Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas
|Arkansas Lieutenant Governor|
|Office website:||Official Link|
|2012 FY Budget:||$357,768|
|Term limits:||2 terms|
|Length of term:||4 years|
|Authority:||Arkansas Constitution, Article 6, Section 1|
|Name:||Office currently vacant|
|Next election:||November 4, 2014|
|Last election:||November 2, 2010|
|Other Arkansas Executive Offices|
|Governor • Lieutenant Governor • Secretary of State • Attorney General • Treasurer • Auditor • Commissioner of Education • Agriculture Secretary • Insurance Commissioner • Commissioner of State Lands • Natural Resources Exec. Director • Labor Director • Public Service Commission|
The office has been vacant since February 1, 2014, when former Lieutenant Governor Mark Darr's January 2014 resignation went into effect. A Republican first elected in November 2010, Darr took office in January 2011 for a four-year term expiring in January 2015. He was compelled to leave office one year earlier than scheduled, however, in as a result of a January 2014 settlement with the state ethics commission for misuse of campaign funds. The ethics violations elicited calls from officials such as Gov. Mike Beebe for Darr to step down, as well as impeachment threats from state legislators. Darr addressed his resignation explicitly "to the people of Arkansas, not an elected official," on January 10.
The office will remain vacant until Darr's successor can be elected and sworn in next January.
At the time of Darr's departure, state law still required Gov. Beebe to call a special election to fill the vacancy within a 150 days window, but Beebe held off until he could ascertain the fate of an already-pending bill that would give the governor the option to leave the seat vacant, provided there are fewer than 11 months before the next regularly-scheduled election. "If they pass something like that, I can tell you right now I would not call a special election and would save the money," Beebe said in support of the proposal in late January. Shortly thereafter, the bill passed easily in both chambers of the state legislature, and Beebe signed it into law on February 28, 2014.
The executive department of this State shall consist of a Governor, Lieutenant Governor...
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
|Current Lt. Governors|
|Lt. Governor Elections|
|2014 • 2013 • 2012 • 2011 • 2010|
Per Amendment 6 to the Arkansas Constitution, the lieutenant governor must "possess the same qualifications of eligibility for the office as the Governor." Under Article 6, Section 11 of the Constitution, the governor may not hold any federal office, any civil or military commission, any office in another state, or any other office in Arkansas concurrently with his gubernatorial term. Article 6, Section 5 requires the governor to be at least 30 years old, an American citizen, and a resident of Arkansas for at least seven years on election day.
Constitution of Arkansas, Amendment 6, Section 5
The Lieutenant Governor shall possess the same qualifications of eligibility for the office as the Governor.
No member of Congress, or other person holding office under the authority of this State, or of the United States, shall exercise the office of Governor, except as herein provided.
No person shall be eligible to the office of Governor except a citizen of the United States, who shall have attained the age of thirty years, and shall have been seven years a resident of this State.
Arkansas elects its lieutenant governors during federal midterm election years (e.g. 2006, 2010, 2014, and 2018). Candidates for governor and lieutenant governor run on separate tickets, so it is possible for the two officeholders to be members of different parties. Winners assume office on the second Tuesday in January following the election. Thus, January 11, 2011 and January 13, 2015 are inaugural days. If two candidates are tied after the general election, then a joint session of the legislature will choose the winner by simple balloting when the General Assembly convenes.
In 1998, Arkansans adopted Amendment 73 to the state constitution, which limited all executive department officers to two terms. Whereas some states allow previous officeholders to run again after spending one term out of office, Arkansas does not.
If the lieutenant governor leaves office, is disabled, or ascends to the office of governor, a special election is held to choose a replacement; the new officeholder serves for a full term, not merely the unexpired term of his predecessor.
The primary responsibility of the lieutenant governor is to replace a governor who has died, become disabled, or is removed from office. He also serves as president of the Arkansas Senate, though he may cast a vote only in the case of a tie.
Note: Ballotpedia's state executive officials project researches state official websites for information that describes the divisions (if any exist) of a state executive office. That information for the Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas has not yet been added. After extensive research we were unable to identify any relevant information on state official websites. If you have any additional information about this office for inclusion on this section and/or page, please email us.
The budget for the Arkansas Lieutenant Governor's Office in Fiscal Year 2012 was $357,768.
In 2010, the lieutenant governor was paid $42,219 , the 39th highest lieutenant gubernatorial salary in America. The lieutenant governor's pay is set by law and may not be increased or diminished during his term.
The position of lieutenant governor was established by a 1914 constitutional amendment, though the position was vacant until 1927 due to confusion over whether the amendment had actually been passed. The measure had received a narrow plurality of the votes, but not a majority, which was believed to be required for passage at the time. As a result, the speaker of the Arkansas House of Representatives ruled the amendment had been defeated. However, it was discovered in 1925 that the Initiative and Referendum amendment of 1910 changed the requirement for passage to a plurality. Consequently, the first election for lieutenant governor took place in 1926.
There have been 16 Arkansas Lieutenant Governors since 1927. Of the 16 officeholders, 4 were Republican and 12 were Democrat.
|List of Former Officeholders from 1927-Present|
|2||William Lee Cazort||1921-1931||Democratic|
|3||Lawrence Elery Wilson||1931-1933||Democratic|
|4||William Lee Cazort||1933-1937||Democratic|
|5||Robert L. "Bob" Bailey||1937-1943||Democratic|
|6||James Lavesque Shaver||1943-1947||Democratic|
|7||Nathan Green Gordon||1947-1967||Democratic|
|8||Maurice L. Britt||1967-1971||Republican|
|9||Dr. Bob Cowley Riley||1971-1975||Democratic|
|10||Joe Edward Purcell||1975-1981||Democratic|
|12||Jim Guy Tucker||1990-1993||Democratic|
|14||Winthrop Paul Rockefeller||1996-2006||Republican|
|16||Mark A. Darr||2011-2014||Republican|
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Office of the Lt. Governor
State Capitol, Suite 270
Little Rock, AR 72201-1061
- Arkansas Times, "Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr to resign Feb. 1, cites politics, family," January 10, 2014
- Arkansas: Lieutenant Governor Quitting Under Pressure," January 10, 2014
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- Arkansas News Bureau, "Beebe signs bill allowing lieutenant governor’s office to stay vacant," February 28, 2014
- The Miami Herald, "Ark. gov. backs bill keeping Darr office vacant," January 29, 2014
- Arkansas Constitution of 1874, "Amendment 6," accessed June 14, 2011
- Arkansas Constitution, "Amendment 73," accessed June 14, 2011
- Arkansas Constitution, "Amendment 6," accessed July 6, 2011
- Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration, "State of Arkansas Funded Budget - Fiscal Year 2012," accessed May 28, 2013
- Arkansas Lieutenant Governor's Office, "Office History," accessed July 27, 2013