Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas

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The Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas presides over the Arkansas Senate with a tie-breaking vote, serves as governor when the governor is out of state, and serves as governor if the governor is impeached, removed from office, dies or is otherwise unable to discharge the office's duties. The lieutenant governor position is elected separately from the governor.

Arkansas Senate upper house of the Arkansas General Assembly

The Arkansas Senate is the upper branch of the Arkansas General Assembly. The Senate consists of 35 members, each representing a district with about 83,000 people. Service in the state legislature is part-time, and many state senators have full-time jobs during the rest of the year. During the current term, the Senate contains twenty-six Republicans, and nine Democrats.

A casting vote is a vote that someone may exercise to resolve a deadlock. A casting vote is typically by the presiding officer of a council, legislative body, committee, etc., and may only be exercised to break a deadlock. Examples of officers who hold casting votes are the Speaker of the British House of Commons and the President of the United States Senate.

The position of Lieutenant Governor was created by the Sixth Amendment to the Arkansas Constitution in 1914, but was not filled until 1927. The Amendment was approved by the electorate in 1914, with returns showing 45,567 in favor and 45,206 opposed. The Speaker of the House declared the measure lost because it had not received a majority of the highest total vote, which was 135,517. In 1925, it was discovered that the Initiative and Referendum of 1910 had amended this majority requirement so that only a majority of those voting on a specific question was required. So, in 1926, the 1914 initiative was declared to be valid and Harvey Parnell was elected Arkansas' first lieutenant governor.

A lieutenant governor, lieutenant-governor, or vice governor is a high officer of state, whose precise role and rank vary by jurisdiction.

Harvey Parnell was a farmer and politician from Southeast Arkansas. Parnell served in the Arkansas General Assembly for eight years, first in the Arkansas House of Representatives, and later serving a term in the Arkansas Senate. Following the re-establishment of the lieutenant governor position, Parnell won the statewide election and served under Governor John Martineau. When Martineau resigned to take a federal judgeship in March 1928, Parnell was elevated to become the state's 29th governor, a position he would hold until 1933. Early in his time as governor, Parnell was responsible for Progressive reforms popular with rural voters, including expansion and modernization of the highway system and public school reform. But as the Dust Bowl and Great Depression ravaged the Arkansas economy, Parnell's programs were blamed for bankrupting the state, and his popularity plummeted. He left politics after his second full gubernatorial term ended in January 1933.

Two recent incumbents, Winthrop Paul Rockefeller and Mike Huckabee, began their respective tenures in the midst of regular term periods, due to the elevation of their predecessors to the governorship. Jim Guy Tucker succeeded Bill Clinton as governor in December 1992, upon Clinton's resignation days before assuming his office as President of the United States, creating the need for a special election to fill the lieutenant governor's office. When Tucker was convicted of conspiracy and mail fraud charges in 1996, Huckabee succeeded him as governor, paving the way for the November 1996 special election of Rockefeller as lieutenant governor.

Winthrop Paul Rockefeller American politician

Winthrop Paul "Win" Rockefeller was an American Republican politician and businessman who served as the 17th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas from 1996 until his death in 2006. He was a member of the Rockefeller family.

Mike Huckabee Arkansas politician

Michael Dale Huckabee is an American politician and Christian minister who served as the 44th governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He was a candidate in the United States Republican presidential primaries in both 2008 and 2016.

Jim Guy Tucker American politician

James Guy Tucker Jr. is an American lawyer and Arkansas political figure. A member of the Democratic Party, he served as the 43rd Governor of Arkansas, the 15th Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, Arkansas Attorney General, and U.S. Representative.

Prior to Tim Griffin's swearing-in in January 2015, the office had been vacant since Mark Darr resigned on February 1, 2014, following an investigation into ethics violations involving illegal use of campaign funds. [1]

Tim Griffin American politician

John Timothy Griffin is an American politician and member of the Republican Party who is the 20th and current Lieutenant Governor of Arkansas, a post he has held since January 2015 under Governor Asa Hutchinson. Previously, Griffin was the U.S. Representative for Arkansas's 2nd congressional district from 2011 to 2015. As the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2014 he defeated Democrat John Burkhalter. Griffin was also the interim United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Arkansas from December 2006 to June 2007 but was never confirmed by the United States Senate.

Mark A. Darr is an American politician from Springdale, Arkansas, who was his state's 19th lieutenant governor from 2011 to 2014. A member of the Republican Party, he was elected in 2010 to succeed Democrat Bill Halter. To win the second-ranking post in state government, he defeated another Democrat, state Senator and former House Speaker Shane Broadway by a margin of 51 to 49 percent.

Lieutenant Governors of the State of Arkansas
No.Lieutenant GovernorTerm in officePartyElection Governor [lower-alpha 1]
1  Calvin C. Bliss April 18, 1864

July 2, 1868
Republican 1864   Isaac Murphy
2 James M. Johnson July 2, 1868

March 14, 1871
Republican 1868
[lower-alpha 2]
Powell Clayton
(resigned March 17, 1871)
VacantMarch 14, 1871

January 6, 1873
Ozra Amander Hadley
3 Volney V. Smith January 6, 1873

November 12, 1874
Republican 1872
[lower-alpha 3]
Elisha Baxter
Office did not exist from November 12, 1874, to January 11, 1927
4 Harvey Parnell January 11, 1927

March 4, 1928
Democratic 1926
[lower-alpha 4]
John Ellis Martineau
VacantMarch 4, 1928

January 14, 1929
Harvey Parnell
5 Lee Cazort January 14, 1929

January 12, 1931
Democratic 1928
6 Lawrence Elery Wilson January 12, 1931

January 10, 1933
Democratic 1930
7 Lee Cazort January 10, 1933

January 12, 1937
Democratic 1932 Junius Marion Futrell
8 Robert L. Bailey January 12, 1937

January 12, 1943
Democratic 1936 Carl Edward Bailey
1940 Homer Martin Adkins
9 James L. Shaver January 12, 1943

January 14, 1947
Democratic 1942
1944 Benjamin Travis Laney
10 Gordon, Nathan Green.jpg Nathan Green Gordon January 14, 1947

January 10, 1967
Democratic 1946
1948 Sid McMath
1952 Francis Cherry
1954 Orval Faubus
11 Maurice Britt January 10, 1967

January 12, 1971
Republican 1966 Winthrop Rockefeller
12 Bob C. Riley January 12, 1971

January 3, 1975
Democratic 1970 Dale Bumpers
[lower-alpha 5]
Acting as governorJanuary 3, 1975

January 14, 1975
Bob C. Riley
13 Joe Purcell January 14, 1975

January 3, 1979
Democratic 1974 David Pryor
[lower-alpha 6]
Acting as governorJanuary 3, 1979

January 9, 1979
Joe Purcell
13 Joe Purcell January 9, 1979

January 19, 1981
Democratic 1978 Bill Clinton
14 Winston Bryant January 19, 1981

January 15, 1991
Democratic 1980 Frank D. White [lower-alpha 7]
1982 Bill Clinton
[lower-alpha 8]
15 Jim Guy Tucker January 15, 1991

December 12, 1992
Democratic 1990
[lower-alpha 9]
VacantDecember 12, 1992

November 20, 1993
Jim Guy Tucker [lower-alpha 10]
16 Huckabee-SF-CC-024.jpg Mike Huckabee November 20, 1993

July 15, 1996
Republican 1993
[lower-alpha 11]
VacantJuly 15, 1996

November 19, 1996
Mike Huckabee
17 Paige, Huckabee, Rockefeller, and Hutchinson with large check, August 2002 - cropped to Rockefeller.jpg Winthrop Paul Rockefeller November 19, 1996

July 16, 2006
Republican 1996
[lower-alpha 12]
VacantJuly 16, 2006

January 9, 2007
18 Bill Halter.jpg Bill Halter January 9, 2007

January 11, 2011
Democratic 2006 Mike Beebe [lower-alpha 10]
19 Mark Darr January 11, 2011

February 1, 2014
Republican 2010
[lower-alpha 13]
VacantFebruary 1, 2014

January 13, 2015
20 Tim Griffin, Official Portrait, 112th Congress.jpg Tim Griffin January 13, 2015

present [lower-alpha 14]
Republican 2014
Asa Hutchinson


  1. Lieutenant governors represented the same party as their governor unless noted.
  2. Johnson resigned as part of party machinations to allow Clayton to resign without Johnson succeeding him; the office remained vacant for the remainder of the term. [2] [3]
  3. First term under the 1871 constitution, which shortened terms to two years.
  4. Martineau resigned [4] and Parnell served as governor for the remainder of the term.
  5. Bumpers resigned and Riley acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  6. Pryor resigned and Purcell acted as governor for the remainder of the term.
  7. Represented the Republican Party.
  8. First term under a 1984 constitutional amendment, which lengthened terms to four years.
  9. Clinton resigned and Tucker served as governor for the remainder of the term.
  10. 1 2 Represented the Democratic Party.
  11. Tucker resigned and Huckabee served as governor for the remainder of the term.
  12. Rockefeller died in office; the office remained vacant for the remainder of the term.
  13. Darr resigned; he was under sanction for ethics violations involving illegal use of campaign funds. [5] The office remained vacant for the remainder of the term.
  14. Griffin's second term began on January 15, 2019 and will expire in January 2023.

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  1. "It was a bad week for Mark Darr (again)". Arkansas Times. February 6, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2016.
  2. Hempstead, Fay (1911). Historical Review of Arkansas: Its Commerce, Industry, and Modern Affairs. p. 269. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  3. "Ozro Amander Hadley (1826–1915)". Encyclopedia of Arkansas History & Culture. Retrieved November 26, 2018.
  4. "John Ellis Martineau". National Governors Association. Retrieved September 5, 2015.
  5. "Mark Darr, Arkansas lt. gov., says he'll resign over ethics case". Politico. Retrieved November 27, 2018.