The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes

Politics and law from a British perspective (hence Politics LAW BloG): ''People who like this sort of thing...'' as the Great Man said

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Tuesday, January 27, 2004

A Bill Clinton Mystery. Really.

Well it is to me.

It's all a question of a gap in the narrative. Clinton, my information is, resigned as Governor of Arkansas on December 12 1992. He was, it says, succeeded in that office by Lieutenant-Governor Jim Guy Tucker, who apparently faced re-election only once - in 1994.

The Political Graveyard page for Arkansas Governors indicates the losing candidates in the general elections in 1990 and 1994, but not 1992.

So, the quick question is, Was there an election for Arkansas Governor in 1992 at all?

Article 6 §1 of the Arkansas Constitution says that
The executive department of this State shall consist of a Governor...all of whom shall keep their offices in person at the seat of government and hold their offices for the term of two years and until their successors are elected and qualified...

Art 6 §3 says
The Governor...shall be elected by the qualified electors of the State at large at the time and places of voting for members of the General Assembly

Which according to the annotation to Art 3 §8 is
the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November in every even-numbered year.
No provision not to have an election where the incumbent just happens to be in a US presidential election on the same day!

It gets more puzzling. According to Art 6 §12,
In case of the...resignation...of the Governor, the powers, duties and emoluments of the office for the remainder of the term..., or a Governor elected and qualified, shall devolve upon and accrue to the President of the Senate.

And (§14)
Whenever the office of Governor shall have become vacant by...resignation..., provided such vacancy shall not happen within twelve months next before the expiration of the term of office for which the late Governor shall have been elected, the President of the Senate or Speaker of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, exercising the powers of Governor for the time being, shall immediately cause an election to be held to fill such vacancy, giving by proclamation sixty days' previous notice thereof, which election shall be governed by the same rules prescribed for general elections of Governor as far as applicable...

According to what I read, therefore, Jim Bob Tucker should, ex officio, have come nowhere near the Governorship: the President of the Senate (whoever he was) would have taken over; and then called an election for early 1993 to fill the vacancy left by the resigned Clinton.

So what gives? This should be a political geek's trivia question par excellence - discussed all over the net. So far as I can see, nada.

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