Andy Mayberry is running for lieutenant governor but wants to abolish the office.
Mayberry, a Republican state House member from Hensley, said his campaign motto is: “I want to be your next and last lieutenant governor.”
The limited duties of Arkansas’ lieutenant governor, including serving as governor when that person is out of state, could easily be fulfilled by the secretary of state, Mayberry said. By eliminating the lieutenant governor’s position, taxpayers would save almost $500,000 a year in salary and benefits that go to the lieutenant governor and handful of staff members who work in the office, he said.
(Mayberry is pictured at right in this file photo taken during an appearance last year on “5NEWS Sunday Morning” with 5NEWS Managing Editor Larry Henry.)
Mayberry is the only candidate for lieutenant governor so far to call for abolishing the office. In addition to Mayberry, two other Republicans, U.S. Rep. Tim Griffin of Little Rock and state Rep. Debra Hobbs of Rogers, are running in the May 20 primary election.
The winner is expected to face Democrat John Burkhalter, a Little Rock businessman and former state Highway Commission member, in the Nov. 4 general election.
The necessity of having a lieutenant governor came into question earlier this year when Lt. Gov. Mark Darr of Springdale was fined by the state Ethics Commission for spending violations and then resigned soon thereafter.
If elected, Mayberry said he would serve in the role but would seek to have a proposed constitutional amendment put before voters in 2016 asking whether the lieutenant governor’s office should be abolished. If approved by voters, the office would be abolished in 2018, he said.
Mayberry said abolishing the office coincides with his campaign goal of seeking more efficiency in state government.