State Capitol News
10:22 am
Thu April 29, 2010

Voters to Decide in November on Whether or Not to Have Lieuenant Governor

Phoenix, AZ – The plan would rename the post of secretary of state to
lieutenant governor. Backers say that would better inform voters
that the person they choose for this spot is first in line to
become governor if the incumbent quits, dies or is thrown out of
office, something that has happened five times since 1977. But
the plan going to the ballot for voter ratification has a twist:
Whoever wins each party's nomination for lieutenant governor at
the primary would then run as a ticket with the party's
gubernatorial hopeful. Sen. Chuck Gray said that could create
electoral mischief. He pointed out the lieutenant governor will
inherit the current duties of the secretary of state, including
being the state's chief election official.

(Having the shadow of the governorship over this office would or
could unduly influence the person over our elections because they
might disagree with how to proceed on election matters. If the
governor on his or her soapbox went a different direction than
the new lieutenant governor, then the lieutenant governor, if
they disagreed, would appear to be insubordinate, if you would,
to some degree of the governor.)

Gray said the pair should run independent of each other. But the
final version that voters will see in November has them running
as a ticket. For Arizona Public Radio this is Howard Fischer.