Difference between Governor and Senator

Key Difference: A Governor is essentially the head of a state. He has the same powers as the President or Prime Minister nut on a smaller scale. A Senator is a member of the Senate. The senator’s job is to represent the citizens of his state and their needs and wants on a national level. Both are commonly found in the United States of America.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/2/2a/Logo_of_the_Office_of_the_Governor_of_Hawaii.pngEach county is usually divided into states. While, the country is headed by a President or Prime Minister (depending on the style of government), a Governor is essentially the head of a state. He has the same powers as the President or Prime Minister nut on a smaller scale. It can be said that the Governor is the “President” of the state.

The term Governor is not really common in parliamentary systems, but rather in federations, such as the United States of America. In this form of government, a governor is “an individual public official with the power to govern the executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state.” This essentially means that the governor is the ‘head of state’ of a state, i.e. leader of a state. He directly reports to the President, who is the ‘head of state’ for the nation.

A governor is most commonly elected, however he may be appointed as well. The power of the governor varies according to the government. He may have full control over the state government or he may have nominal and largely ceremonial power.

http://www.hldataprotection.com/files/2013/01/US_Senate_Logo_500px1-300x300.pngA senator, on the other hand, is completely different. Firstly, he is not the head of anything. He is a state representative. The US government is divided into three segments: the executive, the judicial and the legislative. The executive branch is the President, who is the head of state. The judicial branch is the Supreme Court, which enforces the laws of the country. The legislative branch is responsible for making and passing laws for the nation. This is the Congress, which is divided into two chambers or houses, the House of Representatives and the Senate. The members of a Senate are known as Senators. There are two senators from each state. The senator’s main job is to represent the people of his state on a national level.

Hence, the main difference between a Governor and a Senator is that while a governor is directly responsible for the his state and the citizens of that state, the senator’s job is to represent the citizens and their needs and wants on a national level and to fight for those needs and wants. Furthermore, the senator votes on behalf of his state to pass federal bills and laws, while the governor has the power to veto the bills and laws that are passed by the State Government. The governor has no or minimal power on a national level. However, the governor is directly or indirectly responsible for what happens in his state, and has to be held answerable.

Comparison between Governor and Senator:





The title governor refers to the chief executive of each state or insular territory, the political and ceremonial head of the state.

A Senator is a member of the Senate. The United States Senate is a legislative chamber in the bicameral legislature of the United States of America, and together with the U.S. House of Representatives makes up the U.S. Congress.

Part of

State Legislature

The United States Congress


  • Heads the executive branch in each state or territory
  • May have considerable control over government budgeting, the power of appointment of many officials (including many judges), and a considerable role in legislation.
  • May be commander-in-chief of the state's National Guard (when not federalized)
  • Has partial or absolute power to commute or pardon a criminal sentence.
  • Can veto state bills
  • To pass federal legislation that affects the entire country. The bills must also be passed by the House and the President.
  • Consenting to treaties as a precondition to their ratification
  • Consenting to or confirming appointments of Cabinet secretaries, federal judges, other federal executive officials, military officers, regulatory officials, ambassadors, and other federal uniformed officers
  • Trial of federal officials impeached by the House

Total numbers in the US Government

50 Governors – 1 for each state

100 Senators – 2 from each state.


Usually through direct election

Through direct election

Term Duration

Usually 4 years, but can be 2 years as well (as in New Hampshire and Vermont)

6 years

Image Courtesy: en.wikipedia.org, hldataprotection.com

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