Palmer
10 Silas H. Jennison Whig / Anti-Masonic 1835-1836 Silas H. Jennison
11 David M. Camp Whig 1836-1841 Silas H. Jennison
12 Waitstill R. Ranney Whig 1841-1843 Charles Paine
13 Horace Eaton Whig 1843-1846 John Mattocks
William Slade
14 Leonard Sargeant Whig 1846-1848 Horace Eaton
15 Robert Pierpoint Whig 1848-1850 Carlos Coolidge
16 Julius Converse Whig 1850-1852 Charles K. Williams
17 William C. Kittredge Whig 1852-1853 Erastus Fairbanks
18 Jefferson P. Kidder Democratic 1853-1854 John S. Robinson
19 Ryland Fletcher Republican 1854-1856 Stephen Royce
20 James M. Slade Republican 1856-1858 Ryland Fletcher
21 Burnham Martin Republican 1858-1860 Hiland Hall
22 Levi Underwood Republican 1860-1862 Hiland Hall
Erastus Fairbanks
23 Paul Dillingham Republican / National Union 1862-1865 Frederick Holbrook
J. Gregory Smith
24 Abraham B. Gardner Republican 1865-1867 Paul Dillingham
25 Stephen Thomas Republican 1867-1869 John B. Page
26 George W. Hendee Republican 1869-1870 Peter T. Washburn
27 George N. Dale Republican 1870-1872 George W. Hendee
John W. Stewart
28 Russell S. Taft Republican 1872-1874 Julius Converse
29 Lyman G. Hinckley Republican 1874-1876 Asahel Peck
30 Redfield Proctor Republican 1876-1878 Horace Fairbanks
31 Eben Pomeroy Colton Republican 1878-1880 Redfield Proctor
32 John L. Barstow Republican 1880-1882 Roswell Farnham
33 Samuel E. Pingree Republican 1882-1884 John L. Barstow
34 Ebenezer J. Ormsbee Republican 1884-1886 Samuel E. Pingree
35 Levi K. Fuller Republican 1886-1888 Ebenezer J. Ormsbee
36 Urban A. Woodbury Republican 1888-1890 William P. Dillingham
37 Henry A. Fletcher Republican 1890-1892 Carroll S. Page
38 F. Stewart Stranahan Republican 1892-1894 Levi K. Fuller
39 Zophar M. Mansur Republican 1894-1896 Urban A. Woodbury
40 Nelson W. Fisk Republican 1896-1898 Josiah Grout
41 Henry C. Bates Republican 1898-1900 Edward C. Smith
42 Martin F. Allen Republican 1900-1902 William W. Stickney
43 Zed S. Stanton Republican 1902-1904 John G. McCullough
44 Charles H. Stearns Republican 1904-1906 Charles J. Bell
45 George H. Prouty Republican 1906-1908 Fletcher D. Proctor
46 John A. Mead Republican 1908-1910 George H. Prouty
47 Leighton P. Slack Republican 1910-1912 John A. Mead
48 Frank E. Howe Republican 1912-1915 Allen M. Fletcher
49 Hale K. Darling Republican 1915-1917 Charles W. Gates
50 Roger W. Hulburd Republican 1917-1919 Horace F. Graham
51 Mason S. Stone Republican 1919-1921 Percival W. Clement
52 Abram W. Foote Republican 1921-1923 James Hartness
53 Franklin S. Billings Republican 1923-1925 Redfield Proctor, Jr.
54 Walter K. Farnsworth Republican 1925-1927 Franklin S. Billings
55 Hollister Jackson Republican 1927-1927 John E. Weeks
56 Stanley C. Wilson Republican 1929-1931 John E. Weeks
57 Benjamin Williams Republican 1931-1933 Stanley C. Wilson
58 Charles M. Smith Republican 1933-1935 Stanley C. Wilson
59 George D. Aiken Republican 1935-1937 Charles Manley Smith
60 William H. Wills Republican 1937-1941 George D. Aiken
61 Mortimer R. Proctor Republican 1941-1945 William H. Wills
62 Lee E. Emerson Republican 1945-1949 Mortimer R. Proctor
Ernest W. Gibson, Jr.
63 Harold J. Arthur Republican 1949-1950 Ernest W. Gibson, Jr.
64 Joseph B. Johnson Republican 1951-1955 Lee E. Emerson
65 Consuelo N. Bailey Republican 1955-1957 Joseph B. Johnson
66 Robert T. Stafford Republican 1957-1959 Joseph B. Johnson
67 Robert S. Babcock Republican 1959-1961 Robert T. Stafford
68 Ralph A. Foote Republican 1961-1965 F. Ray Keyser, Jr.
Philip H. Hoff
69 John J. Daley Democratic 1965-1969 Philip H. Hoff
70 Thomas L. Hayes Republican 1969-1971 Deane C. Davis
71 John S. Burgess Republican 1971-1975 Deane C. Davis
Thomas P. Salmon
72 Brian D. Burns Democratic 1975-1977 Thomas P. Salmon
73 T. Garry Buckley Republican 1977-1979 Richard Snelling
74 Madeleine Kunin Democratic 1979-1983 Richard Snelling
75 Peter P. Smith Republican 1983-1987 Richard Snelling
Madeleine Kunin
76 Howard Dean Democratic 1987-1991 Madeleine Kunin
Richard Snelling
77 Barbara Snelling Republican 1993-1997 Howard Dean
78 Doug Racine Democratic 1997-2003 Howard Dean
79 Brian Dubie Republican 2003-2011 Jim Douglas
80 Phil Scott Republican 2011-2017 Peter Shumlin
81 David Zuckerman Progressive/Democratic 2017-present Phil Scott

Italics denote a Governor of a different party than the Lieutenant Governor

Living former Lieutenant Governors of Vermont

As of January 2017, seven former lieutenant governors of Vermont were alive, the oldest being Madeleine Kunin (served 1979–1983, born 1933). The most recent death of a former lieutenant governor of Vermont was that of Barbara W. Snelling (served 1993–1997, born 1928), on November 2, 2015.

Lt. Governor Lt. Gubernatorial term Date of birth (and age)
Brian D. Burns 1975–1977 (1939-11-17) November 17, 1939 (age 80)
Madeleine Kunin 1979–1983 (1933-09-28) September 28, 1933 (age 86)
Peter Plympton Smith 1983–1987 (1945-10-31) October 31, 1945 (age 74)
Howard Dean 1987–1991 (1948-11-17) November 17, 1948 (age 71)
Doug Racine 1997–2003 (1952-10-07) October 7, 1952 (age 67)
Brian Dubie 2003–2011 (1959-03-09) March 9, 1959 (age 60)
Phil Scott 2011–2017 (1958-08-04) August 4, 1958 (age 61)


  1. ^ "Constitution of the State of Vermont". Vermont General Assembly. Retrieved 2019.
  2. ^ "3 V.S.A. § 1 -- Vacancy, absence from State". Vermont General Assembly. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "20 V.S.A. § 183 -- Additional successor to office of governor". Vermont General Assembly. Retrieved 2019.
  4. ^ Newspaper article, Vermont Senate Committee Assignments Finally Out Archived 2012-07-13 at, by Nancy Remsen, Burlington Free Press, January 7, 2011
  5. ^ Permanent Rules of the Vermont Senate, published by Vermont State Senate, 2009 edition, page 4
  6. ^ Vermont Constitution, Chapter 2, Article 19, U.S. Constitution Online web site, accessed January 2, 2011
  7. ^ Newspaper article, The Mountain Rule in Vermont, New York Times, February 12, 1895
  8. ^ Magazine article, Mountain Rule Revisited, by Samuel B. Hand, Vermont History Magazine, published by Vermont Historical Society, Summer/Fall 2003, pages 139 to 151
  9. ^ a b Allen, Susan (February 6, 1992). "Wright Says Dean Offered Him The Lieutenant Governor's Post". Rutland Herald. Rutland, VT. Vermont Press Bureau. p. 6 – via
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Douglas, Jim, Vermont Secretary of State (August 15, 1991). "Guest Perspective: A Leader Who Made Things Happen". Bennington Banner. Bennington, VT. p. 10 – via
  11. ^ "Once Every 40 Years In Vermont". Burlington Free Press. Burlington, VT. January 3, 1993. p. 6E – via
  12. ^ Terms of Service, Vermont Lieutenant Governors, Vermont Secretary of State Vermont State Archives and Records Administration, 2011
  13. ^ General Election Results, Vermont Lieutenant Governor, 1818 to 2011, Vermont Secretary of State, State Archives and Records Administration, 2011

External links

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