Lt. Gov. Austin A. Davis is the youngest lieutenant governor in the country and the first Black lieutenant governor in Commonwealth history. Inspired by the history-makers who came before – leaders like Pennsylvania House Speaker K. Leroy Irvis and state Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Nix Jr. – Austin is determined to motivate a new generation of public servants to break even more barriers.
Austin’s path to the second-highest office in the Commonwealth started in McKeesport, a former steel town in western Pennsylvania. Growing up, he watched his mom – a hairdresser for more than 40 years – juggle raising a family with putting food on the table, and he watched his dad work hard as a union bus driver.
At the age of 16, Austin was living in McKeesport, when gun violence came to their doorstep. After a shooting in his neighborhood, he got involved in his community, starting a youth advisory council with the mayor and a youth gun violence prevention program at his high school.
Austin went on to study political science at the University of Pittsburgh, becoming a first-generation college graduate and then pursuing a career in public service. He returned to McKeesport to work for the Allegheny County executive. In that role he helped create the first violence prevention office within the Allegheny Department of Health.
By the age of 21, he had earned praise from the Tribune-Review, which called him “a veteran at the politics of helping others.”
In 2018, Austin successfully ran for the state House of Representatives to represent the Mon Valley and his hometown of McKeesport, becoming the first African American to represent his legislative district.
As lieutenant governor, Austin presides over the Pennsylvania Senate, chairs the Pennsylvania Board of Pardons, leads the Local Government Advisory Committee and serves on the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council. Gov. Josh Shapiro has also appointed Austin to chair the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency.
While serving as lieutenant governor, Austin is focused on combating the epidemic of gun violence, supporting small and minority-owned businesses, advocating for working-class Pennsylvanians and being a champion for communities that feel like they’ve been left behind.
Austin currently resides in Allegheny County with his wife, Blayre Holmes Davis.
Pennsylvania Board of Pardons – According to the Pennsylvania Constitution, the lieutenant governor serves as chair of the state Board of Pardons, which also includes the attorney general and three additional members who are appointed by the governor. The board reviews criminal cases to determine whether a pardon or commutation should be recommended to the governor for approval or denial. Click here to visit the Board of Pardons website.
Under Lt. Gov. Davis’ leadership, the Board of Pardons is making changes to the pardon process that will make it more streamlined and transparent for applicants, so that second chances can come sooner for Pennsylvanians who have turned their lives around. Click here to read more about the new expedited review process for pardon applicants.
Pennsylvania Senate – Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor also serves as president of the state Senate and presides over the legislative body when it is in session. Click here to visit the Pennsylvania Senate website.
Lt. Gov. Austin Davis also serves as chair of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Council and the Local Government Advisory Committee.
Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency – Gov. Josh Shapiro appointed Lt. Gov. Austin Davis to serve as chair of the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), which serves as the justice planning and policymaking agency for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. By bringing together a wide range of experts in the fields of criminal and juvenile justice, victim services and related professions, PCCD coordinates the collective examination of problems, proposes solutions and evaluates the impact of those solutions. Click here to visit the PCCD website.
Lt. Gov. Davis recently held a statewide Safer Communities tour, which highlighted local initiatives funded by PCCD that are helping to address gun violence and make Pennsylvania communities safer. Click here to read more about the tour.
Lt. Gov. Davis also is a member of the National Lieutenant Governors Association. Click here to visit the NLGA website.