How to Address an Official-Elect

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

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

Is a Mayor-Elect ‘Your Honor’?

Our mayor-elect is coming to our building today. If I have the occasion to address him personally, should I call him ‘Your Honor’ even though he will not take office for two months? Or is he still ‘Mr. (Surname)’?
——————-– Laurie in Chicago

Dear Laurie:

Address him/her as ‘Mr./Ms. (Surname)’ … or with whatever honorific to which he or she used prior to the election.

He will be addressed with the forms of address due a Mayor when he takes the oath and is sworn in. He is already ‘the Honorable (Full Name)’ on a letter because he has been elected office but won’t be addressed as ‘Your Honor’ or ‘Mayor (Surname)’ until he takes office.

– Robert Hickey

Related Posts: --------Acting --------Candidate for Office --------Deceased --------Designate --------Elect --------Former --------The Honorable, Use of --------Interim --------The Late, Use of --------Nominee --------Pro Tempore --------Retiree

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"

When Should You Use the Forms on this Page?

You can use these forms of address for any mode of communication: addressing a letter, invitation, card or Email. (If there are differences between the official and social forms of address, I will have mentioned the different forms.)  The form noted in the salutation is the same form you say when you say their name in conversation or when you greet them.

Not Finding Your Answer?

—-#1)  At right on desktops, at the bottom of every page on tablets and phones, is a list of all the offices, officials & topics covered on the site.

—-#2)  If you don’t see the official you seek included or your question answered send me an e-mail. I am pretty fast at sending a reply: usually the next day or so (unless I am traveling.)  Note: I don’t have mailing or Email addresses for any of the officials and I don’t keep track of offices that exist only in history books.

—-#3)  If I think your question is of interest to others, Sometimes I post the question  – but always change all the specifics.

— Robert Hickey 

Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"