On The Order Of Succession In Virginia

Feb 7, 2019
Originally published on February 7, 2019 8:39 am

If you're going to refer to who's next in line should the governor of Virginia resign, and who would be next if there's no lieutenant governor, and who would be next if there's no attorney general, here's how to explain the "line of succession":

The lieutenant governor is "first" in the line of succession. The attorney general is "second" in the line of succession. The speaker of the House of Delegates (Republican Kirk Cox) is "third" in the line of succession.

That's where the line ends. If the speaker "is ineligible to serve as governor, the House of Delegates shall convene and fill the vacancy." https://law.lis.virginia.gov/constitutionexpand/article5/

The mistake we've made a couple times is to say that the lieutenant governor is "second" and the attorney general is "third" in the line.

Think of it this way:

Three people are standing outside the governor's office in the order of succession. It's 1) lieutenant governor; 2) attorney general; 3) speaker of the House. You wouldn't say the lieutenant governor is second in line. That person would be first. The AG would be second. The speaker would be third.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.