Office of the Governor

Tennessee State Capitol

“The supreme executive power of this state shall be vest in a governor.” – Article III, Section 1, Constitution of the State of Tennessee

Duties of the Governor

  • Responsible for the enforcement of the laws, the collection of taxes, and the general well-being of citizens
  • Ability to veto bills passed by the General Assembly
  • Ability to convene a special session of the General Assembly
  • Appoints commissioners to head various departments, making up the Governor’s Cabinet
  • Makes an annual State of the State address to Tennesseans and presents the General Assembly with a proposed budget for the upcoming fiscal year
  • Appoints judges and chancellors to fill vacancies in the courts
  • Grants executive clemency
  • Grants post-conviction reprieves and pardons except in cases of impeachment
  • Commander and Chief of the military of the State
  • Recommends legislation to the General Assembly
  • Tennessee’s spokesman in national matters when a single voice is needed
  • Appoints members to boards and commissions
  • Serves on:
    • State Funding Board
    • State Building Commission
    • Board of Equalization
    • Tennessee Local Development Authority
    • School Bond Authority
    • Tennessee Industrial and Agricultural Development Commission
  • Chairs:
    • Tennessee Board of Regents
    • University of Tennessee Board of Trustees

Other Requirements:

  • Must be at least 30 years old, a citizen of the United States, and have been a resident of Tennessee seven years
  • Limited to two four-year terms
  • Candidates for governor must receive their party’s nomination (either by primary or caucus), and then run in the general election in November along with qualified independent candidates


List of Past Tennessee Governors