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List of Governors of Michigan
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List of Governors of Michigan

Michigan Governors

Territorial Governors

Name Dates Served
William Hull March 1, 1805 to October 29, 1813
Lewis Cass October 29, 1813 to August 6, 1831
George Bryan Porter August 6, 1831 to July 6, 1834
Stevens T. Mason1 July 6, 1834 to September 15, 1835
John S. Horner2 September 15, 1835 to July 3, 1836

State Governors

From statehood until 1963, governors were elected to two-year terms, and were limited to two consecutive terms, although they could run again after a hiatus. Elections were held in November and the governor assumed 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. Since then, gubernatorial elections have been offset by two years from U.S. Presidential elections (e.g., Presidential elections were in 1996 and 2000, gubernatorial elections were in 1998 and 2002).

In 1992, an amendment to the Michigan constitution imposed a lifetime term limit of two four-year terms for the office of governor.

Name Dates Served Party
Stevens T. Mason2 October 6, 1835 to January 7, 1840 Democrat
William Woodbridge3 January 7, 1840 to February 23, 1841 Whig
J. Wright Gordon3
Ex officio
February 23, 1841 to January 3, 1842 Whig
John S. Barry January 3, 1842 to January 5, 1846 Democrat
Alpheus Felch4 January 5, 1846 to March 3, 1847 Democrat
William L. Greenly4
Ex officio
March 4, 1847 to January 3, 1848 Democrat
Epaphroditus Ransom January 3, 1848 to January 7, 1850 Democrat
John S. Barry January 7, 1850 to January 1, 1852 Democrat
Robert McClelland5 6 January 1, 1852 to March 7, 1853 Democrat
Andrew Parsons6
Ex officio
March 8, 1853 to January 3, 1855 Democrat
Kinsley S. Bingham January 3, 1855 to January 5, 1859 Republican
Moses Wisner January 5, 1859 to January 2, 1861 Republican
Austin Blair January 2, 1861 to January 3, 1865 Republican
Henry H. Crapo January 3, 1865 to January 6, 1869 Republican
Henry P. Baldwin January 6, 1869 to January 1, 1873 Republican
John J. Bagley January 1, 1873 to January 3, 1877 Republican
Charles Croswell January 3, 1877 to January 1, 1881 Republican
David Jerome January 1, 1881 to January 1, 1883 Republican
Josiah Begole January 1, 1883 to January 1, 1885 Democrat
Russell Alger January 1, 1885 to January 1, 1887 Republican
Cyrus G. Luce January 1, 1887 to January 1, 1891 Republican
Edwin B. Winans January 1, 1891 to January 1, 1893 Democrat
John Rich January 1, 1893 to January 1, 1897 Republican
Hazen S. Pingree January 1, 1897 to January 1, 1901 Republican
Aaron T. Bliss January 1, 1901 to January 1, 1905 Republican
Fred M. Warner January 1, 1905 to January 2, 1911 Republican
Chase Osborne January 2, 1911 to January 1, 1913 Republican
Woodbridge Nathan Ferris January 1, 1913 to January 1, 1917 Democrat
Albert Sleeper January 1, 1917 to January 1, 1921 Republican
Alex Groesbeck January 1, 1921 to January 1, 1927 Republican
Fred Green January 1, 1927 to January 1, 1931 Republican
Wilbur Brucker January 1, 1931 to January 1, 1933 Republican
William Comstock January 1, 1933 to January 1, 1935 Democrat
Frank Fitzgerald January 1, 1935 to January 1, 1937 Republican
Frank Murphy January 1, 1937 to January 1, 1939 Democrat
Frank Fitzgerald January 1, 1939 to March 16, 1939 Republican
Luren Dickenson March 16, 1939 to January 1, 1941 Republican
Murray Van Wagoner January 1, 1941 to January 1, 1943 Democrat
Harry Kelley January 1, 1943 to January 1, 1947 Republican
Kim Sigler January 1, 1947 to January 1, 1949 Republican
G. Mennon Williams January 1, 1949 to January 1, 1961 Democrat
John Swainson January 1, 1961 to January 1, 1963 Democrat
George W. Romney January 1, 1963 to January 22, 1969 Republican
William Milliken January 22, 1969 to January 1, 1983 Republican
James Blanchard January 1, 1983 to January 1, 1991 Democrat
John Engler January 1, 1991 to January 1, 2003 Republican
Jennifer Granholm January 1, 2003 to present Democrat

Notes

1 George Bryan Porter died in office on July 6, 1834. Territorial Secretary, Stevens T. Mason, was authorized to become Acting Governor, though there was no formal succession and he was never officially named as Territorial Governor.

2 On August 29, 1835, in order to appease Ohio over the Toledo War border dispute, President Andrew Jackson appointed Charles Shuler, a judge in Pennsylvania, to replace Stevens T. Mason as Secretary and Acting Governor. Shuler declined the appointment. On September 15, Jackson appointed John S. Horner as Secretary and Acting Governor to replace Mason, though Horner did not commence his duties until September 21, 1835. In October 1835, Michigan authorized a state constitution and elected Mason as governor of the new state, although the U.S. Congress did not recognize the state until 1837. Horner was mostly ignored by the people of Michigan and he became Secretary of Wisconsin Territory in July 1836.

3 Woodbridge resigned as Governor on February 23, 1841 to take a seat in the United States Senate and was succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor, J. Wright Gordon.

4 Felch resigned as Governor on March 3, 1847 to take a seat in the United States Senate and was succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor, William L. Greenly.

5 After a new state constitution was drafted in 1850, McClelland was elected to a single one-year term in 1851. He was then re-elected to a full two-year term in 1852.

6 McClelland resigned in March 1853 to become the Secretary of the Interior under Franklin Pierce and was succeeded by his Lieutenant Governor, Andrew Parsons.