Your locally elected state representatives, Republicans Becky Nutt and Gail Griffin, support the expansion of state government.
They were part of the majority that adopted HCR 2020 last week, proposing a constitutional amendment to add the office of Lieutenant Governor in Arizona. Rep. Nutt not only supports the bill, she is the prime sponsor of this legislation.
If approved by the Senate and signed by the governor, the question of whether to add the new office would go before Arizona voters on the Nov. 3 ballot.
This is a solution to a problem that rarely exists, if it exists at all.
In a statewide media interview, Rep. Nutt insisted this bill is about “consistency.” The lieutenant governor would become governor if and when the sitting executive leaves the state, is removed from office or is otherwise unable to serve. When that happens, it is important that the person assuming the state’s top job be “consistent,” Rep. Nutt contends.
It’s also important that they be Republican.
This initiative isn’t about consistency, it’s about politics. The Arizona GOP is frantically concerned that they will lose the governorship if the secretary of state is a Democrat. As things are now, the SOS succeeds the governor if the executive is unable to serve. In the current scenario — although Rep. Nutt’s plan wouldn’t go into effect until after Gov. Doug Ducey has left office — Democrat Katie Hobbs would step into the top job.
In Arizona’s 108-year history as a state, the sitting governor has been replaced by the secretary of state from the opposing party three times. The most recent event occurred in 2009 when Republican Jan Brewer replaced Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano, who took a position in the Obama administration.
We’re betting that Rep. Nutt and the cascade of Republicans in the House who favor this initiative would not be considering the measure if Arizona voters had not elected Hobbs as their secretary of state.
Arizona is one of just seven states that does not have a lieutenant governor, saving the expense and reducing the bureaucracy of our state government. Twice before, Arizona voters have been presented the question of creating this office, in 1994 and 2010, and both times the idea was rejected.
Rep. Nutt’s proposal is a needless — and expensive — expansion of state government for political purposes. Asking taxpayers to support this nonsense is nothing less than offensive.