By Ben Giles | Arizona Capitol Times
A Republican lawmaker is again asking voters to give Arizona a lieutenant governor, a role that would supersede the secretary of state as first in the line of succession for the governor’s office.
The maneuver may raise eyebrows given its timing. Arizona voters just elected a Democrat, Katie Hobbs, as secretary of state, making her the first Democrat to serve in that capacity in more than two decades. If Republican Gov. Doug Ducey leaves office for any reason in the next four years, a Democrat would rise to the most powerful political office in the state.
But this is not a new effort for Sen. J.D. Mesnard. As a state representative, the Chandler Republican sponsored a nearly identical measure in 2015 to shake up the line of succession in a way that ensures the next-in-line as governor is from the same political party as the governor that voters elected.
Twice since the late 1980s the governor of one party was replaced by a secretary of state from a different party.
Mesnard wants to ensure that never happens again, at least not after another eight years.