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Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina

Second-highest elected official in the state / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The lieutenant governor of North Carolina is the second-highest elected official in the U.S. state of North Carolina and is the only elected official to have powers in both the legislative and executive branches of state government. A member of the North Carolina Council of State, the lieutenant governor serves a four-year term with a two consecutive term limit. The current lieutenant governor is Mark Robinson, a Republican, who has held the office since 2021. The Constitution of North Carolina designates the lieutenant governor the ex officio president of the State Senate and a member of the State Board of Education. They are also required to serve as acting governor of the state in the event of the governor's absence, and assume the governorship in the event it becomes vacant.

Quick facts: Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina, Style...
Lieutenant Governor of
North Carolina
Mark Robinson
since January 9, 2021 (2021-01-09)
Member of
SeatRaleigh, North Carolina
Term lengthFour years, renewable once consecutively
Constituting instrumentNorth Carolina Constitution of 1868
Inaugural holderTod R. Caldwell
SalaryUS$146,421 per year
WebsiteOfficial website

Five lieutenant governors have succeeded to the governorship throughout the office's history due to a vacancy. The constitution allows the governor and General Assembly to assign the lieutenant governor additional duties, and the lieutenant governor has thus been accorded membership on and responsibility for several appointments on other state boards. Unlike other Council of State offices, there is no mechanism to fill a vacancy in the lieutenant governorship between elections. From its creation in 1868 up until the 1970s, the lieutenant governorship was a single-term, part-time position largely confined to legislative duties when the General Assembly was in session. Most of the candidates who sought the office were veteran legislators seeking a final prestigious accomplishment for their careers. In 1971, new legislation declared it a full-time job.

In 1972, the Democratic-controlled General Assembly expanded the office's resources to challenge the incoming Republican governor. In 1977, the lieutenant governor was constitutionally authorized to serve two consecutive terms. The office's political prominence increased over the years following the succession amendment and the legislature continued to expand its powers. Upon a Republican's assumption of lieutenant gubernatorial office in 1989, Democrats in the Senate modified the body's rules, stripping the office of its long-standing powers to appoint committees in that house and assign bills to those committees. With the shift away from legislative duties, the office became increasingly used as a means to enhance its incumbents' bids for higher office; lieutenant governors have often run for governor, but few have been successful.