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Lieutenant Governors of Massachusetts

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  • Argeo Paul Cellucci (1948 - 2013)
    Paul Cellucci (April 24, 1948 – June 8, 2013) was an American politician and diplomat from Massachusetts. A Republican, he served in the House of Representatives and Senate of Massachusetts before bein...
  • Thomas Philip O'Neill, III
    Thomas Phillip O'Neill III leads a public relations and government affairs firm called O'Neill and Associates in Boston. He is the son of Mildred Anne Miller and Thomas Phillip "Tip" O'Neill, Jr., who ...
  • John Kerry, 68th U.S. Secretary of State
    John Forbes Kerry (born December 11, 1943) is an American politician and diplomat who served as the 68th United States Secretary of State from 2013 to 2017. An attorney and former naval officer, Kerry ...
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  • Francis William Sargent, Jr., 64th Governor of Massachusetts (1915 - 1998)
    William Sargent (July 29, 1915 - October 21, 1998) was the 64th Governor of Massachusetts from 1969 to 1975. Born in 1915 in Hamilton, Massachusetts, he was known for his sharp wit and self-deprecating...

The Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts is the first in the line to discharge the powers and duties of the office of governor following the incapacitation of the Governor of Massachusetts. The constitutional honorific title for the office is His, or Her, Honor.

The Massachusetts Constitution provides that when a governor dies, resigns, or is removed from office, the office of governor remains vacant for the rest of the 4-year term. The lieutenant governor discharges powers and duties as Acting Governor and does not actually assume the office of governor. The first time this came into use was five years after the constitution's adoption in 1785, when Governor John Hancock resigned his post five months before the election and inauguration of his successor, James Bowdoin, leaving Lieutenant Governor Thomas Cushing as acting governor. Most recently, Jane Swift became acting governor upon the resignation of Paul Cellucci.

The lieutenant governor serves in place of the governor when he is outside the borders of Massachusetts. Historically a one-year term, the office of lieutenant governor now carries a four-year term, the same as that of the governor. The lieutenant governor is not elected independently, but on a ticket with the governor. According to the Massachusetts Constitution, to be eligible for either office, a candidate must have lived in Massachusetts for at least seven years immediately preceding his election, and originally also had to be a Christian owning at least £1,000 worth of real property. However, only the residency requirement remains in effect.

The office is currently held by Lt. Governor Karyn Polito, who was inaugurated in January 2015.

List of lieutenant governors