10chapter8 - 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office...

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Unformatted text preview: 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office • Election, Term of Office, and Tenure – Election • The governor of Texas is elected in a statewide election held during even-numbered "off years." • Gubernatorial elections are held in the off year so that national issues will not overshadow state issues. • The importance of the off year election is lost, however, because elections often focus on personalities, not issues, and its main effect is low voter turnout. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office • Election, Term of Office, and Tenure – Term • In 1974, the term of office for the governor was changed from two to four years. • At present, there is no constitutional limit on the number of terms a Texas governor may serve. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office • Election, Term of Office, and Tenure – Tenure • Until World War II, most governors served two terms. • The trend from World War II to the 1970s was for governors to serve three terms. • Beginning with Gov. Preston Smith, who lost his bid for a third term in the wake of the Sharpstown Bank scandal, incumbent governors (including Briscoe, Clements, White, and Richards) routinely lost reelection efforts. • Gov. George W. Bush, on the other hand, won a second term by an overwhelming majority and Rick Perry was elected to a full term after serving out Bush’s unexpired term. • The long-term likelihood is that governors will serve no more than two terms. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office • Impeachment and Succession – Impeachment • The governor may be removed from office only by impeachment . – Although the Texas Constitution does not list impeachable offenses, by implication and precedent the grounds appear to be official misconduct, incompetence, or failure to perform. – The impeachment procedure begins with a majority vote in the House to impeach after which the Senate acts as a trial court. – Conviction by a two-thirds majority vote of the Senate brings removal from office and disqualification from holding state office in the future. • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office • Impeachment and Succession – Succession • The constitution provides for succession to the governor's office if the governor is impeached and removed from office, dies in office, or resigns. • The lieutenant governor is constitutionally designated to succeed the governor. • A 1999 constitutional amendment stipulates that if the governor becomes disabled, the lieutenant governor would carry out the duties of the office; if the governor dies in office the lieutenant governor would become governor for the rest of the term; if the lieutenant governor is unable to serve, the president pro tempore of the Senate would carry...
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10chapter8 - 8 Basic Structure of the Governor’s Office...

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