10chapter8 - 8 Basic Structure of the Governors Office...

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Unformatted text preview: 8 Basic Structure of the Governors 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 Governors 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 Governors 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 Bushs unexpired term. The long-term likelihood is that governors will serve no more than two terms. 8 Basic Structure of the Governors 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 Governors 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 Governors Office...

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