Electing a Lieutenant Governor

Forty-three states have a lieutenant governor.  Twenty-five states elect a Governor and Lt. Governor on the same ticket.  In eighteen states, the Governor and Lt. Governor are elected on separate tickets.  Illinois is one of those twenty-five states where a Governor and Lt. Governor are elected on the same ticket.  In 2014, however, the state will implement a new law where candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor will run as a joint ticket in the primaries rather than as separate candidates as they do now.

Pre-2014 Governor/Lt. Governor Elections (Primary)

For Governor                                        For Lt. Governor
Bill Davis                                                Deborah Engels
Adam Jones                                           Steven Mix
Rachel Smith                                        John Thomas
Lee Williams                                         Paulette Young

2014 Governor/Lt. Governor Elections (Primary)

For Governor-Lt. Governor
Bill Davis-Paulette Young
Adam Jones-John Thomas
Rachel Smith-Deborah Engels
Lee Williams-Steven Mix

Candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor sometimes run as an unofficial ticket in the primaries.  For instance, Bill Davis may say that Paulette Young is his choice for a running mate, but ultimately the selection of the Governor and Lt. Governor is done separately and is decided by the voters.  Therefore, Davis could end up with a nominee that was not necessarily his first pick.  This was case in 2010 when Pat Quinn ran for Governor in Illinois.


Scott Lee Cohen

Quinn won his gubernatorial primary, but primary voters chose the little-known Scott Lee Cohen as the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor.  Cohen’s opponents in the Lt. Governor primary were members of the Illinois State Senate and State House.  Cohen’s occupation?  Cohen was a pawn broker from Chicago.  It would also later come out that Cohen had a criminal record.  Embarrassed Democrats scrambled for a solution. They met with Cohen, forced him to drop from the ticket, and found a replacement in Sheila Simon, daughter of the late US Senator Paul Simon.
To avoid any future embarrassment, state officials, Democrats and Republicans alike, passed a bill which would combine the Governor and Lt. Governor on the same primary ballot ticket.  Quinn signed it into law.

Do you think that the positions of Governor and Lt. Governor should be separate in the primaries? Do you believe that the positions should be combined as a ticket in primary?

20 responses to “Electing a Lieutenant Governor

  1. After reading this issue regarding the election with Pat Quinn, I Believe that Governor and Lt. Governor should be combined on the same ballot. This is a solution that would further solve the issues Quinn had and prevent them from happening again and causing futher uproar that is not needed. It also would give the governor and idea of who he is running with and what kind of background he or she has.

  2. The positions for Governor and Lt. Governor positions should be combined as a ticket in future primaries because it will be more effective in getting a Governor/Lt. Governor that support and know each other. There is potential for a lot of mistakes if the Governor and Lt. Governor and voted on differently. Scott Lee Cohen was a pawn broker. And on top of that, he had a criminal record. A pawn broker is not who you would want to be your Lt. Governor because he simply wouldn’t know what to do in that position. This is comparable to asking an illiterate garbage man to teach Calculus- not going to happen. The Democrats were smart to get him replaced. Having a joint Governor/Lt. Governor ticket is a step forward for Illinois’ elections.

  3. The positions of Govenor and Lt. Govenor are fine being put together. People always wanna complain when they are combined with another person. If they are together, then they can work together then more problems of government can be solved. Then once both of them come together other politicans can come together to help the growth of our economy.

  4. I believe the Governor and Lt. Governor should be together on the same ticket. That way problems like the one Pat Quinn had will be prevented. Also, if they are put together they will be more likely to work well with each other and be able to get more things done.

  5. I think it should be combined together in a one ticket. If your running for either Governor or Lt. Governor, which are closely related and highly dependable on one another, you should be able to work together successfully in order to be an effective leader. If your running for Governor and you don’t know who is going to be Lt. Governor or even how that person works, it’s likely that could become a clashing team. There can be some cons to this but I feel that the pros outweigh the cons. It’s a matter of success and teamwork more than an independent popularity contest.

  6. I think the candidates should be on the same ticket. The main reason is so nothing happens again like what did when Pat Quinn was running.The governor and lt. governor run together, and should be like a team, working on how to improve things for their state.

  7. patryk bryniarski

    I think candidates should be on the same ticket so this issue does not arise again in the future. I think our government can avoid the embarassment electing anyone into office with a criminal record, especially a record that is just not ideal to the public. I am not trying to be judgmental, as everyone has a past and has made mistakes, but I think when it comes to a person elected with some sort of control for our country, they should be clean. Plain and simple.

  8. I believe that both the candidates for governor and Lt. governor should be combined. If it’s separate, there’s that possibility that that same issue will happen again. Also, if its separate there’s more thinking that would be involved in deciding which candidate to pick. If its combined, the voter can just pick the governor they like without having to decide which Lt. governor to pick, because it would already be decided which Lt governor will go with what governor. It’s more simple and easier that way.

  9. I think it’s a great idea that a Governor and LT. Governor candidates run together in the primaries. It gives more ownership and responsibility to each of the parties selecting their candidates. There won’t be any excuses not knowing what types of individual that’s running like what happen to Pat Quinn.

  10. I don’t really know much about how the primary works. From what I understand I think the primary should be separate. I say this because that way it would be up to the voters.

  11. I think the governor and Lt. governor should definetely be on seperate ballots. I sort of look at it as the president and vice president relationship. I think that if the governor had to step down for whatever reason, a brand new start with brand new ideas and policies is what is needed. To continue the corruption and or policies that failed before wouldn’t make sense.

  12. The governor and lt. governor should be on the same ballot so that when the candidates are elected, they will be able to work together. The Lt. governor and the governor should have similar goals and be compatible with one another. If there would be separate ballots, then the candidates who are elected may be clash and not do anything productive with our state.

  13. Michaela Sheeran

    The candidates should be on the same ticket. This way the candidates will know one another and they can better prepare and plan for the future. They can make plans work and work together to fix the problems with our government.

  14. I think it only makes sense that lt. governor and governor candidates are on the same ballot. They would have to have some sort of camaraderie & respect for each other because they will have to work together the same as the vice president and president.

  15. Governor and Lt. Governor should be combined as a ticket in future primaries. If this is done the situation that Pat Quinn had in 2010 might be avoided. This way the two candidates are wanting to work together instead of getting forced to work with someone who might have different ideologies and goals.

  16. Governor and Lt.Governor should on the ballot as a combined ticket in the future because if someone is running for Governor, he chooses that Lt.Governor specifically because he knows that person will back him up and agrees with his views. On the other side, if they were separate, people get to choose who they actually want to be in power, and creating the governing team, as apposed to just voting a team in. Though this way gives the people more power over the situation at hand, it is better for them to run together because if you have a Governor and Lt. Governor who disagree, it would be hard for them to get things done.

    tl;dr: They should be on a combined ticket because it is easier and conflict could occur.

  17. The governor and lt. Governor should be presented together on a ballot for the reason that it would a lot better for each canidate to know who they are being combined with. They can see what their ideas are, and if for some reason there’s differences, they can come to an agreement. Governor Pat Quinn would be the best example for this. Illinois needs to only better and not be known for anymore negativity.

  18. Jessica Meldazis

    Ultimately, yes. Being able to vote for them separately could potentially create a rift in office if it’s a person they disagree with. Although, having both on the ticket could potentially be a bad thing as well. If the potential governor and lt. governor were corrupt (like many politicians), being able to pick a running mate would make it easier fr them to get things passed that would benefit them. With the split ballot, it allows for citizens to pick who they think is right for the position, not who the potential governor thinks is right. Although, this is all theoretically.

  19. Governor and Lt. Governor should be on the same ticket. By doing this, not only dissagreements will be avoided, but also cases like Pat Quinn’s. I believe that by putting them in the same ballot will have positive effect on our state.

  20. Governor and Lt. Governor should be combined on the same ballot. They are both working together and they are essentially a team. This would help them both take responsibility when running.

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