Southwestern Historical Quarterly
There Shall Also Be A Lieutenant Governor. By J. William Davis.
Austin (Institute of Public Affairs, University of Texas), 1967.
Pp. vii+135. Tables, appendices, bibliography, index. $3.oo.
In one of the most significant contributions to the literature of
Texana which has appeared in recent years, Professor J. William Davis
has filled a long-existing void. Exploring the background, evolution,
and present status of the office of lieutenant governor, he has pro-
duced a penetrating and provocative analysis of a position regarded
in some quarters as a seat of power par excellence. Moreover, he has
resurrected some of the "forgotton men" of Texas politics.
The author points out that the job of lieutenant governor is not
analogous to the Vice-Presidency because the former holds a dual
position-one that is both legislative and executive. He concludes
that "Texas seems almost unique in allowing the lieutenant governor
to become a major participant in the governmental process, especially
in the field of legislation." This position he attributes to (i) the Rules
of the Senate, which allow the presiding officer considerable authority
over recognition of members, control of the calendar, referral of
bills, and appointment of standing and conference committees; (2)
the strong personalities of many occupants of the office; and (3) the
acquiescence of the Senate.
Particularly interesting is the description of a "typical day" of the
lieutenant governor in the mid-196o's. A personal touch is added by
the inclusion of biographical sketches of each individual who has
served in the office, along with detailed case studies of one incumbent
from each decade since i9 o-the date fixed as the beginning of the
modern concept of the office.
One especially noteworthy chapter deals with the relations of the
lieutenant governor with the Senate and with the chief executive.
The consensus is that while the lieutenant governor is an independent
officer elected by the people, he at the same time functions more
effectively if he cooperates with the governor in working on a legis-
lative program. In a political analysis of the office, the author pre-
dicts that the decade of the sixties may represent a transition in the
status of the office into an even stronger position. He reasons that
the office can be looked upon "not only as a positive element of the
power structure of state politics, but as a countervailing power to the
ever increasing concentration of the governor's power."
Throughout the work, a hypothesis set forth in the Preface is
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/. Accessed April 30, 2016.