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  • Caleb Lyon, 2nd Governor of Idaho Territory (1822 - 1875)
    Lyon (December 7, 1822 Greig, New York – September 8, 1875 Staten Island, New York) was Governor of Idaho Territory from 1864 to 1865 during the last half of the American Civil War.LifeCaleb Lyon was t...
  • Frank R. Gooding, Governor, U.S. Senator (1859 - 1928)
    Robert Gooding (September 16, 1859 – June 24, 1928) was a Republican United States Senator and the seventh Governor of Idaho. The city of Gooding and Gooding County, both in southern Idaho, are named f...
  • James H. Hawley, 9th Governor of Idaho (1847 - 1929)
    James H. Hawley was born in Dubuque, Iowa, on January 17, 1847. He headed west as a boy, engaging in mining, and attending the San Francisco City College. After studying law, Hawley returned to Idaho, ...
  • Moses Alexander (1853 - 1932)
    He was the first Jewish governor in the United States. Alexander was born in Obrigheim, Bavaria, on November 13, 1853. As a fourteen-year-old, Alexander immigrated to the United States, settling in Chi...
  • D. W. Davis, 12th Governor of Idaho (1873 - 1959)
    David William Davis was born in Cardiff, Wales, on April 23, 1873. His family immigrated to America in 1875, and settled in Rippey, Iowa. At the age of twelve, Davis went to work in the coal mines to s...

The Governor of Idaho is the head of the executive branch of Idaho's government and commander-in-chief of the state's militia. The governor has the duty to see state laws are executed, power to either approve or veto bills passed by the Idaho Legislature.

Idaho Territory had 16 territorial governors appointed by the President of the United States from the territory's organization in 1863 until the formation of the state of Idaho in 1890. Four of these never took office, resigning before reaching the territory.

Thirty individuals have held the office of governor of Idaho since the state's admission to the Union in 1890, two of whom—C. A. Bottolfsen and Cecil D. Andrus—served non-consecutive terms. The state's first governor, George Laird Shoup, had the shortest term of three months, and Cecil D. Andrus served as governor the longest at 14 years. Four governors resigned, but none has died while in office. There have been 20 Republican and 12 Democratic governors.

Governors of the Territory of Idaho

Idaho Territory was created from Dakota Territory, Nebraska Territory, and Washington Territory on March 4, 1863. Initially, the territory included all of modern-day Idaho and Montana, and most of Wyoming. On May 26, 1864, Montana Territory was split from Idaho Territory, and most of the Wyoming portion was reassigned to Dakota Territory. The portion east of the 111th meridian was split off as part of the new Wyoming Territory on July 25, 1868, giving Idaho Territory its final borders.

Due to the long distance between Washington, D.C. and Boise, there was often a lengthy gap between a governor being appointed and his arrival in the territory; four resigned before even arriving.

  • William H. Wallace
  • Caleb Lyon
  • David W. Ballard
  • Samuel Bard
  • Gilman Marston
  • Alexander H. Conner
  • Thomas M. Bowen
  • Thomas W. Bennett
  • David P. Thompson
  • Mason Brayman
  • John P. Hoyt
  • John Baldwin Neil
  • John N. Irwin
  • William M. Bunn
  • Edward A. Stevenson
  • George Laird Shoup

Governors of the State of Idaho

Idaho was admitted to the Union on July 3, 1890. Since then, the state has had 30 governors, two of whom served non-consecutive terms. The terms for governor and lieutenant governor are four years, commencing on the first Monday in the January following the election. Prior to 1946, the offices were elected to terms of two years. If the office of governor is vacant or the governor is out of state or unable to discharge his duties, the lieutenant governor acts as governor until such time as the disability is removed. If both the offices of governor and lieutenant governor are unable to fulfill their duties, the President pro tempore of the Idaho Senate is next in line, and then the Speaker of the Idaho House of Representatives. After the change to four-year terms, self-succession (re-election) was not initially allowed; newly-elected Governor Smylie, formerly the state's attorney general, successfully lobbied the 1955 legislature to propose an amendment to the state constitution to allow gubernatorial re-election, which was approved by voters in the 1956 general election. There is no limit to the number of terms a governor may serve.

List of Governors of the State of Idaho