How to Address an Official-elect?
—-How do I address the vice-president elect?
—-How do I refer to a governor-elect in the U.S.A.?
—-How do I identify a newly-elected judge who hasn’t taken the oath of office?
—-Summary: Among elected U.S. officials they are the Honorable once elected in a general election, but must wait for the honorific of their office – if the office comes with a special honorific – until they take the oath of office.
—-The rule is that in the U.S.A., once elected – one is immediately addressed in writing or in a full introduction as ‘the Honorable’ (Full Name):
————The Honorable (Full Name)
—-The reason? One is entitled to be addressed as ‘the Honorable’ once one has been elected in a general election.
—-But in the salutation or in conversation use …
————Dear Mr./Ms./Dr./etc. (Surname):
—-… or whatever honorific to which he or she is entitled – prior to the election. So, a current official continues to be addressed in a salutation or conversation by the office they hold, not the office to which they are about to be sworn.
—-Use of Mr. Vice President, Governor (Name), Judge (Name), or (whatever special honorific comes with the new job) is reserved until he or she has taken their oath.
—-One would identify him or her as the vice-president-elect, governor-elect, judge-elect, or (fill in the blank)-elect … but these are not actually titles, offices, or positions. These are adjectives which describe his or her status and are used as an identification – they are not forms of address.
—-—-—-– Robert Hickey